This is the first installment of “It Happens Everywhere” our weekly newsletter that will be posted on Fridays.
Our aim is always to raise awareness of sexual violence. As It Happens Here in Oxford, we want people to know that It Happens Everywhere. News stories, thought pieces made by some all have the power to bring us a bit closer to get people talking and fighting the good fight. But they also have the power to set us back. It Happens Everywhere is planning to look at what is happening in the world and start a conversation, a conversation that will make people think, and hopefully stand up against sexual violence.
It Happens Here, It Happens Everywhere.
Asta Diabaté, Digital
CN: discussion of sexual violence, sexual abuse, child abuse
It Happens Here was taken aback by last Friday’s verdict on Kesha’s case to be free the contractual obligation to work with her abuser. She didn’t ask for him to go to prison, she just asked to be able to earn a living without having to be around him.
Although used in defence of the ruling, the Judge’s description of their decision as the “commercially reasonable thing” demonstrates what’s so awful about this case. A person being treated as a commodity, and their commercial value being prioritised over their safety, well-being and autonomy.
Although the influx of wider support has been inspiring, this can only do damage to the confidence survivors have in coming forward, and can only contribute to the drastic lack of reporting of sexual violence and lack of justice which is so prevalent in our society.
For a really good thought piece on this news, look up Lenny.
The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act is introduced by the Senate
Great news this week as a new bill was introduced in the Senate to guarantee and standardise certain rights for people who’ve experienced sexual assault. This was pushed forward by Amanda Nguyen, who became involved after her own struggles with a difficult and inconsistent legal system.
The bill draws together legal rights which exist in different forms in different USA states- it attempts to ensure survivors have access to a counsellor and know their legal options
Nguyen said “I could accept injustice or rewrite the law. I chose rewriting the law.”
The Dame Janet Smith Review comes out
An extensive review into the BBC and how much was known about Jimmy Savile’s abuse was began in 2012 and came out on Thursday. It identified 72 people as survivors of Saville, the youngest being only 8 years old at the time.
It was said that the BBC “missed chances to stop attacks,” but that there’s no evidence that the BBC as a corporate body knew. It was concluded that certain junior and middle ranking individuals had been aware of this, but that a “culture of fear” prevented those who knew from taking the information further up.
One junior employee complained to her supervisor about an assault, and was told “keep your mouth shut, he is a VIP.”
However, two senior managers were “probably aware” of Stuart Hall’s attacks on BBC premises. Hall assaulted 21 people between 1967 and 1991.
Although harrowing, the fact these events have come to light and investigations are being carried out into them is stimulating conversation. Hopefully some good, in the form of future awareness and watchfulness, will come of this.
Rhiannon Thompson, Publicity Team