It Happens Everywhere is our weekly newsletter where we take a look at what is happening in the world and try to start a conversation, a conversation that will make people think, and hopefully stand up against sexual violence.
It Happens Here, It. It Happens Everywhere.
CN: rape, sexual assault
Cologne attacks charges commence and are dismissed
On Friday, the first trial for sexual offences following the New Years’ Cologne attacks began, with a two men charged with attempted sexual assault and theft. More than 1,000 complaints were filed, many of sexual assault, taking place in the early hours of New Year’s day. Many reports described women being surrounded by groups of men and being groped.
The men denied the charges and, although they were charged with theft, the sexual assault charges were dismissed, as it ‘could not be proven’ that they had taken part. This was due to the fact the woman who underwent the assault could not be sure the men in the dock were the one’s who had attacked her.
Hopefully, this does not mean that other survivors, of Cologne and elsewhere, are put off bringing their cases to court.
Teen Vogue launches campaign “Not Your Fault”
Teen Vogue has started the “Not Your Fault” campaign, a video series that wants to end rape culture. It gives survivors of sexual assault a platform to tell their stories. As part of the campaign men also read the accounts of some of the survivors.
Too many times society blames the survivors instead of the perpetrators. The article on Teen Vogue exemplifies this in one point:
“The truth is, there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening to you, and that burden shouldn’t be on you in the first place. Preventing sexual assault is not an individual responsibility, it is a cultural responsibility, and we must all work together to stop sexual assault through education, spreading awareness, and creating a system that holds the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”
We need more campaigns like this. And we are glad to see that certain sections of society have woken up to the fact that sexual violence happens and the ones to be responsible are not the women or the men who are attacked, but the perpetrators.
We are nowhere near the eradication of rape culture, but this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
A Photo Series challenges the “What were you wearing?” question
Art can be powerful. The photo series by Katherine Cambareri is such an example. The series shares the items of clothing survivors of sexual violence were wearing when they were assaulted. It started as the photographer’s senior thesis but is set to continue.
Jeans, a pair of shoes, sweatpants are just a few of the articles photographed by the artist. Hopefully, this is just one more project that will make people think and will stop think that survivors are to be blamed for the actions of someone else.
Rhiannon Thompson, Publicity Team
Asta Diabaté, Digital Manager