The media needs to stop normalising rape and pushing blame onto the victim. Secret survivors of rape are everywhere. This burden will always be with them. We need to make it easier for survivors of rape to talk about what has happened; we need to make it easier for survivors to come forward. The media needs to stop with its crude reporting of rape.
It is time to move beyond outrage and take real action. Governments need to address the political, social, and economic structures that subordinate women, and implement national plans and make budget commitments to invest in actions by multiple sectors to prevent and respond to abuse. Only then do we have a chance of ending violence against women and creating cultures of equality and respect.
I ask you again to read this woman's statement. We must pay attention to her side of the story, we must appreciate her bravery, we must listen to her voice despite others' attempts to silence it. For every instance of misdirected blame, for every statement carefully constructed to invalidate her story, we must stand up and fight with her. Do not let Brock Turner fill in the gaps in her story; for it is too important and too courageous to be tampered with.
Some argue, "learn how to speak up for yourself. Just say "no." But nos are often ignored and become impossible to say when someone feels like they have no choice. The CONTEXT in which consent is given is the most important part and needs to be taken seriously by us as individuals, by court officials & police, and by the whole of society.
I am a supporter of the Leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. He has brought world class economists into the British political debate for the first time in 35 years. He has broken the hegemony of neoconservative foreign policy. He has forced the media to admit the existence of the strong left-wing critique of the European Union. But, just as I favour withdrawal from the EU at this stage rather than once Corbyn's proposals for a Social Europe had been rejected, so I also disagree profoundly with him about the sex industry.
I could probably list a hundred reasons why I love Glasgow, with everything from the culture, music, architecture, nightlife, and countless restaurants, to buskers and bagpipers on Buchanan Street, the Clyde, the Duke of Wellington with his ever-stylish traffic cone hat, and, of course, the people of Glasgow themselves.
Germany's start to 2016 has been dominated by a wave of sexual assaults that took place in Cologne and elsewhere on New Year's Eve. A number of the suspects for these assaults were of North African origin, which has once again stirred up the main debate in Germany- how to deal with the European refugee crisis.
As unions and universities, we have the perfect opportunity to grab the attention of young people moving into their new home. We can show them that it's okay to speak about consent and it's okay to speak about rape. We can be the ones to help survivors report and ask for help. We can be the ones to help destroy the shame that so often nips at their heels.
Teaching consent at Universities is not a cure-all: it is a start. We must take young people and sexual assault seriously, and the NUS and Students' Unions are taking necessary steps to do so. For those berating the need for further action, those disputing whether this is enough: there is no better place to start fighting rape culture and concepts of patriarchal masculinity, than in a classroom.