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.
There's typically a sense that once people have fled their country they no longer deserve a full stake in its future. Perhaps the assumption is exiles have assimilated elsewhere, their children no longer speak the language or understand the nuances of the culture. Sometimes there's a degree of envy - members of a diaspora are considered financially better off abroad...
Here's the resounding message: 'Don't get raped!'. Why is there no talk telling people not to rape, and teaching them what constitutes rape? Considering that most victims of sexual assault are assaulted by somebody they know, the 'don't walk home alone' message is proving to be falling short in protecting students. We need something more.
New laws followed the inquiry report on stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment, sentencing and mandatory police reporting of complaints of sexual attacks but, laws are not enough and as time passes and another woman is raped, the question is whether all the efforts of the report writers to urge a change in mind-set have failed.
This isn't just about asking Sheffield United to take a stand on violence against women and girls. This is about demanding that every single football club stand up for victims of sexual violence and refuse to work with players who commit rape and condemn those who harass, abuse and stalk a victim of sexual violence.
Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.
It is far too easy to become desensitised to the pain and suffering caused by men like Chedwyn Evans, as their victims are not the ones we see on the football pitch every week. If a positive attitude towards gender equality is ever to be achieved, it is imperative that bodies like the FA impose tougher penalties on those who commit such serious offences.
Rape is only too often used as a weapon during many armed conflicts around the world and Denis Mukwege has made it his life's mission to help the victims of sexual violence. Because of his sterling work, the European Parliament has decided to award him the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014...