Shamima Begum: What does the perfect victim look like?

Following a Times article that describes Shamima Begum as “bloodthirsty and fanatical”  sexual violence trainer and campaigner Sara Amanda asks why is grooming and vulnerability not part of the discussion? Having worked in the area of domestic and sexual violence for nearly 20 years, I doubt strongly that Shamima Begum was groomed for war, it… Read More

R. Kelly is a free man because we’re “disgusted” yet complicit

With the recent documentary series, Surviving R. Kelly, many are asking why the self-styled “Pied piper of R&B” has got away with it for so long. Angelo Irving asks if our disgust really translates into action. Content Note: This article contains explicit reference to acts of child sexual abuse, please read on with caution. Editor’s… Read More

FGM as spectacle: the dehumanisation and commodification of the black girl

Warning: the following post contains images that readers may find graphic or disturbing. by Firdos Ali  Last week, FGM campaigner Hibo Wardere broke the news that Sky had filmed the mutilation of a little girl in Somalia and intended to broadcast the footage in the UK. FGM campaigners who had seen the footage were in… Read More

The UN’s Good vs. Bad Narrative Clears the Way for Sexual Violence and Impunity

Content warning: Rape, Sexual violence and abuse by Maya Goodfellow A Blue Helmet’s job is, quite literally, to keep the peace. The UN peacekeepers whose nickname comes from their characteristic headwear, are supposed to protect people in countries torn apart by war. However a steady drip of accusations coming out of the Central African Republic (CAR) suggests… Read More

There is an epidemic of missing women and girls of colour in the UK

by Chimene Suleyman  As a child, I watched family members laid to rest with nothing but a sheet of white cloth around their bodies. We go to the earth as we come from it — naked and equal. Only, the imposed hierarchy from ones birth may impact greatly on the manner in which we receive a… Read More

The Theft of Innocence: Voluntourism and Child Sexual Abuse

by Samira Sawlani Trigger Warning: Article contains stories of rape and child sexual abuse On the 7th of March 2016, at an American district court in Oklahoma, twenty-year-old missionary Matthew Durham was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $15,863 in restitution after he was convicted of sexually abusing children at… Read More

Still Waiting For The Chibok Girls

by Ugochukwu Ezeh In his well-received memoirs, Dreams From my Father, Barak Obama depicts an evocative search for cultural affirmation in his ancestral Kenya. In one moving passage from the book, he sits underneath a mango tree watching his grandmother braid his sister’s hair and listening to her recite the genealogy of the Obama clan.… Read More

Terror is Terror, Even If the Victim Wears Hijab

by Shireen Ahmed There was barely enough time to grieve properly for all the victims of this month’s terror attacks, before I and countless other Muslims were pushed into fearing for our own safety. Waking up one morning last week, I heard the news that a Muslim woman was attacked outside her children’s school. She… Read More

Would you intervene if you saw a woman being assaulted on public transport?

When misogynoir meets the bystander effect by Guilaine Kinouani Would you intervene if you saw a woman being assaulted on public transport? What if she was a Black woman being assaulted by a Black man? The ‘bystander effect’ is often used as an explanation for the absence of intervention or helping behaviours when people are… Read More

No, Mrs Mugabe, I am not responsible for my rape.

By Anonymous TRIGGER WARNING: This piece contains descriptions of assault and discussions on rape, shaming and abuse. I was 22 and interning overseas at a big Inter-Governmental Organisation which employed a couple of hundred people. A flashy building, meeting VIPs, attending cocktail receptions – for me this was the equivalent of the bright lights of Hollywood.… Read More