Anarchist Discussion Meeting: Confronting Sexual Violence in the Left

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 -
7:00pm to 9:00pm
The New International Bookshop 54 Victoria St, Carlton, Victoria, Australia 3053

We need to make a political choice to believe survivors of violence.’

Gendered violence is a key way in which women’s oppression is maintained in our patriarchal society. In Australia, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men over the age of 15 have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15 years. Violence perpetrated by men is the leading cause of preventable death, disability and illness in women aged 15-44. Aboriginal women, poor women, women of differing abilities, and sex and gender diverse people are significantly more likely to experience sexual violence.

All too often, survivors of sexual violence are greeted with disbelief, anger, and defensiveness when they should be believed and supported. This happens in left-wing groups, our social movements, our friendship circles, our workplaces, and countless other places in society. While most left-wing groups and movements share a stated opposition to sexism, this does not make them immune to the misogynist assumptions which underlie victim blaming and which often come up when people are confronted by sexual violence committed by their friends or political comrades.

Join Anarchist Affinity for a discussion about how we can confront sexual violence in left-wing groups, social movements and our day-to-day lives in a way which empowers sexual violence survivors and attempts to avoid common forms of victim blaming and silencing.

The discussion will be facilitated (with a progressive speaking list) and will start with a brief talk by Rebecca Winter, who recently wrote an article on this topic:

Content warning: this discussion will focus on sexual violence, other forms of gendered violence, victim blaming and misogyny. These topics are incredibly personal and painful for many survivors and others. Please make a special effort to think carefully about the way you engage with this topic and consider the impact of your words on others.

Other suggested readings: