ABOLISH RAPE: A Public Discussion
Feb 12 — 7pm – 9pm
Halkevi Kurdish Community Centre
31-33 Dalston Lane, London E8
Women’s Strike invites feminists of all genders to a public discussion about what it would take to abolish rape. Why? Because we are sick to death of it being easier to count the number of women in our lives who haven’t been raped than those who have and of not being believed when we speak about our experiences.
If we start from the fact that rape and domestic violence are structural and systemic forms of violence, then it means there are certain institutions, ways of thinking, state policies and people in power who are part of the problem. It also means we need to stop thinking about rape as just a problem of “bad men”.
In case you haven’t been paying attention – rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence remain at epidemic levels across all communities and classes in Britain. Each year around 85,000 women and 12,000 men experience rape, attempted rape or sexual assault in England and Wales; that’s on average 265 experiences of rape every single day.
Feminists in the 1970s struggled to make rape a political issue. It took until 1991 to make rape in marriage a crime because within the institution of marriage the consent of the wife was and in many cases still is assumed. Despite decades of campaigning, awareness-raising and criminal law, the situation hasn’t improved. How can we start to dismantle the structures and systems that make sexual violence so common? How can we abolish rape?
At this event you will hear from speakers and be invited to join a collective discussion in which we will start from our own experiences and connect our political organising with the explosion of feminist rage and action in Spain, Italy and across Latin Amercia with Ni Una Menos and the demand that we have full autonomy and control over what happens to our bodies.
We consider this event a risky undertaking. We think this public discussion urgently needs to happen so we are taking the risk. Because this is often a very hard conversation for many people we will be facilitating the discussion rigorously and with intent. There will be a separate space that folks can use to decompress or take a break. The event will conclude with physical exercise for a practice session of ABOLISH RAPE: The Women’s Strike Performs ‘The Rapist In Your Path’.