The Resistance hosted live virtual workshop on “Sexual Assault: The Aftermath”
This April, on the month of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), The Resistance hosted their first-ever live virtual workshop titled “Sexual Assault: The Aftermath”.
The virtual workshop was hosted on 22 April 2021, Thursday at 09 PM (Bangladesh Standard Time, GMT+6). It was conducted by Taslima Yasmin, Associate Professor, Department of Law, University of Dhaka. It was aired on the official Facebook page of The Resistance and was open for all.
The target of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is to increase public awareness about sexual violence, educate communities on its prevention, and bolster prevention initiatives in the future. Although feminist activists have undertaken several mechanisms to “Prevent” sexual assault, adequate knowledge on what a sexual assault survivor should do to avail medical, legal, and psychological support is still absent. As a result, in 2020, thousands of women were sexually assaulted or raped but only a handful of cases were filed. The workshop aimed to fill up that knowledge gap to achieve justice for those who have been wronged. Step-by-step instructions was given from which bodies of authorities should be contacted to how the legal procedures will be carried out. Such a heinous experience requires a certain sensitivity towards the victim.
The conversation started with the mention of immediate responses that must be taken after an act of sexual assault or rape to preserve evidences and testimonies in order to solidify the victim’s case. ‘The victim must contact the law enforcement agencies first without fear or shame’, Taslima Yasmin emphasised during several parts of the workshop. She further added, ‘the one stop crisis centre can tell the victim what should be done and may also refer her to the police after emergency medical care.’ The different categories of sexual assault was then discussed, touching upon the laws which are in place to punish rape as well as non-physical modes of assault and sexual harassment. For cyber crimes which deal with the topics such as cyber-sexual harassment, dissemination of sensitive photos or pornography, Taslima Yasmin stated the legal remedies as well as contact information of the cyber crime investigation unit and their special unit for women.
Tanha Tanjin, Founder of TransEnd added valuable insight about the obstacles that the Hijra and transgender communities of Bangladesh face regarding sexual assault. The importance of gender sensitivity and the role of society as a whole was explored as the discussion of the agency of women’s bodies were linked to shame and social stigma. ‘It is important that women move past the shame they feel about their bodies and use the tools that the government and legal bodies provide. If their initial point of contact with the police is not fruitful, it is imperative that they do not give up and instead take their cases to the Women & Children Repression Prevention Tribunal.’ Taslima Yasmin added when talking about the various discouragements that the victims have to ultimately face.
The sessions were facilitated by renowned gender faculties, development practitioners where members participated and actively interacted on important feminism issues.
Click the link below to watch the recorded live Workshop: