Community Dialogue on Sexual Violence
Beyond Eye in collaboration with Banjara School of Dance, Delhi conducted an interactive session with an audience of close to 30 people on the issue of sexual violence. The workshop focused on the idea of ‘abuse of power and its manifestation in sexual violence’. The workshop was divided into two activities. The first activity emphasized on the need to understand the definition and dynamics of power and the role it plays in our day to day lives, its contextual nature and how it operates under different influences. This was followed up by the second activity which was more of a reflection through discussion on the day to day lives of the participants.
The emphasis of this discussion was particularly on narrowing down the relationship between sexual violence(s) and its relation with power in our day to day lives. The participants shared stories pertaining to rape, eve-teasing, sexual harassment at work places, incest, child sexual abuse, etc. One of the fundamental objectives of conducting this workshop was also to initiate an interdisciplinary dialogue between people of different walks of life (lawyers, activists and psychologists).
It was observed through these activities that abuse takes place when power loses the elementality of consent. The participants also reflected upon the question of silence pertaining to instances of sexual violence. The role of the society, family and community in perpetrating these silences was also reflected upon, especially its relation to the idea of ‘shame’/‘honour’ of the family and the community. The lack of information pertaining to accessibility to laws and services, especially in the cases of sexual violence was also reflected upon.