Welcome to the 13th edition of The Pixel Project’s VAW e-News Digest. As usual, we have the latest and most relevant news from the past fortnight concerning violence against women around the world.

For most people around the world, the World Cup is associated with football superstars, cheering fans, a spirit of competition and an all-round sense of festivity. For those of us who are aware of the pervasiveness of violence against women around the world, the World Cup – as well as other similar sporting events – is associated with the rise of licensed rape in the form of sex trafficking, and for some, intimate partner violence.

Entertainment is cathartic. It allows us to escape into a world only slightly different from ours, and enables us to leave our problems momentarily behind before we return to the ‘real world’. But the real world never quite leaves us, and what we take in as entertainment (whether it is in the form of books, movies, or sporting events) can have real-life consequences.

In this edition of the VAW e-News Digest, we take a look at comments and reactions surrounding the controversial film The Killer in Me, which featured a graphic depiction of violence against its female characters. We also highlight (an admittedly dated, but nonetheless relevant) discussion concerning the recent trends in young adult literature aimed at girls that perpetuate rape culture by glorifying heroes who commit violence against women.

And of course, we cover the concerns expressed by various parties related to the rise of sex trafficking during the World Cup.

Let us know if you have any news about violence against women and efforts at eradicating it from where you live. Contact us and we’ll feature it in the upcoming Pixel Project VAW e-News Digest. You can send the news to our archivist at catalina@thepixelproject.net.

If you’d like to follow us on up-to-the-minute news concerning violence against women and efforts at addressing them globally, you can follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/pixelproject.

Warm Regards,

The Pixel Project Team

General Violence Against Women

Attempts at establishing an International Violence Against Women Act receives opposition from an unexpected quarter: the people of India. Read more about the controversy.

Should you go watch a critically acclaimed movie that features graphic violence done against two female characters? Natasha Walter asks: “Why is there so much movie violence against women?”

The Killer Inside Me: can the violence be justified? Two critics, a writer and an actor on whether the violence was excessive

Old but good: What do YA books like Twilight and the more disturbing Hush, Hush tell us about the novels produced for female teenagers? Blogger Aja points out that these books promote rape culture. Follow-up reads include this entry by Parametric and “Why the Young Adult genre needs to change”, part 1 and part 2.

Sierra Leone: President unveils action plan that is expected to address violence against women

Sudan: Crimes against civilians, in particular violence against women, are continuing in Darfur refugee camps

Timor-Leste: UN envoy highlights need for dialogue to address violence against women in Timor-Leste

United States: Fearing deportation, immigrants in the United States are afraid to report sexual or physical abuse

Domestic / Intimate Partner Violence

Childhood obesity linked to domestic / intimate partner violence, study shows

Ghana: Competition on domestic violence held among schoolchildren

Ireland: Domestic violence helpline under ‘severe pressure’ due to potential cut of funds

United Kingdom: Chris Brown denied visa to the United Kingdom over intimate partner violence

United Kingdom: Women’s groups fear surge in domestic violence during World Cup season

United Kingdom: Across the United Kingdom, police are set to handle issues of domestic violence in anticipation of the World Cup season

United States: Violence Against Women Act now extends to gay couples

United States: Brides to rally against domestic violence

United States: How a program helps to treat abusers – through unlearning

United States: A domestic violence survivor starts over – a personal testimony

Rape and Sexual Assault

Congo: Congo’s rape victims find champion in Pamela Stephenson-Connolly, psychologist and broadcaster

Malaysia: Rape statistics in Malaysia have reached levels as high as a rape happening every fifteen minutes

South Africa: Date rape drugs are on the rise, with girls as young as 12 at risk

United States: New teen sex study brings up disturbing statistics about sexual experiences of teenage girls – they were raped – and then ignores it

United States: Local YWCA organizes program for rape recovery, which has helped 300 survivors last year

Sex Trafficking

Australia: Victorian police calls for new unit to combat the trafficking of people in the sex industry, move praised by support group of sex workers

Australia: Some sex workers are opposed to trafficking recommendations – will the criminalization of sex work hinder or help the fight to combat sex trafficking?

South Africa: Sex and soccer, a troubling mix. Special feature by The Daily Beast

South Africa: An estimated 100,000 people will fall to sex trafficking during the World Cup, churches express concern

South Africa: World Cup prostitution sparks HIV concerns, legalization debate

South Africa: Concerns about the sex trade in relation to World Cup (a special feature which includes video and an excellent write-up on the issue)

South Africa: While violence against women is not explicitly mentioned, the subject is related: other human rights abuses tend to happen during World Cup season

United States: Living with the victims of sex trafficking – spotlight on a shelter for survivors

Forced Marriage

Afghanistan: Two child brides (aged 13 and 14) flogged 40 times each for attempting to flee forced marriage

Germany: German teachers are getting guidelines on handling pupils with forced marriage

Malaysia: “Nothing divine in child marriage” – Muslim feminist Zainah Anwar reveals a disturbing underground trend of child marriage in the country

United Kingdom: “Last year, over 2000 girls went missing off school registers in the UK…the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Forced Marriage Unit…gave advice and support to 1682 cases last year”

United Kingdom: General practitioners and nurses who suspect a situation of forced marriage will now have a guideline for identifying and supporting forced marriage partners

United Kingdom: Police fail to respond to forced marriages campaign

Honour Killing

India: Honour killing for Romeos and Juliets in India (Youtube link)

India: “Where is the honour in honour killings? A killing is a killing.” An Indian national explains caste politics in the shape of honour killing in India

Female Genital Mutilation

Cote d’Iviore: United Nations organizes workshop among community leaders to address female genital mutilation

Uganda: Activists against female genital mutilation are requesting that FGM be discussed during the African Union summit in July

United States / Kenya: Working across cultural borders, a teenage girl in the United States helps a girl from a tribe in Kenya who survived female genital mutilation

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