CONTRIBUTIONS NEEDED FOR NEW ZINE: NO CONSENT = SEXUAL ABUSE
Sexual abuse is a prevalent issue in Australia. One in five women have experienced sexual violence at some stage in their lives since the age of 15 and one in three women have experienced physical violence at some stage in their lives since the age of 15. Most sexual assault victims are female (approx. 82 per cent) and most sexual assaults occur at home.
When I returned from South America at the beginning of the year I went through an experience that left me feeling extremely empty, confused and hurt. While I will not divulge in details right now, I will be writing a piece within a new zine I am creating. This experience lead me to think through a number of other smaller events that have occurred over a number of years and made me realise these situations need to be discussed more openly.
The zine will focus on sexual abuse within music and skateboarding communities. Why? The reason is, sexual abuse, domestic violence and rape is a gendered issue, as made clear through statistics, and is also rooted in gender inequality. Within music and skateboarding communities, women are unfortunately still the minority. One of the reasons for this is women do not feel safe often enough within these spaces of male dominance, let alone supported or encouraged to participate.
This situation requires community action. The zine aims to provoke conversation within these communities through realisation that many people you know are experiencing uncomfortable and distressing situations on a day-to-day basis. As well as this, it will bring awareness of rape culture, signs of disrespect and how to stand up to these.
Women are three times more likely to be raped by someone they know than a stranger, and nine times more likely to be raped in their home. The picture painted of rape being a male jumping out of a bush in the middle of the night and having sex with an underdressed girl in the park at random needs to be pushed aside. This is not the ONLY story of rape and sexual abuse.
If you have ever felt unsafe or violated within your community then we need to speak out.
I have nearly completed the structure and information within the zine. Now the next step is to gather stories from community members, both male and female, of YOUR experiences. We need to hear about how you felt, where it occurred and possibly what happened. Please state whether you wish for an alias to be used in order to remain confidential.
As stated by DV Connect, “Sexual Assault is ANY unwanted or forced sexual act or behaviour without your informed consent. Without informed consent is a critical consideration and occurs when the person being victimised is rendered incapable of giving that consent due to:-
The influence of drugs or alcohol – drink spiking or just enjoying one too many drinks
Having been rendered unconscious due to a violent act towards them
Is suffering fear paralysis due to the shock of the assault
Being too fearful to resist the assault for fear of further harm or being killed or is fearful of future harassment or derogatory remarks being made to family, colleagues or being placed on Facebook or other social media
Being outnumbered by the number of perpetrators
Suffering from a disability which does not allow the person to understand the sexual behaviour being exhibited towards them
Being a child – whose developmental cognitive capacity does not allow them to understand the sexual behaviour being exhibited towards them
Sexual Assault includes unsolicited attention, harassment or suggestions of a sexual nature. “
To accompany the stories I (or we if you feel comfortable) will work with an artist to illustrate the scene in which the event occurred. This will further the discussion that it can occur in the eyes of the public, eg. at a show, or even within your own home.
These stories will bring awareness to the communities we are part of. The issue of sexual abuse and rape are prevalent. You will know a lot of these people. You will have frequented a lot of the places where these people were abused.
I am also seeking contributions from allies, not necessarily victims surrounding the themes of gender equality, safe spaces and standing up for things you hear or see are wrong. This section will show there IS positivity in our communities and there is no blanket claim of negativity within skateboarding and punk music. This positivity needs to be nurtured.
Please email all stories, as long or short as you like, you may even wish to illustrate your story on your own, to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I will reiterate now, if you wish for your contributions to remain confidential, they WILL be confidential.
Sexual abuse and violence is a weapon of power and control. Please think twice about messaging or emailing me if you are going to be rude or disrespectful in regards to this project. If you do this, you are part of the problem and I will expose you.
The deadline for submission of stories is the 18th of July. After this date, artists will be assigned stories to illustrate by the end of August.