Sexual Violence

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I grew up in a home where we were taught valuable lessons about not wasting money, not wasting time, not wasting an education. I am left with a wasted childhood.

South Asian survivor of incestuous sexual abuse. The Children We Sacrifice, by Grace Poore (2000)

Sexual violence is defined as any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.
WHO: Violence against Women: Sexual Violence (2002)


Excessive restrictions designed to control female sexuality are used to label women’s sexual expression as transgressions, to justify victim-blaming, and to mask the high prevalence and incidence of sexual violence. In some Asian communities, violations can include being forced to watch and imitate pornography, denying the right to choose or express a different sexual orientation, forced marriage, child marriage, marital rape, ‘corrective’ rape of lesbians, body modification and humiliation, cyber-stalking, mass rape in conflict zones, and more. In private and public spheres, sexual violence is carried out with impunity, with appallingly low conviction rates for rapists. Women and girls are overwhelmingly targeted for sexual violence; but boys, men, and LGBTQ individuals are also victimized.

Quick Facts

Resources on Sexual Violence

The Children We Sacrifice, 2000

Produced by SHaKTI Productions
Through stories by women abused from as young as two, this documentary explores the universal crime of incestuous sexual abuse through the prism of South Asian experience, looking at the social and cultural resistance to dealing with incest and how it affects South Asian women on two continents.

Other Resources

RAINN sexual violence hotline
800-656-HOPE (4673) | Online chat 

Centers for Disease Control: The Lifetime Economic Burden of Rape among U.S. Adults (2017)

Center for Changing our Campus Culture: directory of national organizations dedicated to ending sexual assault on campus.

HEART Women & Girls: promotes sexual health and sexual violence awareness in Muslim communities.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC): provides online modules, library, and other resources on preventing and responding to sexual violence.

Partners for Prevention: Why Do Some Men Use Violence Against Women and How Can We Prevent It? Qualitative Findings from the UN Multi-Country Study on Men and Violence in Asia and the Pacific (2013)

Standford rape survivor’s victim impact statement, and Vice President Biden’s response letter (2016) via Buzzfeed