Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters (SHaME) is a research project exploring the role of medicine and psychiatry in sexual violence. We aim to move beyond shame to address this global health crisis.
Sexual violence is one of the most serious problems in the contemporary world. Our interdisciplinary project seeks to understand the role played by medical professionals, including psychiatrists, in understanding and dealing with sexual harms. Instead of shame, we advocate for empowerment and knowledge.
Our research begins with the experiences of victims/survivors of sexual harms both in terms of the medical examination and emotional aftermaths of harm, followed by the role of medical experts in legal settings and in developing knowledge about the perpetrators of sexual harms.
GPs, Police Surgeons, Forensic Medical Examiners
How do medical professionals respond when a person reports being a victim of sexual violence? The medical examination is crucial for future outcomes, including the healing of physical and psychological injuries and the outcome in any subsequent court case.
Medicine and Law
What role does the law play in the way medical and psychiatric aspects of sexual violence are defined, assessed, and judged? Legal texts instruct medical students and practitioners how to present evidence in formal legal settings, as well as how to examine victims.
From Psychopathia Sexualis to the DSM/ICD
How do psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners explain why some people seek to sexually harm others? Their views about perpetrators of sexual violence have changed dramatically over time, as well as in different geographical contexts.
Sexual violence can lead to longer-term emotional and psychological harms. How have these effects been understood? What help has been offered to victims?
Our research team organise regular seminars, conferences, film-evenings, and other public events.
We are committed to making our research open and accessible, including sharing resources that have helped inform our project.
Excavating feminist knowledges and practices in the field of sexual assault service provision: An Australian case study
From Report to Court: A handbook for adult survivors of sexual violence
How Rape Myths Are Used and Challenged in Rape and Sexual Assault Trials
Members of SHaME and invited guests reflect on current events, their research, recent conferences, ethical dilemmas, and other items of interest.
Trauma, Neuroscience and Feminist Practice
Dr Suzanne Egan, Research Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Education and Social Work, discusses the role that neuroscience can play in feminist theory and practice related to sexual violence and trauma.
'In Plain Sight' Book Launch
Dr Kirsten Campbell, Reader in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, discusses why the recent publication, ‘In Plain Sight: Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict’ is an important and timely contribution to research on conflict-related sexual violence.
Book Review - The Fear of Child Sexuality: Young People, Sex, and Agency
In this post, Prof Joanna Bourke reviews Steven Angelides’s recently published book, The Fear of Child Sexuality: Young People, Sex, and Agency.