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.
Book Launch: COMPLICIT: Silence vs. Speaking Up in Hollywood and Everyday Workplaces
SHaME is thrilled to announce the official book launch of author, activist, survivor and academic Winnie M Li's second novel, 'Complicit' (Orion). Winnie will be joined in conversation by host Prof Joanna Bourke and guests Prof Liz Kelly, Rowena Chiu, and Dr Katherine Angel.
We are committed to making our research open and accessible, including sharing resources that have helped inform our project.
Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse, February 2022
We Learn From and We Support
The Scale and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse: Review of Evidence (June 2021)
Members of SHaME and invited guests reflect on current events, their research, recent conferences, ethical dilemmas, and other items of interest.
The Shameless! Podcast: Voices From the Festival
SHaME Postdoctoral Research Fellows Dr George Severs and Dr Rhian Keyse speak to contributors from the 2021 Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence about their work, their reflections on the festival, and their insights on creating a rape-free world.
On Roe v. Wade and the Misuses of History
SHaME Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Rhian Keyse discusses the recent U.S. Supreme Court leaked draft opinion, its ahistorical logic, and its implications for abortion rights in the U.S.
Healing Hearts: A poetry film presented at the Shameless! Festival
Healing Hearts is a short film of poetry created by a young women’s group from The Lighthouse Service in North London, filmmaker Sunnah Khan, Clinical Psychologists Dr Anna Churcher Clarke and Dr Isabella Girling, and Assistant Psychologist George Yerbury.