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.
Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence
Join SHaME and WOW - Women of the World at the first ever Shameless! Festival, a one-day event bringing together activism and art to confront and change attitudes towards sexual violence, share ideas, and imagine a rape free world.
We are committed to making our research open and accessible, including sharing resources that have helped inform our project.
We Learn From and We Support
The Scale and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse: Review of Evidence (June 2021)
Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy (July 2021)
Members of SHaME and invited guests reflect on current events, their research, recent conferences, ethical dilemmas, and other items of interest.
Shameless! Festival Schedule
The SHaME and WOW teams are thrilled to share the schedule for the first ever Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence on November 27th at Battersea Arts Centre. The festival schedule features artists, activists, and scholars covering issues including the normalisation of sexual violence, rape myths, consent, everyday triggers, and survival.
'Sexual Violence Against Children in Britain Since 1965: Trailing Abuse' Book Launch
Professor Joanna Bourke reviews Dr Nick Basannavar’s forthcoming book, ‘Sexual Violence Against Children in Britain Since 1965: Trailing Abuse’ ahead of the December 14th launch event.
'What's Missing From The Conversation?' on Trust: A podcast with researchers Emma Yapp and Aviah Day
SHaME researcher Emma Yapp will be joined by researcher and activist Dr Aviah Day on the ‘What’s Missing from the Conversation?’ podcast to discuss trust. The podcast will air on Voices Radio on 17th November 2021 from 1-2pm.