(Un)Silenced: Institutional Sexual Violence
How has sexual violence been produced through different institutional cultures of harm? And what strategies have survivors used to counter silence, shame, and stigma? In this series, the SHaME team explores various forms of institutional sexual violence through written articles and podcasts originally edited and published by History Workshop Online in 2022.
Each week, we will add one of the original contributions from the SHaME team to the series which will be collated on this page.
(Un)Silenced: Institutional Sexual Violence — The Introduction by Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh and Allison McKibban
This is the introduction for the (Un)Silenced: Institutional Sexual Violence feature, which explores how sexual violence relates to various societal institutions. The series provides a historical understanding of the ways in which sexual violence is produced through different institutional cultures of harm.
How does society approach the sexual desires of those with disabilities? Stephanie Wright explores the history of a lack of acknowledgement of vulnerable people’s sexual autonomy, which can result in an increased possibility of harm.
Can medical institutions participate in colonial violence? Allison McKibban argues the involuntary sterilization of tens of thousands of Native American women in the 1970s must be rehistoricised as part of the U.S. government’s broader campaign of genocide.
Dr George Severs argues that the history of male victims of rape and sexual violence should make us all alert to the ways in which gender norms silence male experiences of abuse, and prompt us to hear hear male survivors who are so often both silent and silenced.
Is the family a place of safety or a trap? SHaME Director Dr Ruth Beecher explores the institution of the family and the (lack of) recognition of child sexual abuse within it.
When does the call for ‘speaking out’ against sexual violence begin to silence? Reflecting on the #MeToo moment, Allison McKibban argues mainstream Western movements against sexual violence are often insidiously laced with colonial violence. She calls on activists and researchers to embrace a self-reflective and decolonial listening to create a truly transformative movement against sexual violence.
Child marriage is often conceived of as embedded in the past, but there is little attention to its historical context. Rhian Keyse explores how this obscures the shifting dynamics and social meanings of such practices.
Activism Against Sexual Violence: A Podcast from Dr Marybeth Hamilton with Allison McKibban, Dr George Severs, and Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh
What is the history of activism against sexual violence? History Workshop Online’s Dr Marybeth Hamilton and SHaME’s Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh, Dr George Severs, and Allison McKibban complicate the dominant histories, strategies, narratives, and stigmas associated with sexual violence.
Bureaucracy, Emotion and Sexual Violence: A Podcast from Dr Marybeth Hamilton with Dr Ruth Beecher and Dr Rhian Keyse
How can historians meaningfully and ethically research past experiences of sexual violence? History Workshop Online’s Dr Marybeth Hamilton and SHaME’s Dr Ruth Beecher and Dr Rhian Keyse discuss the often surprising dynamics of the histories they’ve uncovered – and the strategies and supports they’ve developed for navigating their own emotions in conducting such emotionally challenging research.