The annual Department of History Address
For the 2017 Address we present:
Professor Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck College, University of London
Sexual Violence, the Clinic and the Church: A History
Friday 13 October
12-14 in O100
This lecture explores the role of medical and religious professionals in relation to sexual violence from a historical perspective.
How have these two groups understood, interpreted, and adjudicated on acts of sexual assault between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries?
In the US, 33 Americans over the age of 12 are raped and sexually assaulted every hour. In England and Wales today, 11 people are raped every hour, affecting approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men; another half a million adults are sexually assaulted. According to the European Agency for Fundamental Rights, Denmark and Sweden have the highest rates of sexual harassment in Europe (over 80 per cent).
A better understanding of responses to sexual violence is imperative. A sustained analysis of the history of medical and religious engagement with sexual violence addresses current debates about the treatment of rape victims and the needs of justice.