Tag Archives: Rape

Elizabethan Freestone’s Stage Performance of the Rape of Lucrece: Lucrece’s Self-Representation as Victim in the Power Play of Men (Published)

The response to the story of rape in Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece has traditionally focused mainly on the literary representation of sexual violence or its political consequences. This paper uses Elizabeth Freestone’s adaptation of The Rape of Lucrece, staged at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2012, to explore the tensions between the representation of rape from a female perspective and the dominant social, moral, and sexual discourses around rape that have shaped the reception of the poem.[1] This paper argues that Freestone’s adaptation, a mixture of narration and singing performed by Camille O’Sullivan, dramatizes sexual violence by transforming the physical experience of rape into narrative storytelling, which allows a more powerful and immediate way of witnessing the act of violence. While Freestone’s adaptation emphasizes a woman’s subjective experience, it also makes the audience feel a sense of shame for participating in a voyeuristic activity. More importantly, however, it goes beyond the traditional portrayal of male brutality and female innocence by having O’Sullivan perform the roles of both Tarquin and Lucrece. This adaptation allows us to see how rhetorical and physical sexual violence against women was embedded in the cultural apparatus of the objectification of women by men in early modern England; it also urges us to reflect on the existence of such violence in modern times, which is often concealed and more complex than in the past. 

[1] For this study, RAPE OF LUCRECE (filmed 20 March 2011) directed by Elizabeth Freestone was used. As for the film, see SBT DVD ref. RSC/TS/2/2/2001.RAP1 (running time 82 minutes).

Keywords: Camille O’sullivan, Rape, Sexual violence, doubling, objectification of women, the rape of Lucrece

Psychological Effects of Rape: Experiences from Survivors Attending Selected Post-Rape Care Centres in Kenya (Published)

Rape leads to long lasting physical, psychological, sexual and reproductive health effects on rape survivors which need to be addressed at post-rape care centres. Although there are studies conducted on the prevalence of rape in Kenya, there is limited information on the effectiveness of psychological interventions provided to rape survivors in the existing post-rape care centres. Therefore, the study sought to ascertain the psychological effect of rape on survivors in selected post-rape care centres in Nairobi and Uasin-Gishu Counties in Kenya. The study was guided by the Crisis theory by Caplan. The study utilized a descriptive survey research design. The target population were rape survivors aged between 10-45 years who had attended at least three psychological interventions while the key informants were the counsellors in these centres. Purposive sampling was used to obtain a sample of 44 rape survivors and 9 key informants from the two selected post-rape care centres. Consent forms were issued to the adult participants (18 years and above) to sign. The participants (10-17 years) were given assent forms after they were made to understand about the purpose of the research in the presence of their parents or guardians. The data was collected by use of structured questionnaires developed by the researcher. The researcher assisted the primary school children and illiterate participants through Swahili translation of items in the questionnaire. The data collected was analysed using simple descriptive and inferential statistics. Majority of participants, 73%, were female while 27% were male. Moreover, 72.7% of the participants were aged between 10 and 17 years while 27.3% were above 18 years. The psychological effects experienced by all (100%) rape survivors were: sadness, anxiety, revengeful feelings, difficulty in sleeping, experiencing terrifying dreams, avoiding people, experiencing feelings of being re-raped, feelings of intense fear, feelings of stigma and bitterness. This study recommends that implementers should put emphasis on: adequate provision of legal services, follow-up, family counselling, outreach services, community sensitization, adequate financial support to create more post-rape care centres, expansion of the existing centres, hiring more skilled counsellors and enhancing continuous professional development.

Keywords: Kenya, Rape, post-rape care centres, psychological effects, survivors

Sexual Violence against Children: A Qualitative Exploration (Published)

Children are doubly vulnerable due to their age along with the other factors like gender. This paper is based on eleven case studies on children who were sexually violated in rural areas of Bangladesh within the period of 2011-2015. Apart from the causes and victim-perpetrator relationship the research shed light on victims’ action against the incidents and hindrance on the way to justice. This study is expected to provide with insights in planning an effective development intervention addressing sexual violence against children. The study found that the patriarchal ideology of relating women’s chastity to the ‘ideal’ women punishes the victims and let the perpetrators go unpunished. It suggests for the extensive work on traditional gender roles and power relations responsible for such violence. In addition, it recommends to adopt a holistic approach by addressing cultural and social values and stigma, as well as legal aspects to combat the issue.

Keywords: Marriage, Non government organization, Patriarchal Ideology, Rape, Sexual violence