Sexual violence

Definition

Apart from intimate-partner violence, the term of "sexual violence" refers to all forms of violence perpetrated against women by a family member, friend, acquaintance, neighbour, colleague or unknown individual. The term covers rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, incest, trafficking, sexual exploitation and any other forms of sexual abuse.

It is difficult to estimate precisely the frequency of sexual violence since in many communities, sexual violence remains a subject of deep shame for women and their families and is often unreported. For instance, rape statistics from police reports are notoriously unreliable due to the extensive lack of formally registered complaints.

Key figure

  • In the US, it is estimated that one out of five young women is a victim of sexual assault during her university studies. [Source: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, 2014

Focus on the American continent

In the United States, the Violence Against Women Act was enacted in 1994. The US Department of Justice has its own Office on Violence against Women dedicated to fighting violence against women in general and sexual violence, specifically.

In Brazil, victims of sexual violence are also protected by the law. In 2005, the national Criminal Code was reinforced with a number of legal provisions against perpetrators (e.g. elimination of the possibility for a perpetrator of sexual violence to evade criminal prosecution by marrying his victim).

In 2009, Argentina adopted a law on “Integral Protection to Prevent, Punish, and Eradicate Violence Against Women”, and has now set up special law enforcement units dedicated to women victims.

In spite of these legal measures, sexual violence remains a major problem on the American continent. According to a survey conducted by the US Department of Justice, every two minutes a person becomes a victim of sexual assault in the country. Across the entire continent, health and police professionals are still insufficiently informed about care needed for women victims or unaware of the risk of repeat victimisation. A number of factors contribute to the growth of sexual violence on the American continent: high crime rates, social standards that promote a sense of male superiority, especially in Latin America, etc. This phenomenon also affects US college campuses to a large extent: it is estimated that in the US one out of five young women will be a victim of sexual assault during her university studies. Many avenues for progress are possible, however: raising men’s awareness, raising general public awareness via campaigns and prevention initiatives, development of training for healthcare and police professionals, support to shelters, care to women victims, etc.

Key dates

6 February

International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation 

8 March

International Women’s Day (UN)              

April

Sexual Awareness month
 

11 October

International Day of the Girl Child

 

25 November

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

10 december

Human Rights Day

 

Projects supported by the Foundation

It's on Us Fondation Kering

It's On Us

On June 2015 the Kering Foundation announced its new partnership with “It’s On Us” campaign, whose mission is to make college campuses safer. “It’s On Us” is a cultural movement aiming at fundamentally shifting the public narrative on sexual assault on college campuses. It engages a diverse set of partners and works with local students to build campaigns and implement policy change on their campuses. Through this partnership, the Kering Foundation will support the production and... Read more

NAESV and NNEDV on raising awareness about violence against women

 The Kering Foundation, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) and the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) have joined forces to raise awareness about violence against women among the general public and Kering collaboratorsUnder the partnership, the three organizations have developed a training program for all 1,200 US-based employees of Kering Corporate and the Group’s luxury Maisons. The program provides teams with correct know-how to intervene should they... Read more
We end Violence

We end Violence

We End Violence provides an innovative model to raise awareness and change behaviors leading to gender-based violence. The organization is committed to creating a culture where it is safe for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories and heal; to change the cultural myths and norms of discrimination; to encourage men to see their role in preventing violence; and to build alliances that will empower more people to speak out. Since 2006, We End Violence has assisted 10,000 direct... Read more
Brave Miss World

BRAVE MISS WORLD

Breaking Silence Surrounding Rape.On 6 March 2014, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, for the first time in Europe, the Kering Foundation showed the documentary BRAVE MISS WORLD directed by Cecilia Peck. This event kicked off a screening cycle organized in Kering brands from around the world. 250 people already participated to the awareness action and the cycle goes on until end of 2014.BRAVE MISS WORLD tells the story of Linor Abargil who was abducted and raped two months... Read more

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