Sexual violence is a global issue

Coline Rapneau @TEDxPlaceDesNations (photo: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré)

Coline Rapneau @TEDxPlaceDesNations (photo: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré)

According to the CDC, one in five women and one in seventy-one men have experienced rape at some point in their lives, and nearly thirty-five percent of these cases go unreported. All too often, victims who do report their attacks are faced with blame, doubt, or even more violence from the police, their family and community. Sexual violence is a global issue, and the way we treat victims must evolve in order to make progress.

The recent sexual assault case involving Brock Turner, a 20-year-old Stanford student who was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman, and the subsequent outrage over what many view as a lenient sentence has brought this subject once again into the mainstream news.

Here are five impassioned TEDx Talks from activists and survivors — both speaking out against sexual violence and inspiring change in the way it is addressed:


Ikumi Yoshimatsu — TEDxKyoto

After being crowned Miss International 2010, Ikumi Yoshimatsu experienced sexual exploitation, stalking and threats to her life. In this brave talk from TEDxKyoto, Yoshimatsu describes the corruption in the Japanese entertainment industry, oppression from law enforcement, and the apathy surrounding rape and sexual harassment in Japan.


Ione Wells — TEDxThessaloniki
After a night out with her friends, Ione Wells was attacked ten minutes away from her home. Following the assault, Wells wrote a letter to her attacker that went viral. In this compelling talk from TEDxThessaloniki, Wells elegantly explains that sexual assault violates not just the victim, but the community as a whole.


Coline Rapneau — TEDxPlaceDesNations
During a visit to the Congo, humanitarian field delegate Coline Rapneau had an encounter with a rape survivor that altered the course of her life. Her hope is that we can “shatter [the] taboo on a global scale and shift the blame from victims to perpetrators.”


Dr. Paul Henry Dsane-Aidoo — TEDxAccra
In this passionate talk from TEDxAccra, Dr. Paul Heny Dsane-Aidoo explains why victims of rape choose to not report their attacks and how family and community affects their decision.


Jill Tolles – TEDxUniversityofNevada
Child sexual abuse is a severe problem that can have a damaging impact on the lives of victims if not addressed. In this powerful talk from TEDxUniversityofNevada, Jill Tolles gives an unsettling account of her experience with sexual abuse as a child, and encourages us to listen and fight for the safety of children.

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