AWMWC joins the ‘Do not spend an evening with a rapist’ campaign calling the Guildhall at Portsmouth to cancel its dinner event where Tyson, a convicted rapist, is invited as a guest of honour.
A United Nations statistical report compiled from government sources showed that more than 250,000 cases of male-female rape or attempted rape are recorded by police annually. The reported data covered 65 countries.
It has been reported that 117 countries criminalize sexual harassment, 79 countries criminalize marital rape, 125 have outlawed family violence.
In 1992 Mike Tyson was convicted for raping an 18 year old woman and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Yet the Guildhall Portsmouth has chosen Tyson as a guest of honour at a dinner event later this year with tickets costing up to £150. That's £150 for the pleasure of spending an evening with a rapist.
By inviting a convicted rapist to speak at one of the leading venues in Portsmouth, the Guildhall goes against the hard work that the city has undertaken to ensure that survivors of rape feel valued, safe and believed. For that reason Aurora New Dawn are asking the Guildhall to cancel this event and show support to survivors of sexual violence rather than billing a convicted rapist as a hero in the city.
Women are more worried about rape than any other crime. The work that Aurora New Dawn and the White Ribbon group have done in Portsmouth in conjunction with other partner agencies consists of supporting people through the trauma of experiencing sexual violence which often leads to long lasting negative effects on both physical and emotional health and well-being.
More than 56,000 women were reported having been raped during 2011, in South Africa alone, and according to police, many more cases are believed to go unreported.
In UK, fewer than 6% of rapists are convicted for their offence. Victims and survivors struggle to be believed and – even when there is a conviction, as in this case – are still confronted with an organisation choosing to champion a rapist.
Iqbal Tamimi, Director of Arab Women Media Watch Centre in UK expressed her support of Aurora New Dawn, the White Ribbon group, and Oscar-winning actor, Angelina Jolie's initiative aimed at fighting rape.
‘Rape is a crime that has to be actively resisted and challenged on every level. A rapist must not feel welcomed in any social activity. Inviting a rapist as a guest of honour is not an honourable thing to do. It is an insult to all the victims of rape who suffered the trauma of being attacked, terrorized, suffered physically and mentally and their rights were violated’ Tamimi said.
Please sign this petition in recognition of all survivors of sexual violence and abuse. We can't think of any other violent crime where a celebrity would be allowed to be celebrated in this way.