Recently, one of our Community Support partners, AADAS (Associació d’Assistència a Dones Agredides Sexualment), sent two speakers to give a presentation to our members on sexual assault awareness. Here, Shilpa Deshmukh writes up her impressions of the presentation, and we provide you with some important links for further help with the topic. The talk was held at Cocomat and tea and snacks were provided by Sindur restaurant.

Last Friday, 24th May, we enjoyed a talk by two representatives of AADAS. While “Sexual Assault Awareness” might seem a limited topic, the talk in the form of a provocative audience discussion, led us on a fascinating exploration of the precariousness of our position as women in today’s society.

BWN members range widely in countries of origin and age, and participation was active as members shared events from their memories and experience. AADAS helped put these events in context, in how they form part of the general situation of women of which sexual assault forms the most extreme part. 

Even in the age of “Me Too” many women remain extremely vulnerable. The two speakers showed how economic weakness in particular is so often exploited. They left us more aware of how we, perhaps better protected than some others, can act when confronted with various forms of sexual assault and pressure situations and better understand the actions of survivors.

I, personally, left the talk with a great admiration for the work AADAS does and has been doing to educate and change the law and practices relating to these situations. “Why don’t you take action?” It’s such an easy question to throw out at survivors. I was left with a much greater understanding of how complex a survivor’s situation is and the continued limitations of the law.

AADAS provides a range of support services for survivors, not only those who have reported the assault but also for the most vulnerable who feel they cannot.

The AADAS booklet on their work to reframe sexual assault is available here (in Spanish).

If you have experienced sexual assault and want support in Catalonia, contact AADAS here.

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