News and events
Shetland Rape Crisis, with the support of Aith Charity Shop, the Why Waste? Shop in Lerwick, Dunrossness School, and Unst Leisure Centre and School, has received donations of over 1000 bras and almost 300 pairs of pants to give to the Scottish Charity, Smalls For All, this January.
During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence late last year, Shetland Rape Crisis launched a collection campaign under the theme #Generation Equality. This brought in donations from all over the Isles to be sent to Smalls For All, who collect and distribute underwear to help women and children in Africa and the UK.
Peterson UK Ltd has also offered to ship the bras free of charge to the Aberdeen, and Northern Isles Freightway will deliver from Aberdeen to Smalls For All on the Mainland.
Ana Arnett, Advocacy & Support Worker at Shetland Rape Crisis, said: “The response we’ve had from folk all over Shetland, from Unst right down to the south end, has been absolutely incredible and we’d like to say a huge thank you to all who donated, the shops that gathered the donations, Petersons UK Ltd and Northern Isles Freightway for their generous shipping work, and to everyone who shared and promoted the campaign.”
Bravalanche! Lavinia Schmidt, Prevention & Activism Worker, counts the donations.
For women and girls living in poverty, or who have been displaced and have to live in camps, or who are in hospital suffering from medical conditions like obstretic fistula, underwear is quite often a luxury that isn’t easily available.
The donations will make a direct difference in the lives of these women and girls, enabling girls to access education from which they may have been otherwise excluded due to clothing restrictions, and women to have clean and hygienic underwear supporting them to heal in hospital.
The donations, alongside Shetland Rape Crisis’ call for gender equality and an end to gender-based violence, may evoke in the minds of some readers images of “bra-burning feminists” - a myth the team is keen to dispel.
Lisa Ward, Service Manager at Shetland Rape Crisis, said: “The research clearly demonstrates that, although anyone can experience or perpetrate sexual violence, an unequal distribution of power between groups significantly increases the risk of perpetration by the dominant group against the group with less power, and this is no less true in Shetland.
“We support people of all genders, but our stats continue to show that gender inequality is a major ongoing concern in our community, greatly increasing the risk of sexual violence against women and girls, as well increasing risks for other groups who hold less social power such those in poverty, people with learning disabilities, and children.”
“Campaigns such as this one are an important part of raising awareness of these facts, as well as making an immediate material difference in the lives of women and girls experiencing extreme marginalisation.”
The myth of bra-burning as a feminist ritual began with a single protest at a Miss America contest in 1968. While some bras were set on fire at the protest, it only happened briefly, and the bras were included amongst a large number of symbolic items such as magazines and detergent, aimed at protesting the treatment of women in the society of the time.
According to author W. Joseph Campbell in Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism, “Invoking bra burning was a convenient means of brushing aside the issues and challenges raised by women’s liberation and discrediting the fledgling movement as shallow and without serious grievance.”
Lisa added: “Gender inequality and other significant social inequalities are no shallow issue and we are not immune to their effects. Shetland Rape Crisis works every day helping people in our community deal with the very worst consequences of these societal structures and beliefs. We believe in a future free from this kind of violence, and these donations give us hope that Shetlanders believe in the same and will join us in working towards this future.”
Lavinia Schmidt, Prevention & Activism Worker at Shetland Rape Crisis, elaborated: “While many myths around feminism, rape and sexual violence are still prevalent in our communities, lots of people, especially young people, are pursuing what they think is right.
“Whether this is fighting for gender equality, LGBTQIA rights or enabling measures counteracting climate change, there is energy and a desire for change in this movement. It is great to see this, and we hope that this spark can be kept alight and ignited further during this year of #GenerationEquality.”
Sexual violence is any form of sexual contact that you don’t freely agree to. This includes everything from sexual harassment (either in person or digital), unwanted touching and sexual comments, sexual assault, rape, and the sharing of intimate images against your will.
Shetland Rape Crisis has published its first annual report as an independent charity outlining its activities for 2018/19.
You can download and read this below:
The staff, board and volunteers of Shetland Rape Crisis would like to say a huge thank you to Tesco Lerwick for supporting us via their Bags of Help scheme, and an especially massive thank you to everyone who voted for our project!
We were very happy to receive £2000 which will be used to create a bee-friendly, sensory garden at our centre for survivors of sexual violence in Shetland.
If you would like to continue supporting our vital services over the festive period, you can donate direct to us on Facebook, send us something from our Amazon Wishlist, or email us at email@example.com to discuss volunteering opportunities, including on the Board.
Please note, our centre will be closed for the holidays from Monday 23rd December 2019 and will re-open again on Monday 6th January 2020.
If you are in need of urgent support during this time, the Rape Crisis Scotland National Helpline will be open every day over the festive season on 08088 01 03 02.
Please also be aware that, due to staffing restrictions, the Helpline hours are reduced to 7pm-11pm (instead of the usual 6pm-midnight) on 24th-29th December and 1st Jan.
Shetland Rape Crisis sheds light on gender-based violence during annual 16 Days of Activism Campaign
Shetland Rape Crisis is preparing for our biggest 16 Days of Activism Campaign yet, beginning on Thursday 21st November, four days before the official launch of the global campaign, and running up until Tuesday 10th December. This year’s 16 Days will be under the motto of #OrangetheWorld and #GenerationEquality.
During this year’s events the service, which provides free and confidential information, support, and advocacy to anyone in Shetland (regardless of gender, age, race, ability and more) affected by sexual violence, has partnered with other Scottish organizations to undertake a number of activities, including showing a travelling exhibition, facilitating a professional training day, running social media campaigns and more.
As one of the main events, Shetland Rape Crisis is hosting Zero Tolerance’s travelling photography exhibition Violence Unseen, depicting underrepresented forms of violence against women, from November 21st all the way through to December 10th at different locations throughout Shetland.
Working with award-winning photographer Alicia Bruce, the photographs were created in collaboration with groups and individuals affected by violence including People First (Scotland), Diane Abbott MP, Shakti Women’s Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland, equality campaigner Mridul Wadhwa, journalist Vonny Moyes and the Women’s Support Project. The Violence Unseen exhibition aims to encourage members of the public to stop and consider the true impact of violence against all women.
Rachel Adamson, Co-Director of Zero Tolerance, said: “While women across every segment of society experience men’s violence, women from certain groups are even more at risk. These forms of violence often remain unacknowledged and unchallenged which is why Violence Unseen is so important.”
A spokesperson from People First said: “We know that more women with disabilities, including learning disability, are abused more than other women. That doesn’t mean we should hide away and it doesn’t mean that we should put up with it. We need to raise our expectations and make sure we are treated in a way that we deserve to be.” - Spokesperson from People First.
At the public exhibition opening event on Thursday 21st November at 6pm in Mareel, SRC will also launch its first annual report for 2017/18, showing the work done by the organisation in the local community throughout the course of its first year as a fully independent charity.
As well as this, SRC is partnering with Rape and Abuse Service Highland (RASASH) who will deliver training on ending abuse against young people with learning disabilities called No More!, developed in conjunction with advocacy groups including Health & Happiness and People First,to professionals in Shetland working in this area.
In addition to these main events, Shetland Rape Crisis hopes to raise funds for the service by holding a bag-packing at Lerwick Coop on December 7th from 10am to 5pm and is offering collection points for donating bras and pants to the Scottish charity Smalls for All at the Why Waste? Zero Waste Shop in Lerwick, Aith Charity Shop, Dunrossness School and Unst school and leisure centre.
And there will also be the annual a social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, highlighting both national and local demand for the service, and an awareness-raising display at Market House.
Lavinia Schmidt, Activism Worker at Shetland Rape Crisis, said: “This year’s theme #GenerationEquality is incredibly fitting for what we are seeing in Shetland. While many rape myths are still prevalent in the communities, young people are pursuing what they think is right, no matter whether this is fighting for gender equality, LGBTQ+ rights or enabling measures counteracting climate change. It is great to see this, and we hope that this spark can be kept alight and ignited further.”
Thu 21st Nov, 6pm Public exhibition launch at Mareel
Thu 21st - Sun 24th Nov Exhibition showing at Mareel
Wed 28th – Sun 1st Dec Exhibition showing at Sumburgh Airport
Thu 5th - Tue 10th Dec Exhibition taken down from Hillswick Wildlife Sanctuary
Zero Tolerance is a Scottish charity working to end men’s violence against women by promoting gender equality and by challenging attitudes which normalise violence and abuse. Find out more about Zero Tolerance on our website: http://www.zerotolerance.org.uk/
Please note that some of the content in the exhibition deals with sexual violence, abuse and exploitation which some people might find upsetting.
The photographer for this exhibition was Alicia Bruce. You can find out more about her work here: https://aliciabruce.co.uk/
This exhibition was carried out with the help and expertise of People First (Scotland), Women’s Support Project, Shakti Women's Aid and Rape Crisis Scotland as well as individuals.