[38] Brianna Hertford – Experiencing sexual and domestic violence in a toxic relationship

EXPERIENCING SEXUAL AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP tortures too many many women and men in the European Union and the USA. Even more during COVID-19 pandemics. Here’s the first myth-busting interview on gender-based violence; before we go into the specific challenges (and strategies for protection) during the lock-down. Tune into this first episode out of an expert series dedicated to this problem, with an exclusive focus on the two continents.  

In this episode, we discuss and demystify:  

  1. What is sexual, gender-based, intimate-partner violence? 
  2. When is a healthy relationship shifting to an unhealthy pattern? 
  3. What is cyber-violence or gaslighting? 
  4. What’s the power & control dynamics in an abusive relationship?
  5. How to turn your inner voice into defining a safety plan?
  6. How bad is the stigma attached to rape in America vs. Europe?
  7. Do we have the right statistical data on how pervasive this crime is for women, men, LGBTI or migrant communities?

Check out also subsequent episodes on this subject, including specific focus on domestic violence in times of covid-19 lockdown and failure of institutions to protect the victims.

Lucia Klestincova, your host of Lights on Europe interviews Brianna Hertford, who spent 6 years as an advocate for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in the United States. She has been a counselor for adults and children experiencing violence, a medical advocate for survivors of sexual assault, and has worked in emergency shelters. She currently works with a Brussels-based NGO that advocates for human rights at a political level. She manages two programs: women’s rights and gender equality; and LGBTQI people and human rights. Brianna has a MA in International Migration with a specialization in Human Rights Law from the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies, and a BS in Psychology from Northeastern University.

As you probably know, sexual violence occurs all around the world. Although in most countries there has been little research conducted on the problem, available data suggest that in some countries nearly one in four women may experience sexual violence by an intimate partner, and up to one-third of adolescent girls report their first sexual experience as being forced. (WHO)


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