Rolling into the second day of the Clear Lines Festival!

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We’re off to a great start! On the first day of the festival, we had a moving film screening and fascinating Q & A, a packed house during the Arts and Activism Panel and in-depth conversations around domestic violence, singing workshops and lots of good connections.

Our co-founders Winnie M Li and Nina Burrowes have been speaking on BBC Radio about the festival and why we’re creating a new space to bring the community together to talk about sexual assault and consent using comedy, theatre and discussion. We’ve also been featured in SheRag Magazine.

We’re rolling into the second day of the Clear Lines Festival! At 2pm we’ll have another Open House Session with charities and support organisations like Sisters Uncut and Hestia. The event goes on over the weekend at I’klectik in Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, SE1 7LG. Full directions and how to get there are on our website and the closest tube stations are Lambeth North, Westminster and Waterloo.

Today’s sessions:

From 4.30 – 5.45pm, we have a session on Creating clear lines on harassment and revenge pornography led by our festival sponsors international law firm McAllister Olivarius. Join Georgina Calvert-Lee and Halla Gunnarsdóttir for a conversation about what we should do about sexual harassment in the workplace and regulating revenge pornography. These two panel discussions will run back to back.

At 6pm, our expert media panel asks: How can we improve media coverage of sexual assault and abuse? The media plays an important role in perpetuating certain myths and narratives around abuse which has an impact on public (including potential jurors) perception of victims and perpetrators. The panel chaired BBC Scotland’s Head of Current Affairs, Marcus Ryder, with The Telegraph’s Radhika Sanghani, the BBC’s Alison Holt and Clear Lines co-founders Winnie M Li and Dr Nina Burrowes, will discuss why certain stories make the news and why others don’t, and whether we can change the way media professionals understand and portray sexual assault and abuse in the media. Read more on our blog.

Tonight’s Theatre Night kicks off at 8pm. Five plays which will be re-staged, in conjunction with Goblin Baby Theatre Company. Powerful and poignant, these plays explore victimhood, surviving, and recovering. They previously played to sold-out performances at the Unheard Festival in February at The Bread and Roses Theatre, a new writing festival exploring themes around sexual assault and sexual abuse.

Here is the full Clear Lines Programme from Thursday 30th July to Sunday 2nd of August. Check out the schedule too.

You can still book your tickets on Eventbrite.

Follow the #clearlinesfest hashtag and @ClearLinesUK on Twitter for live updates throughout the weekend.

See you all soon!

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What should we tell the kids about sexual abuse?

Blogged by Dr Nina Burrowes

Every parent needs to find a way of living with the risk of the sexual abuse of their child. The statistics are frightening. 20% of girls and 8% of boys experience some form of sexual abuse. Sadly this means that abuse is in every community. It’s a crime that stretches across class, ethnicity, and religious group. No child is immune from abuse – so what should parents do?

who are the abusers

The simple answer is – educate yourself. There is so much misinformation about abuse. So many unhelpful messages. Teaching your child to avoid strangers is NOT the main way to reducing the risk of sexual abuse.

It’s only by opening your eyes to the real risks that you can keep your child safe. From tots to teens our kids need us to shun the myths and open our eyes to the truth about abuse.

our knowledge is how we protect our kids

Join Dr Nina Burrowes, author of ‘Eyes open to sexual abuse. What every parent needs to know‘ and therapist Silke Katharina at The Clear Lines Festival for a conversation about the real risks and what you can do about them. The panel ‘What do we tell the kids about sexual abuse?’ is on Saturday 1st of August from 12.30 – 1.30pm.

Tickets are available on Eventbrite – book early to avoid disappointment as space is very limited.

Why we need events like the Clear Lines Festival, by Nina Burrowes

Blogged here first by Dr. Nina Burrowes.

iT'S HAPPENING THANK YOU

Sexual abuse is both something we’re always talking about and rarely talking about. It’s constantly in the news. Constantly part of political rhetoric for change. Constantly something we worry about. But rarely do we actually have a conversation about it. Rarely do we ask the questions that need to be asked and seek to find the answers together.

That’s why we need events like the Clear Lines Festival. We need to start having conversations about abuse. All of us. Not just politicians and journalists. Not just activists and survivors. All of us are living with sexual abuse. Whether we know it or not all of us probably know someone who has been a victim of sexual abuse. Whether we like it or not all of us and everyone we know is a potential victim of sexual abuse.

So let’s start talking. Let’s ask the questions that don’t normally get asked and let’s create a space for everyone because this is an issue we all need to get involved with. It’s not the job of politicians, educators, police officers, and prosecutors alone. It’s everyone’s job to start talking and thinking about abuse in a whole new way.

Which means we need to find better ways of communicating. Ways that are accessible and open. Ways that anyone can get involved with. We need to use drama, prose, film, art. We need dialogue, workshops, opinions. We need experts, lived experience, and a space for the concerns of every parent out there. We need a space where the public can ask questions, learn, contribute and create.

We need spaces like the Clear Lines Festival.

I’m really proud to be part of this initiative. Please help us make it happen by spreading the word and donating to our crowd-fund.