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Sexual Violence and Criminal Justice: Approaches in Psychology, History, and Literature

Venue: Online

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The Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters Project (SHaME) is pleased to launch its Writer in Residence programme with this free In Conversation Event with Professor Amina Memon, our Writer in Residence Winnie M Li, and SHaME Principal Investigator Professor Joanna Bourke. This will be the first of three public events in the WiR Programme, a collaboration with the survivor-centred arts organisation Clear Lines.
In this unique online discussion, Professor Amina Memon, Professor Joanna Bourke, and SHaME Writer in Residence Winnie M Li will explore a range of issues relating to the lived experience of sexual violence and its treatment in the criminal justice system. Each will bring to the table their own expertise, spanning a range of fields: Amina will speak from her extensive experience in Applied Social and Cognitive Psychology focusing on social work and the law; Joanna will look at the historic handling of sexual violence in criminal justice proceedings; and Winnie will draw from her own lived experience as a rape survivor and her decision to imagine the trial of her rapist in her award-winning novel Dark Chapter
Like all SHaME events, this evening is designed to bring together interdisciplinary scholarship on the field of sexual violence.  Expect a wide-ranging dialogue, followed by an audience Q&A. Some of the questions addressed will be:

  • What are the mental health impacts of sexual violence - and of the criminal justice process on victims? Is the criminal justice process a form of further trauma on victims?
  • Historically, how have these impacts been recognised or ignored by criminal justice policy?
  • What role does psychology play in how authorities and the public perceive guilt and believability around sexual violence cases? Has this remained the same throughout history and into modern times?
  • How can literature best capture the nuances of these experiences and convey them to a wider audience?
  • How can narrative and the arts re-image an alternative possibility, when the current and past reality of the criminal justice system may fail victims?


You can read more about this event by visiting the SHaME website:

You also can find out more about Winnie's Writer In Residence Programme with SHaME on our blog:

You can purchase Dark Chapter in e-book, audiobook, or hardback here.


Please note that this event will be hosted online and a joining link will be sent a few days prior to the event.

Please note that this event will be recorded.

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