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Sexual Violence, Medicine, and Psychiatry Symposium

Venue: Online

The Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters Project (SHaME) is holding an online international, interdisciplinary academic symposium to explore the relationship between Medicine, Psychiatry, and Sexual Violence.

This symposium will explore the role of medical professionals in debates about sexual violence. Police doctors and forensic medical examiners, GPs, gynaecologists, surgeons, nurses, midwives, prison surgeons, psychiatrists, and therapists working in all forms of institutional and community settings have been influential agents in the interpretation, medicalisation, and adjudication of sexual attacks. This is an important time to investigate the relationship between medical professionals and sexual violence. Scandals around medical and psychiatric responses to sexual abuse emerge on a regular basis (viz. Nauru detention camp; the abuse of people in psychiatric wards, prison, and detention camps; failures to send the biological samples from ‘rape kits’ for forensic examination; complaints about medical examinations; popular anxieties about the medical treatment and rehabilitation of violent offenders). The symposium seeks to promote human health through providing insights into the role of medicine and psychiatry in understanding sexual violence.

The Sexual Violence, Medicine, and Psychiatry Symposium was originally planned in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Violence, University of Newcastle (Australia) as an in-person two-day symposium. It was set to take place over 16-17 April 2020 in Newcastle, Australia but was postponed in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re thrilled to be able to reconvene many of the original speakers and present their work as video papers which will be discussed during an online symposium. You can view the videos on our website at any time here. The speakers will convene for two roundtable discussions on the following dates and times:

Tuesday 11 May 2021 / Wednesday 12 May 2021
15.00-17.00 BST
(i.e. London, UK)
16.00-18.00 SAST (i.e. South Africa)
17.00-19.00 EEST (i.e. Athens, Greece)
09.00-11.00 CDT (i.e. Milwaukee, USA)
10.00-12.00 EDT (i.e. New Haven, USA)
on Wednesday 12 May 2021:
00.00-02.00 AEST (i.e. Sydney, Australia)
02.00-04.00 NZST (i.e. New Zealand)

Wednesday 12 May 2021
09.00-11.00 BST
(i.e. London, UK)
10.00-12.00 SAST (i.e. South Africa)
11.00-13.00 EEST (i.e. Athens, Greece)
18.00-20.00 AEST (i.e. Sydney, Australia)
20.00-22.00 NZST (i.e. New Zealand)
03.00-05.00 CDT (i.e. Milwaukee, USA)
04.00-06.00 EDT (i.e. New Haven, USA)

(*time and date conversions have not been provided for all time zones. If you're unsure what time the event will take place in your time zone, please consult


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

You can watch the speakers' videos at any time by visiting the SHaME blog:


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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