Joanna Bourke, "Disgrace: Global Reflections on Sexual Violence" (Reaktion Books, 2022)

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Looking across time and the globe, a critical history of sexual violence--what causes it and how we overcome it. Disgrace: Global Reflections on Sexual Violence (Reaktion, 2022) is the first truly global history of sexual violence. The book explores how sexual violence varies widely across time and place, from nineteenth-century peasant women in Ireland who were abducted as a way of forcing marriage, to date-raped high-school students in twentieth-century America, and from girls and women violated by Russian soldiers in 1945 to Dalit women raped by men of higher castes today. It delves into the factors that facilitate violence--including institutions, ideologies, and practices--but also gives voice to survivors and activists, drawing inspiration from their struggles. Ultimately, Joanna Bourke intends to forge a transnational feminism that will promote a more harmonious, equal, and rape- and violence-free world.

Jana Byars is the Academic Director of Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender.

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