Published on 21st January, 2020 by Dr. Sanveen Kang
Girl Talk: Real Conversations for Real Change is a digital-first campaign that aims to empower female undergraduates to recognise and respond to sexual harassment by engaging experts, sharing resources and inspiring conversations. As part of the campaign, an event consisting of a panel discussion and a VR simulation were launched.
Moderated by Ms Nicole Lim, Host of Something Private Podcast; the panel discussion was entered around the topics of consent, barriers to responding to sexual harassment and how to respond to it.
The panel featured Ms Sylvie Lian, clinical psychologist of Psych Connect; Ms Devika Panicker, spokesperson for AWARE’s Aim for Zero campaign, Ms Priscilla Chia, volunteer lawyer with SACC, Ms Tan Siok San, NTU Director of Student Affairs; Ms Monica Baey and Ms Jerlyn Lam; advocates for ending sexual violence.
The panel was followed by a VR session, where over 50 female undergraduates were able to try out the technology that was supported by VR company, Hiverlab. They were able to practice responding to re-enactments of verbal harassment on campus, and experience various simulations play out according to the responses they digitally selected.
Both the panel discussion and VR simulations aim to grant female undergraduates greater access to resources from experts, generates higher confidence when simulating responses to harassment scenarios and sparks conversations between them.
Sexual aggression has been most widely researched form of violence against women. By definition the concept of sexual aggression extends beyond sexual assault, intimate partner violence, harassment, and includes any sexualized behaviour, resulting in the feelings of intimidation and persecution. The diversity of the acts that constitute sexual aggression is reflected in the literature as evidenced by the interchangeable use of various terminologies, such as sexual aggression, coercion, offence, violence and assault. In fact, thismulti-faceted dimension of sexual aggression contributes to the lack of information about its frequency and consequence.
Empowering women and our community at large is at the core of the work we do at Psych Connect.