Mike Tyson should not be a guest of honour in UK

AWMWC joins the ‘Do not spend an
evening with a rapist’ campaign calling the Guildhall at Portsmouth to cancel its dinner event where Tyson, a convicted rapist, is invited as a guest of honour. 

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A United Nations statistical
report compiled from government sources showed that more than 250,000 cases of
male-female rape or attempted rape are recorded by police annually. The
reported data covered 65 countries.

It has been reported that 117 countries criminalize sexual
harassment, 79 countries criminalize marital rape, 125 have outlawed family
violence.

In 1992 Mike Tyson was convicted
for raping an 18 year old woman and sentenced to 6 years in prison. Yet the Guildhall Portsmouth has chosen Tyson as a
guest of honour at a dinner event later this year with tickets costing up to
£150. That’s £150 for the pleasure of spending an evening with a rapist.

By inviting a convicted rapist to
speak at one of the leading venues in Portsmouth, the Guildhall goes against
the hard work that the city has undertaken to ensure that survivors of rape
feel valued, safe and believed. For that reason Aurora New Dawn are asking the
Guildhall to cancel this event and show support to survivors of sexual violence
rather than billing a convicted rapist as a hero in the city.

Women are more worried about rape
than any other crime. The work that Aurora New Dawn and the White Ribbon group
have done in Portsmouth in conjunction with other partner agencies consists of
supporting people through the trauma of experiencing sexual violence which
often leads to long lasting negative effects on both physical and emotional
health and well-being.

More than 56,000 women were reported
having been raped during 2011, in South Africa alone, and according to police, many
more cases are believed to go unreported.

In UK, fewer than 6% of rapists
are convicted for their offence. Victims and survivors struggle to be believed
and – even when there is a conviction, as in this case – are still confronted
with an organisation choosing to champion a rapist.

Iqbal Tamimi, Director of Arab
Women Media Watch Centre in UK expressed her support of Aurora New Dawn, the
White Ribbon group, and Oscar-winning actor, Angelina Jolie’s initiative aimed
at fighting rape.

‘Rape is a crime that has to be
actively resisted and challenged on every level. A rapist must not feel
welcomed in any social activity. Inviting a rapist as a guest of honour is not
an honourable thing to do. It is an insult to all the victims of rape who
suffered the trauma of being attacked, terrorized, suffered physically and mentally and their rights were violated’ Tamimi said.  

Please sign this petition in
recognition of all survivors of sexual violence and abuse. We can’t think of
any other violent crime where a celebrity would be allowed to be celebrated in
this way.  

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