Raising Awareness of Sexual Abuse


The topic of sexual abuse in the Tamil community is one that does not often get addressed, which could lead victims to feel more pain in dealing with their difficult situation. In order to bring light to this sensitive issue and to highlight the attitudes that members of the community have towards it, we conducted a poll. We asked people whether or not they feel victims of sexual abuse are to share the blame for being attacked if they wear ‘sexy clothing’. While nearly 80% indicated ‘No’, 20% felt that the victim should share the blame. This goes to show that there is much need for further education, awareness and understanding with regards to this topic. In an effort to do this, we’ve started to publish a series of articles that dig into sexual abuse in our community. If you have not read them, please do so.

“Finding Hope in the Hopeless: Sexual Abuse in the Tamil Community” 

“Violence Against Women is NOT Invited” 

 Please contact us at info@tamilculture.ca if you would like to make a submission to our magazine to continue to raise awareness around this issue.


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TamilCulture is a forum that openly addresses the lifestyle of the current generation of Tamil men and women, by bridging the divide between their dual cultural influences through our targeted, entertaining and thought provoking content.

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14 thoughts on “Raising Awareness of Sexual Abuse

  1. really? you wanted “to bring light to this sensitive issue by asking whether or
    not people feel victims of sexual abuse are to share the blame for
    being attacked if they wear ‘sexy clothing’? that’s NOT how a
    community engages in critical dialogue about these issues. it seems
    the editors of this magazine need to do more self-reflexive thinking,
    reading and actually talking to victims of violent crime before they
    try to bring “light” to these issues! also, please do elaborate on
    what you mean by tamil culture? is it a monolithic object that is
    frozen in time that every single tamil person follows?

  2. this response is embarrassing. the problem IS “taking a poll”. no one is complaining about raising awareness about sexual harassment or assault. it’s also commendable that you made articles available in order to combat poorly held ideas about sexual assault – because that tactic actually raises awareness. but, it’s a whole other thing to take an online poll that gives others the opportunity to say that they think sexual assault is sometimes invited. the online poll does NOTHING to combat prejudicial views about harassment or assault. it’s a completely insensitive way to tackle the issue.

  3. providing articles is a good way to raise awareness. taking a poll about whether sexual assault is invited is NOT a way to raise awareness. it’s insensitive, and you’ve completely absolved yourself of any responsibility.

  4. Perhaps this was inspired by the infamous Krista Ford tweet over the summer regarding the issue? No clue why this should be a poll topic to raise awareness. No one blames the victim ever. No means no. Clothing has no effect, not even in a court of law. Poorly conceived poll topic to raise awareness. The relating articles however are brilliant.

  5. we need more socially responsible media! stop disseminating racist, sexist, homophobic and classist views on this website!

  6. While I think they could have positioned their poll better, I don’t think asking the question is an issue. There are a lot of serious issues in our community (such as this) that are swept under the rug without a proper understanding of people’s perspectives and attitudes towards them.
    Part of driving awareness/change is fully understanding the problem and highlighting them. I read the articles above a while back and don’t remember them getting this much attention. But their poll seems to have generated discussion and as a result driven awareness.
    It’s pretty ridiculous to suggest that people’s opinions should be suppressed (by limiting the type of questions asked of them) because we don’t want to hear the truth behind what they have to say. The sad truth is, there are quite a few people out there that blame the victim/how they dress for occurrences of assault. To go about changing this mentality means first admitting that it exists, figuring out why these people think this way & showing them why it’s wrong to blame the victim.

  7. i would really hope tamil culture is at the very least not about perpetuating sexual assault survivor blaming and shaming. But you know what you do when you post a poll like that on the home page? It gives the impression that this is something that is being debated in tamil culture and it is NOT a debate. TC editors: stop embarrassing yourselves with your inexcusable need to actually DEFEND this poll; stop embarrassing us who identify in some way with tamil culture – whatever that is. Articles about such an issue are important, certainly. A poll of this nature does absolutely nothing to shed light on rape culture which, by the way, you are complicit in perpetuating by your refusal to take down this poll, your reluctance to issue an apology, and your deflection of criticism by saying this was done out of some need to “raise awareness.”

  8. Dear advertisers, I urge you to pull your advertisements from this site. If you as an advertiser want to be known as a supporter of misogyny and violence against women because this site obviously fails to get the point. (holding the poll, then restating it in an article, and not offering an apology IS an act of violence against women).

    Dear tamilculture.ca, if this makes you upset: please look up the definition of violence against women and then start writing your article. If you can’t think of anything wrong with the above article, poll or all other misogynistic articles you post, please educate yourself. You are contributing to the damage that misogyny and violence against women causes in the Tamil community – you are not educating us by restating the poll in the above article. Look around you. Have you heard of Slutwalk? Please look it up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SlutWalk
    Also – please tell the readers what constitutes “sexy clothing”? Is your editorial picture an example of this? Who in your eyes is wearing “sexy clothing”?

  9. I agree with everyone here that the poll could have been handled a little better by Tamil Culture in terms of language. But don’t you think their poll reveals something? The fact that 30% of people put the blame on the victim shows that there is a % of people that don’t speak up, but they do truly believe. This isn’t something that I personally believe and would like to see changed, because as a brother or son or boyfriend, I do find it disturbing that 30% of the people who participated in the poll blame it on the victim. So instead of bashing the magazine for the poll which is your right, why not take this as an opportunity to continue this dialogue further. I remember there was this video from India where this group of guys were sexually harassing this girl because she was out clubbing and dressed up. I don’t agree with them, but there are people that share those beliefs that women are “asking for” it. Why are you trying to get people to stop supporting Tamil Culture – sounds like some personal vendettas to me. Maybe because I’m a Tamil Culture supporter and what they do – but I see them as bringing to light these attitudes and being that forum where people can have exchanges about this subject. Tamil Culture is a publication just like the Toronto Star or the UK Observer (which had a very similar poll btw). It’s a forum to discuss something like this..anyways, just my 2 cents.

  10. @facebook-505341859:disqus what a great idea. so let’s all go on pretending that we live in a wonderful world where we’ll blindly assume people are educated enough, bc they have articles to read, to know they shouldn’t blame the victim. get real! polls/surveys like this are needed to show the extent to which negative thinking exists in the community. if you truly care to raise awareness around sexual abuse in the community start looking at the problem from all angles to get to a solution, instead of focusing your energy on a poll that most people probably won’t even remember next week

  11. Dear tamil culture and supporters of the problematic poll on sexual violence: what strikes me as deeply disturbing is the fact that you continue to support rape culture by defending the poll. in fact, posting this article actually constitutes as a form of violence against victims of sexual assualt and domestic violence. how? well, for one thing you are trying to silence individuals who speak out against these forms of oppression and injustice. denying that your poll was an act of oppression is a tactic used to silence those who critique problematic behavior and actions. secondly, the poll in question did not adequately address why rape happens in the first place. instead what your poll did was suggest that sometimes, some people, because of their actions, their sexual orientation, or their gender as women deserve to be sexually harrassed, assualted and exploited. by implying this with your poll you are contributing to the normalization of male power over women. what you need to do is facilitate discussions about why some fathers/uncles/boyfriends/male companions and strangers choose to rape and beat wives/daughters/sisters/female friends etc, and why heternormative men and women discriminate against queers. this is a question about power and gender.
    if this is still confusing then i would sit down and ponder the following questions: why do males have more power over women? why do men feel like they are entitled to treat women and queers any which way they want? why do men, when they see another woman, automatically assume that he has access to her body? why do we assume (those of us who identify as straight men or women) that another social being, male or female is automatically a possible mate? what makes us assume that they are interested in hetronormative relations? why are queers in our community violently shunned? basically, what is the nature of gender relations in the tamil community?

  12. WTF? This is a very relevant topic to South Asian Community in general and T.C has done a good job in bringing out what the society generally thinks. Blaming victim goes all the way back to ancient times i.e Rama ask Seetha to jump into fire cos he wanted to prove her chastity. Seetha didn’t question whether Rama was getting laid anywhere on the way to Srilanka. It already started there. Have you guys not seen Bollywood movies like cocktail?Moral of the movie released in 2012 was if u go to pubs, you get raped. I FIND THE IDEA STUPID. This poll is very relevant to show that even certain modern educated men do think like that. Vasuki, merely hiding this is not going to tell the truth. Over reacting feminist like you are the reason why men don’t give out opinions in public and problems are still problems no matter how many slut “marches” it takes. First admit that misogyny exist, its hidden due to political correctness. I have it myself, i agree, and I want to work on it too. Your dictatorial attitude to shut anyone’s opinions itself just increases the misogyny. I am not afraid to say these comments with my real name now but I will probably be hiding behind a screen as some anonymous guy once I start my career or I become a “magical feminist who can’t stand injustice against women”. Seriously? That’s what you want?

  13. yes lets not have racist views so that harper will not win again and draft a stronger anti-refugee bill. Lets ban sexist views so western men will open doors for you but secretly go to thailand and abuse asian women in the name of ping pong show. Lets not have homophobic views because we will become so modern that we’ll set up arranged marriages between raja and ram. Classist view?- Well I assume you’re calling me a F***ing FOB now..

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