National incest survivors conference

Issue 

National incest survivors conference

By Rose McCann

SYDNEY — The first Women's National Incest Survivors Confest will be held on July 10-12 at the University of NSW. It is organised by women who consider themselves part of the grassroots feminist movement and who are incest survivors themselves.

"We have called it a confest because it is a conference/festival", says confest coordinator George. "The idea behind that is that we want women to celebrate our survival, the fact that we have made it ... What I see as the most powerful thing about the confest will be that example of strength we can provide to each other."

Studies indicate that only 10% of child abuse cases are reported to the authorities. Yet NSW alone had 22,682 reported or suspected cases of physical, emotional or sexual abuse in 1991. Around 85% of perpetrators are family members, friends or someone "close and trusted"; 90% of perpetrators are male, and 78% of victims are female. Some studies suggest that as many as one in four girls have suffered child sexual abuse from some source.

The confest will comprise three days of workshops, a cabaret on the Friday night and a women's dance (to include bootscoot and belly dancing) on the Saturday. An art exhibition, to include painting, photography, sculpture and ceramics by incest survivors, will be presented at the Squarehouse Gallery throughout the weekend. There will be workshops for children, and child-care will be available.

For further information contact SIS Confest PO Box 903 Leichhardt NSW 2040 or phone George (02) 550 4551.