Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Air Force Officer Found Guilty

The Air Force officer, Capt. Devery Taylor, who responded to an accusation of raping 4 men and attempting to rape 2 others by saying all the men were lying about what were fully consensual encounters has been found guilty.

Update: He was sentenced to 50 years so his actions were seen as warranting severe punishment.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:03 PM   0 comments links to this post

New Arrest Made After Cave Dweller Cleared of Rape Charges

The man most recently arrested in the Olympia, Washington rape case, Peter Jacob Inouye, wasn't a complete stranger since it's been reported that he was at the victim's house several months ago at an event to help her family after the 11-year-old girl's father died.

It sounds like this 24-year-old man (whose parents lived several blocks from the victim's home) became a person of interest soon after the rape. He was arrested after his DNA was matched with the evidence collected after the crime.

The rapist attempted to terrorize his victim with threats of further violence if the victim didn't keep what happened to her a secret. With the level and type of violence used in the rape, there's no way that threat could be viewed as empty. That continued threat must have been horrific for this girl and her family as they waited for the police to complete their investigation.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

When So Called Good People Do Bad Things

This Texas Monthly article titled The Beating Of Billy Ray Johnson by Pamela Colloff, about an assault and the appalling response to that assault, reminds me of so many people who can appear good and upstanding on the surface while their actions and their attitudes prove them to be far less good than they appear.

Wes [Owens] drove less than a mile up the road to his father’s property and turned into a wide, grassy pasture where pickups were parked in a circle around a bonfire. According to court documents and police records, it was after midnight when they arrived, and about a dozen people were sitting on their tailgates drinking beer. When they looked to see who Wes had brought from town, they burst out laughing. One girl overheard twenty-year-old Colt Amox snicker, “Wes has a crazy n[-word] with him.”

Wes would later say that he had never intended for Billy Ray to become the night’s entertainment, but from the moment they arrived, the joke was on Billy Ray. [...] Someone suggested that he reach into the fire and pull out one of the burning logs, and as Billy Ray bent down to comply, Wes stopped him. “Don’t be stupid,” he said.
In this case it wasn't Billy Ray who was the most underdeveloped, it was those who turned him into an object of entertainment which opened the door to turning him into a disposable object. This attitude isn't limited to any one race or gender because this attitude isn't genetic. People choose to be like this and they can either be supported or shunned for this choice.

It's important to note that this demeaning behavior wasn't even close to being accepted by everyone present and one woman spoke against the behavior directly, telling Wes, "It's not right." It's impossible to know if any of those who left because they didn't like what was happening considered that they were leaving a man in a physically dangerous situation with those who thought what was happening was right.

I have no tolerance for people who feel entitled to use other people with no care for the harm they create. So often when people like this get charged with a crime, everything they do becomes a mistake or a misunderstanding or the fault of the victim. If personal responsibility is mentioned at all, it's the victim who failed.

In cases like this where "good" people are accused of crimes against less than "good" people you can really learn a lot about people's real character (vs. the character they say they have) when they share their insights on the case or when they reveal who they have the most sympathy for or when they say who shouldn't have taken an action or who most deserves the benefit of the doubt.

To combat the attitude which minimizes crime that attitude needs to be countered by other "good" people. If those who don't approve remain silent that silence will be taken as support.

People who disagree with mistreatment need to think about strategies to keep themselves safe while they focus on how to keep the target of mistreatment safe. One strategy is to turn mob mentality on it's head.

Just as people will commit acts of violence as part of a group that they wouldn't commit alone, people can learn to commit acts of intervention as part of a group without the violence. This takes as much forethought as others give on how to get away with disregarding human decency.

Opposing violence isn't limited to in-person actions. Just as some violent groups use the Internet to find like-minded people, those who oppose violence can do the same. We can also speak up loud and clear that not tolerating violence doesn't mean we are ignoring the basic human and civil and constitutional rights of those accused of crimes.
When I visited Linden last fall, few white people would agree to speak to me about the case. Those who did were wary of being quoted, and few of them showed much sympathy for Billy Ray. Anger still ran deep, and not at the defendants; it was Billy Ray, somehow, who had brought this upon Linden. [...] Billy Ray was not even mentally disabled, I was informed by the executive director of Linden’s Economic Development Organization, Russell Wright. “He cooked his brain on drugs,” he explained. To see things any other way was to see Linden in a very ugly light.
This reaction dehumanizes the victim in an attempt to normalize those accused and minimize the severity of the crime, but dehumanization facilitates horrific crimes by turning them into victimless crimes. So denial does more than impact one specific case, it feeds the rationalizations of future criminals.

This exchange at the end of the article say it all:

“What do you think about what happened?”

Billy Ray furrowed his brow, and Lue and I had to lean forward to hear what he said next. “Wasn’t right,” he said, shaking his head. “Wasn’t right.”

If we truly and absolutely want to prevent crimes we must respond with this level of clarity. To respond to crime by saying, "Of course it wasn't right, but ..." is to nullify our opposition to that crime.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:10 AM   1 comments links to this post

Monday, February 26, 2007

Carnival Deadline Tonight

This short month's been flying by even faster as I've been shoveling out over a foot of fresh snow.

Tonight at 11 pm is the deadline for the next carnival against sexual violence. Please nominate a post, one you've written or one you've read, for the 18th edition which comes out on Mar. 1.

Please, don't be shy. If you are shy or don't know what to put as a comment in your nomination, keep in mind that comments are completely optional. All I need is the permalink to a specific post.

In case you've missed any past editions or aren't sure whether a specific post fits the theme of this carnival, you can find a link to all of the previous editions here at the carnival homepage.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 4:02 PM   0 comments links to this post

Rape Myth Busting Or Not

Daily Mail UK headline: Drug rape myth exposed as study reveals binge drinking is to blame purports to bust one myth, but it reinforces other rape myths which help keep rape going strong.

Binge drinking isn't to blame for rape as the headline implies. Rapists are to blame for rape.

Several bloggers (I refuse to give them links) who seem to be in the blame-the-women mindset have already used this headline and the study as a further excuse for calling girls and women liars whenever they report feeling like a drug has been slipped into their drink.

For the girls and women who aren't lying, the attitude by these people seems to be, "It's just the booze, you stupid ****!"

The problem with any study done on lab results from rape victims is that not all non-alcoholic substances are included in the testing and that rape victims who have been drugged aren't likely to be brought in for testing immediately.

Also there is no consideration that spiking an alcoholic drink with higher octane alcohol is still deliberate spiking. To call women liars when they report feeling drugged is negligent at best.

Last month a personal safety campaigner claimed that Rohypnol had never been used to assist a sexual assault in the UK. Doctors carrying out the latest study at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital said it was far more likely women were claiming their drinks had been spiked as an "excuse" for binge-drinking.

The 12-month study was based on 75 patients - mostly women - treated in casualty who told doctors their drinks had been tampered with in pubs or clubs. But tests for drugs such as Rohypnol, GHB and ketamine found nothing, says the study published in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

It showed 65 per cent of women had 160mg of alcohol in their blood - twice the 80mg drink/drive limit - and a quarter were three times over the limit. Although all the patients denied taking drugs such as cocaine and amphetamine, one fifth tested positive.
This last line implies -- without coming right out and saying it -- that because the drugs found weren't categorized as date-rape drugs that those drugs were taken willingly. Do these doctors believe rapists and wannabe rapists really follow a rule book about which substances they will use to facilitate rape?

People reported being drugged and one fifth tested positive for drugs and that's proof that drugging isn't involved?


The conclusion that reporting feeling drugged is nothing more than an "excuse" for binge drinking is bull. The companion to this attitude is the belief that most women who report being raped are finding a way to "excuse" having consensual but regretted sex.

That too is bull.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   1 comments links to this post

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Unforgiving Rape Victims Who Keep Asking For Justice

There's another story about the rape where the man, William Beebe, wrote a letter to his rape victim years later as part of his Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step process. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of aggravated sexual battery and is supposed to cooperate with the investigation of other men involved with this rape. His sentencing is scheduled for March 15.

I noticed that the original headline was Man Seeks Forgiveness for 1984 Rape but has since been replaced by the headline Rape Victim Seeks Long Path to Justice. That original headline contains a clear bias in favor of an admitted rapist and undermines the story it was attached to.

Was this apology meant to help her - or him? Her skepticism grew when they broached the topic of what happened that night in 1984. While most of the details remained painfully fresh, she wrote, she needed to know everything in order to heal. "Were you my only attacker?" she asked. "I clearly have an impression of this being either a gang rape or a 'spectator sport' for the rushees. No names, please. But the nightmares for me must end."

Beebe's account, however, was disturbingly different from hers. "I 'convinced' you after what seemed like hesitation, that staying w/ me in my room upstairs was better than walking all the way back to the suites," he wrote. "Of course, seeing opportunity to have a good time w/ you overrode any gentlemanly efforts to return you safely back to the dorms." "We started to make out in my room a while," he continued. "There was no fight and it was all over in short order. When we awoke in the morning it was still chilly out, so i lent you my jean jacket, and you walked home." "There were no other men present. I was the only one."

Seccuro was outraged. If this was his account, what was he atoning for?
What I find enlightening is how closely his romanticized version of raping her matches what many men -- and women to a lesser degree -- say must have happened whenever they hear about a claim of rape where the alleged rapist wasn't a stranger jumping out of the bushes.

Did he hope that she wouldn't remember enough to know his story was a bold-faced lie? Or did he try to spin the story in his own mind so he could deny what he'd done to another human being? Maybe if he repeated this version often enough he could almost convince himself that's what really happened?

In this case, there are clear indicators of premeditated disabling of the victim. There's nothing romantic or gentlemanly involved. After all those years he was still trying to manipulate and control her. And some people have the gall to think there was something wrong with her for not letting him succeed.

It's clear to me he wanted her to let him off the hook without requiring him to ever fully put himself ON the hook. If he wants atonement or forgiveness -- that will make any difference in his life -- he will need ditch the whitewashing.

Asking for forgiveness without accurate ownership of the wrong -- including taking the consequences of those actions -- is a scam.

Men who rush to the defense of admitted and alleged rapists by putting forth alternative realities wonder why they are called rape apologists and viewed as possible rapists. When you talk like a rapist don't act persecuted when you are viewed with deep suspicion.

Seccuro was in for another shock. While much of the public reaction was supportive, some of it was not.

E-mails and letters arrived, threatening her with everything from rape to dismemberment. Other messages were less extreme but still stung - mainly from Christians condemning her for pressing charges, admonishing her to forgive.

But she was a Christian, too, and she HAD forgiven Beebe. Couldn't she forgive and still want justice? Couldn't she forgive and still feel anger?
Ironic that this response was sparked by someone not letting a rapist get away with rape. Where is their forgiveness for this woman's decision to pursue justice?

Oh, wait. Apparently, forgiveness is for rapists only.

It sounds like many "Christians" are taking her decision far too personally. Maybe they subscribe to the brand of Christianity where the only difference is one of forgiveness.

I have a real problem with those who push rape victims to forgive their rapists.

But to Seccuro, forgiveness was never the issue. To her, it's very simple. The apology was for him. Justice is for her.
I agree. And those who disagree are rapist advocates whether they intend to be or not.

For me the bottom line is that letting rapists off the hook in the name of forgiveness does absolutely nothing to deter future rapes. "Hey, all you gotta do is join AA and then apologize for any "hurt" you may have caused."

Wrong. All you gotta do is say no to committing rape or being an accomplice to rape.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 6:12 PM   4 comments links to this post

Bill O'Reilly And Pathology Behind Child Sexual Abuse Accomodation Syndrome

Bill O'Reilly isn't happy with the reaction he's gotten after his appearance on Oprah, considering that he's never apologized for an earlier insulting remark about Shawn Hornbeck.

O'Reilly: I say the far-left loons who took my analysis out of context are despicable. These people haven't done a single thing to protect kids from danger in this country. Our reporting on the Hornbeck case has been dead-on accurate.
Since I believe this statement is nonsense and since I blogged against O'Reilly's questioning of Shawn Hornbeck's motivation for staying, I must be one of those people who hasn't done a single thing to protect kids from danger in our country.

Over nine years on my local sexual assault crisis line ain't got nothing to do with protecting kids from sexual violence, no sir.

To explain his comments, Bill O'Reilly refers to Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome which was developed by Roland Summit, M.D.

Nine years after Summit published his original paper, he observed that the CSAAS "is a clinical observation that has become both elevated as gospel and denounced as dangerous pseudoscience."30 The reason for this dichotomy is that the CSAAS has been misunderstood and misapplied to legal cases involving child sexual abuse.31 Some practitioners and prosecutors have viewed the CSAAS as a diagnostic tool that can establish sexual abuse.32 [...]

CSAAS is socially, not clinically, determined. It reflects the pathology not of a child who can't convince us of his or her experience, but of an adult society which won't be convinced.38 ... Evaluation of the responses of normal children to sexual assault provides clear evidence that societal definitions of normal victim behavior are inappropriate and procrustean, serving adults as mythic insulators against the child's pain. Within this climate of prejudice, the sequential survival options available to the victim further alienate the child ... [and] ironically, the child's inevitable choice of the "wrong" options reinforces and perpetuates the prejudicial myths.39

What this says is that reactions such as Bill O'Reilly's original comment which was "taken out of context" contribute to the root cause of this puzzling behavior by victims.

It is us adults, not child victims who have the real pathological behavior and cognative problems. Victims, especially child victims, are simply trying to navigate a confusing array of exploitation, prejudice and denial.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:03 AM   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Carnival Against Child Abuse #8 Is Up

Over at Blessed Fearscapes. Go check it out.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:47 AM   0 comments links to this post

Official Warning Over Toronto Balcony Rapist's Release

This case highlights a pattern of behavior that prison isn't likely to do more than defer. Or not likely enough for the sake of public safety. One of his victims, called Jane Doe sued the Toronto police over their handling of the case.

A man known in Ontario as the "balcony rapist" is scheduled to be released from custody on Friday in Surrey, B.C.

Paul Callow, 52, served 20 years in prison for a series of brutal, knifepoint sexual assaults on women in Toronto in the mid-1980s. On Thursday, Surrey RCMP took the unusual step of warning the public about Callow, who plans to make the city his home.

Under the terms of his release, Callow will be required to check in with a probation officer and seek permission to live with or enter an intimate relationship with a woman, to move, to leave B.C., or to stay out later than 11 p.m., except to work. He is also forbidden from using drugs or alcohol, and from possessing weapons or "rape kit" materials such as rope, tape or electrical wire.

Frankly, the criminal justice system in Canada and elsewhere needs to change so that those who show clear evidence of being willing to murder their rape victims are viewed as being as dangerous as rapists who have murdered their victims.

I'm not talking guesswork, I'm talking evidence such as "rape kits" or attempts to murder directly or by attempting to set up a hit.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:16 AM   1 comments links to this post

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cave Dweller Cleared of Child Rape Charges

The man, David Lukas Lynch, arrested in Olympia, Washington had been charged with the rape of an 11-year-old girl after being discovered living in an underground bunker a few blocks from where the girl was raped at knifepoint.

I'm glad there was DNA evidence from the rape so that the real rapist may still be identified, but also because this man, who fit many people's stereotype of what type of person a rapist is, might have been too easy to convict if some of his physical characteristics matched the real rapist's.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:23 PM   0 comments links to this post

Gay Marriage Evil Unlike Propositioning For Gay Sex

This seems to be another case where someone seems to hate an aspect of themselves and decides to punish those who don't share that self-hatred and who find a way to integrate all of who they are into their life choices and into their public selves.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The lawyer for a former Baptist church leader who had spoken out against homosexuality said Thursday the minister has a constitutional right to solicit sex from an undercover policeman.

The Rev. Lonnie W. Latham had supported a resolution calling on gays and lesbians to reject their "sinful, destructive lifestyle" before his Jan. 3, 2006, arrest outside the Habana Inn in Oklahoma City. Authorities say he asked the undercover policeman to come up to his hotel for oral sex.
I'm not sure if the request for oral sex stepped over the line into exploitation or harassment, but if someone believes same sex marriage and basic civil rights for gays should be rejected legally they should believe the same about this man's same sex proposition even when they are the person who stepped over the line.

The attitudes this minister holds forth about homosexuality are key contributors to why a prosecutor would view his actions as criminal even if he didn't participate in what many people think of as public lewdness.

His attorney, Mack Martin, filed a motion to have the misdemeanor lewdness charge thrown out, saying the Supreme Court ruled in the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas that it was not illegal for consenting adults to engage in private homosexual acts.

"Now, my client's being prosecuted basically for having offered to engage in such an act, which basically makes it a crime to ask someone to do something that's legal," Martin said. Both sides agree there was no offer of money, but prosecutor Scott Rowland said there is a "legitimate governmental interest" in regulating offers of acts of lewdness.
How you offer to engage in an otherwise legal act makes a huge difference. The problem I have with this prosecutor's reasoning is that I doubt that many men who ask women for oral sex in this same way and in a public location would be arrested for lewdness.

When women complain of unwanted heterosexual offers -- or even demands -- of acts of lewdness they are often looked at as whiners. "He isn't harassing you, he's flirting."

Maybe it's different when men think of themselves as the target for that sort of "flirting."
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:21 PM   0 comments links to this post

Generational Decline of Rape

There's an interesting opinion piece in the LA Times by Mike Males, a senior researcher at the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. Here's part of what he has to say.

The U.S. Justice Department's National Crime Victimization Survey (considered our best measure of crime because its anonymous surveys capture offenses not reported to police) reports that rape has been falling dramatically for decades. The first survey, in 1973, estimated that 105,000 females, ages 12 to 24, were raped that year. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the survey was expanded to include sexual assault and attempted or threatened offenses. Even so, the latest survey (in a young female population 1 million larger than in 1973) reported that 30,000 females, ages 12 to 24, were raped and 60,000 were victims of attempted rape or real or attempted sexual offenses (including verbal threats) in 2005.
This change from the 1970s isn't surprising to me since many of those rapes committed in the 1970s weren't covered by criminal statutes and of those that were covered by the criminal statutes, most reports to law enforcement weren't taken seriously.

The only rape cases I ever heard about back then were stranger serial rapes and statutory rape cases. The statutory rape cases were joked about by calling girls jail bait rather than understanding that it was wrong for an adult to exploit someone under the age of consent.

Once I was old enough to date, boys who attempted to force girls to have sex were considered normal. Boys who didn't try to coerce girls into sex were the abnormal ones. A date wasn't even a necessary prerequisite for coercing sex. Finding yourself alone with the wrong boy meant battling your way to safety.

Unfortunately, many people want to go back to the good old days when only "real" rapes were prosecuted and before women got fed up with the status quo and began opening rape crisis lines.

The crime surveys further indicate that the decline in sexual violence is greater among younger females than older women. In the last dozen years, they found that sexual victimization rates among girls ages 12 to 19 fell by 78% and among women ages 20 to 24 by 70%, nearly double the drop among women older than 25.
This shows me that rape prevention efforts, including education about what real consent looks like, are making a real difference.

Thanks to feminist campaigns, laws have been extended to criminalize nonconsensual sex with intoxicated, disabled, same-sex and acquaintance victims and other offenses that narrower rape laws excluded. All this makes the recent declines in teenage sexual violence even more impressive. [...]

The most likely explanation involves impressive generational developments. In 1970, women made up one-third of all college students (versus 57% today), earned about one-fourth of all young-adult income (versus nearly half today) and made up small fractions of doctors and lawyers (versus majorities of new entrants into these fields now). Women's rapidly rising status and economic independence in the larger society fostered new attitudes and laws that rejected violence against women.

That younger people growing up in this environment of greater gender equality should show the biggest decreases in rape, while older generations lag behind, is consistent with this explanation. The youngest teenagers (presumably those raised with the most modern attitudes) show the biggest declines of all. Over the last 30 years, rape arrest rates have fallen by 80% among Californians under age 15, much larger than the 25% drop among residents age 40 and older.

Ultimately, however, sexual violence remains a serious danger. That is the best reason for rigorously scrutinizing its real patterns and trends (rather than taking tiresome potshots at "young people" and "popular culture") to learn how to further reduce it.

Examining popular culture is part of what's behind the change since the 1970s and is a necessary element to continued rape prevention. What's unnecessary is stereotyping today's popular culture as if it's the first to have problems while sanitizing the popular culture of past decades.

When people talk about "these young people today" I have to laugh because I heard the same talk by adults when I was a teen.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:06 AM   1 comments links to this post

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Top Sunni Official Who Asked For Rape Investigation Fired

If this story is accurate, it won't advance the cause of democracy in Iraq. Even if the cause of the firing was related for a call for a rape investigation, the handling of this situation was botched.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday fired a top Sunni official who had called for an international investigation into the rape allegations leveled by a Sunni Arab woman against three members of the Shiite-dominated security forces.

A statement by al-Maliki's office gave no reason in announcing the dismissal of Ahmed Abdul-Ghafour al-Samaraie, head of the Sunni Endowments. Al-Samaraie, whose organization cares for Sunni mosques and shrines in Iraq, had joined other prominent Sunnis in criticizing the government's handling of the case. [...]

The 20-year-old woman said she was assaulted Sunday at a police garrison where she was taken on suspicion of helping Sunni insurgents.

al-Maliki may believe the rape case isn't credible, but that doesn't justify not investigating these charges. For there to be a possibility of true freedom, a government must be willing to fully investigate those with the most power.

There's a report of another rape allegation by a 50-year-old Sunni woman.

So often people commit crimes like this for 2 reasons: 1) because they can and 2) because they want to prove their power in the most graphic way possible.

The flaw in this thinking is that by committing/covering up rape a person/group is demonstrating that their power is fragile and must be shored up.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 3:20 PM   0 comments links to this post

Second Soldier Pleads Guilty In Iraq Rape Murder

This guilty plea can't bring back the 4 lost lives, but at least it will keep this man from getting away with his crimes and it might influence other soldiers who think about crossing the line under the cover of war.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) -- A military judge on Wednesday approved a second U.S. soldier's plea to the gang rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slaying of her family.

Sgt. Paul E. Cortez, 24, entered the plea Tuesday to four murders, rape and conspiracy to rape. With the approval of the plea agreement by Col. Stephen R. Henley, Cortez will avoid the death penalty.

At a hearing before Henley's decision, Cortez broke down in tears while recounting events on the day of the attack, saying he held the girl down and acted as a lookout while others took turns attacking her.
I hope the remaining soldiers in this case are held accountable for their actions.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:14 AM   0 comments links to this post

And They Say Porn Isn't At All Like Rape

This story caught my attention because it reminds me of how many people ignore cries for help from what turns out to be real victims.

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (AP) -- A man says he broke into an apartment with a cavalry sword because he thought he heard a woman being raped, but the sound actually was from a pornographic movie his upstairs neighbor was watching.

"Now I feel stupid," said James Van Iveren, who has been charged in the case. "This really is nothing, nothing but a mistake." [...]

The neighbor later played for police the part of the DVD he believed Van Iveren heard downstairs.
Frankly, if you are playing porn that sounds like rape and you are playing it loud enough to be heard in another apartment, having someone react as if there might be a real rape shouldn't be a shock.

If this man is convicted when he only damaged property in an attempt to help what he thought was a crime victim, what message does it send to someone whose quick response might save someone's life?

Shouldn't the person who feels stupid be the man with the porn? Isn't he the one whose decisions made someone else believe a real crime was in progress?

My opinion would be different if the man with the porn had been physically injured despite the lack of a victim or any sign of a victim.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:06 AM   3 comments links to this post

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Male Alleged Rape Victims Also Lie To Save Their Reputations According To Defense Attorney

In a current court-martial case, the strategy that's historically been used to try to discredit the testimony of female alleged rape victims is being used against male alleged victims.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) -- Men who say they were drugged and raped by an Air Force officer lied to avoid being revealed as gay in the military, a defense attorney told a military jury Tuesday.

Capt. Devery L. Taylor, former chief of patient administration at Eglin Regional Hospital, is gay and engaged in consensual sex with the men, his civilian attorney, Martin Regan, said during opening arguments in Taylor's court-martial.
The prosecution must have DNA evidence or other strong evidence for the defense attorney to decide to paint the alleged victims as the real criminals. But in this case, the alleged conspiracy was even greater since there are multiple alleged victims.

For those men who help keep the "women lie about rape all the time" myth alive, this should be a reminder that the anti-victim myths they help spread may be used against them if they ever become a rape victim.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:38 PM   0 comments links to this post

Nearly Two Thirds of Rapes Not Linked To Alcohol So Women Don't Drink ..

... if you don't want to be at risk of being raped.

It's fascinating to me how people get data on sexual assaults and then make the lower number into the highest risk. The headline Women warned on rape drink risk was in the Scotsman but they are by no means alone in focusing on alcohol as if 99% of all rapes were linked to alcohol.
WOMEN were today warned over the dangers of binge drinking as figures showed more than a third of rapes were linked to alcohol. A total of 159 rapes were recorded in Lothian and Borders in the last nine months of 2006, with more than 50 victims telling officers they drank or took drugs before the rape took place.
This data shows that alcohol is clearly not the cause of rape or even the most important contributor. However, alcohol can be used by rapists, either to give them an excuse for their behavior (I didn't rape her, the booze did) or to give them an excuse to say what they did wasn't rape (she may not be able to remember consenting but I remember so you have to take my word for it).

With this familiar rape prevention advice telling women not to drink where is the insight or explanation related to the nearly two-thirds of all reported rapes that weren't related to alcohol or drugs?

It seems like it's easier for many people to simply ignore the two-thirds.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:06 AM   1 comments links to this post

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Go West Young Sex Offender

That message isn't being given directly, but Wyoming is seeing a significant influx of out of state registered sex offenders.

Wyoming is home to about 1,200 known sex offenders. That is not a large number, even for a state with only about 509,000 residents in all. But law enforcement officials and legislators are worried because 56 percent of those 1,200 known offenders moved to Wyoming after being convicted somewhere else.

Afraid that the word is out among ex-convicts that Wyoming has some of the nation's loosest restrictions on sex offenders, state legislators are rushing to tighten the laws, and they are meeting little resistance.
Many of the restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live simply move the problem and can in fact create clusters of registered sex offenders.

Laws that don't consider the fallout from the restrictions need to be revisited to make sure they aren't creating more problems than they really solve.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:48 PM   0 comments links to this post

New Tshirt IDs Rapists

That's the assumption that women need to make about any man wearing this new T-shirt.

A new T-shirt being sold at Bluenotes stores in Newfoundland is a great big no-no, says the Avalon East Coalition Against Violence. The men's T-shirt is red and has the words "No means have aNOther drink" across the front in white letters.
What this T-shirt gets right is capturing the deliberate strategy many men use when they get rejected.

Men, if she said "no" even once and you use alcohol or any other substance to circumvent that "no," you are a rapist even if you are never convicted or charged with rape. Getting away with rape doesn't make you clever or smart or anything else good, it just makes you a rapist.

Not someone good with the women. A rapist.

I hope this T-shirt gets pulled from the shelves but in the meantime, I created my own variation on the NO MEANS NO theme. Check it out here. (You'll need to look at the larger image to get the full message.)

Hat tip: Feministing

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   3 comments links to this post

Monday, February 19, 2007

Next Carnival Against Child Abuse Approaching

The deadline for nominations to be included in the next Carnival Against Child Abuse is tomorrow Tuesday the 20th, for more info check out this update.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 6:13 PM   0 comments links to this post

Sexual Mistreatment Linked To Girls Hooking Up?

If hooking up is defined as emotionally-detached sexual contact and people believe this harms girls and women, then rather than making the easy choice to condemn or scold those girls and women who hook up, they need to think seriously about the causes for this trend in behavior.

Note: Few people are following men around and wondering what is wrong with them when they pursue serial hook ups. In fact, when many people talk about girls and women hooking up they describe them as acting like men.

If it's okay for men to hook up and hooking up hurts girls and women then it's implied that it is okay for men to hurt girls and women through sex.

Further, the premise that girls and women are now hooking up as much as boys and men have been doing for years implies that boys and men in the past hooked up with girls and women who didn't willingly hook up. That means that for a significant number of encounters there was deception within a consensual sexual contact or there was a lack of consent.

Despite all this, it isn't the men who are scolded or lectured for their sexual behavior. They aren't told that they are stunting their character development by treating girls and women in a shallow manner.

Here are some revealing quotes from a well-written review by Kathy Dobie of a book called UNHOOKED. How Young Women Pursue Sex, Delay Love, and Lose at Both, by Laura Sessions Stepp:

Articles, op-ed pieces and radio shows have been devoted to the sexual practice of "hooking up," but Washington Post reporter Laura Session Stepp's Unhooked is the first book on the phenomenon and, one hopes, not the last. For when someone takes such a volatile aspect of young people's lives and puts it under a microscope -- or in this case, a concerned, disapproving gaze -- you want the large, well-lit view. [...]

Stepp goes on to offer something more definite: What makes hooking up unique is that its practitioners agree that there will be no commitment, no exclusivity, no feelings. The girls adopt the crude talk of crude boys: They speak of hitting it, of boy toys and filler boys, "my plaything" and "my bitch."

Why hook up? According to Stepp, college women, obsessed with academic and career success, say they don't have time for a real relationship; high school girls say lovey-dovey relationships give them the "yucks."

The women obsessed with academic and career success is, I believe, a symptom rather than a cause which fits many people's biases about what women should be doing with their lives. Same goes for not having time.

Stepp gets close to something meaningful with the last line about the "yucks" but from the rest of the review this aspect is given little real thought. Ironic considering that "yuck" is a deeply emotional response. Think of the Mr. Yuck stickers that were designed to protect small children from ingesting household poisons.

How could lovey-dovey relationships have anything in common with deadly poisons?

The author and the reviewer are making huge mistakes by not asking or seriously considering this question. Ms. Stepp has written an article based on her book, Unhooked, but this article also fails to explore this question.

From my own experience after rape committed by a boyfriend who said he loved me and who forced sex on me to show me just how much he loved me, I became cynical about the honesty of men who said they cared about me and who said that sex was an expression of their love.

To me romantic love became something corrosive packaged as something everyone is supposed to want. At the first sign of it, for at least the next 3 years, I was gone and in a panic worse than if a man pulled a knife on me.

At least knife-wielding rapists would be honest in their desire to hurt me.

To most people that makes no logical sense since stranger rapes are considered by them to be more serious crimes than rapes committed by people the victim knows. What I experienced wasn't grounded in logic, it was grounded in excruciating pain and the determination to avoid such pain in the future -- no matter the cost.

Like a victim of a mail bomb, I learned from experience that innocent-looking packages could hide destructive forces just waiting to explode. But unlike the attitudes toward mail bombers many people continue to defend the actions of men who acted like my boyfriend.

After my first rape, those who promised nothing and asked for nothing beyond the moment were like a package which was open for inspection. They might not be great packages but neither were they innocent-looking packages with jagged suprises tucked inside. At the first sign of danger I was gone.

I bumped into rapists again, but they had little emotional impact on me because I wasn't expecting anything better from them. Men attempting to rape was typical behavior and most frequently came from the men who looked the most respectable.

Those who gave me disapproving gazes for my unacceptable sexual behavior while saying or doing nothing about men's sexual behavior frequently got the middle finger salute. From my view they approved of what my boyfriend did to me, or they simply didn't give a damn, and that made them accomplices.

From their view I was just another immoral girl.

The laws have changed since I was first raped, but the behavior of my boyfriend is still repeated again and again and again. But those who exploit girls aren't limited to known boyfriends, they include teachers who use their positions to con girls into believing their lies. (hat tip to Holly) The genders can be reversed, but this isn't gender-neutral exploitation.

In a rural upstate district with 1,000 students, a music teacher had his license revoked last year after he was accused of sexual relationships with a girl from 1987 to 1989 and with another in 1997. Both girls were in the 11th grade.

One girl said she loved him after what was her first sexual encounter. "He laughed at her and then instructed her not to tell anyone about their encounters as no one would believe her and he was well connected in the music field and could have an impact on her future," the investigator's report stated.

"We need to be more concerned with the well-being of kids than the well-being of adults," said Charol Shakeshaft, a professor at Hofstra University who has studied educator sexual abuse in New York. In 2004 she wrote an analysis of the scant research in the area for the U.S. Department of Education. She found that nearly one in 10 students nationwide are targets of "educator sexual misconduct."

Do we really expect this girl or others who had love used as a weapon to be eager for more love or anything lovey-dovey any time soon?


  • One in 10 students nationwide are impacted by educator misconduct. (source: above)

  • On in 3 high school relationships have included physical or sexual abuse. (source: National Domestic Violence Hotline)

  • About 200,000 incidents of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault each year. (source: RAINN)
  • One in 4 college women are victims of sexual assault. (source: RAINN)
How can violence not have a major impact on girls' and women's attitudes toward sex and relationships?

With that level of sexual violence in the United States we can't understand patterns of consensual sexual behavior or romantic relationships -- positive or negative -- without considering the impact of sex crimes, non-criminal exploitive/abusive behaviors and without considering the prevailing attitudes toward sexual exploitation.

Yet many people analyze girls' and women's sexual behavior as if rape were nothing more than a myth that isn't even worth mentioning.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:05 AM   2 comments links to this post

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Brazil To US Soldiers: Carnival Is About Sensuality Not Sex

I hope this story gets through to those who go to Rio to find exploitable women.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) -- The mere idea that U.S. soldiers on leave from Iraq see Rio's carnival as a free-floating sex party has Brazilians outraged.

A report in Britain's The Guardian newspaper that American soldiers are looking to Rio for rest and recreation - especially sex tourism - prompted many Brazilians to say that the gringos have it all wrong.

Despite all the jiggling, sweating flesh on display Saturday, Brazilians say the annual spectacle - which is expected to draw 700,000 revelers through Tuesday - isn't all about sex. It is, they say, a celebration of the body, closer in the spirit to the Olympics than a strip bar.
It's rather sad that people who say they enjoy sex have such a problem understanding and respecting a celebration of the human body.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:26 PM   0 comments links to this post

North Korean Refugees Face Exploitation

I received the following information from Erica Chong which focuses on people who many of us never think about.

North Korean refugees.

I'll admit that I hadn't really thought about them or the risks they face when they decide to leave their home country. I'm glad someone -- besides the opportunists -- has been thinking about them.


Hiding in villages among Chinese citizens of Korean descent, North Korean asylum seekers are victimized twice. Once they make it into China, they are highly vulnerable to abuse, extortion and exploitation. Desperate women sell sexual services through prostitution or arranged marriage. Or they are sold or abducted into sexual slavery. Some are beaten by violent Chinese husbands after seeking shelter with church groups who tell them marriage is the only way to avoid detection.

China's growing population imbalance means many poor farmers cannot easily find brides. The women often face abuse and beatings but several interviewed said "their current situation is better than risking repatriation or starvation."

"There are countless testimonies of beatings, torture, degrading treatment, and even forced abortions and infanticide from those who have escaped."

The Chinese government does not recognize North Koreans as refugees but rather as "economic migrants," an inaccurate classification the Chinese government uses to deny North Koreans their rights under International Law, including safe passage to "friendly nations." The Chinese government also aggressively seeks out North Korean refugees and returns them back to North Korea.

Upon return to North Korea many are summarily executed while others end up in gulags internationally deplored for their abominable conditions and inhumane treatment, including forced abortions, sexual assault and systemic torture.

Action in Aid of North Korean Refugees (AANKR) is a team of concerned US citizens committed to raising money and awareness for North Korean Refugees. Our primary fundraising efforts are centered on Helping Hands Korea ( a charity which helps North Korean refugees living along the China-North Korea border escape persecution and poverty via an Underground Railroad.

(Sources include Mike Jendrzejczyk's From Eating Rats in North Korea to Sex Abuse in China: A Refugee Travesty, and North Korean sex slaves flooding China: US official from the Taipei Times 12/10/05)

To see one fundraising project visit, where a runner is preparing to enter the Shamrock Marathon to raise money for which provides safe houses and food for North Korean refugees.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:04 AM   0 comments links to this post

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Detached Analysis of Rape And Satire

In the reactions to the backlash against the Rape Only Hurts If You Fight It satire, I've come across people who position themselves as superior to all those who got upset at this satire.

These people glorify emotional deadness by saying things like:

So I’m not insulting anyone. I’m also not defending people. I’m trying to bring a little bit of detached analysis of the situation,
The irony is that emotional detachment is an important element in facilitating rape. The rapist needs to be emotionally detached from his own actions and from the consequences of his actions and from his victim for him to be able to tell himself that he isn't in fact a rapist.

Detachment allows the rapist to be disdainful of his rape victim's trauma and of all rape survivors' anger. He was there and it wasn't anything worth getting emotional about. If he mentally trades places with his victim, he likely sees an emotional mirror image of himself.

Again, no big deal.

When you are an emotional flatliner, hearing people share the pain caused by satire like this will be like hearing people talk in a foreign language. You don't get it and because you don't get it, all you want is for those people to shut up or start speaking your language.

Emotional flatliners will often look for external measurements to support their detachment. Rape on college campuses is nothing compared to rape committed in conjunction with genocide. In extreme cases even the thought of mass rape and genocide fail to put a spike in the emotional flat line, but an official position can be a sufficient substitute for emotion.

These emotional flatliners don't understand that emotional detachment isn't a good thing when it comes to evaluating anything related to rape. They are emotionally tone deaf.

Sometimes an emotional flatliner can pass for someone who has empathy for everyone because they aren't quick to anger. This can lead to a seemingly empathetic person asking the rapist and rape victim to equally share responsibility for rape.

Then there are those who say things like this ( in a comment on a post about rape satire no less):
Your body doesn’t belong to you after conception, any more than a soldier’s body belongs to him after enlisting, or a murderer’s after conviction. Your rights and privileges can be morally forfeited through your decisions. Any person too childish to accept this doesn’t deserve to participate in the political life of our republic.
Talk about emotionally detached. This view that a woman's body can possibly stop belonging to her is one that rapists and sexual exploiters hold dear. Once something is your property you can do whatever you want to it -- including destroy it.

From the analogies included, I assume that a wife's body belongs to her husband after marriage.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:58 AM   2 comments links to this post

Respect As Rape Prevention

I've been thinking about how blogging about the topic of rape requires so much focus on what not to do when it comes to sex. But a key to preventing rape and other forms of sexual abuse is for people to talk about what to do.

Acting with respect is a key to rape prevention. In fact, it may be the key to rape prevention.

Unfortunately, most abstinence-only sex education programs focus on, "Sex outside marriage bad, sex inside marriage good." Not much rape-prevention advice there.

Without respect from and for all involved, sex cannot be anything but negative and tainted. This is true even if it is committed within marriage. Everyone deserves to have all sexual contact be respectful contact.

This means that not even rapists deserve rape.

Once we start saying that there is anyone who deserves to be sexually abused or raped, we are saying that it's okay for some people to be sexual abusers and rapists. And that's something we should never do even by implication.

We must have a personal zero-tolerance policy for hurtful or disrespectful behavior. And the behavior of the person taking the sexual actions must be the focus rather than focusing on judging the moral innocence of the victim.

Many times people will say they want to have sex because of love, but without true respect -- for the other person and themselves -- that thing called love is a sham and can justify great harm. I'm far from the only person who was raped because the rapist wanted to express his "love."

"If you love me, you'll let me," should halt sexual interaction. This is blackmail that proves that claims of love are false. Love means never blackmailing or forcing yourself on the one you love.

Men who don't get why coercing someone sexually is disrespectful and criminal need to understand that they harm more than their victims. They taint themselves. Each act of sexual disrespect injects poison into their system. That poison is reactivated every time they see some aspect of themselves in a criminal defendant.

The reactivation will be a hunded times worse if they see an aspect of themselves when someone they genuinely love is violated or raped. I can't imagine how a father would feel if his daughter described the same actions he once inflicted on someone.

If someone looks at others as interchangable sexually or as living sex toys, they lack empathy and will have trouble when they find someone they want to cherish as a full human being. Without empathy, the other person's experience is often assumed to be a mirror experience, but other people aren't our mirrors.

And who can have a genuine relationship -- sexual or otherwise -- with a mirror? The answer is nobody.

Bad habits linger. A history of using others means not only unlearning destructive behavior patterns it means being clueless about constructive behavior patterns. It means being clueless about respect.

Respect should be learned and developed from the first touch. Unfortunately, there is plenty of pressure against this respect. To some being respectful seems unmanly since respectful sexual contact isn't about winning sex or scoring some sex. Being respectful means there will be times when we walk away from what we want even though we could have it by crossing the line.

For those who believe what they are doing sexually is wrong, disrespect may be a twisted way of minimizing that wrongness. "Yes, I did it, but I didn't fully embrace it." If people have internal conflicts about sex, they need to resolve those conflicts in ways that don't hurt other people.

If people don't require respect from others, that is not a green light to disrespect them. It's a sign that they have a history of being disrespected or abused. If they are treated disrespectfully, those doing so will be benefiting from sexual abusers and rapists.

Do you really want to owe your sexual activity to sexual abusers and rapists?

Ethically, we don't get a free pass because we are the second person or the one hundred and second person to exploit someone else's vulnerability.

We can't change our history related to sex and respect, but we can change our future by learning what it means to fully respect ourselves and others. Just know that change can be painful as we examine why respect has been absent.

Respect can be recognized if we know how to look for signs of its presence or absence.

If others won't give it to us, we have to learn how to grow our own and learn how to minimize the disrespect we receive.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:03 AM   1 comments links to this post

Friday, February 16, 2007

Tainted Brownie Case May Help Some Understand Flaws In The Rape Monster Myth

When it comes to sex crimes, many people justify their anti-victim stance by saying that the alleged criminal is clearly no monster, but as this case shows it doesn't take a monster to commit a serious crime which hurts another person or other people.

What seems to be a high school prank gone terribly wrong is getting no laughs from authorities. Collin Wayne Orth, a Lyle High School student, allegedly laced brownies with laxatives and served them to several students and school staff on Feb. 6. Later that day, seven employees and five students suffered symptoms of discomfort, diarrhea, stomach cramps and bloody stools. The 18-year-old is now facing two felony charges.
Lacing brownies with laxatives and serving those brownies to others is poisoning. Not a prank. Poisoning.

For those who hate to see non-monsters charged with felonies the key is to get those non-monsters to refrain from committing crimes rather than attacking victims for reporting crimes committed against them.

Part of that effort needs to be to stop giving actions such as this the label of prank or innocent mistake. When teens consider calling in a fake report of a bomb at their school because they'd really like the day off, they need to think of this action as making a terroristic threat rather than think of it as making a prank call.

The same is true of sex crimes. Everyone needs to stop giving sexual actions which are unwanted or manipulative or abusive the label of mistake.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:51 AM   0 comments links to this post

Another Adult Sex Offender Pretends To Be Underage

This story is different from the recent case in Arizona where an adult sex offender posed as a 12 year old when registering to attend school. This man with previous sex crime convictions in Minnesota and Colorado met his alleged victim at the Mall of America.

A convicted sex offender was arrested in Lakeville, Minn. for pretending to be younger than his 27 years of age in order to have sex with underage girls. According to the Lakeville Police Department, Scott Anthony Ellis, 27, convinced the family of a 15-year-old girl that he was 17 and homeless. He gave them a false name and they let him stay in their home.

The girl's parents, however, contacted police to see if they could help locate their guest's parents. When police brought Ellis in to check his background and told him they were going to scan his fingerprints, he admitted he had been using a false identity.

Many sex offenders, rather than looking like monsters, succeed because they look normal or helpless and then get others to care about them.

I don't know if this sex offender was homeless as he claimed, but this raises an important issue related to residency restrictions of sex offenders. More of them may go underground and then use their down and out status as a way to get sympathy from people who would never knowingly harbor a convicted sex offender.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:05 AM   0 comments links to this post

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Carnival Against Sexual Violence 17

Welcome to the Feb. 15, 2007 edition of the carnival against sexual violence.

Thank you to everyone who nominated a post or who wrote a post against sexual violence whether it was nominated/selected or not. Nominations that came in after the nomination deadline will be considered for the next edition of the carnival.

If you support the purpose of the carnival, you can help get the word out about it and all of the posts included in the carnival.

Here are the selections for the 17th edition of the carnival against sexual violence:


In Family Talk - A Way to Prevent Child Abuse posted at Child protection: serious business., we get a discussion about communication barriers that can make child abuse victims believe the adult non-victimizers in their family aren't trying to protect them or don't care about what happened to them.


In Wyoming could become `model for the nation' for rape case policy posted at Holly's Fight for Justice, we get an article by Kathleen Miller about a proposed change to Wyoming's rape shield laws so rape victims will have more confidence that irrelevant information about their sexual history will not be used in a criminal trial. Unfortunately, this proposal failed.

In DNA leads to suspect in '94 rape case posted at innocence blog, we get an article that discusses proposals for expanding the list of who must provide DNA samples.

In attempts to improve rape convictions stall posted at rhetorically speaking.., we get a discussion about recent studies about how investigators and prosecutors are handling or mishandling rape cases in the UK and how inconsistencies contribute to the low percentage of convictions in rape cases.

In Recidivism Math posted at Crime and Consequences, we get a discussion of the statistics behind the percentage of convicted sex offenders who "reoffend" when that statistic is really the percentage who reoffend and whose new offenses are reported and who are caught and who are convicted.

In Federal Email Registration Bill posted at Sex Crimes, we get information about a move in congress to pass a bill to get a list of all sex offender email addresses.

In Rape case man freed after police blunder posted at Holly's Fight for Justice, we learn about a case that resulted in a judge-ordered not-guilty verdict because a witness statement wasn't introduced until after the trial started. It's important to note that the evidence doesn't disprove that a rape occurred it just shows there was kissing and hand holding between the alleged victim and the alleged rapist prior to the alleged rape. Taking what looks to be a romantic stroll is not consent to sex.

In Another Man Accused of Stranger Rape Claims Sex Was Consensual posted at Abyss2hope, I discuss a case where the defendant uses the myths many men use when they oppose stronger rape laws and better -- and more respectful -- treatment of alleged victims by law enforcement and the criminal court systems.

In Not your Typical Sex Offenders posted at Sex Crimes, we learn about a case where women in positions of power at a group home for neglected youth are accused of sex crimes against a 16-year-old boy living in the home.

In Cops slammed for observing stoned addicts; deputy chief defends practice posted at HOLLY'S FIGHT TO STOP VIOLENCE, we get an article by Eliza Barlow that focuses on the ethicical questions behind a Drug Recognition Expert Training Program in Edmonton which used drug addicts as test subjects.

media watch

In TalkLeft on Maouloud Baby Case posted at Sex Crimes, we get a critical discussion of the legal position that if consent is withdrawn that it might be unwanted sex but it isn't rape.

In Acceptable And Unacceptable Voices of The Raped posted at Abyss2hope, I discuss the problem with one man's view about how the character played by Dakota Fanning in the film Hounddog isn't a worthy voice for silent rape victims because she didn't report her rape to the police or talk about it somewhere in the film.

In Failure to Protect posted at Sex Crimes, we get a review of law professor Eric Janus's book subtitled: America's Sexual Predator Laws And the Rise of the Preventive State. The review and the book address the legal issues around sex offender registries and discuss whether these laws provide the most effective method to prevent sexual violence.

In NY - Help is there for sexual abuse victims posted at Sadly Normal, we get information about the documentary "The Hand of God" which begins by exploring John Cultrera's personal experience as a survivor of priest abuse, but which ends up being a story much larger than that of one victim.

In Excuses and Justification posted at hazel8500, we get a discussion sparked by the documentary Children of God, which reunites ex second generation cult members, about how easy it is to blame the victims of sexual abuse.

In Pickton trial coverage misses the point posted at Feminist Toronto, we get a discussion about what details from the trial of an alleged murderer are worthy of being included in the local paper and which details further dehumanize the victims.

personal stories

In her nomination of The Purpose of this blog posted at Abyss2hope, Holly Desimone wrote, "I am truly honoured to read your story, see hope from your experience. You are a inspiration to many please considering posting this to show others about overcoming the pain of rape. Also the pain of the messiness..." So per Holly's request I'm including my very first blog post.

raising awareness

In New National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline posted at "Asking First" with Mike Domitrz, we get information about a valuable new resource.

In Nina And CFS posted at hazel8500, we get a discussion of the systemic failures that contribute to the vulnerability of children such as 13 year old murder victim Nina Courtpatte. Currently, Michael Briscoe, 36, and Joseph Laboucan, 21 are on trial on kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and first-degree murder charges.

In We continue to blame rape victims posted at BPS RESEARCH DIGEST, we get a discussion of a study done in Israel which showed that there is a relationship between victim blaming and how much punishment people believe rapists deserve.

In Bullies, bullying, and rape (part 2) posted at LongHairedWeirdo, we get the second in a multi-part series that helps to deconstruct the myth that all real rapists are total monsters and looks at familiar attitudes which can contribute to people deciding they have the right to take what they want.

In The Smear Campaign of the Abuser... posted at Holly's Fight for Justice, we learn about a systemic process that attempts to have the victimizer look like the victim and have the victim look like the victimizer by preemptively accusing the other person of cruelty. This strategy is used by more than those who abuse within established relationships. This strategy is used by many people, including defense attorneys, who want to recruit an audience to go after the innocent person with a naive sense that they are protecting the "real" victim.

In Respectful Relationship posted at Holly's Fight for Justice, we get information about how to use negotiation at the beginning of a dating relationship to communicate your physical, emotional and sexual boundaries and to ensure that what you want is compatible with the other person's wants and values.

In How to *really* prevent rape. posted at incurable hippie's musings and rants, we get a commentary that countering the 'how women should prevent rape' propaganda.

In Women's Rights in Asia posted at Holly's Fight for Justice, we get a report from Human Rights Watch about systemic human rights violations directed primarily at women.

In Are rapists getting away with it? posted at Staring At Empty Pages, we get a discussion of reactions to a BBC story on the low number of rape convictions that are predicated on the belief that the alleged victim did something wrong -- either to bring rape on herself or to call consensual sex a rape.

In The truth behind acquaintance rape posted at HOLLY'S FIGHT TO STOP VIOLENCE, we get an opinion piece by Karla S. Miller, the interim director, Rape Victim Advocacy Program in Iowa.

In Study to look at date rape in Cyprus posted at HOLLY'S FIGHT TO STOP VIOLENCE, we get an article by Alexia Saoulli about the study which will be released later this year titled: 'Date rape cases among young women and strategies for support and prevention.’

In That Bruise on the Face posted at Everyone needs therapy? Lessons from a family therapist, we get an examination of how women wear their scars and how even when we haven't DONE anything, our thoughts are often self-blaming.


In Minti - Parenting Advice - Teenage rape..........Some things we do to try to keep our kid safe........... posted at Parenting Advice, we get a discussion of the importance of teaching boys and girls about when sexual contact must stop for the interaction not to be rape.

In Call for submissions! posted at BLANK NOISE PROJECT, we learn about an upcoming blogathon scheduled for March 8 where participants will relate their action plans and their success stories.

In IMPACT Defense Against Multiple Assailants class posted at KitKat's Critique, we get a summary of what one woman learned at an IMPACT self-defense course which included understanding the group dynamics behind a gang attack so you can use that dynamic to your benefit. The information included can help people decide if they would want to take this type of class.

In DONATE TO HOME ALIVE posted at Allegory of the Cave, we learn about one rape survivor's efforts to raise money for a non-profit organization based in Seattle that was founded in 1993 after the rape and murder of local musician Mia Zapata.

creative expression

In Sabine "Rape" Hoax Year 2609 posted at Abyss2hope, I present a work of satire to show that the problem with published satire related to rape isn't simply that feminists have no sense of humor. Rather than mocking rape victims, this piece mocks rape apologists.


In It's Not Really About Sex posted at Mad Melancholic Feminista, we get a discussion about how image impacts sexual activity on college campuses.

That concludes the 17th edition of the carnival against sexual violence. Thank you for taking the time to visit this carnival and thank you to the authors of all the posts included in this edition.

The next submission deadline is Feb. 26 at 11 pm. The 18th edition will be out on Mar. 1.

To nominate a post (your own or someone else's) to the next edition of carnival against sexual violence, use our carnival submission form. Links to everything related to the carnival can be found on the blog dedicated to this carnival,

Marcella Chester

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:04 AM   4 comments links to this post

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Rapist Who Taunted Victim Over Lasting Impact Of Being Raped Sentenced

An Alaska man who used deception, from posing as a retired Marine to pretending to have stomach cramps, in order to get his victim where he could rape her was convicted.

When Edward Pezel held down and raped a 22-year-old member of the U.S. Air Force last May, he told the woman how the rape would affect her. Pezel told the woman that she would think about it every day.

He was right.

Now Pezel, 42, has a 20-year prison sentence to also think about the rape. In an emotion-filled hearing at the Rabinowitz Courthouse on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Robert Downes imposed the punishment along with another 10 years of suspended time.

From the way he so easily used deception throughout the process of this crime I doubt this is this man's first rape even though this was the first time he was charged with rape.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 2:04 PM   0 comments links to this post

Warning If You Look Overtly Sexual He Can Get Off In More Ways Than One

According to the defense for David Alex Park, he was overpowered by a motorist he stopped while on duty as a Irvine California police officer and was forced to perform a sexual act which resulted in his DNA evidence landing on her clothing.

Since that's his defense and he was found not guilty at his criminal trial, why isn't the woman who forced him being charged with a sex crime? Forcing someone to perform sexually against their will is a crime, after all. Women shouldn't be exempt when they force men, right?

The answer is simple. She forced him to do what he did by being "an overtly sexual person." Her power was so great that it took him out of his jurisdiction and made him pull her over on a secluded section of highway. This wasn't the first time she'd exerted her power over him. Four months earlier he'd stopped her and she was so powerful that he allegedly ignored the fact that she had broken several laws.

Maybe we should petition for a new criminal statute. Driving while sexy and female.

Too often it seems as if that type of statute is on the books when a woman is accused of lying about what was "clearly" (to far too many people) a consensual encounter. "Just look at her."

This man's defense should be considered not a valid defense but a demonstration of motive and rationalization. That it worked demonstrates how pervasive this motive and rationalization is in our society. No wonder so many girls and women are "raped" each year and then called liars for identifying themselves as real rape victims.

If a woman works at a place with the name Captian Cream Cabaret she becomes something less than fully human and treating her like a sex toy becomes normal manly behavior even when that man is an on-duty patrolman. This attitude is changing, but not quickly enough.

Since this defense was effective, those who are arrested for DUI should be able to claim that they are not criminals because they were overpowered by the alcohol. Cravings are cravings, right?

Yet in a DUI the driver's reason for getting behind the wheel doesn't matter. What matters is that driving drunk poses a danger. The same should be true in sex crimes. Why you violate others shouldn't matter in a trial. The prosecution can either prove that you did the crime or it can't.

No one disputes that an on-duty Irvine police officer got an erection and ejaculated on a motorist during an early-morning traffic stop in Laguna Beach. The female driver reported it, DNA testing confirmed it and officer David Alex Park finally admitted it. [...] A jury of one woman and 11 men—many white and in their 50s or 60s—agreed with [defense attorney] Stokke. On Feb. 2, after a half-day of deliberations, they found Park not guilty of three felony charges that he’d used his badge to win sexual favors during the December 2004 traffic stop.

Park, 31, was red-faced and unable to control his twitching foot in the moments before the verdict was announced; if convicted, he would have faced prison. When he was found not guilty, he briefly embraced Stokke. [...] Outside the courtroom, surrounded by his family, a smiling Park said he felt vindicated.


Veteran sex crimes prosecutor Shaddi Kamiabipour—who’d called Park “a predator” during the nine-day trial—said she was disappointed with the verdicts. She also dismissed Stokke’s contention that the Orange County District Attorney’s office had overcharged the case. At stake, Kamiabipour said, was the principle that no one—not even a horny cop who’d once won honors for community service—is above the law. “Park didn’t pick a housewife or a 17-year-old girl,” Kamiabipour said in her closing argument. “He picked a stripper. He picked the perfect victim.”

The key is "he picked" which means he decided that it was okay, while on-duty and while dealing with another person in an official capacity, to do what he did.

His actions were quite rational. And as this trial shows, he guessed right that he could find others who would see his actions as within the law.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:02 AM   3 comments links to this post

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cellphone Can Facilitate Teen Dating Abuse

The Christian Science Monitor has an article about dating violence which gets into some important issues and which highlights a new resource.

For teens, cellphones are an essential tool for everything from social networking to video games. For parents, knowing their child has a cellphone provides a sense of security. But for a substantial number of teens who are dating, communications on cellphones and computers are taking a turn toward obsession and abuse.

It's a side of kids' social lives that many parents aren't aware of, according to a study released last week by Liz Claiborne Inc. In partnership with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the company has also just launched, the first national website and 24-hour help line that specifically addresses teen dating abuse.

I can see how a cellphone can be used like a leash. The problem with leashes is that they destroy the relationship they are used to keep in line. A relationship needs to be just that to be healthy. A true relationship, not ownership.

If someone feels they own someone else they need to back off and figure out why they are so insecure. The overwhelming need to control someone else is evidence of an internal vacuum that no other person can fill. As small children we rely on adults to provide us with the sense of being loved, but as children reach their teens they need to learn an independant sense of being loved and being loveable.

They also need to understand that not all love is or should be unconditional. Healthy love has boundaries which diminish neither the person who loves or the person who is loved.

It isn't real love if you ever bully or coerce the person you claim to love to get them to be or do what you want.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 7:34 AM   1 comments links to this post

More On Edwards Bloggers And The Campaign Against Them

I have mixed feelings about the statement on the John Edwards blog since it fails to directly address the overall tone and tactics of all those who are working against more than the individual bloggers he hired.

My feelings were so mixed that I waited to post until I was sure Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan would remain on John Edwards staff.

I read an announcement on Pandagan from Amanda saying that she resigned from the Edwards campaign. That's the bad news. The good news is that by resigning, Amanda can defend herself without her actions reflecting on Edwards as her employer.

It looks like Bill Donohue may have violated the rules that make his organization, The Catholic League, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization when he demanded that Amanda and Melissa be fired.

The feeling I'm left with is that this attack on Amanda and Melissa is meant to send the message that anyone who directly challenges the propoganda of the right will be accused of being crude or anti-Christian by the use of selective quotes.

If there isn't a strong enough backlash against those who use this tactic, those who launch these attacks will feel free to run wild calling all liberals godless while shrugging off the torture of those under the control of US government and calling feminists who speak out against violence unworthy of participating in the political process.

Included near the end of a NY Times article about Edwards' decision to keep Amanda and Melissa, I found this:

Last November, while employed by Mr. McCain’s campaign, Mr. Hynes posted on his personal blog a picture of Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, and invited readers to submit nicknames, some of which were anti-Semitic.

[...] Mr. Hynes remained on the McCain campaign staff and maintained his personal blog.

That people like this faced no similar backlash as Amanda and Melissa speaks volumes and reveals the true motives behind efforts to get John Edwards to fire these 2 women.

Too many people will cry "bigot" against others without restraining their own bigotry. They also seem oblivious to the fact that bigotry is more than opposing another group's political position.

Here's part of John Edward's statement:

I've talked to Amanda and Melissa; they have both assured me that it was never their intention to malign anyone's faith, and I take them at their word. We're beginning a great debate about the future of our country, and we can't let it be hijacked. It will take discipline, focus, and courage to build the America we believe in.

For my previous thoughts on the push to have John Edwards fire Amanda and Melissa, read this.

Matt Browner has a Huff Post entry about this situation which addresses the dirty-tricks tactics that underly the attacks against Amanda and Melissa.

The debacle of unfounded accusations made against Rep. Pelosi over air travel arrangements for her as the speaker of the house is another example of the unethical tactics being used to unfairly undermine Democrats involved in our political process. The unfounded accusation has been repeated as if it were true and was even the butt of a SNL joke.

Frankly, if people have to resort to dirty tricks they are the ones who are dirty at the end of the day and that kind of dirt sticks no matter how many times they swear they aren't dirty.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:07 AM   0 comments links to this post