Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Economics of Prevention And Advocacy

As I looked at my expenses for renewals of web domains, hosting and email the economic situation hit home, but the impact of the economy goes far beyond my budget and the choices I'll need to make related to money.

From Wyoming News:
CHEYENNE -- Prevent Child Abuse Wyoming will close its doors Thursday. The child advocacy organization lost a grant that provided most of its budget. The loss makes it difficult to remain open, especially when tough times have impacted the ability to raise donations, said Stacey Obrecht, president of the agency's board of directors. "It's hard economic times for nonprofits as a whole," she added.
This agency may not be the only one focused on prevention or recovery closing at the end of 2009 or at the end of current fiscal years.

I encourage all my readers to look at where your representatives are cutting direct and indirect funding and let them know that even in tight economic times that prevention is a smart and necessary investment.

If you have the ability to give this is the time to invest in those who are doing work that is important to you.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:04 AM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

When Commenters Go Beyond Making Accusations

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I realized that I forgot to highlight in yesterday's post where an anonymous comment by a person using the tag TooToo went beyond making an accusation against the alleged victim in the case of rape by intoxication.
Innocent people's lives ruined all because a promiscuous teenage girl who has a history of falsely accusing people of such acts to get out of trouble with parents. Sounds like a lawsuit in the making for not only her family but the Johnson county police department too........I think if this girl has any friends they might want to give her some advice and tell her she might want to drop the act now!
The portion of the comment I overlooked is after the "........"

What this person is suggesting is for this girl's friends to commit witness tampering. In most states this is a felony. This person is actively trying to incite people to commit a crime while pretending to support law abiding behavior.

This incitement itself should be a crime so that the police can get a search warrant to try to find out the identity of those who advocate for felony behavior and hold those who want others to commit felonies legally accountable for their role in the harassment of those who report rape.

Harassment of teenagers who report being raped isn't just common, too often it is the norm. This must change and those who contribute to harassment of anyone who reports having been raped is helping rapists no matter what the truth is behind a particular case since they are helping to foster an environment that is openly and actively hostile to rape victims.

One of the ways for these crimes to be deterred is for all those who advocate or attempt witness tampering in any form to be investigated and then prosecuted. If harassment is done in schools then students who harass should face serious consequences from school administrators.

While the original rape cases may be hard to prove to juries which may consist of people who buy into dangerous rape myths, witness tampering is often done in ways which leaves many witnesses or leaves a clear trail of evidence which proves those people's guilt. Unlike rapists they can't say the victim wanted the criminal actions and have a jury believe them.

The harm done by these people is real and in some cases this harm can be even more traumatic than the original rape. We must start treating those who perpetrate this harm in relation to the harm they do. When these people position themselves as against harm and for justice we must call them out on their lies. Doing so doesn't require making any assumptions about a pending legal case.

The person who witness tampers or advocates for witness tampering should not be allowed to claim as a defense that they genuinely believed that someone has been falsely accused. This belief does not undo the crime and it does not undo the harm these people do.

Those who excuse witness tampering because of their belief about a rape case or their belief about the commonness of false accusations likely wouldn't excuse those who commit felonies against rape defendants just because those other people are also acting on their genuine beliefs. If genuine belief about a case is a valid defense in the harassment of alleged victims then it must be a valid defense in crimes against alleged rapists.

I'm against both of these. The man (Jonathon Edington) who stabbed and killed his neighbor because he incorrectly believed that neighbor was a child molestor should have called the police instead if he believed his neighbor to be guilty. Edington's belief didn't prevent him from being convicted of first-degree manslaughter and that was the correct response by our legal system.

We need people to see this truth when those harmed are accused of lying about rape rather than having been accused of committing sex crimes.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:52 AM   1 comments links to this post

Monday, December 28, 2009

Anonymous Claims About Pending Rape Case

On the blog Crime Scene KC there's a post called Teen says she was raped while passed out where anonymous commenters are passing judgment against the teenage girl.

The first outright allegation against the 16-year-old girl comes from someone calling him or herself Pleasehelp:
The problem with this comment and the tone of most other comments which preceded it is and which follow it is that they are making criminal allegations while refusing to be personally accountable for doing so by providing their legal names.

This comment comes from someone using the id TooToo:
Innocent people's lives ruined all because a promiscuous teenage girl who has a history of falsely accusing people of such acts to get out of trouble with parents. Sounds like a lawsuit in the making for not only her family but the Johnson county police department too........I think if this girl has any friends they might want to give her some advice and tell her she might want to drop the act now!

The message they are sending is that girls shouldn't make serious criminal allegations which may be false and which could taint someone for life but anonymous commenters can and should do so.

Valid rape cases where the victim was incapacitated are notoriously difficult to prosecute and many times are dropped for this reason alone. Yet these types of accusations often leave people who do not understand how often sex criminals get away with their crimes, even when they are reported, to believe that dropped charges are proof that these anonymous accusations have been proven to be true when they have not.

Past allegations, if they were made by this girl, which didn't result in any convictions are not evidence that this girl ever falsely accused anyone. The ugly reality is that some children, and some adults, are subjected to repeated sexual assaults. To take a possible past injustice and use it as a pat excuse to dismiss a current charge is either to be incompetent or malicious.

The second possibility comes up often in the comments of news stories where people who often position themselves as supporting the constitutional right of "innocent until proven guilty" position themselves as against this constitutional right by what they write about alleged victims of sex crimes.

It's interesting that people who claim to be against unsubstantiated criminal accusations are making their own criminal accusations against the alleged victim in this case. If anyone believes they have proof against this girl they should go to the police not launch anonymous personal attacks on the Internet. Only 1 commenter used what might be a real name.

When news agencies and bloggers allow their websites and blogs to be used for people to make statements which may be slanderous, they have chosen to support possible slander through their inaction and this helps sex criminals and harms victims of sex crimes who have reported or are considering reporting.

Too often the responses to blog posts and news articles about specific cases feels like a concerted effort to tamper with the case without the person doing the tampering having any legal responsibilities for their actions.

This can be as damaging when the comments attack the original report by repeating popular misinformation since those types of comments can come across as having no axe to grind.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:44 AM   1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Victim vs Being Multifaceted Human Beings

As I've been reading a variety of articles and blog posts I was reminded of how some people respond to the stigma attached to victims of sex crimes by wanting to banish the word victim as if by doing so the stigma will magically disappear.

When I write about being raped I still use the word victim because that's what I was. I was a victim of a sex crime. When I say I was a victim of rape I am repeating a fact not playing the victim card.

The word victim doesn't strip me of my full human dimensions, people try to do that. The first person who did so was my rapist and many others continued where he started. Some of those people have made hostile statements about me which go far beyond anything my boyfriend/rapist said before, during or after he raped me. When they inform me that they are better human beings than my rapist (if I really was raped) they have no credibility.

Others mean well when they tell me I must use the word survivor instead, but there is something paternalistic and dehumanizing in being told to stop making a particular statement of fact.

When certain groups such as native women are victims of sex crimes at higher rates than other groups any victim-related stigma applied to them is a form of victim blaming. For there to be a stigma applied to certain victims those applying the stigma need to believe that these women must be doing something wrong which is causing them to be victims. This practice often turns sex criminals into passive beings rather than viewing sex criminals as humans who made choices to harm others of their own free will.

This overlooks important external factors which help sex criminals decide who to harm such as how rapes are prosecuted on and off native lands and how people view native women's sexual availability and sexual autonomy. The broadest external factor relates to attitudes about girls and women who drink alcohol so that messages directed at girls and women as an effort to help prevent sexual violence actually encourages those willing to commit sexual violence to rape those who have alcohol in their system by making victims the cause of most sex crimes.

These external factors are often ignored when the focus is on avoiding the V-word, but they are critically important if we are serious about preventing sexual violence. People who have the attitude that, "She's just a ...." are the ones denying that certain victims of sex crimes are multifacted human beings.

When people tell those who have been victims of sex crimes to stop being victims, they make victimhood something chosen by the victim.

We don't inform victims of identity theft that they must instead call themselves identity theft survivors. We can integrate the trauma involved with having someone steal a person's identity with being a multifaceted human being. That many people cannot do this when someone was a victim of sexual violence reflects on our troubling attitudes about sex crimes.

If people cannot integrate victim of sex crime with multifaceted human being then that contributes to sexual violence denial which contributes to the continuation of sexual violence. If it is clear someone is a multifaceted human being then by this twisted logic they could not have been a true victim of a sex crime.

We don't need to banish the word victim, we need to banish actions which victimize other people.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:43 AM   6 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MN Sen Al Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment Now Law

The amendment which banned defense contractors from requiring employees who are raped while on the job to go into binding arbitration has become law.

After the amendment passed the US senate despite 30 Republican senators voting against it (all men) there was some talk that the amendment would be stripped from the defense bill due to pressure from lobbyists and I'm glad that talk turned out to be hollow.

These sorts of laws are needed if we are serious about preventing sexual violence. Companies which allow violence need to be held accountable and if they prevent violence because it is the right thing to do they need to prevent violence because it is the economically smart thing to do.


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

Monday, December 21, 2009

Australia Report: Conceptualising Prevention of Sexual Assault and Role of Education

I found an interesting report on sexual assault prevention from Australia titled: Conceptualising Prevention of Sexual Assault and Role of Education by Moira Carmody.

Not counting references, it is 16 pages long and raises important issues. Some of her description of what different groups believed about gender (what was biological and what was social) in the history of efforts to stop sexual violence feels a little simplistic and may reflect the perception of certain groups more than they do the full reality of what those people believed. However, these limitations don't reduce the importance of this report and the need to consider the issues raised such as the problems of using the construct of "healthy relationship" in education meant to prevent sexual violence.

Because this report is on education, it only addresses non-educational aspects of primary prevention indirectly as they relate to education. The main discussion of non-educational aspects is about the lack of consistent funding and the lack of an overall strategy that has full, consistent support.

The most important take away I got from this report is that we need to look critically at educational prevention programs and we need to understand that just having something called primary prevention education doesn't mean having something that is effective at preventing sexual violence.

As I was reading this report I was envisioning a school where the unwanted activity was being ignored as it was happening at school by school employees (through a mix of apathy and hopelessness) and then a whistle blows and students are told to settle down and then are taught about the way they should behave and then at the end of the lesson a whistle blows again and the students and the school employees revert to their pre-prevention state.

When sexual violence or dating violence prevention education is in sharp contrast to the reality of a school and the community it is clear to me that education given to students cannot alone make any significant progress toward the goals of primary prevention. Fortunately, the realities of school environments and communities are not fixed.

We need to create environments where taking the appropriate action or refraining from taking the wrong action are supported and are easier and more natural choices.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:45 PM   1 comments links to this post

Friday, December 18, 2009

Where Do Children Learn To Be Sex Criminals? Nickolodeon?

Yesterday I attended the third meeting of the Olmsted County Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition, an effort which should be replicated in all counties, and learned that Nickelodeon has a popular website which features games for children that are deeply troubling.

They have a Perry the Sneak series of games where according to the Campaign for Commercial Free Childhood:
Nickelodeon, the children's media empire, is promoting sexualized and violent video games to children as young as preschoolers. Its popular gaming website,, features games such as Candy the Naughty Cheerleader, Bloody Day ("Back alley butchering has never been so much fun. . . . How many kills can you rack?") and the Perry the Sneak series, where gamers take the role of a peeping Tom trying to catch revealing glimpses of scantily clad and naked women. Nickelodeon promotes, and links directly to, on its website for children and even on, its website for preschoolers.
Any defense of these games as humor needs to be rejected. Humor doesn't nullify the impact of the messages being given to children and can often allow unacceptable and dangerous beliefs to take root because they are dismissed as not serious.

The Perry the Sneak games don't include physical violence but they reinforce dangerous messages and beliefs about who boys are "naturally" and are grouped with games that are overtly violent and which connect imposing suffering and even death on other characters with the gamers personal pleasure.

Some children who learn to enjoy these games may compartmentalize this game violence, but what people view as humor, even if it doesn't increase their amount of violence, can be threatening to others as those children grow. This environment of non-safety caused by someone "just playing" or "just joking" should never be minimized or denied.

There is no way to know for sure whether those who fantasize about committing violent crimes will act out those fantasies until it is too late.

An example which comes to mind happened this week in the Twin Cities.
The University of Minnesota mortuary science student was upset and angry after breaking up with her boyfriend, and told her Facebook friends that she was "looking forward to Monday's embalming therapy. ... Give me room, lots of aggression to be taken out with a trocar [a sharp surgical instrument used in embalming]."

Now she's banned from campus because three instructors in the mortuary science program felt threatened after being made aware of her Facebook posts, prompting a police investigation.

According to the police report, Amanda Tatro, 29, followed her first posting with one that read: "I still want to stab a certain someone in the throat with a trocar though. Hmmm ... perhaps I will spend the evening updating my 'Death List #5' and making friends with the crematory guy. I do know the code ..."

"Death List #5" is a reference to the movie "Kill Bill."

When Tatro got to class Monday, she was patted down and questioned by University of Minnesota police.
This type of glorification of violence is deeply troubling because while this particular woman may never go from wanting to stab someone to actually doing so, dating relationships do end in violence which can include murder. This ban was lifted, but the original ban which was in place until the situation and people's safety could be evaluated was absolutely the right action for the university to take.

All threats must be taken seriously and we cannot afford to dismiss any of them because someone doesn't understand why announcing her wish to stab someone in the throat when she is angry might make some of those around her feel unsafe.

There have been cases such as one in Washington state, where a man talked about planning to rape and murder a girl and those who heard his plans dismissed those plans as nothing more than a joke and failed to contact the police before a premeditated felony was committed. The girl survived being shot multiple times and then raped because she escaped and found someone who could help her in time, but if people didn't dismiss talk of committing violence as a joking matter that girl might have been spared that trauma of realizing how close she came to being murdered.

People learn different ways in which to respond to situations which make them angry and the media plays a role in which options feel acceptable. Those who joke about murder and who never would act out on those violent fantasies may be helping people like Travis Gillihan who have similar fantasies to go beyond just having violent fantasies and commit violent crimes. He likely told himself that he was no different from everyone else who ever expressed the wish to harm another person. Those non-violent jokesters helped him normalize his violence and that helped him turn his desire for violence into violent actions.

When it comes to sex crimes much of this harm is dismissed as not harming anyone because "it's just sex which many people enjoy." That some adults have trouble understanding the fundamental difference between experiences sexual violence and welcomed sexual interactions even when they have listened to survivors talk about their trauma makes it clear that it is dangerous to blur these lines in games directed at children.

Even victim's of peeping Tom's are harmed because their basic human rights have been violated. Some peeping Tom's go beyond non-consensual looking and normalization of boys ignoring girls and women's basic rights is very dangerous and is a contributor to violence against women.

What would be radical is to have a fun game where children are rewarded for respecting others boundaries and lose points or the game or are shown negative consequences for their character when they ignore or violate another character's boundaries.

I guess violence and violation are easier.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 1:31 PM   2 comments links to this post

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Warnings To Not Alienate Men

I came across a discussion which again turned to putting great effort into not alienating men when talking about violence against women and men's groups which put out misinformation to minimize both the rate of men's violence and the rate of women's victimization.

There is something inherently troubling to me about the call to effectively walk on eggshells when talking to men or trying to reach out to them as partners in reducing sexual and domestic violence. I guess it comes down to the fact that the core problem is something about the men who will quickly reject becoming partners in reducing or eliminating sexual and domestic violence and who will effectively side with abusers and rapists by refusing to acknowledge the gendered nature of this type of violence.

In comments of various blogs, men who initially claimed to be allies have declared that they will do even less to combat violence against women than they did before. Sometimes they will go so far as to declare if they see a woman being raped they will ignore the crime because feminists who oppose rape offended them.

To me these declarations expose those men as never having been true allies with women who are trying to stop sexual and domestic violence. This is the problem not how some women interacted with these men prior to their declaration that they would allow violence around them to flourish.

This harsh response from some men seems to come back to their issues of power and control. If those men cannot dictate how discussions about these issues are framed then women will suffer the consequences and since more than a thousand women die from sexual and domestic violence in the US alone each year thousands of deaths are positioned as acceptable by men who claim to be opposed to violence.

There is something troubling about people's attitudes if they are inherently more suspicious of girls and women who disclose being victims of domestic or sexual violence than they are of boys and men who deny being perpetrators of domestic or sexual violence. The mantra "women lie" seems to have taken hold and effectively screened out reality when violent boy's and men's clear motivation to lie becomes invisible.

When it comes to gang violence which is dominated by boys and men I see no calls to walk on eggshells when talking to men because of the gendered nature of this violence. Maybe the difference is that much of this violence is directed at other boys and men. Or maybe it is that the primary identification that men look at in this type of violence is gang membership while sexual and domestic violence cannot be localized to certain problem sub-groups of men.

A recent article in the Santa Fe Reporter highlighted the contrast between a particular MRA's PR and his self-positioning as a victim of the system because of his gender and his past behavior.
On the face of it, Joshua Gonze is a successful man.

A wealthy, fit and handsome 47-year-old executive at Thornburg Investment Management, Gonze has shared his financial expertise with CNBC, Bloomberg and USA Today. A vocal Libertarian, he campaigned for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign and organized “tea party” protests. A prominent member of Temple Beth Shalom, Gonze has described himself as “a happily married father in Santa Fe.”

Those words may have been true two years ago when they were published. But there is another side to this powerful man’s life, one that casts a troubling light on the views he has espoused.

Publicly, Gonze supports a controversial cause known as “fathers’ rights.” Less known is that for years, Gonze has been able to suppress and counter domestic abuse claims made by two former spouses. His latest ex-wife claims that on Aug. 18, Gonze threatened her with a 10-inch kitchen knife and “waterboarded” their 2-year-old daughter during a dispute over custody. On Dec. 1, in an open courtroom in Santa Fe, Gonze withdrew his own petition, in which he claimed his wife had lied about the incident, and that she was the “abusive” one prone to “hysterical rage.”
One of the biggest successes of men like Gonze is how blatantly anti-woman they can be while escaping the types of labels MRAs slap on women who they identify as their opponents. They throw around bogus labels like PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome) but their own efforts to alienate their children and others against their spouse or ex by making allegations against that person must never be labeled in a negative way lest we alienation truly non-violent or non-abusive men.

The problem with calls to talk to all men as if they are fragile creatures is this supposes that by default men side with domestic abusers and rapists and that any upset they feel based on gender differences related to violence will cause them to permanently become the allies of men who harm women and then claim they are the real victims.

I believe we need to address this directly with men. If they respond to the facts of how common sexual and domestic violence is by men against women and children by feeling defensive then they need to deal with those feelings. Yes, this might be difficult and it is much easier to view women who speak out against men who are violent as handy scapegoats. It is much easier to view one confirmed false report as what is most important in determining who they view as their allies rather than thinking about over 200,000 sexual assaults each year against those age 12 and above.

But if all some men want is what is easy then they should be honest about their easy support for this type of violence.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 10:21 AM   10 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From An Alleged Rapist's Mouth

As happens frequently men comment anonymously on my blog and reveal more than they intended.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Busting The Regret Not Rape Myth":
It's really a damn shame that you sit on your high psudo intelectual throne and call false rape and the regret element a myth!

Shame on you for being so simple and typical of feminist male hate. I am the author of the book [redacted title]. A college girl sucked my dick under the influence of alcohol and intoxicated by the idea of being with an athlete. She only regreted it after she was insulted for being so easy and slutty. Harsh words to call a college girl- no wonder she said it was rape 7 months later.

But don't listen to me- Mrs. "women don't lie about rape"... Listen to the lying bitch who put the hofstra university young men in jail for "gang rape"! You know as I, that If the Horney slut who had drunken sex totally legal, wasn't on the fucking cell phone video- she would be praised as a strong feminist survivor... And those poor innocent young men would rot in prison forever!

Get off your high horse and wake up.
This man's description is typical of those who have defended real sex crimes as nothing more than the victim's regret. Notice that this alleged liar isn't described as making the decision to give him what he wanted of her own free will. That's a red flag to me. His provided motive for this college woman is an allegation as is his claim that he was falsely accused.

Men who commit sex crimes almost always lie about it, but that is a fact this anonymous doesn't care to discuss. Who knows how many sex criminals are praised by people like anonymous as a strong survivor of a false accusation but he likely doesn't worry about poor innocent women forever labeled as false accusers when he and others who share his beliefs believe rapists.

Women are not to be believed according to this anonymous, but anonymous men who claim to have been falsely accused must be believed instantly or those who refuse to do so allegedly hate all men.

The delay in reporting which anonymous references is meaningless as proof of his innocence or as proof that what this woman felt was nothing more than regret of a truly consensual interaction. Most victims of sex crimes don't report immediately. Even if he genuinely viewed the alleged sex crime as no sex crime doesn't mean his perception is correct. Many rapists believe that as long as they don't use a knife or a gun and don't make overt threats that they are doing nothing illegal. They may even know that alcohol is needed to get the other person to take an action but view that needed leverage as meaningless.

When he references the Hofstra case he ignores the issue that this woman was not convicted and the fact that admissions of guilt can coerced by the police from innocent people. The contents of that cell phone video have been described so vaguely as to be meaningless and like videos which allegedly prove a man guilty of rape who has not been convicted, it is evidence at this point, not undeniable proof of anyone's guilt.

He also makes a provably false claim when he writes: "And those poor innocent young men would rot in prison forever!" This false claim ignores that according to RAINN if there is a prosecution there is only a 58% chance of a conviction and if there is a felony conviction there is only a 69% chance the convict will spend time in jail.

But the false narrative that men who are accused will easily be convicted and are likely to spend the rest of their lives in prison fits neatly with the overall "man as victim" narrative that anonymous is promoting.

It's important to note that I didn't say that there have been no fraudulent reports of rape. What I wrote about in the original post is a popular myth which was used to dismiss overt coercion of a girl who did not freely consent and who stopped struggling when that effort seemed futile.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 12:13 AM   7 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carnival Against Sexual Violence 84

Welcome to the December 15, 2009 edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence.

Quick FYI for those unfamiliar with blog carnivals and who wonder about this terminology, the term refers to collections of related blog posts. Check out for more information.

I'm now on Twitter as Abyss2hope so if you Twitter please follow me and then let me know you arrived from this blog through the @ reply or DM.

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 this edition of the carnival against sexual violence:


In Rape victim failed by cops posted at Harpymarx, we get a discussion of a rape case that sat forgotten until important evidence became impossible to collect and how victims in the UK are using the the Human Rights Act to push the police into handling rape cases properly.

In Excepted Exception: Appeal Reveals Limited Applicability Of Minnesota's Other Source Rape Shield Exception posted at EvidenceProf Blog, we get a discussion of a recent opinion of the Court of Appeals of Minnesota in State v. McBroom.

In Non Sex Case Which Highlights Different View Of Unintentional Harm posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open, I discuss a case where a teenage boy picked up a gun which he said he believed was unloaded and killed another boy at a party and how that boy is still legally responsible for the harm he did and how this contrasts with how many people view the prosecution of rapists who claim ignorance about their victim's lack of consent.

media watch

In Walk the Line posted at Change Happens, we get a discussion of a public service campaign against “digital abuse” by MTV.

In Rapist's Lies Just Bad Judgment If Rapist Drunk? posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open, I discuss the response given by Ask Amy advice columnist Amy Dickerson and how she dismisses the clarity of a rapist's actions which indicate premeditation and instead sees rape as a side effect of a man's drinking.

In Ask Amy to Reader: "How dare you call me a "rape apologist"" posted at The Sexist, we get a discussion of the response by an advice columnist to the backlash against her advice to a college student.

In Today in Rape Culture posted at Shakespeare's Sister, we get a discussion about advice columnist Amy Dickerson's rejection of accusations she blamed the victim while continuing to put the responsibility for rape onto the victim by exhorting the woman who wrote to her to to "do everything possible to stay safe in the future."

In Student Uses Negative Publicity for Good, Not Evil posted at Change Happens we get a discussion about how a University of North Dakota student, Josh Brorby who wrote failed satire acknowledged that his motives didn't excuse his failure in his first attempt to highlight important issues about how some college men treat women.

personal stories

In Personal Lasting Impact Of Sexual Violence posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open, I discuss being triggered in a way which brought back symptoms I'd assumed were gone forever.

In Rape and Racism: Why Tufts didn't care I was Raped posted at Tufts University Survivors of Rape, we get a discussion about racism can contribute to survivors' reports being ignored or dismissed and the impact that can have on the survivor.

raising awareness

In Father's Rights and Violence Against Women posted at Living The Single Life, we get a discussion of the ‘fathers’ rights’ movement's efforts which are an organized backlash against work being done to combat and reduce violence against women and how they put father's access above children's safety.

In The language of rape culture posted at Genius With a Parachute, we get a discussion of how some types of swearing can reinforce rape culture.

In Why Demanding Communication of Lack of Consent Is Dangerous posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open, I discuss how a too common opinion that rape victims must do something to communicate lack of consent contributed to the beliefs behind a ruling in Connecticut which overturned a sexual assault conviction of a woman with severe disabilities because the appeals court ruled she doesn't meet the standard of physically helpless.


In Not the same person posted at Rape Me Please, we get a quick musing on the changes that take place to an individual after rape.


In 'A Culture of Silence': Sexual Assault on Campus posted at Kay Steiger, we get a discussion of a report released by The Center for Public Integrity about sexual assault on college campuses.

That concludes this 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.

To nominate a post (your own or someone else's) to the next edition of carnival against sexual violence, use the carnival submission form. If you have any problem with the form, please let me know so your submission can be considered for the next edition.

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 @ 12:05 AM   0 comments links to this post

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Semantics Of Dealing With Men Who Take Predatory Approach To Women

When people defend what they wrote related to boys or men's predatory behavior by merely explaining it was satire that is as great of a failure as the original "satire." For this reason the apology by University of North Dakota student Josh Brorby stands out in sharp contrast.

Here's the opening:

Two weeks ago, an article I submitted to the Dakota Student entitled "One Night Standing: The Method" was published and sent out across campus. The article, in my mind, was a satirical piece attempting to get predatory men across our University to take a long, hard look at themselves and their behavior.

However, I realize now that this issue is too serious to use in satire - too serious to be treated so lightly in any way whatsoever.

I was wrong to think that humor could be used to look at a problem that is so visceral and prevalent in universities. In the article - no matter how each individual received it - I did not take into account the fact that many women have dealt with situations incredibly similar to the one I presented. I did not consider that in writing a satirical piece on such a personal issue, I was taking my position as a man for granted, ignoring the fact that such humorous overtones allow men who may think like the satirical character created to feel okay with their behavior, or to joke about deep sexual issues. The approach I took (I now know) did not address the issue in a way that could help; it only propagated the intense and still-existent rape/predatory culture that pervades our society.

For this, I am truly sorry, and I apologize to all readers of the Dakota Student. It was a gross mistake on my part to submit the piece.
The article continues and I urge everyone to read it in its entirety.

The context of his actions are not given as an excuse since Brorby has not taken the most common path of defending what he wrote while slamming those who criticized him or the original piece. This difference may seem slight to some people but it is a critical difference.

Those who take a defensive posture resist learning anything meaningful and compound their original blunder by viewing those who criticize them as the only people who are in the wrong. This posture requires the stock claim that those who had a problem with a particular piece of satire have no sense of humor.

Their self-image as people who are in the right has become more important than actually being part of the solution rather than being part of the problem. Unfortunately, too often there is more support for those who defend "satire" which hurts those who have already been harmed than there is for those who are willing to reassess what they've written and how they've approached an issue.

This is true beyond "satire" and has an impact on primary prevention since that effort focuses on how our environments currently support sexual violence and how changes in our environment can reduce people's rationalizations for committing sexual violence.

When people simply defend what they've done in the past because they don't want to acknowledge where they have failed, even unintentionally, they block positive change and they are actively working against disclaimers they make in their defense.

I see this most frequently when people write or talk about empowering potential rape victims to be safer. What is positioned as empowerment is rarely true empowerment. Instead this "empowerment" is nothing more than the shifting of a sex criminal's responsibility onto victims and potential victims. This shift contributes to the violence these people want to prevent by making it easier for those who choose violence to find reasons they are not responsible for their own actions.

Just as a victim focus minimizes the sex criminal's sense of responsibility, a satirical approach minimizes the sex criminal's sense that the offense is anything more severe than bad manners.

As Brorby seems to have learned you don't oppose predatory sexual behavior at a meaningful level by mocking it. To oppose predatory sexual behavior you need to treat that behavior as a serious problem.

I'll close with his words:
Rape is the logical conclusion of this mode of thinking. When a man begins to view sex simply as an arena in which to attain power - to get pats-on-the-back or a personal feeling of accomplishment - the proverbial seed has already sprouted. Rape is a showing of power, a grasping for control over somebody. When a man dehumanizes a woman in his own mind, he is already crossing the line.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:40 AM   1 comments links to this post

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Need Nominations For Carnival Against Sexual Violence

Saturday night at 11 pm is the next deadline for the Carnival Against Sexual Violence so please take a few minutes and nominate a post you've written or a post you've read.

Because of the holidays I'm a little low on nominations which is why this reminder is out a little earlier than normal.

For anyone unfamiliar with blog carnivals, these are collections of blog posts on a variety of topics. You can browse the list of carnivals some of which are active and others which are not.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:07 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Support Work I'm Doing

In 2010 all of my domains, hosting and email accounts are up for renewal. In addition to own abyss2hope I have the Date Rape Is Real Rape website.

When I checked the amount I got sticker shock. I've been accused by rape apologists of profiting from rape, but the reality is that my online presence costs me more than I bring in through ads on the website and donations.

If you support what I'm doing and can spare a few dollars please consider donating directly.

You can also support what I'm doing by shopping at or buying their gift cards from my site. The associate's program allows you to support what I'm doing for no extra cash.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:40 AM   4 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Investigation Into Sexual Assaults On College Campuses

The Center For Public Integrity released a 3-part series last week which highlights important information about sexual violence on college campuses.

From Sexual Assault on Campus Shrouded in Secrecy (First in a Series)
High Rates of Rape, Closed Hearings, and Confusing Laws

Three hours into deliberations by the University of Virginia’s Sexual Assault Board, UVA junior Kathryn Russell sat with her mother in a closet-like room in sprawling Peabody Hall. Down the corridor, two professors and two students were deciding her fate. Russell was replaying in her mind, endlessly, details of her allegations of rape when, she remembers, Shamim Sisson, the board chair, stepped into the room and delivered the order: You can’t talk about the verdict to anyone.

That stern admonition was a reminder of the silence Russell had been keeping since, she says, she struggled to break free from a fellow student’s grip in her dorm. That’s the account she gave local authorities, who declined to prosecute. And that’s what, in May 2004, she told the UVA Sexual Assault Board, whose decision she’d considered “my last resort.”

Russell stands among the tiny minority of students who have pursued rape complaints in the college judicial system — 33 at UVA, a school of 21,057 students, since 1998. She became well-versed in the confidential nature of the process as described in the school’s 2004 written procedures. Deans repeated the blanket stipulation to her “ad nauseam,” she says, throughout her three-month proceeding. The school later defended its mandatory confidentiality policy before the U.S. Department of Education even while softening the language.

Relating the gag order back in the room, Sisson, Russell says, provided a strong incentive to keep quiet: If you talk of the verdict, you’ll face disciplinary charges

I wish I were surprised by this threat, but this reflects a mindset where the perception of safety is placed above the actual safety of students. Thankfully the Dept. of Education ruled this policy to be in violation with the law.

What's striking to me is the pervasive conflict between what administrators say and what they do. College rape victims are publicly encouraged to report and yet the systems in place to respond to reports of rapes often make this encouraged action pointless at best. It doesn't matter if administrators don't intend to create hostile environments since incompetence in a particular area can be as damaging as systems set up and maintained with malice toward rape victims.

I encourage everyone to read the entire series. Part 2: Barriers Curb Reporting on Campus Sexual Assault. Part 3: Campus Sexual Assault Statistics Don’t Add Up

Thank you to everyone at the Center For Public Integrity especially to Kristen Lombardi and Kristin Jones who wrote different parts of this series.

What this series highlights for me is why sexual assault of college women is so common and it tells me that this rate is not fixed. If systems can enable rapists getting away with their crimes then they can disenable rapists as well.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 9:24 AM   6 comments links to this post

Monday, December 07, 2009

Personal Lasting Impact Of Sexual Violence

My lingering wound from being raped might not be visible but it will always be with me and has had a permanent impact on my life. This is something I forget at times.

During the reception for the Minnesota Summit I was thinking with a slight bit of smugness that I had worked my way to being completely past the PTSD portion of my trauma, but what I felt Saturday night took me right back there.

On Saturday evening I was briefly overwhelmed with the type of feelings which near the 1 year anniversary of my rape caused me to have what seemed to be an unexplainable crying jag.

Back then the trigger wasn't a specific date but the arrival of spring and students beginning the countdown to the end of the school year. That anticipation of summer was linked emotionally with my being raped. That same spring I almost died of alcohol poisoning. The need for relief from an overpowering physiological response made me not care about anything but relief from my inner pain. After that experience with alcohol poisoning, I coped by blocking thoughts and feelings to the point that at times I felt like I no longer had any deep emotions. That got me through some rough times but at a high cost.

I'm glad that I'm able to connect with all of who I am and therefore able again to truly connect with others, but that connection allows pain as well as joy.

On Saturday it was something that was no more threatening intrinsically than the coming of spring, but it tapped into feelings associated with the knowledge of potentially dangerous situations that most people either never think about or can tune out. It has been 35 years since I was raped, but the impact of that rape was able to swamp me.

This isn't helped by the continuing presence of victim blaming where not viewing every man who promises to respect your boundaries as a likely rapist is described as being not a victim of a rapist but a "victim of your own awful judgment" and where the actions of a rapist are minimized to the point where we need to defer to rapists before defining rape as rape.

Because this was a physiological response, logic and understanding couldn't make that response go away. However, because I now understand what is going on I have better means to cope with this response. I know that if the trigger repeats I will need to adjust my life to eliminate or reduce the trigger and that this need says nothing negative about me as a person.

This isn't running away or cowardice, it is self-care. This self-care can be limiting in ways that don't make sense to people who do not acknowledge or understand the lasting damage that can done by rape. As I look back at some of the decisions I made which at that time I labeled as irrational, I see they were rational and linked directly to my trauma.

I try to balance everything while being connected to my trauma, but there will be times when that is so very difficult. These are the times when I just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other until I get through the rough times.

This reality which many people continue to deny is why primary prevention of sexual harm is imperative to me. Nobody deserves this kind of trauma and it is not the consequence of wrongly assuming other people are not rapists any more than being hit head on is the consequence of assuming that trucks on the freeway won't cross the median and strike you head on.
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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:41 AM   12 comments links to this post

Friday, December 04, 2009

Non Sex Case Which Highlights Different View Of Unintentional Harm

While talking to other attendees at last night's MN Summit reception, I mentioned how different people's perceptions are when someone kills another person while playing with a gun.

From KSTP TV in the Twin Cities:
A 16-year-old St. Paul boy has been charged with second-degree manslaughter for allegedly shooting another teen in the head on Thanksgiving morning, killing him.

The Ramsey County Attorney's Office charged the 16-year-old on Tuesday by juvenile petition. Prosecutors are seeking to try him as an adult.

They say he shot 15-year-old Darion Joseph Smith, after a group of friends had been playing Russian roulette with an unloaded .22-caliber handgun. According to the criminal complaint, a witness heard the suspect say he didn't know the gun was loaded when he fired at Smith.
When a boy makes a decision which harms another person this case shows us that being negligent, with no proof of malicious intent, is a serious matter. Yet many people who will acknowledge this and support accountability for harming another human being when a gun is involved won't do so when the harm is sexual. They may believe rape victims who didn't consent yet will oppose any criminal charges against rapists who claim ignorance about that non-consent and who did nothing meaningful to ensure they actually had freely given consent.

There are many excuses for this. The heart of most of these excuses is victim blaming. Agreeing to be with someone who turns out to be a rapist can be enough of a reason for many people to resist holding that rapist morally or legally accountable. In this case where a boy was killed, victim blaming would be just as easy based on the facts of the case. But many people who rush to blame rape victims aren't so quick to use the same details (being there, for example) to blame the victim of a shooting and to excuse the boy who shot him.

If we are serious about preventing sexual violence we need to take the harm from sexual violence as seriously as we take the harm from a gunshot wound. Victims of both can end up dead.

Too often people refuse to acknowledge harm which they cannot measure simply by looking at the victim's body immediately after the harm is done. They don't know or don't care about research done which shows that sexual violence has a long-lasting impact. A rape survivor's suicide is too often completely disconnected from the person who proceeded without freely given consent in the thinking of people who consider themselves to be 100% opposed to rape.

Just as it is an individual's responsibility to make absolutely sure an unloaded gun really is unloaded before picking up that gun, it must be an individual's responsibility to ensure that any assumptions made about someone's state of consent before beginning sexual contact or before taking contact to a new level are absolutely correct.

Just as it isn't a valid excuse that the gun had no bullets hours earlier it shouldn't be a valid excuse that someone had previously consented sexually. Guessing before firing a gun is criminally negligent and guessing before sexual contact or action also needs to be viewed and treated as criminally negligent.

The harm from sexual assault is real no matter the perpetrator's intentions. It's past time we treated it accordingly in how we talk about sex, rape and in how rape is investigated and prosecuted.

As long as we accept, "He meant no harm," as a reason to tolerate certain behavior we are allowing sexual harm to flourish.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 5:11 PM   1 comments links to this post

Thursday, December 03, 2009

MN Summit on Sexual Violence Prevention Kicks Off Today

I'll be attending this evening's reception which kicks off the Minnesota Summit. While I won't be attending tomorrow's full day session, it will be well represented by both topic experts and community leaders.

I'm thrilled that both the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press published opinion pieces supporting the effort of primary prevention.

In late November the Albert Lea Tribune published a guest piece by Patty Wetterling about the primary prevention of sexual violence and the Minnesota Summit. She was also in the St. Cloud Times.

Too often when sexual violence is the focus in the media it is about what goes horribly wrong or it involves statements that get the reality of sexual violence appallingly and dangerously wrong such as the recent Ask Amy column in the Chicago Tribune.

Primary prevention of sexual violence is not an insurmountable task. Research has shown that rapists make choices to rape. Those choices can be supported by pervasive victim blaming (rape as a lesson to teach women and girls not to drink and rape as something victims ask for in some way, for example) and they can be supported by denial of rape by those who are not obvious monsters.

However, those choices can be opposed while only choices which respect other people's bodily autonomy are supported. All sexually violent actions can be seen as unacceptable with no excuses allowed.

This contribution for or against sexual violence is within each person's control. The power of this contribution is immense. Those who sexually harm others or who are tempted to do so are listening, hoping for you to support them. Just as I know that disclaimers are meaningless so do they. When people say, "I don't support rape, but ..." rapists anticipate the help they are about to get.

We need to be as passionate about this effort as we are when a high profile attack happens after a systemic failure because that's the context of most acts of sexual violence. We cannot be complacent just because most failures are pervasive rather than specific such as then Gov. Huckabee commuting the sentence of Maurice Clemmons who went on to rape a girl and murder 4 police officers.

Huckabee supported the release of rapist Wayne DuMond who after his release for raping a distant relative of Bill Clinton raped and murdered at least 1 woman. DuMond was awaiting trial on a second woman's murder when he died in prison. The reasons for Huckabee's bad decisions which contributed to innocent people's murders reflect on what so many people believe such as letting who the victim is and letting the perpetrator's visible signs of remorse or repentance overwhelm the facts of those cases.

Primary prevention is about preventing perpetration rather than being focused on preventing victimization. The second focus leaves the core problem of sexual violence intact and too often causes people to be tightly focused on judging the actions of sex crime victims sometimes to the point of making those who choose to be sexually violent passive agents while victims who are publicly condemned or worse the sexually violent can be positioned as victims of the victim's choices.

Victims don't tempt people into rape. Society does when rapists are excused because they raped someone who committed the non-crime of flirting.

We need a no tolerance policy for the excuses which empower rapists and anyone who commits sexual harm.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:36 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Rapist's Lies Just Bad Judgment If Rapist Drunk?

From the Chicago Tribune's Ask Amy column:

Dear Amy: I recently attended a frat party, got drunk and made some bad decisions. I let a guy take me to "his" room because he promised that he wouldn't do anything I wasn't comfortable with. Many times, I clearly said I didn't want to have sex, and he promised to my face that he wouldn't.

Then he quickly proceeded to go against what he "promised." I was shocked, and maybe being intoxicated made my reaction time a bit slow in realizing what was happening. [...]
This situation of a young woman getting clear agreement on limits before being alone with a young man and then having that clear agreement immediately disregarded is one where too many people see the person at primary fault as the young woman who didn't assume the young man was a liar and a rapist even if everything else about him made him seem like a non-rapist.

Ask Amy columnist responds accordingly:

Dear Victim?: First of all, thank you. I hope your letter will be posted on college bulletin boards everywhere. Were you a victim? Yes.

First, you were a victim of your own awful judgment. Getting drunk at a frat house is a hazardous choice for anyone to make because of the risk (some might say a likelihood) that you will engage in unwise or unwanted sexual contact. You don't say whether the guy was also drunk. If so, his judgment was also impaired. No matter what -- no means no. If you say no beforehand, then the sex shouldn't happen. If you say no while its happening, then the sex should stop.
No, Amy, she was not a victim of her own awful judgment. She was a victim of someone who premeditated rape. That you confuse these two shows your awful judgment.

Nothing this young woman described indicates in any way that she engaged in unwise or unwanted sexual contact. Getting drunk at a frat house is only hazardous because of the risk of alcohol poisoning and because of the presence of young men who feel entitled to rape young women who drink alcohol and who believe they can get away with this crime.

That this young woman says she was too shocked at the quick transformation of a decent guy into a rapist to kick or fight doesn't negate the reality of what she experienced. Taking advantage of someone's shock is a premeditated act not a result of any confusion.

It doesn't matter if the young man was drunk since he was clearly sober enough to assure this woman that he understood and respected her boundaries and when they were alone he was able to quickly shift from "safe guy" to "rapist guy."

This behavior has been studied by researchers like professor David Lisak who has debunked the idea that this young man's actions can be dismissed as simply a matter of impaired judgment. That you are not a journalist doesn't excuse you from your personal responsibility for spreading misinformation. Please read the rape fact sheet (pdf) and Understanding the Predatory Nature of Sexual Violence (pdf) he wrote before you write or say another word about this letter to you or about rape.

Not assuming that someone, even a frat boy, who seems like a decent human being will commit rape at the first opportunity is not what makes someone a victim. Being in the presence of someone who is only pretending to be a decent human being and who then commits rape is what makes someone a victim.

The primary hazard doesn't come from this situation, it comes from rapists who know how a large number of people will respond to disclosures of sexual violence committed in this situation. You in your position as the Ask Amy advice columnist may think you make it clear that you're against rape, but because of the context you fail to be clearly against all rapes and instead become an ally to this young woman's rapist.

This response makes rape at frat parties normal and the rightful consequence of a girl or woman getting drunk at a frat house. Any subsequent backtracking that "no means no" becomes meaningless butt covering. This undermines the concept that each of us has a legal right to bodily autonomy no matter what we do or how vulnerable we are.

Amy then goes on to quote from the RAINN website and offer practical advice on STDs and pregnancy prevention before going off-track again.

See a counselor to determine how you want to approach this. You must involve the guy in question in order to determine what happened and because he absolutely must take responsibility and face the consequences for his actions, just as you are prepared to do. He may have done this before.
There is no need to do more to determine what happened. She did not consent and he understood she wasn't going to consent. Involving the man in this suggested way opens the door to a multitude of excuses for his decision to disregard her clear sexual boundaries and his choice to commit rape.

He indeed may have done "this" before but by not naming "this" as rape Ask Amy reduces or eliminates his personal responsibility for his actions and undermines the rightful consequences for rape.

This is not only backwards thinking, it assumes that all young men are premeditated rapists who will rape at the first opportunity while on a practical level excusing them for doing just that. Without this assumption of all men (or all frat men) being rapists, any view of this young woman as being a victim of her own bad judgment is nonsense.

If frat parties are this dangerous then those who host these parties should be held legally responsible for creating situations where rape is frequently presented as a natural consequence of girls or women attending.

This young woman's supposed bad judgment is a direct result of people who repeatedly tell young women that non-stranger rape can be avoided if they have the good judgment to just clearly communicate their boundaries and ensure those boundaries are clearly understood.

If young women believe this so-called rape prevention advice and are raped anyway those people aren't likely to admit that they are steering young women dangerously wrong. Instead they will find another reason to make rape the consequence of the rape victim's decisions.

This backwards view of rape as the consequence of the victim's actions must stop if we are serious about wanting to prevent rape. Until rape is rightly viewed as a consequence of rapists' actions and choices and those people are always viewed as those who should be held legally and morally responsible for the sexual violence then rape will continue to be appallingly common.


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posted by Marcella Chester @ 11:23 AM   5 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Carnival Against Sexual Violence 83

Welcome to the December 1, 2009 edition of the Carnival Against Sexual Violence.

Quick FYI for those unfamiliar with blog carnivals and who wonder about this terminology, the term refers to collections of related blog posts. Check out for more information.

I'm now on Twitter as Abyss2hope so if you Twitter please follow me and then let me know you arrived from this blog through the @ reply or DM.

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 this edition of the carnival against sexual violence:


In He walks the wooded trail, she walks the well-lit road posted at Stop Street Harassment!, we get a discussion about how often gender-based violence negatively influences the choices of women who haven't been personally victimized.


In Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic Supports “No-Condoms-as-Evidence-of–Prostitution” Bill posted at Gender & Sexuality Law Blog, we get a discussion about the often conflicting goals of wanting to collect DNA evidence and wanting to reduce sexually transmitted diseases.

In U.S. Sailor Acquitted of Rape, Despite Admission of Physical Force posted at The Curvature, we get a discussion about how bigoted attitudes trump evidence.

In Judge Advocate?: Court Of Appeals Of Ohio Finds Judge Didn't Abuse Discretion By Asking 89 Questions To Witness In Domestic Violence Trial posted at EvidenceProf Blog, we get a discussion of a case where the defense attorney wanted a conviction overturned because of the number of questions the judge asked the victim in the case.

In NJ Parole Board Finds Sex Offender Polygraph Testing Effective posted at Sex Crimes, we get a discussion of post-conviction testing.

In Should Lawyers Be Banned From Having Sex With Their Clients? posted at Above the Law, we get a discussion about the balance between wanting to ensure ethical behavior and confidentiality issues.

media watch

In Rape Kit Backlog and Systemic Problems In Rape Investigations posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open, I discuss the CBS news report about the current state of rape investigations in the US.

In Hey You "Pussies" Pretend To Hit "B*tches" And Become A "Gangsta" While You Learn About Violence Against Women posted at Feminist Peace Network, we get a discussion of a Danish awareness campaign which encourages virtual violence against a woman in an effort to discourage violence against women as being cool.

In Dispatch Series on Domestic Violence is Excellent posted at The Madrigal Maniac, we get a discussion of reporting on the fear, pain, and obstacles to justice that victims of domestic violence face.

personal stories

In I am Strong but Fragile - What Rape Does to Your Life posted at A Place to Talk about Rape, we get a discussion about how feeling unsafe as a child, being molested and raped and raped again as a teen, can lead to issues as an adult.

In Gun To My Temple posted at Always Musing, we get a survivor's recounting of how her sister's boyfriend exploited her fear in various ways prior to rape.

In Edge of Destruction posted at rmott62, we get a discussion of how an external victory can be followed by internal turmoil.

raising awareness

In Stats about sexual violence in college against women posted at Tufts University Survivors of Rape, we get important information for those in college and for those who will being going to college.

In RCASA Friday Facts: Sexual Harassment? A Guide for Teens posted at Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault Blog, we get a discussion about the difference between flirting and sexual harassment and what teens can do if they are being harassed.

In Fundamental Conflict Between Rape As Crime Second Only To Murder And Proceeding When Other Person's Willingness Not Certain posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open, I discuss how disclaimers are meaningless when people tolerate actions which are not genuinely consensual.


In Violence Unsilenced: Trauma and Bearing Witness posted at Dr. Kathleen Young: Treating Trauma in Chicago, we get a discussion of a site which allows survivors to gain connections and find ways to break their silence.


In Homelessness and Sexual Assault posted at abyss2hope: A rape survivor's zigzag journey into the open, I discuss Australian research on how sexual violence prior to or during homelessness require a trauma-informed approach to services for the homeless.

In Meet The Predators: But Which Ones? posted at The Curvature, we get a discussion of how the surveys asking men about their sexual violence misses some men who have been sexually violent because of the limited scope of the actions measured.

In Predator Redux posted at Yes Means Yes Blog, we get a detailed discussion of research on sexually violent men done by professor David Lisak.

That concludes this 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.

To nominate a post (your own or someone else's) to the next edition of carnival against sexual violence, use the carnival submission form. If you have any problem with the form, please let me know so your submission can be considered for the next edition.

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 @ 12:03 AM   0 comments links to this post