Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the News (15.8-22.8)

“A Honeypot For Assholes”: Inside Twitter’s 10-Year Failure To Stop Harassment via @cwarzel

On May 22, 2008, Ariel Waldman ran out of options. Waldman, then a community manager and blogger, had signed up for Twitter in March 2007 and in months had become one of the platform’s 100 most followed accounts. She was, by her own account, “addicted” to the service.

But soon after, the abuse began — for no reason other than that Waldman was a woman writing articles that occasionally touched on sex and technology. In June 2007, a stalker posted some of her private information in a string of threatening tweets. Waldman contacted Twitter, which banned the user in question from the public timeline. But over the next eight months, the targeted abuse and stalking intensified. By March 2008, exhausted and disillusioned by a torrent of tweets calling her a “cunt” and a “whore” and publicizing personal information like her email address, Waldman reached out to Twitter again, this time to the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey. After a series of phone calls to the company went nowhere, Dorsey and Twitter went silent. So in May, Waldman went public, detailing her ordeal in a blog post, which caught fire in media circles.  ...

Denmark rape: Three youths jailed as acquittal quashed (by Trine Baumbach)

When the perpetrators were acquitted in the spring, there was a great debate in Denmark, not just about the case but about rape in general.

Although the Danish justice system works, our legislation needs correcting because we focus too much on violence and coercion instead of consent.

We ask the perpetrator, 'Did the woman say no? Did she fight for herself?', instead of asking if she said yes.

The problem in this case was that the woman was unable to consent, so the main topic was whether she was in a state of mind in which she was unable to say no. But that is the wrong way to look at a rape case. It should have been whether she was able to say yes. ...

Sussex University stuck by senior lecturer who beat up student girlfriend by Rachel Pells

A senior lecturer convicted of beating a former student he was in a relationship with was allowed to continue teaching, despite the protests of his traumatised victim.

Dr Lee Salter, a media and communications lecturer at the University of Sussex, remains employed by the institution after being found guilty of assaulting Allison Smith, a 24-year-old student he met during an induction day at the university.

Salter was convicted of assault by beating and causing criminal damage to belongings at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 13 July this year.

Ms Smith had been punched in the face, knocked out and stamped on, and said she had salt poured into her eyes and ears.

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