Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the News 27.6 – 4.7

Why Germans Are So Angry About This Rape Case by Anna Silman

As the Stanford rape case has sparked a flurry of debate over the way U.S. courts fail to punish rapists, in Germany, another case is igniting a movement to reform Germany’s retrograde sexual-assault laws.

German model and reality-TV star Gina-Lisa Lohfink claimed that two men drugged and raped her after a night out at a German nightclub back in 2012. According to German media, the men then posted a video of the assault online (which has since been removed), in which Lohfink can be heard saying “stop it, stop it” and “no.” Yet in a legal ruling earlier this month, the court found no evidence of rape and demanded Lohfink pay her attackers 24,000 euros for providing false testimony. Lohfink is currently appealing the decision. ...

Donald Trump's rape metaphor says a lot about his views by @schemaly

Last night, just days after appearing before what seemed to be an actual heap of heap of trash, Donald Trump compared the effects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on America to rape. The TPP, he explained, is “...pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country — that’s what it is too, it’s a harsh word.”  In case listeners didn’t get it the first time, he continued, “It’s a rape of our country.” Trump used similar language in May when he said “we can’t continue to allow China to rape our country.”

Using rape to describe competition and defeat is common, but ubiquity doesn’t make the metaphor any less repugnant or harmful. The meaning of the word and the impact of the human rights violation it represents are lost when “rape” is abstracted like this. The violence and damage are erased in favor of sloppy sexism and, almost inevitably, racism. Using the word the way Trump does, in an environment already saturated with rape myths and misunderstandings, does real damage to victims and a disservice to public understanding. ...

Donald Trump is facing a child rape lawsuit. Why aren't we talking about it? by Clementine Ford

A few weeks ago, a federal lawsuit was filed in the state of New York naming Donald Trump as one of two alleged rapists of a 13 year old girl. Despite the gravity of the allegations, the lawsuit seems to have been largely ignored by mainstream media, with the exception of a very comprehensive piece in the Huffington Post written by Lisa Bloom, an attorney and legal analyst for NBC News.

A brief precis: 'Jane Doe', the plaintiff, alleges that in 1994 she was held as a sex slave in an apartment belonging to Jeffrey Epstein (the second defendant in the case). 'Jane Doe' alleges that on one occasion, Trump tied her to a bed, exposed himself and then "proceeded to forcibly rape" her. When she pleaded with him to stop, she says he struck her in the face and yelled that he would do what he wanted. 'Jane Doe' also alleges that Epstein vaginally and anally raped her following the assault by Trump, physically striking her in the head at one point while screaming at Trump that it was he, rather than Trump, who should have been the one to "take her virginity". ...

University rowers accused of filming rape of drunk student | via @telegraphnews

Two members of a university rowing team filmed themselves raping a student after she passed out drunk before texting pictures to friends on messaging service WhatsApp, a court heard.

Jesse Burgoine, 28, and Artjom Nepryahin, 25, were said to have targeted the young woman in a nightclub before taking her home and raping her on a sofa after she fell asleep. ...

When it comes to rape myths, the U.S. is no better than conflict zones by Ranit Mishori

Last week, the first man ever convicted of rape in war by the International Criminal Court - Congolese politician Jean-Pierre Bemba was sentenced to 18 years in prison. His sentence followed a Guatemala court’s ruling one month earlier, in which former military officers were ordered to pay women they held as wartime sex slaves reparations of over $1 million. Though these and other court rulings imply progress is being made, much more needs to be done to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence - inside and outside of conflict zones.

As physicians and human rights advocates, we work with colleagues to end impunity for sexual violence in areas of conflict and unrest, specifically in East and Central Africa. There, we train other medical, mental health, law enforcement, legal, and judicial professionals to collect, document, and evaluate forensic evidence of sexual violence. We have also supported public interest litigation efforts to hold the Kenya government accountable for failing to protect sexual violence victims during post-election violence in 2007 and 2008. ...


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