Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the News – May 7-13

My Father, Woody Allen, and the Danger of Questions Unasked by Ronan Farrow

"They're accusations. They're not in the headlines. There's no obligation to mention them." These were the objections from a producer at my network. It was September 2014 and I was preparing to interview a respected journalist about his new biography of Bill Cosby. The book omitted allegations of rape and sexual abuse against the entertainer, and I intended to focus on that omission. That producer was one of several industry veterans to warn me against it. At the time, there was little more than a stalled lawsuit and several women with stories, all publicly discredited by Cosby's PR team. There was no criminal conviction. It was old news. It wasn't news. ...

Former Columbia Student Accused Of Rape Argues That "Rapist" Is A "Gendered Slur" by Miranda Katz

Last month, it seemed we'd seen the end of Paul Nungesser's attempt to sue Columbia University after Emma Sulkowicz and two other students accused him of rape: a Manhattan judge tossed out his suit on March 11th, arguing that Nungesser's claim that he'd been subject to Title IX discrimination had no real basis. But the judge's dismissal left the alleged rapist (who was never charged by police, or suspended from Columbia) one small opening—the ability to revise his complaint and make it more convincing—and Nungesser and his lawyers just took him up on that, filing a 100-page amended lawsuit that, among other new additions, devotes a full section to presenting a hypothetical scenario between "Emmet" and "Paula" to demonstrate that Nungesser was subject to gender-based harassment and discrimination.

The devastating irony of calling UN troops 'peacekeepers' by Ruby Hamad

Peacekeepers. The term conjures up images of the proverbial 'good guys' selflessly guarding vulnerable populations. So proud is the UN of its Blue Helmets, as they are also known, that May 29 is International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

But this year activists are demanding something a little different in terms of celebrations: accountability and prosecutions for the hundreds of UN troops who have committed sexual assaults. So prevalent are these abuses they have spawned the hashtag #PredatoryPeacekeepers.

In March, the UN was rocked by revelations that, along with French troops, its peacekeepers stationed in the Central African Republic (CAR) had sexually abused dozens of local girls. ...

Kathryn Borel just destroyed Ghomeshi’s and the CBC’s efforts to rescue their reputations

So much for best-laid plans. After hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and public-relations fees, Jian Ghomeshi once again looked to be riding high, his reputation, if not fully rehabilitated, at least rejuvenated.

He’d made some smart moves. Rather than rushing forward with an ill-fated attempt to come at the CBC seeking arbitration for reinstatement and damages (which he had no legal standing to do), he proceeded first, and quickly, to face criminal charges where the accused always has significant advantages, and secured his first acquittals in March. Presumably feeling less sanguine about his prospects in the last charge against him, he entered into a plea bargain and issued a craftily worded apology, stating to the world that, if he’d had ethical lapses in the past, he is now a changed and very sensitive man.

Then all the artifice came crashing down. ...

Reports Of Sex Offences On London Buses Have Doubled Over The Last Decade by Sara Spary

Reports of sexual offences on London buses have doubled over the last decade, according to new figures obtained by BuzzFeed News just weeks after the British Transport police U-turned on controversial plans to axe a specialist sex crimes unit.

In 2015, 740 sexual offences on the bus network were reported to police, a 20% increase on 2014, and more than double the number recorded in 2003, when 299 were reported.

With the exception of 2009, 2010, and 2012, the number of reported sex crimes has risen year on year ever since and now is at its highest peak in over a decade.

The data from the Metropolitan police, obtained by BuzzFeed News through a freedom of information request, shows a 147% increase in recorded sexual offences between 2003 and 2015. ..

Almost a third of young women don't feel safe in public places at night, A Right to the Night report finds

One in three young Australian women do not believe they should be in public spaces at night, a report has found.

Nearly a quarter of those asked also said they did not think young women should ever travel on public transport alone.

"We were really surprised to get the results back," Susanne Legena of child rights agency Plan International Australia said.

"This is Australia in 2016, and you've got one in three young women saying they're afraid to be out in public spaces after dark ... and as a result they're curbing their behaviour."


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