Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

In the News – the global context of violence against women and girls

'Impunity has consequences': the women lost to Mexico's drug war by Nina Lakhani in Jalapa

Lizbeth Amores dropped off her son at her mother’s house before heading to a house party with her friend Verenice Guevara. They were last seen at a bar popular with local gangsters.

The following night, María de Jesús Marthen was among a dozen or so young women invited to a private party at a ranch about an hour east of the city centre. On her way to the event, Marthen messaged her boyfriend, pleading for help.

The next night, Karla Saldaña and her friend Luisa Quintana went out for tacos. They were spotted leaving a bar in an unknown vehicle.

None of them were ever seen again, but they were not the only women to vanish: over the space of three nights in November 2011, at least 50 women disappeared in similar circumstances from Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz state, which had been convulsed by cartel violence and political volatility.

'It took me 10 years to understand I'd been raped - we need to talk about consent' 

... He possibly didn’t think rapist applied to him, just as I didn’t think rape applied to me. It took nearly 10 years for me to set that noun and verb in order.

Like Ms Thomson I feel horror at the implications for all people who face sexual abuse and violence on a regular basis – what it will do to their sense of self, how they will communicate love, what they might normalise for their children.

What we should be making an effort to normalise is a nationwide discussion on the meaning of consent.

Consent is something given freely, not under extortion. It cannot be given by someone under the age of 16 in the UK. You cannot give consent while you are asleep, uncertain or intoxicated to the point you cannot stand.

Once your consent is given, you are entitled to take it away at any time. If you give your consent once, you are not obliged to give it again. When there is no consent, it’s not non-consensual sex. It’s not sex at all, it’s rape. Consent is yours, and is not open to interpretation by anyone else. ...

Survivor speaks out against Amish rape culture ahead of sentencing by Mary Simms

Torah Bontrager’s betrayal by those closest to her began at age four. In the shielded-from-view world of her Amish community, her ordeal started with severe parental physical and verbal abuse followed by uncles’ serial rapes. At 15, Torah fled to the false safety of a divorced paternal uncle in Montana who, shortly after her arrival, raped her more times than she could remember over the course of 7 months.

I spoke to Bontrager as she awaited the trial in Columbia County, Wisconsin of one of her uncles, Enos Bontrager, a blatant alleged sexual predator who finally ― more than 20 years after he first molested Torah ― will stand trial. On November 29th, Enos Bontrager, 48, will stand trial charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child, and one count of sexual assault of a child under 16. Torah’s accusations of Enos Bontrager’s repeated rapes will not be part of those proceedings because local authorities –despite Torah’s efforts to hold her uncle accountable ―allowed the statute of limitations to expire. ...

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