The Deadly Consequences of Solitary With a Cellmate
. "The 4'8"-by-10'8" space was originally built for one, but as Menard became increasingly overcrowded and guards sent more people to solitary, the prison bolted in a second bunk. The two men would have to eat, sleep, and defecate inches from one another for nearly 24 hours a day in a space smaller than a parking spot, if a parking spot had walls made of cement and steel on all sides. With a toilet, sink, shelf, and beds, the men were left with a sliver of space about a foot-and-a-half wide to maneuver around each other. If one stood, the other had to sit."
Melissa Harris-Perry recounts
her terrifying experience in Iowa on Monday night, on a #WaketheVote
trip with her political science students.
An incredible story
and The Marshall Project
. What happens when police believe rape victims? What happens when they don't?
"When a student at Spring Valley High School,
South Carolina captured a cellphone video of a police officer flipping over a student
and her desk
, then throwing the student across the room, the video quickly got national attention: people were alarmed
that a police officer
in a school would do that to a teenager who didn't pose
After a drunk man pummels
robot greeting customers at a store in Japan, robotics ethicists
call for a new type of legal protection that would apply specifically to robots.
As more-advanced robots can already react to basic stimuli, navigate complex environments, and use specialized “intelligence” to accomplish narrowly defined tasks, they present themselves as far from human but also as something rather different from a toaster or basic tool. Weng calls for a set of laws to guide human interaction with robots as they become more common and more social. He argues that they are a “third existence,” after people and property, deserving of their own legal protections. [more inside]
An untitled poem
from NLU Delhi's student newspaper
. Trigger warnings for rape, sexual abuse, and pedophilia.
In 2010, Plain Dealer
reporter Rachel Dissell wrote about thousands of neglected rape kits at the Cleveland Police Department. Working with fellow reporter Leila Atassi, their continued, tenacious coverage
led to the creation of a 'rape kit task force' to cover a massive backlog, and eventually, a law
mandating timely testing. Since 2011, when the city began sending rape kits to the state’s crime lab, almost all of its 4,000 kits have been tested; of these, over 1,600 contained usable DNA. 350 cases have led to grand jury indictments, and as of this month, over 100 rapists have been convicted, some of multiple rapes. [more inside]
has published an article entitled "Dr. Shock:
How an apartheid-era psychiatrist went from torturing gay soldiers in South Africa to sexually abusing patients in Alberta."
"Dr. Shock" is Aubrey Levin, a psychiatrist currently serving a five-year prison term
for sexual assault on three male patients. Prior to arriving in Canada, Levin was a colonel and psychiatrist for the apartheid-era South African Defence Force (SADF), which
used drugs, electric shock torture and forcible gender reassignment surgery in "attempts to cure homosexual conscripts." [more inside]
Rape on the Night Shift:
Every night, as most of us head home, janitors across America, many of them women, begin their night shift. They are often alone or isolated in empty buildings — and vulnerable to sexual violence. On Tuesday, a PBS Frontline
investigation explored ways sexual violence against janitors is going unreported and unpunished. All content is SFW, but some may find descriptions in the links in this post disturbing. [more inside]
The New York Times
profile Texas' refusal
to comply with the federal Prison Rape Elimination Act.
(trigger warning: sexual assault, violence)
"Things Left Unspoken: Erasure in Online Discussion of Domestic Violence
" - Trigger Warning: Domestic violence, mentions of violent actions, physical abuse, sexual assault.
By Catherine [Kiran/Rin] Oliver at Model View Culture
. [more inside]
President of Eckerd college Donald Eastman III wrote a letter to the students about preventing sexual assault
. His recommendation? Less alcohol and less casual sex. The college's student paper, The Current, responds in a civil, well spoken and cogent rebuttal.
Energy giant Kinder Morgan
subsidiary Trans Mountain filed a Facilities Application for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project
in December 2013. This would twin an existing pipeline for diluted bitumen from northern Alberta (previously
) to the Pacific, increasing its nominal capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. Protesters under the banner Caretakers of Burnaby Mountain are obstructing surveying in a conservation area in metro Vancouver, and Trans Mountain (represented by lawyer and author William Kaplan
) has been granted an injunction
against the group as a warmup to a multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit over claims of trespass, assault and intimidation. The assault? Making funny faces
. [more inside]
on a recently-published PLOS ONE
article describing sexual harassment and assault perpetrated on (overwhelmingly young, female) researchers in the field.
In a survey of scientists engaged in field research, the majority — 64 percent — said they had personally experienced sexual harassment while at a field site, and 22 percent reported being the victim of sexual assault.
(tw: rape) Kathleen Hale reflects on her assault
, the subsequent trial, and the relationship between predators and prey.
Yesterday, twenty three Columbia University students filed a federal lawsuit
, alleging that the school "allows accused perpetrators of sexual assault to remain on campus, has too-lenient sanctions for perpetrators, discourages victims from reporting assault and denies accommodations to students with mental health disabilities (which they say result from their attacks)." The complaint is the first of its kind, linking Title IX and Clery complaints
with alleged violations of Title II
, part of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides that schools must provide accommodations based on disability status. [more inside]
"Debate has surrounded the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes for decades.
Some have argued medical marijuana legalization (MML) poses a threat to public health and safety, perhaps also affecting crime rates ... we analyzed the association between state MML and state crime rates ... Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of MML on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state MML may
be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates." (Press Release
) [more inside]
I am not as self-righteous as the way I am talking to you all. Actually I never got the opportunity to express myself. I grew up with my head bent, occupied the lowest place in my family and was surviving under the radar as a member of my family. But later I met a woman who was like a mother to me, and she told me that I was an amazing woman, a hero. I may not have the body of Joan of Arc, but I have sacrificed what is most precious to me – my womanhood, for my country. But you will never see our names engraved in a tower. The reason for this omission is likely their own shame. They could not protect me from the hands of disaster. In what face would they applaud the fact that I am a war heroine? I have been ridiculed and shamed in cruel and heartless ways, but somehow a power greater than me has helped me keep my head high.
Rape survivors of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War
were given the title "Birangona": an attempt by the first president of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to respect the sacrifices of these women that sadly backfired
. Ami Birangona Bolchi
by Bangladeshi academic and social worker Nilima Ibrahim
, published in 1994, chronicles first-hand stories of these women, grappling with the tension between their status and their lived experience. Recently there have been multiple translations of Nilima's work, as well as more interviews and poetry
as well as an upcoming British stage production.
Patrick Henry College has been called "God's Harvard
." The tiny, elite school is considered a safe haven for fundamentalist evangelical Christians. It teaches a dominionist "Biblical Worldview
" and has a uniquely religious campus culture (pdf)
that emphasizes evangelical moral values. Which leaves female students in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
"The Ghost Rapes of Bolivia
: The perpetrators were caught, but the crimes continue."
[Trigger warning: Extended written descriptions of sexual assault and incest.] [more inside]
Rape in the Fields
is a Frontline documentary that explores the persistent allegations that female agricultural workers in the U.S. are frequently sexually assaulted and harassed by supervisors who exploit their (often undocumented) immigrant status
. Victims typically do not seek help from US law enforcement, either out of fear that they will be fired, deported or worse, or from a lack of understanding of U.S. law. Reviews: Popmatters
. NY Times [more inside]
Above The Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome with Women
has raised $16,369 out of its $2,000 goal on Kickstarter. Casey Malone has called it out as "a book about how to sexually assault women"
and "a rape manual"
, including quotes from seddit, the seduction subReddit
(Google cache). A petition asking Kickstarter to withdraw funding
has gathered close to 50,000 signatures, but while Kickstarter agrees that the material is "abhorrent and inconsistent with our values", it has declined to cancel the project
Author Ken Hoinsky
is "devastated and troubled"
by allegations that his book promotes rape, because the quotes were taken out
. However, Jezebel reports that Hoinsky e-mailed them, "Wanna let your readers know [about the Kickstarter]? I'm sure they'll have a field day with this"
which indicates he may be banking on the outrage
and the backlash
for added publicity.
[via /r/feminism and /r/nottheonion]
Last June, the New York Times published an exposé
of New York's exclusive Horace Mann School, detailing decades of sexual abuse of students by their teachers. The revelations prompted
from former students, an all-but-useless investigation
, an admission
by one of the school's former teachers, and a response by the school to parents (pdf).
But one person who escaped the Times' notice was former English teacher Robert Berman
Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake': Reasons to listen (Ann Powers, NPR)
"I'm choosing to do something else, though — to wrestle with the material at hand. As a music critic and, on a personal level, as someone who's long considered pop to be a crucial avenue for understanding the intricacies of the human heart and soul, I'm committed to engaging with the music that makes us sit up and take notice. I'm willing to try, even if those songs expose or even encourage aspects of behaviors that aren't so savory. I don't think "Turn Up the Music" tells us much; "Birthday Cake" is a different matter. So I'll continue trying to grasp what's happening in a song that makes many — but not all — of us want to turn away."
all round.) [more inside]
The Case of the Vanishing Blonde
After a woman living in a hotel in Florida was raped, viciously beaten, and left for dead near the Everglades in 2005, the police investigation quickly went cold. But when the victim sued the Airport Regency, the hotel’s private detective, Ken Brennan, became obsessed with the case: how had the 21-year-old blonde disappeared from her room, unseen by security cameras? The author follows Brennan’s trail as the P.I. worked a chilling hunch that would lead him to other states, other crimes, and a man nobody else suspected.
[printer-friendly version; behind-the-scenes video; via]
What do you mean by the "trauma myth"?
The title refers to the fact that although sexual abuse is usually portrayed by professionals and the media as a traumatic experience for the victims when it happens — meaning frightening, overwhelming, painful — it rarely is. Most victims do not understand they are being victimized, because they are too young to understand sex, the perpetrators are almost always people they know and trust, and violence or penetration rarely occurs. "Confusion" is the most frequently reported word when victims are asked to describe what the experience was like. Confusion is a far cry from trauma.
NYTimes: "Abusing Not Only Children, but Also Science
The Second Amendment of the Constitution of United States of America gives us all the right to bear arms.
It means that as Americans we can keep fire arms without governmental infringement. A few days ago many Americans chose to exercise this right
at political Town Hall meetings on health care reform throughout the United States.
Some are defending these actions.
Others are not.
The NRA is remaining quiet.
In Utah, mob mentality rules.
A gay man either kidnapped his next-door-neighbors' two children, or he took them in because they couldn't sleep during an all night party at their own house -- depending upon who you ask. The children were gone from their own home for only ten minutes.
What is certain is that a retaliatory mob broke into drag queen David Bell's house and brutally attacked him and his lover.
But no charges will be filed against the mob. [more inside]
Joanna Connors, a theatre critic, was raped on an empty stage.
She tells her story in vivid, lucid detail-- then traces her rapist's twisted family history
. One of the best pieces of journalism-- or writing, for that matter-- I've read for ages. Lots of resources for survivors
and their families, as well.
The battle over Nandigram
continues (after the massacres
of March 14
), as a fresh spate of atrocities
have been reported.
Los Alamos whistleblower "Tommy Hook is still hospitalized today
after being brutally assaulted over the weekend," the Project on Government Oversight
is saying. "A group of three to four assailants threatened Hook to keep silent, in apparent reference to his upcoming Congressional testimony on fraud at Los Alamos."
Olympic gold medal skier Bill Johnson
was released from jail late Monday after a traffic stop resulted in charges of assaulting police officers, driving under the influence of intoxicants and resisting arrest.
Johnson allegedly punched the deputy repeatedly and kicked the officer in the groin after taunting them with his gold medal from the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, where Johnson became the first U.S. skier to win the downhill.
Restaurant Industry Warns Members to Beware Strip-Search Hoax.
"If anyone requests a manager or other employee to order someone to disrobe, ignore their request because it is a privacy invasion." Anyone want to supersize their sexual assault
As reported by Don O'Briant of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution,
Phineas J. Monkey, local celebrity
and co-star of Uncle Grampa's Hoo-Dilly Stew
, was assaulted by Burt Reynolds
at a gala for the IMAGE Film and Video Center
earlier this week. Mr. Reynolds
appears to have been enraged by the puppet's biting wit, so much so that he was compelled to latch violently onto the charming emcee's throat with both hands. I'd like to say this sort of thing is surprising, but alas, it is not. Irrational behavior seems to have become a part of Mr. Reynolds's operating system, a point well illustrated by his dismissal of an agent for landing him his only decent role in 1997
(par 14). To be fair, Boogie Nights
was no Meet Wally Sparks
Man accused of spiking child's juice
This cracks me up. Apparently a child wouldn't stop crying on an international flight. So a flight attendant took it upon himself to drug the child to get it to be quite. I can certainly sympathize with him. Yes I know it's serious, but it still cracks me up.
What's the Frequency, Moby?
Techno superstar Moby
was assaulted by a pair of mysterious assailants last night after a concert in Boston. "He wrote on his Web site that he is not angry about the attack, just mystified about the motive. He has asked the attackers to post an explanation." Moby's journal
has been discussed previously
, but is worth a look if you've never visited.
Israeli reservists tell of Jenin assault
Anecdotal or an overview? You decide. In a similar situation, how would you react?
Cookie Monster Plan Crumbled
-- Your regular idiot assault story, but with some fabulous quotes.
"People started yelling at me that I should be ashamed of myself for hitting Cookie Monster. I did not kick or punch Cookie Monster," says the man arrested for shoving and kicking the 21-year-old woman who played Cookie Monster. A Seasame Street spokeswoman denied the man's allegations that Cookie Monster started the violence: "It is an honor to be Cookie Monster."
i wonder if the woman will be charged with anything? i wonder if she's liable for anything? in a nation where predators sue their prey when they fight back, anything's possible, i suppose...