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?
In October, 18-year old high school senior Ryan Romo was arrested for the sexual assault of a child (someone 16 or under, by TX state law). On October 31, CultureMap Dallas's managing editor, Claire St. Amant published an article asking, "Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?" St. Amant ended her article, stating: If it's a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo. [more inside]
In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
"For journalists, it's a little hard for them to be the story." A discussion on Radio Times of sexual violence against journalists (previously) and breaking the silence. With Lauren Wolfe, author of a special report on sexual violence against journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists; Kim Barker, who corresponded from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India; and Elana Newman, research director at the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. [more inside]
After the horrific gang-rape of a child in a small town in east Texas has gained national attention, serious criticisms have been made of how the story has been reported. [more inside]
Diagnosis or job description? UK tabloids sometimes lead people to believe that all journalists are the scum of the earth. That's obviously not true, but one journalist who actually fits the bill seems to be ex-Woman's Wear Daily staffer, Peter Braunstein. On halloween, he dressed up as a fireman, called around at the apartment of a friend of his ex-wife and repeatedly drugged and raped her. Normally, this would just be another tawdry true crime, but like most writers, he's ended up leaving his mark all over the net.