Andrew Cuomo has resigned as governor of New York one week after a damning report confirmed that he had sexually assaulted multiple women. The report that came out August 3 highlights that Cuomo sexually assaulted 11 women, and describes efforts by his staff to discredit the accusers. He is now facing criminal charges in relation to one of these assaults. He responded with a bizarre video of him kissing people on the cheek, denying any wrongdoing. But the official report was too much to be ignored — the Democratic Party, including President Joe Biden, quickly turned against him and he was forced to resign. Even now, Cuomo has refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing. He said, “In my mind, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone but I didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.”
Guards in an immigrant detention center in El Paso sexually assaulted and harassed inmates in a “pattern and practice” of abuse, according to a complaint filed by a Texas advocacy group urging the local district attorney and federal prosecutors to conduct a criminal investigation. The allegations, detailed in a filing first obtained by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune, maintain that guards systematically assaulted at least three people in a facility overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement — often in areas of the detention center not visible to security cameras.
The media is not covering a new sexual assault allegation against former Vice President Joe Biden from a woman named Tara Reade, who says she has been trying to share her story since 1993 when it allegedly happened. Reade's allegation comes in the midst of Biden’s surging presidential campaign and is consistent with other stories women have shared about their discomfort with the way Biden has touched them.
There were 20,500 reported sexual assaults in the military in 2018, according to a new Pentagon report, a 38% increase in the number of assaults since 2016. The results, as ABC News reports, represent “a setback for the U.S. military’s efforts to reduce sexual assault in the military.” These numbers come from an anonymous survey the Pentagon conducts every two years. Respondents include Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine personnel. The survey defines assault as “rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact and attempts to commit those offenses,” according to ABC News. Over 85% of the victims reported knowing the perpetrators.
When discussing America’s police state, we often talk about “black bodies.” The conversation is peppered with words like “brutality” and “police violence.” But no one talks about another brutal act of violence committed by law enforcement figures. We have known about it for years but have mostly overlooked it. Everyone—including this writer—has the information but rarely report it. According to CNN and one of the most widely-used research databases on police criminality, police in the U.S. received 1260 sexual assault charges in a nine-year period, including 405 rapes, 636 acts of sexual fondling and 219 acts of forcible sodomy. That’s only what we know of. While this sounds detestable, these are just the reported cases that resulted in an officer being charged.
Women’s rights organizations are urging people to take part in a national walkout on Monday to show support for the two women who have publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick, of sexual assault. “We believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. We believe Deborah Ramirez,” wrote abortion rights advocacy group NARAL on Twitter, referring to the two Kavanaugh accusers by name. “Survivors must be heard,” the anti-sexual harassment organization Time’s Up tweeted
A Salvadoran woman who came forward four months ago with allegations of sexual assault by a guard has been released from the T. Don Hutto detention center in Taylor, Texas, where her abuser remained employed for the bulk of her detainment. Laura Monterrosa was released from detention Friday evening after a months-long campaign by the advocacy organization Grassroots Leadership, culminating with a letter to the Department of Homeland Security signed by more than 45 Congressional representatives calling for an investigation into sexual abuse allegations at Texas detention centers. The members of Congress demanded an expedited audit to assess Hutto’s compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act. Getting released from detention has been a long road for Monterrosa, who Grassroots Leadership says is “adjusting to her new environment and recovering from the trauma she has experienced.”
By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig - The press, trumpeting the lurid and salacious details of the sexual assault charges brought against powerful men, has missed the real story—the widespread popular revolt led by women, many of whom have stood up, despite vicious attacks and the dictates of legally binding nondisclosure agreements, to denounce the entitlement of the corporate and political elites. This women’s revolt is not solely about sexual abuse. It is about fighting a corporate power structure that institutionalizes and enables misogyny, racism and bigotry. It is about rejecting the belief that wealth and power give the elites the right to engage in economic, political, social and sexual sadism. It challenges the twisted ethic that those who are crushed and humiliated by the rich, the famous and the powerful have no rights and no voice. Let’s hope this is the beginning, not the end. “Women are carefully choosing the men who are at the pinnacles of power to address race and class and sex,” the feminist Lee Lakeman told me when I reached her by phone in Vancouver. “[These women] know what they are doing. You can’t take down someone like Harvey Weinstein without affecting a whole industry. Feminism has never been just about protecting our individual self. It is a collective resistance. It has a vitality we need to use to deal with these hierarchies.”
By David Rosen for Counterpunch. Within the limits of a highly-structure class system, gender relations are fundamentally changing. Most attention is focused on female actors and political figures. Unfortunately, the same abuse is being perpetrated against female assembly-line workers, retail clerks and nannies. Hopefully, the celebrities will empower working women to point an accusing finger and say “No!” to sexual abuse. The once mythic male as the family bread-winner that defined the post-WW-II society of the “American Dream” is giving way to the two-income household, but with women still most often pulling most of the domestic chores (e.g., running the household, raising the family, socializing). The male sex-abuse scandals are a symptom of the transformation of gender power relations. It’s time to change the way the legal system deals with sex offenders.
By Marie Lodi for Jezebel. Twenty women who filed a lawsuit against the Housing Authority of Baltimore City are splitting a settlement worth almost $8 million. The lawsuit alleged that maintenance workers at various housing complexes had demanded sexual favors from the women in exchange for receiving badly needed repairs on their units. If the women did not agree, the maintenance requests would go ignored, exposing residents to unsafe conditions. A resident of the Gilmor Homes housing project said that Clinton Coleman, a maintenance supervisor, and Michael Robertson, another worker, demanded sex when the woman asked them to get rid of a bug infestation and fix her pipes. As punishment for her refusal, she had no heat in her apartment for two years. One young mother said she had sex with Coleman because she had feared for the safety of her daughter. “I was scared and ashamed,” the woman said. “I tried to forget about the incident.” Each time the woman needed something repaired, Coleman demanded sex.
A video released last week has once again caught the police in a lie. Two NYPD officers were caught assaulting a man for filming an officer who was inappropriately touching his female friend during a stop and frisk. Jason Disisto and his friends were hanging out on a sidewalk on March 12, 2014, when Officer Jonathan Munoz walked up to Disisto’s female friend, grabbed her wrist, and began to put his hands inside her sweater. Concerned about what he is seeing, Disisto borrows a cellphone and attempts to begin filming the interaction. This is something that we are all well within our rights- and frankly morally obligated- to do.
The national problem of campus sexual assault has in recent days been jolted into the spotlight as the Charlottesville campus of the University of Virginia grapples with demonstrations and outrage after being exposed for its pervasive rape culture. The protests are spurred by a Rolling Stone investigation, published last week, which revealed the patriarchal university culture that has perpetuated a "cycle of sexual violence and institutional indifference," illustrated through the particular example of a 2012 brutal gang rape of an 18-year-old female student by seven members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. The article states: "At UVA, rapes are kept quiet, both by students—who brush off sexual assaults as regrettable but inevitable casualties of their cherished party culture—and by an administration that critics say is less concerned with protecting students than it is with protecting its own reputation from scandal."
More than 150 Columbia students, faculty, and community members gathered on Low Steps on Wednesday holding mattresses, pillows, and signs to rally against the University’s handling of sexual assault on campus. Billed as a National Day of Action to “Help Carry the Weight,” the event was inspired by the senior art thesis project of Emma Sulkowicz, CC ’15. For her thesis, titled “Mattress Performance: Carry That Weight,” Sulkowicz will carry a mattress with her as long as her alleged rapist still attends Columbia, as a protest against the University’s systemic mishandling of sexual assault cases. The rally, organized by student activist groups No Red Tape Columbia and Carrying the Weight Together, also drew support from 28 other student organizations—representing the 28 students who have filed federal complaints against Columbia since April.
he University of Chicago is now a school divided as an online feud erupts over the issue of sexual assaults on campus. "Everyone's worried about the safety of the victims, and now it seems they have to worry about the privacy of everyone accused," said Sophie Holtzmann, a University of Chicago student. Over the weekend, the names of six individuals accused of sex crimes against women, both current and former students, were posted on Tumblr. The post also classified the danger of their alleged assaults as code red and code orange. Students say copies of the list were also seen in women's bathrooms around campus. More than hundreds of students, alumni and community members participated in a peace march Wednesday night in the Hyde Park neighborhood. University of Chicago alumna and rape survivor Christina Pillsbury also attended the march. The U.S. Department of Education opened an investigation of the university's handling of several sexual assault cases in February.