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Sexual Violence

‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ Day 171: ‘Horrific’ Eyewitness Accounts

The Israeli military has imposed ongoing sieges on at least three medical facilities in the besieged enclave, terrorizing, injuring, and killing thousands of civilians in the process.  Al-Shifa Hospital in northern Gaza has entered its seventh day under siege, and the civilians able to flee are reporting ruthless massacres in and around the medical complex.  A teenage Palestinian boy, Farouk Mohammed Hamd, told Al Jazeera he witnessed Israeli soldiers executing a group of eight people, including his father and brother, inside al-Shifa Hospital.

Think #MeToo Didn’t Make A Real Difference? Think Again

What difference did #MeToo actually make? In 2017 and 2018, the viral hashtag became a global sensation that motivated millions to speak out about sexual assault and harassment. But more recently, critics have questioned whether the flurry of activity ended up leaving much of a legacy. This questioning is hardly surprising. If there is one thing that is most consistent when it comes to mass protest movements, it is that these mobilizations will be dismissed by mainstream political observers as being fleeting and inconsequential. Time and again, they are labeled as fads, scolded for being too “confrontational and divisive,” and written off as flash-in-the-pan eruptions with little lasting significance.

Repairing America’s Trauma Epidemic By Confronting Sexual Violence

The pervasiveness of trauma in American society is intimately linked to the ubiquity of sexual violence in our culture, and ultimately, the politics that buttresses this reality. In the second installment of a two-part discussion, acclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Judith Herman returns to The Chris Hedges Report for a discussion on the political implications revealed by her medical expertise: the need to confront the violence of our present system by reconstructing society itself. Dr. Judith Lewis Herman is a psychiatrist who studies trauma and developed the diagnosis for complex PTSD. She is the author of several books, including her most recent, Truth and Repair: How Trauma Survivors Envision Justice.

Feminists Are Resisting Colonization By Fighting Sexual Violence

As Israeli settler-colonialism finds its perfect ally in U.S. settler-colonialism, U.S.-based advocates of Israel have been reifying this pattern for decades by consistently bullying Palestinian community leaders and activists, and threatening them (not only women) with rape and sexual assault. The recent attack on Palestinian Feminist Collective (PFC) member Rasha Mubarak, president of Unbought Power, is but one example of how this repression strategy especially targets women organizers. After she co-led an effort demanding that Florida state legislators condemn Israeli violence and support free speech on Palestine, pro-Israel advocates accused her of being an “Islamist” who targets “Jews and Gays.”

Not In My Name: Academics Publicly Attacking Un Torture Rapporteur

I am a survivor of rape, gang rape and the abusive police process I was subjected to when I reported it and I am fed up with watching sexual violence being used as a cover for political attacks on Julian Assange, his colleagues and his supporters. I am not alone. Numerous other survivors have reached out to me tonight expressing the same sentiment and we deserve to be heard. Today, members of what is supposedly a women’s advocacy group published an open letter addressed to UN top brass, from the Secretary-General on down, complaining about an article written by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer...

94% Of Indigenous Women In Seattle Have Experienced Sexual Violence. We Need To Tell Their Stories.

Abigail Echo-Hawk came across an unpublished study in 2016, shortly after becoming director of the Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI). It showed that, of American Indian and Alaska Native women living in Seattle surveyed in 2010, 94 percent reported they had been raped or coerced into sex. More than half were without permanent housing at the time. Some within UIHI were concerned about how the public would receive the data, but Echo-Hawk pushed for a report. It was released in August. Why were some people worried about releasing this data? In the media—whether it be print, TV, movies—Native people are often portrayed as victims, as vanishing. And so there was some hesitancy that this kind of information would just add to that.

No Loopholes, No Exceptions

For decades, domestic workers and farmworker women have been systematically excluded from labour protection laws and have faced extensive barriers to justice for sexual harassment, among other forms of abuse. Most have no human resources department to turn to, and are not covered by Title VII, the federal anti-discrimination law that prohibits sexual harassment, as the law currently only applies to workplaces with 15 employees or more. Since most workers in the care sector are the only or one of just a few employees in their workplace, they – along with independent contractors – fall beyond the purview of this federal labour protection instrument. “It’s happening to us because we are invisible workers,” said Teresa Arredondo, farmworker leader from Alianza de Campesinas.

India: Nationwide Protests To Demand Justice For Rape Victims

Angry protesters rally across cities calling for justice after an eight-year-old Kashmiri girl was fatally gang-raped. Thousands of Indians have taken to the streets to join nationwide protests against continuing sexual assaults of women and girls, including that of an eight-year-old girl who was gang-raped and brutally murdered inside a temple in Jammu area of Indian-administered Kashmir. "Punish the guilty" was the rallying cry on Sunday in New Delhi, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram, Bangalore and other cities, according to India's NDTV. "Small little girls are being raped every day and the way this time it has happened, that people actually came and supported these rapists, this is (new) heights and this is the time that we should take it as an alarm," Ved Amrita, a protester in New Delhi, told Associated Press news agency.

Peace Is A Feminist Issue

War ruins the life of anyone it comes into contact with. But on International Women’s Day, it is important that we remember that for every harm visited upon men by war, women suffer a disproportionate amount of cruelty. Women are systematically shunned from institutions of power around the world, the same institutions who decide to engage in the conflicts that will destroy the lives of women. Women then also struggle to have their voices heard by the powers who try to help in conflict zones, so often the issues that only affect women go unnoticed. The most basic needs of women in conflict zones are often a revelation to men. There is always a presumption of gender neutrality (read, maleness) when large groups of people are discussed. This means the concept of displaced people needing sanitary products in refugee camps is never considered because gender neutral (read, male) people don’t have periods.

Bigger Than Incarceration: Mass Criminalization, Mental Health & Drug War

By Kirsten West Savali for The Root - As previously reported by The Root, black inmates who identify as transgender women are sexually assaulted at alarming rates, with approximately 32 percent being raped in jail after being placed in male populations. Additionally, male and female inmates with disabilities and/or psychological issues are also more likely to be sexually violated. According to a 2014 Vera Institute report, "On Life Support: Public Health in the Age of Mass Incarceration," the prevalence of serious mental illness is two to four times higher in state prisons than in the general public.

#FreeMarissa: One Year Milestone!

By Staff of Free Marrissa Now - Together, members of Stand With Nan-Hui, Love & Protect, California Coalition of Women Prisoners, and the Free Marissa Now Mobilization Campaign recognized that the criminalization and punishment of survivors of gender violence is a widespread problem embedded in systems of domestic & sexual violence, prosecution, incarceration, and policing. We organized several twitter discussions to keep the spotlight on these issues and helped advocate for the immediate release of many other survivors such as Tondalo Hall, Cierra Finkley, Naomi Freeman, Rosa Martinez, Eisha Love, Rajeshree Roy, and Kelly Ann Savage.

How The Criminalization Of The Queer Community Affects Us All

By Andrew Extein in Center For Sexual Justice - Sexual minorities, including queer and LGBT people, face many obstacles when navigating the criminal justice system. One especially difficult challenge is the treatment of sex within the legal system. Sex crimes and sex laws have had far-reaching repercussions, and queer people often find themselves targeted. There is a long, well-documented history of law enforcement entrapping queer people in prostitution busts and gay cruising stings. HIV status is increasingly criminalized nationwide. Trans* folk are harassed and singled out by law enforcement. Queer people are more likely to be targeted for civil commitment. Current sex laws ignore the needs and realities of queer youth, while seeking to criminalize their unique experiences. In jails and prisons, queer people, especially youth, are extremely vulnerable, often the focus of sexual and physical abuse by inmates, guards, and staff.

TSA Sexual Abuse: Judicial Watch Gets Some Answers

Last August I wrote a post reporting that the non-profit civil liberties organization Judicial Watch was suing the TSA to gain access to documents outlining the sexual abuse of travelers at the hands of TSA workers. I said that Judicial Watch was joining a long line of of other organizations and individual people who had also tried to sue the TSA to get information, and that the TSA, predictably, had stonewalled. I will remind readers that we here at TSA News have been documenting such assaults since 2011, and I personally have been documenting them since 2009. My Master List of TSA Crimes and Abuses, both pages of it, contains thousands of accounts. And again I repeat, these are only the crimes we happen to find out about. Logic dictates that there are more, many more. It is impossible to know how many.

Focusing On Shootings, Ignore Victims Of Police Sexual Assault

On Feb. 10, 2013, 31-year-old sheriff's deputy Cory Cooper pulled over a 19-year-old woman and her boyfriend in Omaha, Nebraska. After finding marijuana in the vehicle, Cooper ordered the boyfriend to toss the drug in the nearby Zorinsky Lake, according to the Omaha World-Herald. While the man was away, Cooper allegedly told the young woman to follow him back to his cruiser, where he asked her to remove her shirt. The request was reportedly an ultimatum presented to the young woman to keep her boyfriend out of trouble. Cooper then exposed himself. "All I could think was, 'What am I going to do to get out of this?' Nobody's going to believe me over the police," the victim told the World-Herald.
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