Tag Archives: women’s violence

Amid Effort to Ram Kavanaugh Through Senate, House GOP Refusing to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

“Our efforts to combat violence against women should never waiver, should never be pushed to the margins, and should never be delayed or diminished by political gamesmanship or foot dragging.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 9-25-2018

Image: Jay Inslee/flickr

While Republican lawmakers have attempted to push through a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination amid multiple sexual assault allegations against him, none of the party’s members have signed on to support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expires at the end of September.

Democratic legislators have joined women’s rights and anti-domestic violence groups in calling for the law to be fully reauthorized and strengthened with proposals put forth in a version sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), while Republican leaders want VAWA to be extended only until December 7 as part of the House’s stopgap spending bill. Continue reading

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Breaking the Silence: What Rape Feels Like

The investigator leaned across his desk.

“What were you wearing?” He asked as if that made a difference. When my answer didn’t satisfy him, he asked the next one.

“Had you been drinking/”

Questions like these not only signaled to me that somehow this person felt it necessary to place partial blame on me for the crime I was victim to.

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Kenna Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Here’s what really happened.

It was 11:30 pm.

I left my job and walked to my car. Jolted by the cold wind, I unlocked the door and slipped inside as quickly as I could.

Before I could insert the key into the ignition, I felt his arm around my neck. I smelled the stench of his breath and felt its heat on the back of my neck as every hair raised in a cold chill. His other hand came from the side, showing me the gun it held.

He somehow pulled me into the back seat and held the gun to my head as he demanded I remove my slacks. His assault was brutal, each thrust a pain like a knife as my body rejected him despite the gun. By the time he was done I was swallowing my own vomit to prevent him from pulling the trigger.

After relieving my stomach and finding what was left of my clothing, I drove to my apartment and stumbled up the flight of steps. Without thinking, I ignored my roommates and went immediately to the bathroom, where I threw up again and began filling the bathtub. I wanted the smell, feel and memory of him gone.

It took four days for close friends to talk me into reporting the incident.

After picking the person out of a photo identification process, I was told to go home and I would hear something soon. I’m still waiting. This happened in 1980.

I still carry the scars today. From the PTSD diagnosis to just not feeling at ease around strangers, daily reminders of my nightmare creep into my current world.

We have gained little since then – in how we handle rape victims and in how we punish the rapist. 68% of rapes are never reported to the police. 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison.

The most offensive are the men that take it upon themselves to discuss rape like they are an authority on the subject; unless they are a rapist or a victim, they are not. I hear politicians say things that not only are insulting, they continue to place blame on the victim. Our justice system will be more lenient on a rapist than any other charge – because they think it is a “he said, she said” argument.

And now – to make everything even worse – we are hearing discussions about the rights of the father and how a raped woman should not be allowed to abort the unwanted pregnancy. Forced indenturehood has a name in our country, it is called slavery.

This is no longer a women’s issue. This is a national crisis. We have all the money in the world to pour into a military budget, so men can go blow things up somewhere, but we will not spend an additional dime to protect our own mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. We expect them to protect themselves, and if that plan fails, we blame them by asking what they were wearing, if they had been drinking, or did they ever smile at the person.

What are you going to do to help change this?

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Who’s the Real Troublemaker in the Middle East?

Iran’s no democratic paradise, but Washington’s Saudi allies are even worse.

By Medea Benjamin. Published 8-19-2015 at OtherWords

Late King Abdullah and King Salman, then the Crown Prince. (Photo: Tribes of the World/ Flickr)

Except for maybe the Affordable Care Act, nothing gets Republican politicians fired up like Iran.

In the first GOP debate alone, Scott Walker promised that he’d tear up the Iran nuclear deal on day one of his presidency. Carly Fiorina blamed the country for “most of the evil that is going on in the Middle East.” Mike Huckabee vowed to topple the “terrorist Iranian regime and defeat the evil forces of radical Islam.”

Oddly, when the candidates complain about the “evil forces of radical Islam” or trouble in the Middle East, they never seem to mention Saudi Arabia.

Continue reading

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The Stoning of Soraya

Women around the world face a world of violence and brutality. Regardless of where they live, women struggle daily for rights and protections that are often times denied them despite law.

A film released three years ago captures this struggle in a small village in Iran. We post it here because we believe the message to be relevant and this woman’s life worth honoring by having her story told until the entire world has heard of her. By the time you reach the end of the film, you will understand why. Worth the effort of reading the subtitles, the impact and impression this true story makes will stay with you. That is its purpose.

This is not a “family” film. It is graphic and horrifying. It is, we remind you again, a true story.

This film is presented here for the subject matter of violence against women.
It is not intended as any commentary for or against the Islamic faith.

A review of the film can be found here.

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