May 29, 2009

This Week In The News

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:40 pm by sacetalks

Here is an excerpt of this week’s top sexual assault news stories:

Winnipeg man charged over sexual assault in stairwell

Steinbach woman accused of faking story about sexual assault

Kelowna’s ‘Rutland rapist’ pleads guilty to 9 sex assaults

Nevada man sentenced to prison in child sex case

British primary school head guilty of nine sexual assault charges

‘I am sorry,’ N.W.T. bishop says to Dene residential school survivors

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May 22, 2009

Women in Music Videos

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:20 pm by sacetalks

Sometimes in music videos women are depicted as sex objects that are always wanting sex.  Not only do male artists portray this but so do female artists. The role of the women in these types of videos are to dance, look sexy and act like they want sex. In some videos, they show sexual assaults happening and condone it being OK. Not only is this objectification shown in the images in these videos but also in lyrics of some songs. These artists are saying and showing that it’s OK to treat women as sex objects and it’s OK to sexually assault them. So how does this objectification of women effect how people, especially young people, view women? And how does this contribute to sexual violence of women?

Below is a link to a great video talking about objectification of women in music videos and how all of this contributes to sexual violence against women.

This Week’s News

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:13 pm by sacetalks

Son banned from hearing as mom’s killer seeks parole
http://www.thestar.com/article/636729

 Son phoned mom about abuse as a child 
http://www.thestar.com/article/636724

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY   Teacher faces 125 years in jail
http://www.thestar.com/article/635334

 NH teen accused of molesting 4-year-old
http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2009/05/20/nh_teen_accused_of_molesting_4_year_old/

 Priest jailed for child sex abuse
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/wear/8059908.stm

 ‘No excuses’ for abuse teen case’No excuses’ for abuse teen case
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/south_east/8055067.stm

 Are there women paedophiles? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8022861.stm

Report Details Abuses in Irish Reformatories
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/world/europe/21ireland.html?em

 Convicted molester admits to second assault
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Convicted+molester+admits+second+assault/1615136/story.html

 Officer fondled boy, 12, on trip north, court told
http://www.thestar.com/article/637388

 Acupuncturist charged with third count of sex assault
http://www.thestar.com/article/637152

 Woman who survived ‘Abbotsford Killer’ devoted to helping others
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/05/19/bc-abbotsford-killer-survivor.html

May 15, 2009

This week in the news (May 15, 2009)

Posted in Current Events, Rape Culture at 8:11 pm by sacetalks

Toronto man who sexually assaulted and photographed two little girls enters guilty plea.

New South Wales, Australia institutes “one stop shop” for survivors to report a sexual assault, receive medical treatment and access support services.

Ontario Provincial Police officer testifies about the now-retired OPP officer who sexually abused him when he was a child.

A Quebec man has been acquitted of sexual assault because the survivor could not point him out in a lineup. The woman, who has Down’s Syndrome, identified the man in other ways,  but the judge felt that was not enough positive identification to convict.

Jury begins deliberations in Calgary sexual assault case. The defense lawyer claims the woman who accused his client of abducting and sexually assaulting her decided to  “make up this sensational tale of rape”.

Regina hospitals hope to have a sexual assault nurse examiner program running by this fall.

False Allegations and the Media

Posted in Current Events, Rape Culture at 7:13 pm by sacetalks

The news media here in Edmonton are buzzing over a teenage girl in Drayton Valley who RCMP say lied about a sexual assault. The girl told officers that she was abducted and sexually assaulted by a man in a silver extended-cab pickup truck. Police took her to hospital to be examined. They say that the next day, the girl retracted her story, saying she made it up to avoid getting in trouble with her parents. The teen now faces public mischief charges.

Some Calgary media are similarly worked up after police there stated that a girl who said she was sexually assaulted after being dropped off at school was not telling the truth. The story has made province-wide news as well.

The girls in these cases may not have been telling the truth, but so many other women do report their assaults and are not believed. In other cases, police can’t pursue charges because there’s simply not enough evidence to go forward, so even if they do believe the survivor’s story, there’s nothing they can do to prosecute the case. Yet somehow, this does not garner the same level of media attention as one false allegation.

Crown prosecutors tell us that at the court house, the media generally show no interest in sexual assault trials unless they are sensational in some way. Most cases go unremarked in the local news.

The disproportionate response to one false report over so many cases that make it to trial (the ones with the strongest evidence, generally) only helps to inflate the myth that many people lie about being sexually assaulted. In reality, the number of false allegations is very low as a percentage of overall assaults. According to Statistics Canada, sixteen percent of reports are declared “unfounded” by authorities; this means that police concluded no violation of the law took place or was attempted. However, that might mean there was not enough evidence for police to decide there was a crime (a “he-said, she-said” situation), or it might mean the survivor retracted her or his story for other reasons such as fear or discomfort with the process.

Rarely, false reports happen. But the storm of attention when a false allegation hits the media misleads people, encouraging attitudes that call survivors’ honesty into question and further mask the very real cases that go unremarked every day.

May 1, 2009

This Week In The News

Posted in Current Events at 9:54 pm by sacetalks

Man accused in sexual assault recants guilty plea

‘ I’ll see you when you get out’, father of sex-assaulted boy tells jailed man

Driver jailed for rape of disabled woman

Rapist-slasher locked up indefinitely

Former DATS driver sentenced to 3.5 years for rape

Police search for turquoise pickup after alleged sex assault on girl

Which Women Matter? Ableism and Sexual Violence

Posted in Rape Culture at 5:51 pm by sacetalks

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st 2009
A lot of people have a picture in their head of the kind of woman who experiences sexualized violence. They think she is pretty, slim, young, (probably) white, able-bodied—what our culture calls attractive. We think about sexual violence in the same way that we think about sex. We expect survivors to fit the same standard that we place on “sexiness”.

Sexualized violence is about power and control, not who is the “hottest”. Women survivors are as diverse as the population of women. They are young and old; they are white, brown, black, Aboriginal, Asian; they are rich and poor; they are thin and fat; they experience mental illness or do not; they may have a developmental disAbility, a physical disAbility, or be currently able; they may or may not be neurotypical.

And yet we only talk about some kinds of survivors. Women who are not in wheelchairs, are not autistic, do not have Down’s Syndrome, do not have schizophrenia, are not living with rheumatoid arthritis. Women who don’t currently have disAbilities.

Women with disAbilities face sexualized violence at an astonishing rate—83 percent of them experience sexual assault at some point in their lifetime. For women with developmental disAbilities, the incidence is even higher at 90 percent. In Canada, girls with developmental disAbilities experience sexual abuse at four times the rate of the national average.

The trust relationship that exists between a person with a disAbility and a caregiver is one that is too often exploited. When a woman relies on another person to help her dress, use the bathroom, eat, perform daily living tasks or make her way outside her home, she hopes that person will treat her with dignity and respect. Sadly, that person may instead use their power to sexually abuse or assault the person in their care. That woman might be unable to report because of barriers to her accessing police or other agencies. She might fear reporting because it might mean a loss of support. She might not even be believed when she tries to tell.

Some offenders seek out women with disAbilities—women who are marginalized, vulnerable, less likely to be believed. They may look for a woman whose disAbility makes it easier for them to take advantage of her physically or cognitively. Kenneth Peter MacWatt, for example, has been convicted multiple times, and each time, he targeted women with disAbilities. Perpetrators know that women with disAbilities are less likely to be believed, too.

When women do tell, their ability to consent or even to understand sex is constantly in question. In some cases, courts may assume that a person with a developmental disAbility has simply gone along with the accusations without understanding the nature or implications of the case. Offenders know this. They manipulate and lie to commit their crimes and then to cover them up.

Or even worse, sometimes people do believe, but they think that women with disAbilities should be glad to be getting any at all. The notion that sexual assault is the only kind of sex a woman with a disAbility can get is deeply offensive and devalues women’s sexuality. All kinds of women are sexual, and they can and do enjoy engaging in sexual activity. And this attitude ignores the vast difference between consensual sex and the trauma of sexual assault.

Too often and for too long we have ignored the victimization of our sisters because it is too uncomfortable to face the truth. Ableist attitudes leave women suffering alone or trying to communicate with people who choose not to pay attention.

Popular Media and Violence

Posted in Popular Culture at 5:05 pm by sacetalks

As posted on April 16th about the movie Observe and Report and its display and portal of sexual assault, this got me really thinking about popular culture and its display of sexual violence and violence in general. So a few nights ago I came across a TV show on MTV that was called Bully Beatdown. This show brings in bullies and has them fight a MMA professional fighter to “teach” them respect and they are also bribed into the fight with the chance of winning 10 thousand dollars (if they win). This is not only showing that the way to solve violence is with violence but this is also showing and telling males that for them to gain respect or authority they have to use violence or have violence inflicted on them.

Also another form of popular media that pushes this message across is sometimes music. I was driving in my car listening to the Bounce radio station when a song came on that had lyrics like “Chris Brown should get his ass kicked”- it was talking about what he had done to Rihanna. This lyric was said over and over again, so this artist was really pushing that Chris Brown deserved to get “his ass kicked” for what he had done to Rihanna. I am in no way condoning domestic violence but is this the way to solve violence with violence?! So again this is saying that since Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend the best revenge or what he deserves is to get beat up himself.

So what does this all have to do with sexual violence? These types of messages that are sent to our young males in society are that the way to solve violence or any problem is with violence, and also if you want to gain respect and authority you gain it with violence. It is creating a society that says to get things such as respect you need to be stronger, tougher and you don’t ask for things you take. I believe that this is creating a patriarchal society because again it is telling young men to be the strongest and meanest. So if a young male isn’t the strongest and meanest then how is he going to feel like he is well I would say through sexual violence or any type of violence. Is this the type of young males that we want to have in our society? I think not.