January 22, 2010

This week in the news (January 15-22, 2010)

Posted in Child Sexual Abuse, Current Events, Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (Rape Drugs), Intimate Partner Violence, Men's role in sexual assault, movies, News Release, Rape Culture, Victim Blaming at 7:01 pm by sacetalks

The following is a list of news articles and editorials on sexual assault in communities across the globe (over the past 7 days).  Many of the articles below may contain victim-blaming language, distortion of information which supports sexual assault myths, and/or triggering content.  What these articles do showcase is the prevalence of sexual assault (given that only a small percentage of the 1 in 10 sexual assaults in Canada which are reported receive media attention, several articles on sexual assault within one week indicate a huge number of assaults), what kinds of sexual assaults are reported and how rampant sexual assault myths are.  Please be aware that SACE does not support the content or delivery of any of the following news pieces.

Edmonton

Testimony from dead rape victim

City’s crime rate drops slightly

Alberta

Lawyer fights transfer for man charged in sex assault of elderly woman

Victim still fears rapist after hearing he’s off to prison

Prostitution case headed to preliminary hearing

Police investigating Theo Fleury sexual assault complaint

Canada

Man gets 18 months for Bethany sex assault

Sex offender spared time in jail

Guilty plea in child pornography case

Woman testifies she confronted former pastor about incidents

Sex-assault suspect sues police

Schofield free on bail pending appeal

Burnt Church murder case put off

Man sentenced for third assault on wife

Man gets five years for attacking women on Waterloo paths

Police issue sex offender warning

Women accuse stabbing victim of assaults

Vancouver police officer to be sentenced for incest

Former Oshawa man jailed on historic molestation charges

Maybe the law is an ass

Toronto teacher charged with sexual assault

Ontario mom charged with bestiality appears in court

Rapist posed with Toronto mayor

Doctor charged for alleged sexual assault of patient

NWT MLA found not guilty of sexual assault

Man pleads guilty to 2007 York University sexual assaults

Three busted in Oshawa home invasion

RCMP investigate sexual assault of 16 year old girl hitchhiking on Highway 99

Whitehorse taxi driver guilty of sexual assault

Sex offender missing from Halifax halfway house

Cadet leader charged with sex assault

Taxi driver faces second sex-assault charge against female passenger

Five ex-altar boys suing Catholic church over abuse

Child, 11, reports sexual assault near park in Kingston

Man arrested in sexual assault case

Man charged in sexual assault; police search two homes

Sexual assault charges

Judge finds Saint John man not guilty of sexual assault

Police Release Sketch Of Suspect Wanted In Sexual Assault And Stabbing

Man jailed for sexual assault

Sexual assault trial continues

Police probe alleged assault, drugging at bar

Cornwall sex abuse victims lose funding

Sexual assault nurse examiners make a difference in the lives of victims

Dysart man gets 3 1/2 years in prison for sexual assault

Pervert sent back to pen

Guilty plea in Vanier assault

Man sent to prison for sex assault

New protocol for cabbies sought

Poor message to girls

Long-term offender on trial for sex assault

Three-year-old Toronto girl sexually assaulted

Woman says pastor sexually assaulted her many times

Boy accused of abusing family cat

Richmond Review UPDATE: Minister responds to criminal record check controversy

Winnipeg man accused of abusing kids in online sex dungeon

New website to help teach teens safe, respectful texting practices

Suspect Wanted

Johns no more violent than other men: prostitution researcher.

International

Why men use prostitutes

Marine arrested, charged with rape

Tucci’s not so lovely role

‘You Light Up My Life’ writer faces more sex-assault charges

NYC cops on trial for sex attack

Rapes of elderly women terrify central Texas towns

Bail set at $20 million for suspect in Jaycee Dugard’s kidnapping

Court rejects new trial bid for accused ex-priest

Human rights abusers turn on activists in 2009: Report

Advertisements

Invitation for survivors to participate in a research study

Posted in News Release, Uncategorized at 4:57 pm by sacetalks

Are you a FEMALE survivor of ADULT SEXUAL ASSAULT?

Were you in a LONG-TERM ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP when you were assaulted?

Would you be willing to share your experiences in a

CONFIDENTIAL INTERVIEW?

A research study is being conducted that investigates how romantic relationships change following the female partner’s experience of adult sexual assault.  We are seeking female participants who are over the age of 21 and have experienced adult sexual assault while involved in a long-term romantic relationship.

Participants will be asked to:

  • Complete a 1-2 hour interview in a confidential setting
  • Complete the interview between January, 2010 and April, 2010

This study has received ethical approval from the EEASJ REB

Please contact Erica Lauridsen (lauridse@ualberta.ca) for more information or to sign up.

January 19, 2010

Don’t travel alone…in a movie theatre?

Posted in Current Events, Myths, Victim Blaming at 5:41 pm by sacetalks

As I was compiling the weekly news post last week, I came across an article that perfectly illustrates why giving safety tips is such a useless exercise when it comes to preventing sexual assault.  The story is about a man being charged after he sexually assaulted a woman in a movie theatre in Ontario. The woman was watching a movie with friends when the man seated next to her “touched her in an inappropriate way several times before moving seats,” according to the news report.
Most women would assume that attending a movie with friends would meet up with all the approved “safety precautions” that are so often given to us, particularly in news reports about sexual assault. However, according to the article, the police would like to remind us that women should keep a few things in mind when they head to the theatre. These suggestions seem particularly appropriate to going to the movies:
Always be aware of your surroundings
Because when you’re at a movie, you shouldn’t let yourself be distracted by the film playing up on the screen! Make sure you spend the entire two hours looking around to make sure none of the other patrons are going to touch you without your consent.
Whenever possible, travel in pairs
Never leave the theatre to get popcorn without taking a buddy with you. That’s why women never go to the bathroom alone.  Besides, you shouldn’t go to movies by yourself. That makes you a lonely spinster who can’t get a date, and you wouldn’t want that, now would you?
If you are touched in an inappropriate manner, ask for assistance and contact police
Inappropriate. Hmmm. There’s an appropriate way to touch a person you don’t know in a movie theatre? But seriously, by the time a woman gets out of the theatre, finds someone from the staff to help her (which will probably involve convincing them that she really does need help), and then waits for police to respond to a call, the offender will likely be gone. I am glad in this case that they caught the guy and that the police have taken it seriously, but in a lot of cases like this, women ask for help and never get it.
Try and obtain the best possible description of the person
This might be difficult in a dark room, especially if you’re trying to get away and go get that help as was suggested in the last tip.
Carry a cellphone
So those ads at the beginning of the movie to turn off your phone are really a lure! Carry your cellphone and make sure you have it ready to use at all times. Forget all that movie theatre etiquette.
Trust your intuition. If something tells you a person or situation isn’t right, it likely isn’t
Most of us are socialized to expect that places like movie theatres are safe. We are accustomed to sitting beside strangers at a movie. Even if that person seems a little odd, that’s just part of being in a public space. We don’t tend to get up and move away unless the person is acting very strangely or is wearing too much cologne or something. It’s just part of the whole movie thing. Telling women they are supposed to somehow intuitively know that the person next to them at the movies is creepy is completely victim blaming.
As women, we are taught to fear so many things that many of us feel like something isn’t right in almost every situation. Tips like these don’t help–they just teach us to look for the danger everywhere and avoid even the most mundane activities without a crowd around to protect us. And if we do trust our gut and avoid a person, we’re told we’re not giving them a chance or we’re just being paranoid. We can’t win.
Women should be able to go to the movies without worrying that the man next to them will grope them. They shouldn’t need to keep their cellphones at the ready or avoid seeing movies by themselves. For once, I’d like to see an article like this followed by a police officer cautioning potential offenders on how to see movies without sexually assaulting other people in the audience.

January 15, 2010

This week in the news (January 8-15, 2010)

Posted in Child Sexual Abuse, Current Events, Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (Rape Drugs), Men's role in sexual assault, Victim Blaming at 10:41 pm by sacetalks

Edmonton

Police charge man with sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl

Man surrenders after 4-hour standoff

Woman recalls alleged river valley rape

Alberta

Police issue warning about sex offender

Brooks man charged with sexual assault

Prostitution case headed to preliminary hearing

Baumgaurte awaits sentencing for kidnapping and rape of teen girl

RCMP officer pleads guilty to assault charge

Fugitive Calgary rapist had knife when found at BC shelter

Tracking device no longer required for sex offender

Canada

Women blamed for being victims

Sex assault suspect arrested

Fleury’s sex-abuse allegations under investigation

Cornwall sex abuse victims lose funding

Former youth worker Ronald Sawa pleads guilty to sexual assault

Man jailed for sexual assault

Sexual assault charges laid

Two suspects sought after violent sexual assault that began in the Annex

Police make second arrest in weekend sex assault

Teen gets probation for sexual assault

Borden soldier facing sex raps

Accused in sexual assault case released from custody

McNamara St. man charged with sexual assault

Dartmouth man convicted of sexual assault sentenced to house arrest

Patient who was a victim of nurse’s sexual assault suing Vancouver General Hospital

Roughriders GM Eric Tillman pleads guilty to sexual assault

Roughriders GM Eric Tillman resigns

Foster home worker charged with sexual assault, exploitation

Toronto sex assault suspects surrender to police

Retired Anglican minister facing sex charges

Man Facing Sexual Assault Charges a School Custodian

NB pastor faces more sex charges

Events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Peel investigating alleged gang sexual assault

Manhunt suspect appears in court

Accused killer to enter plea in sex assault case

Man charged after woman sexually assault in Richmond Hill theatre

Local man pleads guilty to child porn possession

Vancouver Police warn of sex offender

Man arrested for sexual assault

Nepean man goes to jail for series of sex assaults

Brampton man charged with aggravated sexual assault

Police investigate attempted sexual assault

Library reviews security after sexual assault

Arrested in Florida, man faces sex charge in Kitchener court

Police follow up on inquiry report

Police seek help after sex worker attacked

Suspect sought in girl’s sexual assault

NL man charged with sexual assault not testifying

College of the Rockies student charged with sex assault on fellow student: RCMP

Man given year for having sex with teen

Laws empower women

City man arrested for sexual assault

NL man convicted after run-in with sex assault convict

Bus shelter deaths and sex assaults

Vancouver police warn of high-risk sex offender

Father of 5 guilty of sex assault, kidnapping girl

Hunt for suspect in sex assault on nine-year-old

Woman determined to testify in priest sex-abuse lawsuit

Possible abduction attempt

Texas woman, 42, charged with online luring of Ontario boy, 16

International

Juvenile Detention: When Young People Can’t Say ‘No’

Rangers ace Allan McGregor faces sexual assault claim

City Council sets meeting on assault cases

Sexual Assault Case Against David Copperfield Closed

‘Dangerous sexual predator’ facing lengthy jail sentence for three separate schoolgirl assaults

Davis Autopsy Results Indicate Sexual Assault

January 11, 2010

Body Scanners and Personal Privacy

Posted in Current Events at 11:40 pm by sacetalks

Transport Minister John Baird recently announced that Canadian airports will begin using body scanners as part of their passenger screening protocols. These scanners are intended to detect whether travellers have concealed weapons or explosives under their clothing. When a person steps into the unit, a three-dimensional image of their body is projected onto a screen in a separate room. Transport Canada states that screening officers will be in a separate room and will not actually see the person who is being scanned. This may offer comfort to some passengers, but for others, the fact that the scan reveals intimate details of their body may be enough to keep them from flying.

Body scans can potentially show whether an individual is concealing explosives or weapons under their clothing, but they can also reveal many other things that people may wish to keep private. Scanners can detect objects such as urinary catheters, mastectomy prostheses, incontinence and menstrual pads, and other medical or personal care items. For persons with disAbilities, having such intimate details of their bodies revealed may be uncomfortable or potentially shaming. Women who are menstruating might prefer to keep that information private. A person who has survived cancer may not want a mastectomy prosthesis exposed to others. These scanners, through their visual invasion of people’s bodies, may pose a significant threat to people’s sense of privacy and safety.

For transgender people, body scanners pose an additional threat to their personal bodily integrity. People’s genitals are included in the scan, which may forcibly out some trans people. Other aspects of that person’s body may also be seen–breasts, any bindings or wrappings used, prosthetics–exposing trans people to the possibility of additional questioning by security screeners who may demand a person explain their gender presentation or subject that person to additional bodily invasions through further screening procedures.

For survivors of sexualized violence, the experience of being scanned may in itself be triggering. Survivors may feel deeply threatened by this enforced subjection to a scan, over which the person has no control, which will be analysed by an unseen, unknown authority. For a person who has already experienced a significant invasion of self, the repeat invasion of the scan may be frightening enough for them to decide not to fly. With body scans being mandatory on US-bound flights and used as random screening on flights to other destinations, there is no way to avoid the scan with any certainty, unless the individual chooses to submit to another invasive option, the full-body patdown search. For some survivors, this may leave them with no way out except to stay at home or use ground transportation instead.

It’s hard to justify subjecting thousands of people every day to such invasive security procedures, particularly when those procedures have not yet been shown to be particularly effective. Other “surefire” means of detecting explosives and weapons have failed: “puffer” systems and other elements of security theatre have done little to protect people and much to generate a culture of fear and disempower travellers. The best means of dealing with violence in the air has proven to be passenger vigilance and action, not technology. In reality, the threat of bombings, hijackings and other incidents has decreased over time; air travellers now are significantly safer from violent incidents than they were anytime prior to the 1990s (numbers have been fairly steady since then). In light of that, it seems unnecessary to invade people’s bodies on such a massive scale.

Further reading:

Body scanners coming to Canadian airports

Body Scans, Disability, Menstruation and Security Theatre

National Centre for Transgender Equality: Whole Body Imaging FAQ

Backscatter X-ray scanners, security theatre, and marginalised bodies

The Skies Are as Friendly as Ever: 9/11, Al Qaeda Obscure Statistics on Airline Safety