Oct 012014
 

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Gina Lauterio
Telephone: 301-801-0608
Email: info@saveservices.org

SAVE Calls for Suspension of Hope Solo Following Domestic Violence Arrest

WASHINGTON / October 1, 2014 – SAVE, a national victim-advocacy organization, is today calling on the U.S. Soccer Federation to immediately suspend goaltender Hope Solo following her arrest on charges of domestic violence on June 21. SAVE charges the U.S. Soccer Federation’s plan to allow Solo to continue to play reveals a deplorable lack of understanding of the seriousness of her assault.
Solo’s arrest followed a 911 call by a neighbor stating Solo was “hitting people” and they could not get her to stop. After receiving statements of the persons involved, officers determined Solo was the primary aggressor and had instigated the assault.
Solo was charged with two counts of fourth degree assault. Police photographs revealed Solo caused her nephew to bleed from his left ear and badly scraped her sister’s face: http://www.kirotv.com/gallery/news/photos-hope-solo-domestic-violence-case-investigat/gCLkZ/#5419227

ESPN, TV Guide, and the Chicago Tribune have all called for Solo’s suspension. USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan penned, “So what kind of message does this send to the millions of girls and women the U.S. national team has empowered and inspired over the past couple of decades? That alleged domestic violence is somehow different and less alarming when the alleged abuser is a woman?”

“When running back Ray Rice was found to have engage in domestic violence, the NFL put him on indefinite suspension,” notes SAVE spokesperson Sheryle Hutter. “But when Hope Solo threatens, assaults, scratches, and draws blood, U.S. Soccer whitewashes the incident as a ‘personal situation’ and sends her back out on the field.”

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The theme of the observance is Drop the Domestic Violence Double-Standard: http://www.saveservices.org/camp/double-standard/

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments – SAVE — promotes evidence-based solutions to the problem of domestic violence: http://www.saveservices.org/

Sep 302014
 

‘Affirmed consent’ bill signed by Brown

By Melody Gutierrez

September 28, 2014

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Sunday that requires colleges and universities in the state to adopt anti-sexual-assault policies that radically rewrite what constitutes consent, a move that some critics have called an unfair shift of the burden of proof to the accused.

Under the new law, the standard for consent to sexual activity in campus judicial hearings shifts from whether or not a person said “no” to whether both partners said “yes.” Many universities already use what is known as the “affirmed consent” standard when investigating sexual assault allegations, but the new law would require all campuses in the state to use the standard as a condition of receiving state funds for student financial aid. The law does not affect criminal proceedings in California, but only applies to campus disciplinary hearings.

SB967 comes during heightened concerns across the country over whether higher education institutions have failed to conduct adequate investigations into sexual assaults. The bill’s author, state Sen. Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles, said the legislation ensures the system is not stacked against those who report an attack.

“These are our daughters, they are our sisters, they are our nieces,” de León said in a statement Sunday. “Students shouldn’t have to live in fear while pursing their dreams of higher education.”

Affirmed consent is defined as an “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” with the consent ongoing throughout.

SB967 states “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence.” The bill also says that a person cannot give consent if they are intoxicated or unconscious.

Title IX complaint

“A lot of the time when you have these cases, the survivor was too incapacitated or drugged, and the assailant just says she never said ‘no,’” said Sofie Karasek, a UC Berkeley student who said her school mishandled a sexual assault complaint she filed against a fellow student.

Karasek and 30 students and alumni filed a Title IX complaint in February against UC Berkeley for “systematically mishandling sexual assault cases.”

The federal Clery Act and Title IX specify how colleges and universities are required to respond and disclose sexual assault crimes. But many students came forward across the country to say their claims were not properly investigated or the punishment was insufficient to nonexistent.

The bill also requires school officials who investigate sexual assault allegations to undergo “comprehensive, trauma-informed trainings” and that students who report a rape are offered counseling and mental and health care services.

“I think this is an important move in encouraging women’s rights,” said Kendall Anderson, 20, a Mills College student.

Signed without comment

Brown signed the bill without comment Sunday evening. He also signed dozens of other bills over the weekend as the Tuesday deadline to act on legislation nears.

In a country where tradition holds that the accused is presumed innocent and the state bears the burden of proving guilt, critics say SB967 unfairly moves that onus to the accused on college campuses.

“This is a total denial of due process,” Professor Gordon Finley of Florida International University said after learning the bill was signed into law. “No California son should go to any California university because even in the most baseless allegation the man will be convicted. It’s a foregone conclusion under SB967.”

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Affirmed-consent-bill-signed-by-Brown-5787198.php?cmpid=email-mobile

Sep 302014
 

“Fake Outrage “- Ray Rice, the NFL and Domestic Violence

Angela McCauley
September 25, 2014

While searching online this week for stories on the Ray Rice incident I came across a video where a man explained this hysteria as “fake outrage”. I feel that is a great description.

Domestic violence, the subject that I often struggle with where the hell to begin and if there is an ending.

I have viewed this video several times and unless there is a better quality one that exists, I fail to see any true detail about what actually transpired in those few minutes. I see what looks like a couple arguing or in a tense situation. I then see the two of them swinging at each other and confronting each other. I see the end result is her lying on the ground somewhat motionless, until that is, a woman appears and embraces her, then after several minutes of not moving, she gets up and suddenly walks away with this woman. I have read where some say that the video reveals that Ray spit on her first, which evoked her to spit on him and so forth. I have read where Janet spit on him first, which provoked Ray to attack her.

At the end of the day, whose business is it anyway? Certainly not mine and by all means, not the NFLs or the governments.

The problem with making domestic violence a national issue, are many, but in this specific situation I will explain it this way; the end result is not all that matters. All endings have a beginning and a middle. That ending has been used strategically to incite hysteria and more funding, awareness and laws against men in the name of protecting women from violence.

This is one couple in a sea of billions. Is this how we should be creating laws and making public policy?

Many feel that domestic violence is generational, I tend to feel it is more situational.

Despite the book that I could write about this subject, and this incident with the resultant NFL having to now be advised by a group of women on domestic violence, I will narrow it down to this and see who can truly grasp it.

Prior to entering that elevator, these two individuals had a relationship that lead to an engagement and now to marriage. A relationship that involves day to day events that we are unaware of. If he assaulted her first, did she assault him first? If she assaulted him first, did he assault her first? Because, remember, we did not see what occurred between these two prior to the beginning of that video clip nor do we know the depths and circumstances of their day to day lives and the dynamics of their relationship. We do not know the underlying stressors in Ray’s life. We do not know the underlying stressors in Janet’s life.

We do not see it, because it is simply none of our business. However, but because domestic violence has now become such BIG business, we have it thrown in our face each and every day. Not because the government or Joe Biden actually gives a shit about violence, but because they do not give a shit about men.

I could write for weeks on the subject of domestic violence and there is no way I can cover it all, but the problem with all of this public, political and constant attention and focus on domestic violence is, well – is that it is “domestic”. It is a private and personal matter within a relationship or a family. It is too complicated, complex and involved to be able to be summed up in a few moments of a video or witnessed event in a couple’s life, as that is all that we are seeing, a few moments – and not the beginning or the middle, just the end result of “a man hitting a woman”.

Think about your own lives and relationship. Do you ever fight? Does it ever get physical? Do you ever yell and scream and say hurtful, cruel and abusive things? Do you behave in a way that if the rest of the world could see you in that moment that you would feel shame or embarrassment for what they might see? How often does that fight end and within minutes or hours, life goes back to usual. Yes, I already am well aware of the opinions on the dynamics of this and why we stay and why we do what we do, but isn’t that our business?

Instead it has become big business.

Do those few brief moments define your whole relationship, or just a part of it? Of course it doesn’t, then why should it define the whole world, the laws and our public policies?

Outrageous.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/amoneill3#!/notes/angela-mccauley/fake-outrage-ray-rice-the-nfl-and-domestic-violence/10203869787764124

Sep 292014
 
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Sorry, Emma Watson, but HeForShe Is Rotten for Men

By Cathy Young

September 26, 2014

Until feminism recognizes discrimination against men, the movement for gender equality will be incomplete.

“Gender equality is your issue too.” That was the message to men from Emma Watson, Harry Potter star and now United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, in her widely hailed U.N. speech earlier this week announcing a new feminist campaign with a “formal invitation” to male allies to join. Noting that men suffer from sexism in their own ways, Watson asked, “How can we affect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?” Truer words were never spoken. Too bad they are belied by the campaign itself, which is called “HeForShe” and asks men to pledge to “take action against all forms of violence and discrimination faced by women and girls” but says nothing about problems affecting men and boys.

Watson clearly believes that feminism — which, she stressed, is about equality and not bashing men — will also solve men’s problems. But, unfortunately, feminism in its present form has too often ignored sexist biases against males, and sometimes has actively contributed to them. Until that changes, the movement for gender equality will be incomplete.

Take one of the men’s issues Watson mentioned in her speech: seeing her divorced father’s role as a parent “valued less by society” than her mother’s. It is true that in the 1970s and 1980s, feminist challenges to discriminatory, sex-specific laws helped end formal preferences for mothers in child custody matters. But as fathers began to fight against more covert anti-male biases in the court system, most feminists sided with mothers.

There are plenty of other examples. The women’s movement has fought, rightly, for more societal attention to domestic abuse and sexual violence. But male victims of these crimes still tend to get short shrift, from the media and activists alike. Despite several recent high-profile recent sexual assault cases in which the victims were teenage girls, disturbing cases in which boys were victimized — by other boys or by girls — have received far less publicity and sparked little outrage. Experiments have shown that while people are quick to intervene when a man in a staged public quarrel becomes physically abusive to his girlfriend, reactions to a similar situation with the genders reversed mostly range from indifference to amusement or even sympathy for the woman. To a large extent, as feminists sometimes point out, these attitudes stem from traditional gender norms which treat victimhood, especially at a woman’s hands, as unmanly. But today’s mainstream feminism, which regards sexual assault and domestic violence as byproducts of male power over women, tends to reinforce rather than challenge such double standards.

Just in the past few days, many feminist commentators have taken great umbrage at suggestions that soccer star Hope Solo, currently facing charges for assaulting her sister and teenage nephew, deserves similar censure to football player Ray Rice, who was caught on video striking his fiancée. Their argument boils down to the assertion that violence by men toward their female partners should be singled out because it’s a bigger problem than female violence toward family members. Meanwhile, in Watson’s native England, activists from women’s organizations recently blamed the shortage of services for abused women on efforts to accommodate abused men (despite the fact that, as Guardian columnist and blogger Ally Fogg demonstrated, even the lowest estimates of the prevalence of domestic violence against men suggest that male victims are far less likely than women to get help).

Watson deserves credit for wanting to end the idea that “fighting for women’s rights [is] synonymous with man-hating.” But she cannot do that if she treats such notions only as unfair stereotypes. How about addressing this message to feminists who complain about being “asked to modify our language so we don’t hurt men’s feelings” when talking about misogyny — for instance, not to generalize about all men as oppressors? Or to those who argue that “Kill all men” mugs and “I bathe in male tears” T-shirts are a great way to celebrate women’s empowerment and separate the “cool dudes” who get the joke from the “dumb bros”? Or to those who accuse a feminist woman of “victim-blaming” for defending her son against a sexual assault accusation — even one of which he is eventually cleared?

Men must, indeed, “feel welcome to participate in the conversation” about gender issues. But very few will do so if that “conversation” amounts to being told to “shut up and listen” while women talk about the horrible things men do to women, and being labeled a misogynist for daring to point out that bad things happen to men too and that women are not always innocent victims in gender conflicts. A real conversation must let men talk not only about feminist-approved topics such as gender stereotypes that keep them from expressing their feelings, but about more controversial concerns: wrongful accusations of rape; sexual harassment policies that selectively penalize men for innocuous banter; lack of options to avoid unwanted parenthood once conception has occurred. Such a conversation would also acknowledge that pressures on men to be successful come not only from “the patriarchy” but, often, from women as well. And it would include an honest discussion of parenthood, including many women’s reluctance to give up or share the primary caregiver role.

It goes without saying that these are “First World problems.” In far too many countries around the world, women still lack basic rights and patriarchy remains very real (though it is worth noting that even in those places, men and boys often have to deal with gender-specific hardships, from forced recruitment into war to mass violence that singles out males). But in the industrial democracies of North America and Europe, the revolution in women’s rights over the past century has been a stunning success — and, while there is still work to be done, it must include the other side of that revolution. Not “he for she,” but “She and he for us.”

Source: http://time.com/3432838/emma-watson-feminism-men-women/

Sep 292014
 

Gov. Brown Signs Bill Telling College Kids Where, When to Have Sex

By Robby Soave

September 29, 2014

California Gov. Jerry Brown affixed his signature to SB 967—the “Yes Means Yes” affirmative consent bill—which will require colleges to police their students’ sex lives.

Some congrats are in order, I suppose? To collectivist feminists, doomsayers of the “rape is an ever-worsening epidemic” variety, and other puritans: Your so-called progressivism has restored Victorian Era prudishness to its former place as a guiding moral compass. Well done, liberals.

The law instructs colleges to define consensual sex under strict terms brilliantly thought up by the California legislature. It also requires university administrators to investigate accusations of sexual assault under a set of terrible procedures that short-change victims by denying them fundamental due process rights. The law specifically establishes the “preponderance of evidence” standard, which mandates convictions for accused students deemed 50.1 percent likely to be guilty by the campus judiciary body.

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, celebrated the news of Brown’s signature, according to the Associated Press. “With one in five women on college campuses experiencing sexual assault, it is high time the conversation regarding sexual assault be shifted to one of prevention, justice, and healing,” said de Leon, citing a statistic that is at least dubious, if not entirely wrong.

At least entrepreneurs are hard at work inventing something to lessen the blow (or allow the blowing, or whatever). Good2Go, the affirmative consent iPhone app, theoretically eases the process of inviting a partner to bed, though Greg Piper of The College Fix has published a lengthy criticism of this thinking here.

If universities don’t comply with the government’s demands regarding students and sex, they could face losses of funding or lawsuits. But if they do comply with the the government’s demands, they will probably face more lawsuits from students unfairly convicted of sexual assault under farcical campus judiciary proceedings.

Either way, colleges are fucked.

Source: http://reason.com/blog/2014/09/29/jerry-brown-signs-bill-telling-college-k

Sep 292014
 

California governor signs ‘yes means yes’ college sexual assault bill

September 28, 2014

(Reuters) – California Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a law requiring all state colleges to adopt a policy of unambiguous, affirmative consent by students engaged in sexual activity, part of a nationwide effort to curb sexual assault on U.S. campuses.

California’s so-called “yes means yes” law will be the first in the nation to make affirmative consent language a central tenet of school sexual assault policies, proponents said.

The legislation, passed by the California State Senate last month, defines consent as “an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity.”

It also states that silence and a lack of resistance do not signify consent and that drugs or alcohol do not excuse unwanted sexual activity.

The White House has declared sex crimes to be “epidemic” on U.S. college campuses, with one in five students falling victim to sex assault during their college years.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Tom Hogue)

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/29/us-usa-california-sexcrimes-idUSKCN0HO07D20140929

Sep 282014
 

Domestic violence underreported in US, a growing issue among men

by WNCN Staff

September 27, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. –
The issue of domestic violence has taken center stage due in part to the release of a video showing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée in the face in a hotel elevator.

Women, though, are not the only victims. Men can become victims of domestic violence as well.

The numbers may not be as high, but 10 percent of men in America experience some type of domestic violence in their lives.

The crime is highly underreported by both men and women, but it’s a growing epidemic that’s constantly hidden in the shadows.

“It’s a very serious problem. At least one in four women still experience domestic violence in their lifetime,” said Stephanie Francis, the director of education training and engagement for InterAct of Wake County.

Francis said the numbers are staggering for women, but the issue is universal.

“Anybody can be a victim or survivor. Male or female,” she said. “Anywhere from seven to 10 percent of our direct clients are male.

“The numbers we see are pretty close to the numbers reported in the national cases,” she said.

Like many women, men rarely report domestic violence when they are the victims, Francis said.

“Some of their reasons may be around a fear that they may not be believed or a feeling that services may not be there for male survivors,” she said.

Those services do exist, though.

Francis said that agencies around the country, just like InterAct, work to provide the necessary help and shelter, whether the victim be male or female.

“We just try to help people understand that this is everybody’s issue and it has a wide reach,” she said.

Source: http://www.wncn.com/story/26523534/domestic-violence-underreported-in-us-a-growing-issue-among-men

Sep 272014
 

Brandeis Case Reveals Complexity Of Disciplining Students For Sexual Assault

By Fred Thys

September 26, 2014

WALTHAM, Mass. — This week, Brandeis University posted its new policy on sexual misconduct. The change comes amid a federal investigation of how Brandeis handled a contentious sexual assault case. The investigation reveals how hard it is for universities to handle claims of sexual violence.

Seventy-nine U.S. colleges and universities are currently being investigated under Title IX for violations of students’ civil rights in sexual assault cases.

The Brandeis case has complexities not normally found in such cases: For one, the complaint was filed by the student accused of sexual misconduct.

The student was accused in January. Dean Gendron, Brandeis’ director of student rights and community standards, received a complaint from a junior that he had been sexually assaulted by his ex-boyfriend. It was an unusual case for the university, in that it involved two men in a relationship.

At Brandeis, an outside attorney conducts investigations of sexual assault.

“The special examiners … are generally individuals with pretty deep experience in conducting these investigations and examinations, and they come in and actually conduct the process of investigating the reported sexual assault and then make a recommendation,” said Andrew Flagel, senior vice president for students and enrollment.

Flagel and other officials at Brandeis could not comment on this or any individual case.

Brandeis chose attorney Elizabeth Sanghavi, formerly with the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, to investigate this case.

WBUR does not reveal the names of victims of sexual assault without their consent. In this case, the student who says he was the victim did agree to be identified. But because the student he accused has not been charged with a crime, we decided to withhold the names of both men. So we’ll call the student who first filed a complaint with Brandeis the “junior,” and we’ll call the man he accused the “ex-boyfriend.”

The junior said Sanghavi conducted many interviews with him, each lasting anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours. He said Sanghavi did not record any of the interviews, but took extensive notes. According to a dean’s summary of Sanghavi’s findings, she interviewed eight witnesses besides the junior and his former boyfriend. The junior was impressed with her.

“I thought she was very professional, very sensitive and also very thorough,” the junior said. “The thoroughness at times was excruciatingly painful, because excruciatingly painful detail we had to go into.”

Following federal guidelines, the examiner used the same standard used in civil lawsuits to find whether any wrongdoing had occurred. That standard is “preponderance of evidence,” meaning it’s more likely than not that the wrongdoing occurred. And she found that the ex-boyfriend caused physical harm, committed sexual misconduct and acted without consent.

Brandeis allows students to appeal, and in his written appeal, the ex-boyfriend argued that Sanghavi had viewed events “in isolation rather than over the course of a relationship.” For example, he said she did not consider that the junior “had invited sexual advances.”

Normally, the dean of students decides what sanctions to impose after a finding. But because that dean had many contacts with the ex-boyfriend, a dean who did not know either man was appointed to the case. She was new to Brandeis. She had come from Harvard, where, as a resident dean, she had served on the board that handles sexual misconduct.

Based on the findings of the special examiner, the ex-boyfriend was issued a disciplinary warning. (Such a warning does not go on his transcript, though most law schools and medical schools do ask Brandeis for information about students’ conduct.) He was also ordered to complete a program on sexual assault prevention.

Universities are charged by federal law with protecting students from sexual assault. Flagel, the Brandeis senior vice president, told the junior in an email that “at no point was there a finding that [his ex-boyfriend] was a danger” to other Brandeis students.

“One of the reasons they may not see him as a danger is because he’s a gay man, and they might not think a gay guy is a danger to anybody,” the junior said. “None of them have said that to me, but it’s kind of the feeling I get.”

One study shows gay students are actually more likely to be victims of sexual assault than heterosexual students.

“We found that the prevalence of sexual assault among students who were gay or bisexual or lesbian was roughly twice that of those who reported that they were heterosexual,” said Emily Rothman, who teaches courses on preventing sexual violence and preventing violence between intimate partners at Boston University, and who studied first-year students at a Boston-area college in 2001.

In the fall of 2013, the American College Health Association National College Health Assessment (which Brandeis shared with WBUR) found 1.2 percent of men at Brandeis reported being raped, slightly more than the national average of 0.7 percent.

And 2.8 percent of all Brandeis students reported being in a sexually abusive relationship — again, slightly more than the national average of 1.7 percent.

Now, the federal government is investigating the ex-boyfriend’s claim that he was the victim of sexual violence by the junior, and the university did not investigate his claims.

The ex-boyfriend said Brandeis also discriminated against him in several ways as he responded to claims he had sexually assaulted the junior, including not giving him an opportunity to meet with university officials before the school brought formal charges against him.

The ex-boyfriend said Brandeis allowed the junior to have an attorney present at one meeting, but he was never allowed to have his own attorney present.

Among other things, Brandeis’ new policy on sexual misconduct now specifically states that the accuser and the accused must have the opportunity to have others present for any and all proceedings.

Sexual assault is taking up increasing attention of university administrators across the country.

“The wider issue of sexual assault prevention and services is probably occupying somewhere between 25 and 30 percent of my time,” Brandeis’ Flagel said.

In response to the federal investigation, Brandeis issued a statement. It begins by saying: “We have an utmost commitment to ensuring the safety of our students.”

Brandeis President Fred Lawrence recently reiterated that commitment when confronted with student protesters at an event in front of the university’s Rose Art Museum. Hundreds of people were waiting in front of the museum for the lighting of a sculpture called “Light Of Reason.” The students filed out to one side of the ceremony, many with mouths taped, some carrying signs such as “There is no reason in sexual assault.” Lawrence approached them and told them he did not want them to feel that sexual assault is not a concern at Brandeis. He told them Brandeis has put a lot of effort into addressing the problem, and promised to put more effort into it. Lawrence thanked the students for being there.

Over the past two years, nine Brandeis students have been accused of violating the university’s rules on what it calls “sexual responsibility.” In the six concluded cases, two students were expelled, two were suspended, one was placed on probation and, in one case — the case of the junior and his ex-boyfriend — the student was given a warning.

Brandeis is already implementing what are seen by experts, researchers and administrators as some of the best practices in the prevention of sexual assault. It has a sexual assault prevention director and this fall it plans to open a rape crisis center. It trains its faculty and students to intervene to prevent sexual assault.

But, as the case of the junior and his ex-boyfriend illustrates, it’s very hard for universities to get this issue right and satisfy both the accuser and accused that justice is being served.

Source: http://www.wbur.org/2014/09/26/brandeis-sexual-assault-case

Sep 262014
 

Students justify blog naming alleged rapists with the rhetoric of the lynch mobs at the hanging trees of the Old South

September 26, 2014

Professor Alan Dershowitz once wrote: “As one civil-liberties lawyer, who is concerned about the sometimes vigilante attitude toward accused rapists, puts it: ‘Some people regard rape as so heinous an offense that they would not even regard innocence as a defense.'”

A group claiming to be current and former University of Chicago students created an anonymous Tumblr blog called the “Hyde Park List” listing the names of six male students and alumni who allegedly have perpetrated “gender-based violence” against other students. The blog was followed by fliers with the names taped around campus.

The students stated that the effort is a response to the shortcomings of the university’s alleged sexual assault policy. “The University has failed to protect the community, sexual assault is historically deeply underreported, and we have failed as a campus to have a real and serious conversation about sexual assault on campus,” the Tumblr says.

This effort needs to be condemned by all persons of good will. It is but one more example of a disturbing hostility to due process when it comes to young men and alleged sex offenses. Progressives who otherwise have fought to protect the rights of the presumptively innocent accused of crimes are eerily silent when it comes to young men accused of sex offenses. Many of them side with the anti-due process forces, and that is chilling in the extreme.

The “Hyde Park List, is nothing new. The same attitude has animated other such efforts. For 17 years, the University of Maryland famously sanctioned a Clothesline Project where alleged rape survivors were permitted to publicly display shirts with the full names of men they accused of rape written on them. There was no discussion about even the possibility that any of the men named might have been innocent, much less a national outrage over it. The university stopped the practice not out of respect for the men named but only because it realized the practice subjected it to liability.

And there was the infamous Brown bathroom wall “rape list.”

Feminist icon Germaine Greer called for an online rapists’ register “because we know the courts can’t get it right.”

On and on it goes, but the rhetoric employed to justify the sort of vigilantism in these efforts never varies. It is a chilling echo of the lynch mobs gathered at the hanging trees of the old American South. No, the Chicago Tumblr bloggers don’t want to kill anyone, but like the lynch mobs of old, the so-called “Hyde Park List” is animated by a blatant disregard of the due process rights of the presumptively innocent. These bloggers are waging the war on sexual violence with the memes of the hangman, as much as they would angrily deny it.

The motivating impulse of the lynch mob was that the system could not adequately respond to rape by black men. As one writer put it, lynchings “are extraordinary measures demanded by extraordinary occasions.” Underlying the defense of lynchings was the assumption that rape accusers were “victims” just because they said so. The hangman and his sympathizers had no doubts about the guilt of the men and boys hanged –“their guilt was clear in every instance,” clucked one writer. Another explained: “. . . the utmost care is taken to identify the criminal and only when his identity is beyond question is the execution ordered.” And: “As the most careful precautions are taken against this result it is not a likely thing lest the wrong man is executed.”

Due process wasn’t just unnecessary to the fair administration of justice when rape was alleged, it was a hindrance to the fair administration of justice. The criminal justice system was “incapable” of meting out the punishment that was needed, a punishment that spared the victims of “negro” atrocities the humiliation of testifying in courts.

What was the lynch mob’s reaction to those who denounced lynchings? To malign them as “fanatics” and victim blamers, of course. The folks who called for due process never “say[ ] or do[ ] anything to discourage the crime which provoked” the lynchings in the first place, said one lynching sympathizer. Indeed, these “fanatics . . . have assailed the victims of the brute’s lust . . . .”

Does any of this sound familiar? In fact, all of it should sound familiar. The echoes of those shrill voices resonate in the “Hyde Park List” and a thousand other places.

In his State of the Union Address of 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt condemned the hanging of blacks by vigilantes. He quoted a religious leader of the day: “As Bishop Galloway, of Mississippi, has finely said: ‘The mob which lynches a negro charged with rape will in a little while lynch a white man suspected of crime. Every Christian patriot in America needs to lift up his voice in loud and eternal protest against the mob spirit that is threatening the integrity of this Republic.’”

Sadly, more than 100 years later, Teddy Roosevelt was right. The “mob spirit” is alive and well, and it isn’t targeting just black men. It has wrapped itself in the mantle of political correctness and gussied itself up with PhD’s in Women’s Studies programs, and it uses justifications about having a “serious conversation.”

But all of the noble intentions in the world to eradicate rape can’t whitewash their appalling hostility to the rights of the accused. The lynch mob is alive and well, and the time is long overdue for all persons of good will to condemn it.

Source: http://www.cotwa.info/2014/09/students-justify-blog-naming-alleged.html

Sep 252014
 

How to end domestic violence? Your Say Interactive on USA Today

September 24, 2014

Even though the rate of domestic violence has dropped drastically since 1994 (serious intimate partner violence dropped by more than half according to data from a special Department of Justice report released this year), it would be hard to glean that from recent headlines. That’s because, despite the drop over the past decade, incidents of domestic violence are still alarmingly high. About 12 million men and women are victims of violence and stalking by an intimate partner each year in the United States. And 85% of victims of domestic violence are women (see the graphic above for more details).

The latest national discussion was prompted by calls starting in July for more action by the NFL against Ray Rice, at the time a Baltimore Ravens running back who was caught on tape knocking his then fiancée unconscious in a hotel elevator (they have since married). The initial response from the sports organization was one that’s all too familiar when it comes to dealing with domestic violence: If we essentially pretend it didn’t happen, the pain and humiliation of the moment might go away. Public outcry forced a different outcome: Rice’s punishment went from a slap-on-the-wrist, two-game suspension to being cut from the Ravens and indefinitely banned from the league. Women aren’t the only victims. Soccer player Hope Solo was arrested in June and charged with domestic violence in an assault involving her nephew.

But, beyond the outcry in the sports world, many agree that much more needs to be done to address intimate partner violence across the country. More than 80% of Americans say they would vote to allocate federal funds to assist female violence victims and help prosecute domestic violence cases (see graphics above for more statistics). And some readers went a step further saying the NFL should lead by example by toughening its policies and donating funds to organizations that help victims. What do you think?

Below, readers voice their views on the league’s actions, and what it can do moving forward. Read their opinions, then look at the national conversation on domestic violence in the interactive above. Give your opinion in the informal polls on the page:

Link to interactive site: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/09/24/domestic-violence-women-sports-nfl-your-say/16171393/