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Haitian earthquake effect on girls and young women

January 17, 2010 2 comments

Women and girls have always carried the brunt of natural disasters. They become more vulnerable than they may already be. They become more impoverished, due to the fact that they were probably in a worse-off financial situation beforehand. Since they’re generally the primary caretakers, they have other people to take care of, so they don’t put their own needs first. Also, the countries are usually rebuilt on the shoulders of women. You get the picture. Obviously nature disasters effect men in negative ways, but women just carry the brunt of negative effects.

When I heard about the earthquake, I was immediately thinking about how women and girls were going to be effected, and now there is actually an acknowledgment that young women and girls are in more danger now than ever before in Haiti.

As of right now, relief efforts are being put into Haiti, and many have said that things like security is just not something that is important at this moment. However, Gerardo Ducos, a Haitian researcher for Amnesty International states,

“My worry is we put a lot of effort into bringing relief, but we have to have some protective measures to benefit women and girls to avoid their being victimized and sexually assaulted. It was already difficult in ordinary times.”

As Ducos said, it was already difficult during ordinary times. There are various reported numbers, but so many girls and young women do not report their rapes or other sexual assaults. During this time of crisis, this issue is just going to get worse. Yifat Susskind, policy and communications director for MADRE, says that women need more support during this time, but this is what happenings:

“They need support commensurate to the burden they are carrying. Instead, we see women and girls are targeted in all sorts of way, especially gender violence.”

She also mentioned that there are simply more losses for girls and young women, by stating,

“Her grandmother, the one person (a girl) could go to for protection or solace – she doesn’t know if she is dead or alive. Her school, the one safe place she could go every day is destroyed. … “

Ultimately, this earthquake has been such a huge hit for everyone, and it’s wonderful that the world is really stepping up and pouring out love to Haiti. We just can’t forget that women and girls are the ones that are going to be effected by this the most in the short and long run.

Update on the Richmond, CA gang rape

December 1, 2009 4 comments

This morning, all 6 Richmond, CA gang rape suspects appeared in court. They all pleaded not guilty (eye roll) to their multiple sex related felony charges. Just a reminder, they are all being tried as adults, even though three suspects are 15, 16, and 17.

Here’s a beauty from a friend of one of the defendants:

“As far as with the girl, I’m not saying she is a bad person, but I feel that there had to be something that attracted them if they did it — I don’t know,” said a friend of a defendant Shyan Mason.

Suuuuuure. It had to be HER that attracted them to do it. It of course has to be ALL HER FAULT. Honestly, I’m just going to flat out say that some people are stupid. There, I said it. Anyway, even if she HAD started something with them, the fact that she said NO multiple times means that it’s RAPE. This WAS NOT consensual sex. What don’t people get? Why do people think that even if it’s “the girl’s fault”, that once s he says no, and the sex moves into rape territory, that the perpetrators are any less guilty? Idiots. Sorry, I’m just so sick and tired of people not understanding what the hell rape is.

Click here to read the full news article.

A friend helps organize victim’s gang rape?

November 26, 2009 Leave a comment

Police are looking into a gang rape right now, which occurred last Monday in Monroeville, Alabama. There are two girls, and three boys/men involved. One girl being the one who was raped, while the other girl, who was a friend, possibly being the organizer of this gang rape. The three boys/men are 16, 17 and 20. They are being held on charges of felony rape.

When the investigation began, the girl who possibly organized this crime, told police that she and her classmate were planning on having consensual sex with all three of these boys/men. However, now she is being considered to be a part of this organized crime.

The actually victim of the rape did tell the police that it was supposed to be consensual at the beginning, and she felt that it was. However, soon after things started, she repeatedly said no, and yet no one stopped. All three took turns raping her. The other girl, who said that the boys/men tried to rape her, but “nothing happen”.

The victim had severe injuries and had to spend about 3 days in the ICU. Horrible, just horrible and disgusting.

Now what I’m hoping for this case is that it all of a sudden doesn’t become a “let’s blame the girl!” kind of thing. If she had anything to do with the planned rape, then yes, she should be punished. However, I just hope that three boys/men involved won’t be ignored. They are the ones that still chose to do this to a girl. It’s not like they didn’t know what they were doing.

What a discouraging story…especially after the horrific gang rape in Richmond, CA.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign

November 25, 2009 Leave a comment

Today marks the first day of the Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand: We CAN End Violence Against Women! activist movement. So, why the 16 days?

November 25, 2009 marks the launch of the 19th international 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign – an annual campaign that runs from International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women through International Human Rights Day. (emphasis mine)

Over the next 16 days, I’m going to try and highlight the violence that women face around the world. If you’re interested in this endeavor, please visit the website and find out what some actions are that you can take to contribute to this movement and to the end of violence against women.

Conservatives using “rape” to create fear

November 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Thanks to RH Reality Check for this. Oh, and thanks Rachel Maddow for being awesome and bringing this issue up.

How pleasant, for conservatives to take liberty and use the word rape in this fashion.


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Brutal details of the Richmond, CA gang rape

November 11, 2009 4 comments

The suspect for this gang rape that was let go, Salvador Rodriguez, has now come out and spoken about what happened that night.

“They were kicking her in her head and they were beating her up, robbing her and ripping her clothes off; it’s something you can’t get out your mind,” Rodriguez said.

“I saw people, like, dehumanizing her; I saw some pretty crazy stuff,” Rodriguez said.

But then the article states that he actually got another person to watch the gang rape with him. Woooow. And this other person states,

“She was pretty quiet; I thought she was like dead for a minute but then I saw her moving around, I was like, ‘Oh,'” the 16-year-old witness said.

“Oh”? Really? I’m not going to try and put my anger and disgust about this horrendous act on those that were witnesses, but there should have been something done sooner about this. Rodriguez goes onto explain why he didn’t call the police about this.

“People say, ‘Why didn’t I call the cops,’ but at the same time, I live in Richmond, a neighborhood like this, snitching is something you don’t do, you know, I mean I have to walk down the streets now in fear of my life,” Rodriquez said.

So, ultimately, people are always looking out for themselves, even if a heinous crime is being committed. So much for believing in humanity…

(Sorry for my cynical nature today, it’s just one of those days!)

HIV is top killer for young women

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

A new report done by the World Health Organization has stated that for the ages between 15 and 49, HIV is the biggest killer for women.

Women are “particular vulnerability” to infection by HIV, WHO says, due to both biology and gender inequality.

WHO Director General Dr Margaret Chan said:

“It’s time to pay girls and women back, to make sure that they get the care and support they need to enjoy a fundamental human right at every moment of their lives, that is their right to health,”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. It’s true that women and girls need to have better health care, all over the world. This doesn’t just mean more care for those with HIV, but other things, such as reproductive health. As for HIV though, there does need to be more access to the treatment drugs which are available in Western countries for the many millions in Africa (and other underdeveloped countries) that suffer from this disease. Just because these people may not live in a developed country, does not mean that they don’t deserve the same treatment that people can get over here. It’s sad and shows true character when the rich don’t give to the poor.

And of course, more preventative measures need to be taken to stop this disease from getting a hold of people. Proper sex education must be done, for both women and men. None of this abstinence-only crap, where condoms are evil. Also, since so many women have this disease because of rape, we still need to fight institutionalized sexism all around the world. We need to make sure that we are taking measures to let men know that they have no right to rape anyone.

Ultimately, this is not a fair disease. This is not a fair disease because so many women and girls get it without even consenting to the sexual intercourse they get it from. This remains a feminist issue until many things change.

Why must activism happen AFTER the wrong act?

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

Today, I read about how the Richmond High students came together, along with community members and the mayor, for an event to support the girl who was gang raped and speak out against sexism and racism which is still so pervasive in our culture.

The white streamers were everywhere – worn as armbands, headbands, neckties, leg-bands – as hundreds of Richmond High School students gathered on the football field with teachers, parents and community members to express their support for the victim of a horrendous gang rape on the school grounds and their determination to act together to prevent future violence.

The speakers spoke of “building a culture that rejects racist and sexist actions and comments and fights back against the underlying social conditions in which such attitudes flourish.” As well as mentioning how these injustices need to be faced on a daily basis, not just after “one acute problem”.

This is all great. This is all fine and dandy and in fact, it seems like a great community movement at this point and who knows, some of those Richmond High students could go on and be the next leaders in fighting social injustice. However, my question is this, why does it take one horrendously wrong act, or “acute problem”, to create activism within people?

If you think about it, many horrendous acts of sexism or racism (or any other ism) wouldn’t occur if the activism was done on a daily basis. As the mayor said at the Richmond gathering, there would be “no bystanders”. That’s the whole point, right? If activism is performed everyday and people are educated about things like sexism and racism, people will no longer be passive about what’s happening around them.

But what gets them to the point of activism? Obviously, to some extend, something has to be there already. Usually something broad, like sexism or racism. I mean, if those things didn’t already exist, we wouldn’t of had great activist leaders of our time, like Gloria Steinem and Martin Luther King Jr. However, when it comes to individual (but extremely serious) incidents, such as the gang rape in Richmond, CA, why wouldn’t people do something about this at the time it was all happening? Everyone knows that something like gang rape is wrong. I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that they thought that what they were doing was just fine, even if they might have been in an impaired state due to alcohol. Everyone has a moral compass, and gang rape is off the charts, screaming “WRONG”.

But had people not been educated enough about these things? Did these people who were bystanders, or participants think they didn’t have a voice and therefore couldn’t be against this? And how does one get a voice when it comes to injustice anyway? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but these are things that need to be addressed. We cannot just continuously wait for the next horrendous crime against a girl or woman to occur and jump on the whoa-we-need-to-fight-sexism train. This is an ongoing battle, and activism must take place before these incidents occur.

I’m not trying to knock whatever Richmond is doing right now. I think it’s good that they are collectively realizing what’s going on in our society today and will hopefully push towards a society where sexism isn’t so pervasive. However, what I am saying is that activism after the wrong act is too late. It’s too late for that 15 year-old girl. It’s too late for others who have been raped or murdered because of sexism or racism.

We all need to be collective in our actions and make sure that it’s never too late again, for anyone.

Seventh person arrested for gang rape in Richmond, CA

November 3, 2009 1 comment

Just a little update on the gang rape case out of Richmond, CA. A 21 year-old man was arrested this morning due to suspicions of “rape, rape in concert with force and other charges that could lead to life in prison if convicted.”

Richmond Police Lt. Mark Gagan says a 21-year-old man from Richmond was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of rape, rape in concert with force and other charges that could lead to life in prison if convicted.

Also, 5 of the already arrested men and boys have been charged for their crime.

How Richmond, CA is responding to the gang rape

October 29, 2009 3 comments

I feel like this is all I’m covering at the moment, but this has become at least transnational news, if not international news. This incident has rocked a lot of people and and the Richmond community itself. Personally, I am hoping that this incident will bring a huge amount of light to the horrible situation of ALL violence against women and girls, whether that be rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse…and the list could go on. This is a serious issue. These issues deserve to be heard and need to be heard.

Here is a video of a rally in Richmond, CA.

Community rallies in wake of weekend gang rape of 15-year-old girl in Richmond, California (video)

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Four have been charged

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Four of the participants of the gang-rape that took place against a 15-year old girl in Richmond, CA have been charged for this despicable crime.

Manuel Ortega, 19, was charged with assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury and rape with a foreign object while acting in concert, said Dara Cashman, Contra Costa County senior deputy district attorney.

She said three minors were also charged but declined to release their names. Two of them, 15 and 17, were charged with rape with a foreign object while acting in concert. A 16-year-old was charged with robbery and rape by a foreign object while acting in concert, Cashman said.

All four suspects were also charged with special enhancements that could result in life sentences if they are convicted, according to Cashman.

Lt. Mark Gagan commented about how there is still a lot of work and possible arrests that need to be made.

Arrests made in the 15-year old rape victim case

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

CNN is reporting that five arrests have been made in this gang-rape case. Three juveniles and two adults.

However, police expect to make even more arrests, because apparently around 10 people may have gotten involved. Police explain some more sick details about the incident:

“Based on witness statements and suspect statements, and also physical evidence, we know that she was raped by at least four suspects committing multiple sex acts,” Gagan said.

“As people announced over time that this was going on, more people came to see, and some actually participated,” Gagan said.

Sick. Sick. Sick. I hope justice is served in court.

A 15-year old girl is gang-raped

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

This definitely goes under the category of horrible news of the day. This kind of stuff makes me sick and it makes me feel lots of emotion, because you know, what if you were that 15-year old girl?

She was raped outside of her high school after her homecoming dance by FIVE men (some were teenagers – I don’t know if you want to count them as men, but I digress…). The horrible thing on top of this, is that there were people who knew what was going on and no one reported it! This gang-rape went on for TWO HOURS, and yet, no one reported it, even after knowing what was going on. But of course, this is not the real issue and I don’t want to take away from it. Police explain:

“She was raped, beaten, robbed and dehumanized by several suspects who were obviously OK enough with it to behave that way in each other’s presence,” Lt. Mark Gagan said. “What makes it even more disturbing is the presence of others. People came by, saw what was happening and failed to report it.”

There is a mention of alcohol at the end of the article, citing that she and all of those guys were drinking, but the article only says that she had a large amount to drink before the rape. I really don’t want that getting in the way of anything. We don’t need any victim-blaming here!

The war against women in the Democratic Republic of Congo

January 14, 2008 Leave a comment

This absolutely breaks my heart and disgusts me so much at the same time. We know that a civil war is going on in Congo, but something we rarely hear about is the fact that women are continually and systematically raped during these kinds of conflicts. We know it’s something that happens, but we don’t like to think about and don’t bother to think about it because we feel like we can’t do anything about it. Maybe there are a few more reasons that you can come up with! But nonetheless, it’s important to know that this is going on. I’m not going to quote a lot of the gory details here, because it’s graphic, but please read the article. It’s a must.

Anneka Van Woudenberg, who is the senior Congo researcher at Human Rights Watch, explains the raping that is occurring in Congo.

I think what’s different in Congo is the scale and the systematic nature of it, indeed, as well, the brutality. This is not rape because soldiers have got bored and have nothing to do. It is a way to ensure that communities accept the power and authority of that particular armed group. This is about showing terror. This is about using it as a weapon of war.

I honestly don’t have too many words about this. It is disgusting and disheartening to know that thousands of women are becoming victims of “femicide” because of this war. But even further really, these women are having genocide committed against them. Many people simply think that killing is the only definition of genocide and just think of Hitler, but according to the UN Convention on Genocide, one of the definitions is “causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.” This is clearly happening, and it’s clearly intentional.

When will this genocide end? And why is it being ignored?

Trusting women meets my “fuck you!”

January 3, 2008 Leave a comment

So, Virginia (or, really Gov. Timothy M. Kaine) wants to toughen up on abuse laws. As well, he’s proposing a budget raise of $450,000 a year for state crisis centers and $300,000 a year for a federal prevention program. So, this is good. Especially the prevention program. In our certain welfare state, we don’t focus enough on preventing things like poverty, and violence against women. It’s definitely necessary! And it seems as though he’s kind of about trusting women.

Kaine said he wants to spare people who report being raped from having to take lie detector tests and to require courts to immediately process protective orders in civil abuse cases.

Thank you! Having rape victims take lie detector tests is a disgusting tool against women. It allows for the notion that women are not capable of telling the truth and knowing what happened to them. It essentially wants to give the power back to men.

So everything is fine and dandy…until this:

The proposal that could be the most controversial would prevent a man who has sexually assaulted a girl ages 14 to 16 from avoiding prosecution by offering to marry her.

An example:

A law allowing such a defense has been on the books for at least five decades, though it is rarely used. An 18-year-old man who has sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend, for example, could be found guilty of sexual assault, and some lawmakers believe the man should have the option of marrying her.

Honestly, that’s bullshit. And 18-year-old guy, whose dating a 15-year-old girl are not going to want to get married. They are just having sex, and in most cases, his 15-year-old girlfriend is consenting to this activity. As well, since when has marriage really made anything better? And yet again, it’s taking away the power from the young woman, and giving it all to the man/still teenage boy.

Personally, if I was between 14 and 16, and got sexually assaulted, I would RUN if that guy was like, “Hey, I’m gonna marry you because then I won’t get prosecuted.” It would honestly be the biggest fuck you anyone has ever heard!

So overall, this proposal is a good thing, but holy, that above proposal is bullshit.

Christmas is over…

December 26, 2007 Leave a comment

Which means getting back on top of the stories is on! I wish I didn’t have such a horrible story to start off the day, but I do.

Two women were killed, and another was sexually assaulted by a 46-year-old man named Fabian Hands.

Officers were called to the house in north Omaha Monday night. When they arrived, a 20-year-old woman came out of a bedroom and said she had been sexually assaulted. Hands followed her out of the bedroom and assaulted her in front of officers, according to a police report. Officers subdued him and took him into custody. Police found the bodies of the woman’s 36-year-old mother and 48-year-old aunt in the basement during a search of the house, authorities said. Paramedics pronounced the women dead at the scene.

Thank God that the 20-year-old was able to call the cops before she herself was killed. Of course, that doesn’t make the situation any better, but who knows if he would of been caught if the cops were never called. Sad, disgusting story of the day. Sorry we have to start it out so horribly.

One man sexually abused nineteen girls

November 16, 2007 Leave a comment

Nineteen girls are claiming that one Russian businessman sexually abused them in Cambodia last month. This is the largest number of children to claim that one person sexually abused them in Cambodian history.

Alexander Trofimov, 41, the chairman of Koh Puos Investment Group Ltd., was detained in the southern resort town of Sihanoukville and accused of raping at least six girls. He was charged Oct. 17 with debauchery — a Cambodian legal offense covering sexual abuse of children.

The victims are now between the ages of 11 and 18 but were younger at the time of the alleged abuse, said Samleang Seila, director of a Cambodian child advocacy group, Action Pour Les Enfants. At least two of the alleged victims were sold to the Russian by their parents, he said.

And why did this happen with a foreigner in Cambodia?

Poverty and weak law enforcement make Cambodia a preferred destination for foreigners seeking to prey on children.

This is really upsetting to hear. Knowing that 19 girls were most likely sexually abused by one man is something that is almost uncomprehensible. I’m hoping that justice will be served here.

Lots of news!

November 3, 2007 Leave a comment

Every year, 25000 baby girls are not carried to term in Vietnam.

A judge has lost his job for asking a woman to drop her pants in court.

A woman was freaking thrown out of a moving SUV and two young men have been arrested for it.

A smart woman slashed a young man with glass who was threatening to sexually assault before he could do anything to her!

A Muslim marriage “expert” explains how to beat your wife “properly”. Disgusting!

Domestic abuse is a workplace issue too!

Sexual violence and HIV continue to rise in Haiti.

Funny, funny, abstinence only education video!

The abortion rate and adoption rates aren’t really correlated at all, despite what Giuliani says.

A “polite” rapist?

November 2, 2007 Leave a comment

In Australia, a man has been sexually attacking women (the article never says rape), while wearing women’s clothing. Three so far.

“His first words were `I’m not going to hurt you’. Then he asked me to undo my pants.”

The woman said her attacker was softly spoken and had a lisp.

“He had quite a distinct voice at the end of certain words, it was quite a gentle voice,” she said.

Kind of weird that he seems like a polite man, even though he’s a horrible man because he’s sexually attacking, possibly raping, several women. Police expect him to continue doing so, and are tryingn to link the crimes and figure out who the hell this disgusting man is.

Lots of news!

October 27, 2007 Leave a comment

Two women were abducted from a mall and then raped, in Burton, Michigan.

Sexual violence has reached a “hideous” point in countries recovering from conflict, according to the U.N.

Abortion laws in Britain are on the verge of a change!

Remember, women will get abortions. Legal or not.

This is disgusting. Urinating on a dead woman?

A homeless man in Vancouver gets the life sentence for the senseless murdering a 39-year old woman.