In Ohio and 30 other states, a man who impregnates a woman through rape can successfully sue her for child custody and visitation rights. While there is a bill currently pending in the Ohio State Senate that would block attackers’ parental rights, it has been stalled in the Criminal Justice Committee since it was introduced in January.
On Wednesday, three Ohio State University students with the reproductive rights organization Choice USA will deliver a petition to State Sen. John Eklund (R), chair of the Criminal Justice Committee, demanding that he advance the bill. The petition, created by the progressive advocacy group Ultraviolet, has already collected 60,000 signatures.
“No survivor should have to worry that her attacker is going to sue her if she becomes pregnant and has a child because of the rape,” the petition says. “No one should have to spend a lifetime tethered to their rapist, especially if it means watching a violent offender raise your child. But this is a potential reality for the 32,000 women who become pregnant from rape each year.”
Eklund did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Rape has long plagued the women of Pakistan. In a country where it is estimated less than four percent of rape cases result in conviction, it has become more than sex. Rape has become a tool of power, leaving its victims vulnerable in a world that resembles state sanctioned misogyny and oppression. From forensics to judicial safeguards, political perspectives to cultural misnomers, it leaves women powerless in one of the most populous countries on earth.
With protections continually being stripped, it is both important and difficult to unspin the entire ball of thread that is sexual assault, power, and religion in Pakistan.
A brief history of rape in Pakistan :
Rape, and other forms of sexual assault and abuse have been an intrinsic part of Pakistan’s history, stemming from the violent convulsions of the region that resulted in partition:
“Right before partition took place in August 1947, there were what we now know as the “Rape of Rawalpindi,” where Sikh and Hindu women killed their baby girls and then threw themselves into wells to avoid further “dishonor” or being raped. Women were bartered for the safety of families and some were killed by their kin, again, to protect the ‘honor’ of the family. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, more than two hundred thousand Bengali women and girls were sexually assaulted by the Pakistan Army and the religious militias.”
As if to highlight this is about power and politics and not sex :
“The rape of Muslim women by Hindu males during this period is well documented, with women also being complicit in these attacks. As was the rape of Hindu and Sikh women by Muslim males”
Yet, rape remains a contradictory nexus of shame and dominance:
It’s not hard to find veterans of the partition violence who admit sometimes with remorse, sometimes with an obscene pride that, yes, they rioted, and perhaps even killed. No one will admit to rape. Yet in 1947, there were tens of thousands of rapists Hindu, Muslim and Sikh exacting what they saw as communal vengeance, or taking advantage of the breakdown of order to brutalise and humiliate women.
The human cost during, and after partition, was severe:
Sheila Sen Gupta witnessed something of the agony of the women victims of partition when she worked with Mridula Sarabhai in locating and exchanging women who had been abducted. Khorshed Mehta served as a medical welfare worker in 1947, meeting the refugee trains as they arrived from Punjab at Old Delhi Station. She reckons that almost half the women she helped as they arrived, near destitute, had been assaulted.
Again, during the Bangladesh Liberation War:
….it is estimated that between 200,000 and 400,000 women and girls were sexually assaulted by the Pakistan armed forces and the Al-Badr (“the moon”) and the Al-Shams (“the sun”) militias that supported them.
Which of course carries a high human price :
The rapes caused thousands of pregnancies, births of war babies, abortions, incidents of infanticide and suicide, and, in addition, led to ostracisation of the victims. Recognised as one of the major occurrences of wartime rape anywhere, the atrocities ended after armed forces from neighbouring India intervened. Initially India claimed its intervention was on humanitarian grounds, but after the UN rejected this argument, India claimed intervention was needed to protect its own security, and it is now widely seen as a humanitarian move.
In 1979 Pakistan passed into law the Hudood Ordinance, which made all forms of extra-marital sex, including rape, a crime against the state. It also began, many activists say, thirty years of a nexus between the state and sexual crimes as a means to keep a geocentrically male ordered Koranic society. In 2006, Pakistan passed “The Protection of Women Bill” which sought to fix the perceived problems inherent in the Hudood Ordinance.
Between 1979 and 2006, rape was lumped together with laws criminalizing zina - extra marital sex and adultery - all of which carried a potential punishment of stoning to death if four male witnesses to the crime could be furnished. Without witnesses, rape and zina could be tried as lesser offenses under the criminal code, but police were often untrained and unwilling to collect forensic evidence that would prove force was used. Unable to prove their allegations, women were then often charged with zina based on their admission that they had had intercourse. While top courts threw almost all of the cases out on appeal, rights groups claimed thousands of women languished in prison for years awaiting the final verdicts.
In 2006, rape was moved back to the criminal code, to be prosecuted based on forensic evidence, and the practice of pursuing zina cases against women who could not prove rape was specifically prohibited.
Pakistan claims this has solved much of the issue, and that hysteria and profit are behind claims to the anterior, but i am not so sure.
“A report presented to the Senate last October said 10,703 rape cases were registered in Pakistan since 2009. According to War Against Rape (WAR), a Karachi-based NGO, less than four percent of Pakistan’s rape cases result in a conviction.”
rape is an even larger problem for women in captivity :
” Asma Jahangir, a lawyer and co-founder of the women’s rights group Women’s Action Forum, reported in a 1988 study of female detainees in Punjab that around 72 percent of them stated they had been sexually abused while in custody.
for female ‘bonded laborers:
“While bonded Labour exists throughout Sindh Province, the majority of those bonded in the north belong to the Muslim majority, while most of the bonded agricultural labourers in southern Sindh Province belong to dalit 2 (untouchable) and to tribal communities who have migrated from the drought-prone area of Tharparkar desert. Poverty and starvation have forced these communities to accept the landlords’ cash advances, and to be available for work from dawn to dusk. Bonded labourers may be detained or guarded to stop them escaping and in these situations of total ownership rape of women is not uncommon.”
And, of course, children :
In a study of child sexual abuse in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, out of a sample of 300 children 17% claimed to have been abused and in 1997 one child a day was reported as raped, gang raped or kidnapped for sexual gratification.
Pakistan’s justice problems are not necessarily restricted to rape and violence against women and minorities :
“Violent crime goes largely unpunished in Pakistan - even cases tried in special anti-terrorism courts net only an 18 percent conviction rate “
“… in the case of rape, a host of problems keeps the conviction rate in the single digits. Those include a lack of resources for DNA analysis, a dearth of female medical examiners, and a reluctance of victims to come forward. “
one reason victims may feel reluctant to come forward:
WAR is an NGO whose mission is to publicize the problem of rape in Pakistan; in a report released in 1992, of 60 reported cases of rape, 20% involved police officers.
and of course, misogyny :
“One senior police official told a delegation of local human rights activists that “in 95 percent of the cases the women themselves are at fault.”
And, while misogyny is a driving force, there are other, namely regional and cultural issues, at play:
“In our society, prosecutors and police think a crime is something to be settled among the parties.”
“Over the last five years, Karachi authorities conducted 1,482 medical examinations of suspected sexual assault victims, but only registered 387 cases. By law, police are required to always register cases.”
“This attitude is reflected in the way police handle cases of rape brought by a woman. We found that police routinely refuse to register such complaints, particularly if the complaint is lodged against a fellow officer. We also found that police officers often illegally detain women in police lock-up for days at a time without formally registering a charge against them or producing them before a magistrate within the required 24-hour period. Women can thus be held indefinitely without the knowledge of the courts. It is during these periods of “invisibility” that most sexual abuse of female detainees occurs.”
Very recently, DNA has become an area of heightened tensions within the general debate on rape and justice :
Until now, police have relied heavily on DNA tests to determine cases of rape. The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), however, has declared that DNA tests are not admissible as the main evidence in rape cases.
In a meeting of the council on Wednesday, religious scholars observed that while the tool could aid investigation into rape complaints, it could not be taken as evidence. It could, at best, serve as supplementary evidence but could not supersede the Islamic laws laid out for determining rape complaints.”
Americans overwhelmingly favor legal abortion access for victims of sexual assault. But their lawmakers are consistently refusing to enact policies in line with that.
According to an analysis conducted by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), more than 70 percent of the new abortion restrictions enacted in the first half of 2013 don’t include any kind of exemption for pregnancies that result from rape. And state lawmakers proposed even more measures to limit rape victims’ abortion access that didn’t make it into law — the NWLC’s report finds that 86 percent of the anti-abortion bills proposed during the same time period didn’t have a rape exception.
U.S. Congress didn’t have a much better record during the first six months of the year. Seventy two percent of the bills proposed on a national level would have restricted abortion access even for rape victims.
The anti-abortion measures that apply to rape victims range from forcing a woman who has become pregnant from sexual assault to carry the pregnancy to term; to requiring her to look at an ultrasound of the fetus and listen to a fetal heartbeat; to banning her from using her own insurance coverage to pay for an abortion; to allowing hospitals to deny her abortion care.
Pentagon officials on Thursday formally unveiled new sexual assault policies designed to bolster victim resources and blunt criticism that the military is ill-equipped to handle the sensitive crimes.
But the moves appear unlikely to appease lawmakers who have been calling for a dramatic overhaul of military sexual assault cases, starting with taking the legal responsibilities out of the chain of command.
In a memo to staff, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called sexual assault “a stain on the honor of our men and women who honorably serve our country, as well as a threat to the discipline and the cohesion of our force.”
The new policies include creation of a new legal advocacy program to provide assistance to victims in sexual assault litigation and exploration of ways to give victims more input in the sentencing phase of courts-martial.
They will also mandate more monitoring of sexual assault incidents, both in “timely” follow-up reports by generals or flag officers and additional investigations by the Defense Department’s inspector general.
The Pentagon also recently established an independent panel to review the entire sexual assault military legal process, including how investigations and prosecutions are carried out. Congress has mandated creation of that review board
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel Jessica Wright said the changes show “an unprecedented level of senior level engagement on these issues” and a commitment by senior leaders to help victims seek justice.
“The bottom line is that sexual assault is not tolerated, it’s not condoned, and it’s not ignored,” she said.
Federal authorities have launched an investigation into the handling of at least two alleged rapes at the University of Southern California to determine whether the school violated the victims’ civil rights by dismissing their claims, the latest in a growing number of similar investigations at colleges across the country.
The U.S. Department of Education confirmed to ABC News it has opened a Title IX sex discrimination investigation after receiving a 107-page complaint containing allegations by more than a dozen USC students who claimed the school did not take appropriate action after reporting sexual abuse to college officials.
One USC student who joined the complaint, junior Ari Mostov, 21, says she was told by campus authorities that her alleged attacker, a fellow screenwriting major with whom she shared all her classes, did not commit a sexual assault because “he didn’t orgasm” and that she was told not pursue her case with the LAPD.
“I was told that if I called LAPD, the detectives would be very tough on me and that defense lawyers would call me names in court. The school did everything it could to dissuade me from talking about being raped and asking for help,” Mostov told abcnews.com.
The USC inquest is the latest in a fast-growing string of Title IX investigations launched by the department’s Office of Civil Rights following complaints by students across the country that colleges are covering up alleged rapes and intentionally dismissing accusations of sexual assault.
On Wednesday, just two days after the USC investigation was made public, the University of Colorado Boulder’s chancellor issued a letter to students and faculty announcing that school too was the subject of a federal investigation.
Since January, students from the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Occidental College in Los Angeles, and Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania have filed Title IX complaints.
In the USC case, the students accused the college of misrecording and under-reporting rapes, refusing to expel known attackers, and advising students not to file claims with the police.
Thirty-three senators — including some high-profile Republicans — have now signed on to bipartisan legislation to create a separate military legal command to prosecute serious crimes.
GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Charles Grassley of Iowa have joined Democrats Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Barbara Boxer of California in support for a measure that attempts to remove the military chain of command from decisions about prosecution and sentencing for crimes not directly related to military duties.
Sex crimes such as rape and sexual assault are the chief reasons the Military Justice Improvement Act was proposed, but it would apply to most offenses where a service member faced a year or longer in jail as the possible punishment, unless it involves military-specific offenses such as failure to obey an order or being absent without leave.
Gillibrand, chairwoman of the Senate Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel, said rape and sexual assault appear to be under-reported in the military because of fear of retaliation for coming forward and a belief that a command will not fully investigate.
Making decisions about the investigation, prosecution and punishment outside of the chain of command could lead more victims to come forward, she said.
At a Tuesday press conference to announce his support, Paul said he believes “victims of assault may be deterred if they have to report it to their boss.”
Cruz said the failure to report crimes makes them difficult to stop. “We can have no prosecution, no deterrence without reporting of crime,” he said.
Even though it pains me to have to agree with Cruz and Paul, I’ll agree with Cruz and Paul. Though I wonder if William Kristol had an opinion on this what would it be?
The Obama administration has worked diligently to shrink, underfund, and demoralize the military. Now, Politico reports, two Republican senators, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, are joining an effort led by New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand that goes beyond where even the Obama administration is willing to go in weakening the military.
Sens. Paul and Cruz are signing on to Sen. Gillibrand’s proposal to undermine the military’s chain of command on behalf of the pseudo-crisis of military sexual assault.
Maybe he missed the recent cases of Brig. Gen. Bryan Roberts and Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair. Because the problem in the military is just not in the ranks, it’s at the flag level too. For people like Kristol, I guess their military fetish let’s them turn a blind eye to all this.
Well since Kristol never served let’s hear from Pfc. Natasha Schuette, a Soldier and sexual assault victim.
The campaign’s messages are clear: that “It’s not sex when she doesn’t want it” and “Just because she can’t say no doesn’t mean she’s saying yes.” And the campaign doesn’t just address sexual assaults of women - one ad, showing two men, says, “It’s not sex if he changes his mind.” The kicker is simple. Don’t be that guy. And what do you know? In the wake of the campaign, in 2011, the sexual assault rate in Vancouver dropped by a stunning 10 percent - the first dip in several years.
But this whole not blaming victims and educating men regarding consent thing has not sat well with everybody. Men’s Rights Edmonton has countered with its own campaign, telling women, “Don’t Be That Girl.” Crudely ripping off the imagery of the original campaign, its posters, which have been cropping up in Edmonton, warn, “Just because you regret a one night stand doesn’t mean it wasn’t consensual,” “Just because you regret your life choices, doesn’t mean it’s rape” and “Women who drink are not responsible for their actions especially when sex is involved.” And they remind, “Lying about sexual assault = a crime.”
Lise Gotell, a University of Alberta professor who worked on the original campaign, told the Province this week that “What’s been done to transform an anti-sexual-assault campaign into a rape-apologist campaign is just deeply offensive.” And she added, “What these posters are going to do, when people see them, is play into this myth that there’s a huge problem with false allegations, which we know empirically is wrong. They may in fact discourage people from reporting, because the research also shows that women are very likely to minimize their experiences of sexual assault … The tactics are cowardly and the issue is not a laughing matter.” And Kristopher Wells, of the University’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, said the posters are “obviously not supported by any organization” and are coming down.
Turns out Reddit - home of pedophiles, ephibists and other “Jelly Belly” lovers now is putting out a book!
Get CLOSE to her, damn it!
To quote Rob Judge, “Personal space is for pussies.” I already told you that the most successful seducers are those who can’t keep their hands off of women. Well you’re not gonna be able to do that if you aren’t in close!
All the greatest seducers in history could not keep their hands off of women. They aggressively escalated physically with every woman they were flirting with. They began touching them immediately, kept great body language and eye contact, and were shameless in their physicality. Even when a girl rejects your advances, she KNOWS that you desire her. That’s hot. It arouses her physically and psychologically.”
Decide that you’re going to sit in a position where you can rub her leg and back. Physically pick her up and sit her on your lap. Don’t ask for permission. Be dominant. Force her to rebuff your advances.
Pull out your cock and put her hand on it. Remember, she is letting you do this because you have established yourself as a LEADER. Don’t ask for permission, GRAB HER HAND, and put it right on your dick.”
The Game has been devolving into seriously squicky NLP psudo consent already - this is past all that and into full on sexual harassment and assault.
Here’s a disturbing story out of Josephine County, OR. A woman calls 911 to report that her abusive ex is trying to break in to her house to hurt her. 911 dispatcher says “Sorry, no cops, can’t afford…”
“Uh, I don’t have anybody to send out there,” the 911 dispatcher told the woman. “You know, obviously, if he comes inside the residence and assaults you, can you ask him to go away? Do you know if he’s intoxicated or anything?”
The woman told the dispatcher that Bellah previously attacked her and left her hospitalized a few weeks prior to the latest incident. The dispatcher stayed on the phone with the woman for more than 10 minutes before the sexual assault took place.
“Once again it’s unfortunate you guys don’t have any law enforcement out there,” the dispatcher said, according to Oregon Public Radio.
The woman responded: “Yeah, it doesn’t matter, if he gets in the house I’m done.”
But her nomination has been blocked by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a member of the Armed Services Committee, who wants to examine Helms’s previously unpublicized decision to overturn the conviction, on charges of aggravated sexual assault, of a captain at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Helms’s action mirrors another case that has drawn angry attention from Congress and prompted legislators to propose landmark changes in military law. In that instance, victims’ advocates called for the firing of Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin, commander of the Third Air Force in Europe, after he tossed out the sexual-assault conviction of a star fighter pilot in February.
In both cases, the generals ignored the recommendations of their legal advisers and overruled a jury’s findings — without publicly revealing why. Neither general was a judge and neither observed the trials, but they intervened to grant clemency before the convictions could be heard by an appeals court.