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62 Abuse of Women News Articles
for January 2018
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source

1-31-18 Oklahoma blind man who brutally raped girl, 13, is spared jail
Rape prevention groups are in uproar after a legally blind man in the US state of Oklahoma was spared prison time after he raped a 13-year-old girl. Benjamin Lawrence Petty, 36, admitted tying rope round his victim's wrists at a church camp, before raping her and threatening her not to tell anyone. The local prosecutor said the 36-year-old sex attacker's blindness was a "major factor" in the sentence. A lawyer for the girl's family said they had accepted the judgment. The girl was assaulted in June 2016 while visiting the Falls Creek camp with her Texas church. Petty had been working as a cook at the camp, which bills itself as the largest summer camp in the world with more than 50,000 youth visitors each summer. He was given the suspended sentence after entering a negotiated guilty plea to first-degree rape, forcible sodomy and rape by instrumentation. Murray County Assistant District Attorney David Pyle told the Oklahoman newspaper that the reason the rapist was given probation was because he is "legally blind and the parents (of the victim) live out of state and this little girl lives out of state and didn't want to make all the travels back and forth" for a court trial. Candida Manion, executive director of the nonprofit Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, told the Associated Press that "failure to hold perpetrators accountable regardless of their disabilities sends the wrong message to victims of crime". "There is a lack of knowledge about sexual assault within the criminal justice system, and what we know about violent offenders is that they will reoffend," Mrs Manion added. (Webmaster's comment: In the United States the Injustice System finds any excuse to forgive rapists!)

1-31-18 Larry Nassar case: USA Gymnastics doctor 'abused 265 girls'
The number of known sexual abuse victims of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar has grown to 265, a Michigan judge has said. At least 65 victims are set to confront Nassar in court this week in the last of three sentencing hearings, prosecutors say. He was sentenced last week to 40 to 175 years in prison after nearly 160 women testified that he had molested them. He was earlier sentenced to 60 years' prison for having child abuse images. USA Gymnastics said on Wednesday that every director of its board had resigned in the wake of the scandal.

1-31-18 Tariq Ramadan: French police question Muslim scholar over rape claims
Prominent Muslim academic Tariq Ramadan is being questioned by French police investigating allegations of rape and sexual assault against him. He was taken into custody in Paris over claims made by two women last year. Mr Ramadan, 55, denies wrongdoing and is suing one of his accusers, Henda Ayari, a former radical Islamist who now heads a secular feminist group. Mr Ramadan, a Swiss national, teaches Islamic studies at Oxford University, but took leave of absence in November. In a book published in 2016, Ms Ayari wrote about being raped in a Paris hotel four years earlier, but the book did not name the attacker. In October 2017, she said the sexual assault scandal surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein had emboldened her to accuse Mr Ramadan explicitly. "He literally pounced on me like a wild animal," Ms Ayari told French TV. Another woman, a convert to Islam who has remained anonymous, later accused him of raping her in 2009. Four Swiss women have also accused the scholar of making sexual advances while they were students in Geneva. He says all the allegations are part of a "campaign of slander" by enemies.

1-30-18 India outcry after eight-month-old baby raped
An eight-month-old baby girl has been raped, allegedly by her cousin, in the Indian capital Delhi. An eight-month-old baby girl has been raped, allegedly by her cousin, in the Indian capital Delhi. Police say she is in a critical condition after being admitted to hospital on Sunday. They have arrested the 28-year-old cousin. Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal, who visited the girl, described her injuries as "horrific". The debate over sexual violence in India has grown after the fatal gang rape of a female student in 2012. The rape of the baby girl happened on Sunday but came to light on Monday after local media reported it. Ms Maliwal tweeted that the baby had undergone a three-hour operation and that her cries could be heard in the hospital. This distressing case of assault on an infant has shocked India and made national headlines. The extent of her injuries has horrified many and prompted them to wonder whether we have reached a new low. But a look at the statistics, compiled by the government, shows that such crimes are not uncommon. And worryingly, their numbers are rising rapidly. According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, 2016 saw 19,765 cases of child rape being registered in India - a rise of 82% from 2015 when 10,854 cases were recorded. A couple of years ago, an 11-month-old was kidnapped by a neighbour while she slept next to her mother and brutally raped for two hours. And in November 2015, a three-month-old was kidnapped and assaulted in the southern city of Hyderabad. (Webmaster's comment: Last year in South Dakota a father raped his 3-month old daughter! Where was the outcry in South Dakota?)

1-29-18 Nelly lawsuit: US papers detail alleged sex assault in Essex
Rapper Nelly sexually assaulted a fan after an Essex gig then threatened "I will find you", a US lawsuit claims. The unnamed woman is said to have been forced into a sex act in Southend last month, according to a separate rape allegation filed in the US. The papers cite the alleged incident, and another in London in 2016, as evidence Nelly "preyed upon fans". Nelly has denied all allegations and filed a counter-suit. Essex Police are in contact with US lawyers. A force spokesman said it had not received a report about an incident on 5 December but would endeavour to obtain a statement. The US lawsuit against Nelly, real name Cornell Iral Hayes Jr, 43, relates to student Monique Greene, 22. She alleges she was raped on his tour bus in October and is suing the rapper in Seattle. The papers claim a UK fan and her friends went into Nelly's dressing room at Cliffs Pavilion, with the star taking the woman into a small side room. The lawsuit says Nelly performed a sex act in front of her, repeatedly told her she wanted him and tried to pull off her top. It is claimed he grabbed her hand and placed it on his penis, with the woman pulling away and responding: "That's enough". "You may have sold records and have more quid in your bank than I do, but this doesn't make you any more special than me," she is alleged to have told him. It is then alleged Nelly said "just do it" and forced her to perform a sex act. The woman scrambled free but Nelly followed her to a stairwell. It is claimed he told her "I will find you".

1-29-18 Iran frees woman who took off headscarf - lawyer
An Iranian woman detained after defiantly taking off her headscarf and holding it on a stick in Tehran has been freed, a human rights lawyer says. The woman - whose name remains unknown - became the face of protests in the country in December, and images of her were widely shared on social media. Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh now says she has seen an official dossier that shows the woman has been released. Iranian officials have so far made no public comments on the issue. "The girl of the Enghelab Avenue has been released", Mrs Sotudeh, a former political prisoner, wrote in a post on her Facebook page (in Persian) on Sunday. She was referring to the avenue where the woman took off her headscarf - a punishable offence in Iran. The lawyer said she had gone to the prosecutor's office to follow up the woman's case and had learnt of her release the previous day. "I hope they don't fabricate a legal case to harm her for using her basic rights," Mrs Sotudeh wrote. "She has not done anything wrong to deserve prosecution." The woman is believed to be a 31-year-old mother of a toddler. She has been the subject of a social media campaign in Iran, following the anti-establishment protests at the end of last year in which at least 20 people died. A hashtag in Persian asking about her whereabouts - and English-language equivalents #where_is_she and #WhereIsShe - have been used thousands of times on Twitter, as well as on other social media channels used in the country where dissent is often met with repression.

1-27-18 Steve Wynn: US casino mogul quits as Republican finance chair
US casino mogul Steve Wynn has resigned as finance chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) amid sexual harassment allegations. A Wall Street Journal report on Friday alleged that the 76-year-old billionaire harassed massage therapists and forced one staff member to have sex with him. Mr Wynn has denied wrongdoing, calling the stories "preposterous". RNC chair Ronna McDaniel told US media she had accepted his resignation. Mr Wynn has blamed his ex-wife, whom he is fighting in court, for the "slander". "The instigation of these accusations is the continued work of my ex-wife Elaine Wynn, with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit," the billionaire said in a statement that his public relations team sent to the BBC on Friday. According to the Wall Street Journal, which said it had interviewed dozens of people who worked with Mr Wynn, he is accused of engaging in a pattern of abuse in which he often harassed massage therapists while alone in his private office. The gambling industry giant paid $7.5m (£5.2m) to one manicurist who alleged she had been forced into sex by Mr Wynn, the paper claims citing court documents. Female employees would fake appointments in order to avoid seeing him, or enlist others to pretend to be their assistants in order to avoid being alone with him. Some would even hide in bathrooms or closets if they heard he was coming to their salon, the paper claimed. (Webmaster's comment: A man that is innocent would not pay $7.5 million dollars to stop a woman from accusing him of forcing sex on her. He's guilty as accused!)

1-27-18 Larry Nassar: Michigan vows full inquiry at university
Michigan's attorney general has promised a full investigation into how sports doctor Larry Nassar was able to abuse young women for decades while working at a university in the state. "We will meet with every victim," Bill Schuette said, in a televised statement. "We will listen to them." Nassar was effectively sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for sexually abusing young athletes. The university's president and its athletics director have since resigned. Nearly 160 women accused Nassar, 54, of abuse. He worked at Michigan State University (MSU) between 1997 and 2016 and also served as national medical co-ordinator for USA Gymnastics (USAG) from 1996 to 2014. USAG's entire 18-member board resigned over the scandal on Friday. Multiple molestation complaints from young athletes against the physician were ignored by MSU. "It is abundantly clear that a full and complete investigation of what happened at Michigan State from the president's office down is required," Mr Schuette declared. "We will put a bright light at every corner of the university." He appointed Michigan State Police Director Kriste Kibbey Etue and former Kent County prosecutor William Forsyth to lead the investigation. Mr Forsyth said they would seek to establish how athletes had been complaining about Nassar since the 1990s yet the university had not opened an investigation until 2014. "How was he able to engage in this behaviour for over 20 years?" Mr Forsyth asked, flanking Mr Schuette. (Webmaster's comment: Every year 14.4 million children under 18 have been physically sexually abused, 85% of them less than 13 years old. And 43% of men admit they would rape a women if they thought they could get away with it. Nassar was just one of them!)

1-26-18 Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn denies abusing employees
A top Republican Party official and casino mogul is denying a report he assaulted female employees in a decades-long pattern of abuse. Steve Wynn is accused of harassing massage therapists and forcing one staff member to have sex with him, according to the Wall Street Journal. "The idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous," Mr Wynn said in a statement on Friday afternoon. He blamed his ex-wife, who he is fighting in court, for the "slander". "The instigation of these accusations is the continued work of my ex-wife Elaine Wynn, with whom I am involved in a terrible and nasty lawsuit," the billionaire, turning 76 on Saturday, said in a statement that his public relations team sent to the BBC. A spokesman for Wynn Resorts would not comment on whether Mr Wynn, who has donated millions to political campaigns, planned to continue in his role as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC). The RNC did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment. During his campaign for president, Donald Trump described his fellow businessman as "a great friend". According to the Wall Street Journal, which said it had interviewed dozens of people who worked with Mr Wynn, he is accused of engaging in a pattern of abuse in which he often harassed massage therapists while alone in his private office. The gambling industry giant paid $7.5m (£5.2m) to one manicurist who alleged she had been forced into sex by Mr Wynn, the paper claims citing court documents. Female employees would fake appointments in order to avoid seeing him, or enlist others to pretend to be their assistants in order to avoid being alone with him. Some would even hide in bathrooms or closets if they heard he was coming to their salon, the paper claimed.

1-26-18 Patrick Meehan won't run again for Congress amid accusations
A Pennsylvania congressman has said that he will not seek re-election after it was revealed he used tax funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint. The Republican allegedly paid the woman, whom he called his "soul mate", but denies the harassment allegations. Mr Meehan, 62, informed House Speaker Paul Ryan of his decision on Thursday, according to a spokesman for Mr Ryan. He is the fifth US lawmaker to resign or say he will not run again amid a wave of sexual misconduct claims. The four-term congressman and former US attorney in Philadelphia faced increasing pressure to resign after the New York Times published a report on the settlement he reached last summer with a former aide three decades his junior. She alleged that the congressman became hostile toward her when she did not return his romantic interest and began a relationship outside the office, prompting her to leave her post, according to the newspaper. The married father of three boys denied harassing the woman and contended that she "specifically invited" his intimate communications, which included a handwritten letter about his feelings. He said he reacted "poorly" when he found out she began a serious relationship with another man. The settlement, which is reported to be thousands of dollars, was kept secret.

1-26-18 USA Gymnastics board to quit over Larry Nassar abuse
The entire USA Gymnastics (USAG) board has said it will comply with a US Olympic Committee's (USOC) ultimatum to resign over an abuse scandal. The USOC earlier said the 18-member board must step down by 31 January or lose status as a sports governing body. The USOC outlined steps the board must take after ex-USAG doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years for sexually abusing young athletes. Five directors of the USAG board have already resigned amid the fallout. Two Michigan State University (MSU) officials have also quit after the school became embroiled in the scandal. Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis stepped down on Friday following reports that the school knew of the abuse claims but failed to take action. He said he was "brought to tears" as he listened to Nassar's victims during his sentencing on Tuesday. "My heart breaks thinking about the incomprehensible pain all of them and their families have experienced," he said in a statement. Nassar, 54, worked at MSU between 1997 and 2016 and served as national medical co-ordinator for USAG from 1996 to 2014. Nearly 160 women have accused him of sexual abuse. USAG has admitted dragging its feet on alerting the authorities when it learned of abuse allegations against Nassar in 2015. Multiple molestation complaints from young athletes against the physician between 1997 and 2014 were ignored by MSU. (Webmaster's comment: Nassar abused many children in full view of other children and adults. No one said or did anything!)

1-26-18 Gymnastics in crisis
Three members of USA Gymnastics’ senior board resigned this week, as scores of girls and women offered harrowing testimony about the sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of former team physician Larry Nassar. Nearly 160 young women provided victim statements in court about Nassar, 54—including Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman. Some sobbed as they recounted how Nassar molested them during physical therapy sessions; others commanded him to look at them as they described their subsequent struggles with depression and self-harm. “We, this group of women you so heartlessly abused...are now a force,” said Raisman. “You are nothing.” Nassar had already been handed a 60-year prison sentence for federal child pornography charges. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced Nassar to another 40 to 175 years for criminal sexual conduct and told him, “I just signed your death warrant.’’ She also called for a “massive investigation” into the inaction and silence that enabled Nassar’s 25 years of abuse.

1-26-18 Harassment hypocrisy
Republican U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, who has helped lead a recent effort to combat sexual harassment in Congress, used taxpayer money to settle his own sexual misconduct complaint from a former aide last year. Meehan, a 62-year-old married father of three, used thousands of dollars in office funds to settle the former aide’s complaint that he made unwanted romantic overtures to her and grew hostile when she didn’t reciprocate. The congressman confirmed the settlement but denied harassing the aide, explaining to The Philadelphia Inquirer that he saw the woman, who is decades his junior, as his “soul mate.” He admitted reacting “poorly” when he found out that the woman had started a serious relationship with someone else and said he felt the woman “invited” his intimate communications. Any hostility, he said, came from his stress over the Obamacare repeal vote. Meehan has been removed from the House Ethics Committee, which is now investigating his actions.

1-26-18 #MeToo: Time’s up for Woody?
“Could Woody Allen finally be having his #MeToo reckoning?” said Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn in MotherJones?.com. Allegations of abuse have swirled around the prolific director since 1992, when Allen’s then-7-year-old adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, accused him of molestation. At the time, Allen’s reputation was already in tatters, because of the revelation he had started a sexual relationship with one of longtime partner Mia Farrow’s other adopted daughters, Soon-Yi, when she was 19. Yet Allen continued making Oscar-nominated movies, escaping the “hot seat” even when other powerful Hollywood figures like Harvey Weinstein were felled by sexual misconduct scandals. Now, though, after being called out for hypocrisy by Dylan Farrow, said Alissa Wilkinson in Vox.com, a growing group of #MeToo-supporting actors, including Natalie Portman, Mira Sorvino, Greta Gerwig, and Colin Firth, are voicing regret about working with the acclaimed filmmaker. The low buzz of controversy that has surrounded Allen for years “is becoming a roar.”

1-26-18 Hard to imagine making this up
A former employee of Michael Douglas has accused the actor of a long-running campaign of sexual harassment and bullying, including masturbating in front of her. Author and journalist Susan Braudy worked for Douglas’ company Stonebridge Productions, during the peak of his acting career in the late 1980s. She told The Hollywood Reporter that Douglas regularly made profane and sexually charged comments to her and went into graphic detail about affairs with his co-stars. During one brainstorming session in his apartment, Douglas unzipped his pants and began “rubbing his private parts” to the point of orgasm, she said. “He thought he was the king of the world and that he could humiliate me without repercussion,” she said. Douglas, now 73, calls Braudy’s claims “a complete lie.”

1-26-18 Canada politician Patrick Brown resigns amid sexual allegations
A Canadian politician has resigned just months before a key election after two women accused him of inappropriate sexual behaviour when they were teens. How long does it take to fall from grace? For Canadian politician Patrick Brown, it took mere hours. Late Wednesday evening, CTV News published the accounts of two women accusing Brown of sexual misconduct when he was a federal MP in his late 20s and early 30s and they were teenagers. Although he denies the allegations, by early Thursday morning, he was no longer the leader of the province's centre-right Progressive Conservative party. Both women say Mr Brown plied them with alcohol when they were below the legal drinking age. A noted teetotaller, he was stone-cold sober, they say. Both women say it happened in his private home. The never-married politician was a federal MP at the time. And both women say he pressured them or tried to pressure them into sexual activity. One says he picked her up at a bar more than a decade ago, and brought her back to his house with the promise of booze. When they were alone, he exposed himself and asked for oral sex. The other says he met her on a plane in 2012 when she was 18, and quickly began flirting with her over social media. He offered her a job in his constituency office, which she accepted. Then at an after-party in his home after a charity hockey match, she claims he pushed her on the bed, got on top of her and pressed his erection into her body. She says she froze, and asked to be taken home. He agreed.

1-26-18 Tourists sexually assaulted in Senegal's Casamance region
A group of European tourists have been robbed and sexually assaulted while driving through the Casamance region of southern Senegal, an official says. Armed men stopped the car as it was in the town of Diouloulou and assaulted three of the four tourists. Earlier this month, 14 people were killed in Casamance, which has been hit by a 25-year separatist rebellion. Security had improved in Casamance in recent years and tourists had started to return to the picturesque region. Tourism is one of Senegal's biggest foreign-exchange earners and violent attacks on tourists are not common. The four Europeans were being driven through Casamance near the border with The Gambia when the armed men attacked, the commander of the gendarmerie paramilitary force in Diouloulou, Mamadou Samba, told the Senegalese Press Agency (APS). They also made off with 4,400 euro ($5,480; £3,850) and 315,000 CFA francs ($595; £420). One of the tourists is currently undergoing medical examinations following the sexual assault. The Senegalese police and army are currently looking for the perpetrators.

1-25-18 Larry Nassar case: The 156 women who confronted a predator
Former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar has been handed a jail sentence of 175 years in Michigan for abusing female athletes he was supposed to be treating. Here, the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan, who was in court, and Roland Hughes detail the extraordinary testimony given in court by the survivors of his abuse. One hundred and fifty-six young women - mothers, sisters, daughters, Olympians. All say they were abused by the same man: former Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Over seven days, they took to the stand one by one to do what few survivors of sexual abuse ever get the chance to do - directly confront their attacker. Nassar had already pleaded guilty to 10 counts of sexual assault for abusing young girls under the guise of medical treatment. Women who filed criminal complaints against Nassar spoke out at his sentencing hearing in Lansing. But they were followed by close to 150 others, many of whom chose to do so without the anonymity to which they were entitled. It began with him exposing himself. Later, he would masturbate before her. Then, he physically abused her - all while both their families were in the same house. When Kyle, aged 12, told her parents that Nassar would rub his erect penis on her bare feet, he denied it. Back then, her parents did not believe her, and urged her to apologise to him. "He forced me to grow up really fast," Kyle told the BBC after the hearing. "It was such a benign action until you grow up and realise it was a vile thing." (Webmaster's comment: The list is endless!)

1-25-18 Infighting will save #MeToo
There's nothing more feminist than a civil war. The nasty women are at it again. Somehow Aziz Ansari's night of alleged sexual misconduct has turned into a season of bitter recriminations between feminists of different generations. "What exactly was your beef?" HLN's Ashleigh Banfield, 50, rhetorically asked Ansari's 23-year-old accuser, prompting the writer of the account, Babe.net editor Katie Way, 22, to call the host "a second wave feminist has-been." Banfield responded by citing her time as a war correspondent in "Afghanistan and Iraq, Gaza, and the West Bank" and dismissively suggesting Way "Google those places." So angry. So nasty. Is this really what feminism is "supposed" to look like? Well, yes. This is exactly what feminism is supposed to look like: contested. Infighting is what has advanced the movement for the past century, enabling it both to transform and to survive. Three months after the high-profile takedowns of Harvey Weinstein, #MeToo may be at a turning point, but it's fights like the one unfolding now that could give it a shot at enduring. The impassioned and ongoing debate around the Ansari allegations revolve around whether what the actor did warranted his exposure. Caitlin Flanagan characterized the Babe.net story as "3,000 words of revenge porn" at The Atlantic, and saw a generational divide between herself and the "hit squad of privileged young white women" who "destroyed a man who didn't deserve it." Other women had a much different interpretation: "I saw someone tweet something like 'if what Aziz Ansari did was sexual assault then every woman I know has been sexually assaulted' and like yeah, actually," tweeted Arnesa Buljusmic-Kustura. Others still disagreed, saying Grace's story could threaten to pale more serious accusations, like those leveled against Weinstein. Neither side seemed ready to budge on their stance.

1-25-18 Larry Nassar: MSU president resigns amid gymnast abuse row
The head of Michigan State University (MSU) has resigned, hours after sports doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced for sexually abusing young athletes. Lou Anna Simon had been facing pressure to step down. Nassar worked at MSU between 1997 and 2016. Also a former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, he was sentenced to 40 to 175 years' imprisonment after testimony from almost 160 women. Ms Simon denied reports that MSU knew of the abuse claims but failed to act. She said in a statement: "To the survivors, I can never say enough that I am so sorry that a trusted, renowned physician was really such an evil, evil person who inflicted such harm under the guise of medical treatment." The accounts of Nassar's victims are "tragic, heartbreaking, and personally gut-wrenching," she added. On Wednesday Michigan's House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Ms Simon to quit. About 140 young women have filed a lawsuit against Nassar, USA Gymnastics and MSU, claiming the two institutions heard the paedophilia allegations against him years ago. The sports body and the school deny there was a cover-up.

1-25-18 David Copperfield responds to sexual assault allegation
David Copperfield has responded to an allegation that he drugged and assaulted a model in 1988. Brittney Lewis suggested the incident took place when she was 17 years old during a modelling competition. The world's highest paid magician released a statement on Instagram saying he supported the #MeToo movement. Copperfield, 61, said he had been the victim of false allegations in 2007 and was having to "weather another storm". He added, "I've lived with years of news reports about me being accused of fabricated, heinous acts, with few telling the story of the accuser getting arrested, and my innocence". Brittney Lewis made her claims in The Wrap, which also spoke to her best friend, husband, ex-husband and grandmother. Lewis said she reported the incident to the FBI in 2007.

1-24-18 Larry Nassar victim calls him 'the scariest monster of all'
A former US gymnastics champion has called the disgraced national team doctor who molested her and well over 100 others the "scariest monster". Mattie Larson said in court Larry Nassar had first molested her at 14 and did so repeatedly even when her friends and coaches were in the room. Two other women forgave the 54-year-old in court on Tuesday for abusing them. He is expected to learn his fate on Wednesday, the seventh day of the sentencing hearing. Nassar has pleaded guilty to 10 counts of criminal sexual conduct and faces life in prison. He already faces 60 years in jail for possession of child pornography. Some 158 women accuse the former USA Gymnastics doctor. Ms Larson told the court on Tuesday how she was repeatedly abused at the isolated Karolyi Ranch, a USA Gymnastics training site in Texas. The 25-year-old elite former gymnast said Nassar would abuse her in the lounge where her teammates were watching television, and often around her coaches and trainers. (Webmaster's comment: Americans accept sexual abuse of young women as an everyday thing. They are perfectly willing to sit and watch it without saying a thing. One of the sickest cultures on earth.)

1-24-18 Larry Nassar abuse: What it was like to face 'monster' doctor in court
"You stand there and... he's five feet away from you." Women who testified against Larry Nassar, the former USA gymnastics sports doctor, tell the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan what it was like to confront him in court.

1-23-18 Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg shares #MeToo story
At the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg shared her #MeToo experience when she was a student at Cornell University in the 1950s.

1-22-18 Teen sexualisation made Natalie Portman rethink film roles
Natalie Portman says male sexualisation as a teenager made her rethink which films to work on. The actress spoke at the Women's March in LA on Saturday about how her first fan letter at 13 was a "rape fantasy". She also said a local radio station counted down to her 18th birthday - the date she would become "legal to sleep with". "I felt the need to cover my body and to inhibit my expression and my work," she recalled. "The response to my expression - from small comments about my body to more threatening deliberate statements - served to control my behaviour through an environment of sexual terrorism." Portman said these experiences meant she developed a completely new outlook on which film roles she would accept. The 37-year-old said she "rejected any role that even had a kissing scene", while making sure to project how "bookish and serious" she was in interviews - to ensure that people treated her the right way. Portman, who won an Oscar in 2011 for Black Swan, said that at the age of 13 she had to develop a certain mindset. She said this lead to her developing an image that was "prudish, conservative, nerdy, serious". This, she said, was "an attempt to feel that my body was safe and that my voice would be listened to". (Webmaster's comment: Welcome to America where women are prey at a any age!)

1-21-18 Pope in Peru: Francis speaks out on violence against women
Pope Francis, who is on a visit to Peru, has spoken out about violence against women in Latin America. Speaking at a Mass in the northern city of Trujillo, the Pope called the violence "a plague" that needed to be combated across the region. According to the UN, half of the 25 countries with the largest number of murders of women are in Latin America. The Argentine Pope, 81, is on the second and final leg of a week-long regional tour. "There are so many cases of violence that stay silenced behind so many walls," the Pope said on Saturday. "I'm calling on you to fight against this source of suffering including legislation and a culture that rejects every type of violence." On Thursday, the pontiff arrived in Peru from Chile, where he became embroiled in a row over clerical sex abuse. He drew anger by accusing victims of a paedophile priest of slandering a bishop who they say tried to cover up the priest's crimes. (Webmaster's comment: Against violence against women but support for the church's pedophiles!)

1-20-18 Women's marches across the US
Women's marches are being staged across the US on the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's inauguration. The biggest event is planned for Las Vegas on Sunday. It's one year since the first Women's March inspired protest movements around the US and beyond.

1-19-18 Larry Nassar case: Olympic champ Jordyn Wieber reveals abuse
A gold-medal winning Olympian has confronted disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar at his sentencing to reveal he abused her, too. Jordyn Wieber is the fourth member of the Fierce Five, the winning 2012 Summer Olympics squad, to accuse him. She joins teammates Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney, who all said Nassar, 54, molested them. More than 100 victims have come forward. Nassar admitted 10 criminal counts and could face life in prison. In emotional testimony, 22-year-old Ms Wieber delivered her statement in court near Lansing, Michigan, on Friday. "I thought that training for the Olympics would be the hardest thing that I would ever have to do," she said. "But, in fact, the hardest thing I ever had to do is process that I am a victim of Larry Nassar." The judge has allowed scores of Nassar's victims to address him in court. For four days this week courtroom number five at Ingham County Court has been the scene of powerful testimony. Young women have taken the stand to do what few survivors of sexual abuse ever get the chance to do - confront their attacker. The public seating area has been packed, as gymnasts and their families support each other. Tissue boxes are scattered across seats - the testimony has been emotional. All the while, Larry Nassar, the doctor they say violated them, has been sitting feet away. At one stage he was told to look up. Survivors here don't just want him sentenced to life, they want him - the man they trusted - to face up to what he did. The impact of this case can't be underestimated. By Friday lunchtime around 80 women had shared testimony. But more than 100 say they plan to, as the hearings extend into next week. Ms Wieber, standing next to her teammate Ms Raisman, told a Michigan court she was first molested by Nasser at age 14. She told the court Nassar had often been one of the only men allowed at training camp in Texas and he would sometimes be in their hotel rooms alone and unsupervised. (Webmaster's comment: And this is just the very tip of the iceberg. Over 1 in every 4 women have been physically sexually abused in their lifetime. That's over 40 million women! Millions of men need to go to jail!)

1-19-18 France: #MeToo versus the French art of seduction
Has the global #MeToo movement become a threat to sexual freedom? asked Franck Nouchi in Le Monde. That was the argument made by 100 French women artists, writers, and academics—including the iconic actress Catherine Deneuve—in an open letter in this newspaper last week. They argued that the flood of sexual harassment accusations against powerful men, a wave started by the exposure of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as a serial predator, had gone too far and was now creating a totalitarian environment. “Rape is a crime. But insistent or clumsy flirting is not a crime, nor is gallantry a chauvinist aggression,” they wrote, decrying a feminism that required “hatred of men and of sexuality.” After one of her co-signers caused outrage during a TV debate by insisting that rape could be pleasurable, Deneuve clarified her stance, saying she did not mean to minimize the seriousness of assault but merely to warn against “social media lynchings.” Yet the global reaction, particularly in the English-language media, was intense. Some accused Le Monde of “siding with the pigs” or “betraying the cause of women.” And thus French feminism is once again put on trial for its supposedly “tepid nature,” said Eugénie Bastié in Le Figaro. This clash between Anglo-Saxon and French feminists has been raging for years: When Dominique Strauss-Kahn—the French former head of the International Monetary Fund—was accused of trying to rape a maid at a New York City hotel in 2011, “horrified condemnation was unanimous across the Atlantic.” But in France, some cautioned against allowing “an American puritanism” to replace the more nuanced French feminism, which sociologist Irène Théry said combines “the absolute respect of consent and the delightful surprise of stolen kisses.” Now, as then, Frenchwomen wish to reserve “the right to be seduced.”

1-19-18 Governor sex scandal
At least four Republican state legislators have called on Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to resign amid accusations that the GOP politician threatened to blackmail a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair and then used a taxpayer-funded attorney to try to contain the scandal. St. Louis TV station KMOV last week released a tape secretly recorded by the woman’s ex-husband in which she described how Greitens then took nude photographs of her and said he would release them if she ever revealed the relationship. Greitens admitted to the affair—which happened just before his gubernatorial campaign began in 2015—in a Facebook post apologizing to his supporters. But he denies threatening the woman, who was his hairdresser. A decorated former Navy SEAL with two young children, Greitens was considered a rising Republican star after winning the governorship in 2016 as an outsider. During the campaign he denounced career politicians as “liars, cowards, [and] sociopaths.”

1-19-18 A dish served cold
A dish served cold, after former NBC Today journalist Ann Curry—forced from the show’s co-anchor job after allegedly clashing with colleague Matt Lauer—said in an interview she “is not surprised” Lauer was brought down by allegations of sexual harassment and abuse. She declined to elaborate.

1-19-18 Michael Douglas: Former employee accuses actor of sexual harassment
A former employee of Michael Douglas has described how she says she was sexually harassed by the actor - more than a week after he issued a pre-emptive denial of the claims. Author and journalist Susan Braudy said Douglas's alleged treatment left her feeling "humiliated". Her claims include that he performed a sex act in front of her. The Hollywood star responded by saying: "This is a complete lie, fabrication, no truth in it whatsoever." His statement came 10 days before Braudy's allegations were published in The Hollywood Reporter. Douglas explained he "felt the need to get ahead" of the situation and share his concerns about the "nightmare" scenario. Braudy worked for Douglas's company Stonebridge Productions in the late 1980s. She claims he used sexual language in front of her, including openly discussing extra-marital affairs, while she was running the firm's New York office. Braudy also alleges that Douglas commented about her body, which made her then wear loose, dark clothing. She alleged he masturbated in front of her during a one-on-one script meeting in his apartment in 1989 and that she rushed out, feeling humiliated. "I realised he thought he could do anything he wanted because he was so much more powerful than I was," she said, adding that she ran home and vowed to never be alone with him again. She finished working for him later that year.

1-19-18 #MeToo: The new McCarthyism?
The #MeToo movement is “in danger of becoming a witch hunt,” said Karol Markowicz in FoxNews.com. The first warning signs came when an anonymous female journalist, spurred by Harvey Weinstein’s downfall, created the “Shitty Media Men” list—an online database of male journalists whom women co-workers accused of various unsubstantiated offenses, from sexual assault to “weird lunch dates.” This week, #MeToo officially went off the deep end when Babe.net published a woman’s humiliating and potentially career-destroying account of a sexual encounter with comedian Aziz Ansari. The woman, referred to as Grace, says the two went back to Ansari’s apartment after dinner, got naked, and engaged in oral sex. When Ansari pushed for more, she rebuffed him. When she finally said “no,” he called her a taxi—and she cried all the way home. “There is a useful term for what Grace experienced,” said Bari Weiss in The New York Times. “It’s called ‘bad sex.’” It’s unfortunate, but Grace freely walked both in and out Ansari’s door—and lumping him in with rapists and molesters “trivializes what #MeToo first stood for.” And so the inevitable “#MeToo backlash” begins, said Laura Hudson in TheVerge.com. “If history has taught us anything, it is that powerful people never give away their power without a fight.” So it’s no surprise that women who have dared to speak out against creepy men—famous or not—are now being portrayed as “hysterical exaggerators or self-serving zealots.” But here’s a warning: Women who feel wronged when men don’t take “no” for an answer, or harass them at work, will no longer suffer in silence, even if some male reputations get bruised. The cries of a “witch hunt” are about nothing other than prioritizing “the reputations, power, and safety of men over women.”

1-18-18 Dylan Farrow: 'Allen's been lying so long'
Dylan Farrow says she wishes Woody Allen had been charged over allegations he sexually abused her as a child. "He's lying and he's been lying for so long," she told CBS's This Morning, in her first TV interview about her adoptive father. Allen repeated his denial of the claims and issued a new statement on Thursday saying: "I never molested my daughter." Several actors have recently distanced themselves from Allen, as Hollywood's sexual harassment scandal continues. Farrow has long alleged that Allen sexually abused her when she was seven, in her mother Mia's country house. Allen said in his statement: "Even though the Farrow family is cynically using the opportunity afforded by the Time's Up movement to repeat this discredited allegation, that doesn't make it any more true today than it was in the past." In the CBS interview, Farrow said she was giving the interview because "I want to show my face and tell my story. I want to speak out, literally." She repeated her allegation that that on 4 August, 1992, "I was taken to a small attic crawl space in my mother's country house in Connecticut by my father". She said: "He instructed me to lay down on my stomach and play with my brother's toy train that was set up. And he sat behind me in the doorway and as I played with the toy train, I was sexually assaulted."

1-17-18 Dylan Farrow: Outrage after 'years of being ignored'
Dylan Farrow says she feels "outrage" after "years of being ignored, disbelieved and tossed aside". Woody Allen's adopted daughter has appeared on CBS This Morning to talk about her sexual assault claim against the director. In what is her first TV interview, Farrow says she is "hurt" and "angry". The 32-year-old has repeatedly accused Allen of molesting her when she was seven - claims the director has always denied. Farrow expressed anger at the suggestion she was simply caught up in the Hollywood #metoo campaign, saying: "Why shouldn't I want to bring him down? Why shouldn't I be angry? Why shouldn't I be hurt? "Why shouldn't I feel some sort of outrage... after all these years of being ignored, disbelieved and tossed aside?" The excerpt, in which Farrow was visibly emotional, was a preview of a longer interview, which will be aired on Thursday.The interview was filmed on Monday at Farrow's home in Bridgewater, Connecticut. Farrow discussed why it was the right time for her to do a television interview after years of claiming Allen had abused her. "All I can do is speak my truth and hope - hope that somebody will believe me rather than just hearing," she said.

1-15-18 Catherine Deneuve apologises to sex assault victims
The French actress Catherine Deneuve has apologised to victims of sexual assault after signing an open letter that argued the campaign against sexual harassment had gone too far. She said she was sorry if she had offended victims of "hideous acts". Last week, she sparked a feminist backlash as one of 100 prominent women who signed a letter saying men should be "free to hit on" women. Some activists said the intervention trivialised sexual violence. The letter signed by French women writers, performers and academics, was published by Le Monde newspaper last Tuesday. It said that while it was legitimate and necessary to speak out against the abuse of power by some men, the constant denunciations had spiralled out of control. "I fraternally salute all the victims of these hideous acts who might have felt assaulted by the letter published in Le Monde. It is to them and them alone that I offer my apologies," the actress said in a letter published on Sunday on the website of French daily Liberation. Ms Deneuve also said that there was "nothing in the letter" to Le Monde that said "anything good about harassment, otherwise I wouldn't have signed it". (Webmaster's comment: Some women are so conditioned by their upbringing in male dominated cultures they seek to excuse sexual predators.)

1-15-18 Aziz Ansari responds to assault allegation
US comedian and actor Aziz Ansari has responded to an accusation of sexual assault by saying he had believed the encounter to be "completely consensual". Babe magazine published a detailed account over the weekend from a 23-year-old woman who said she felt "victimised" after a date with Ansari. She said it had taken her a long time to "validate this as a sexual assault". Ansari has said he "took her words to heart". The article published in Babe contained lengthy alleged details of the pair's date late last year. The woman, under the pseudonym Grace, alleges that when they returned to Ansari's apartment after dinner last September, he repeatedly tried to initiate sexual activity. She says he ignored or did not notice her signals that she did not want to have sex with him, and after several interactions which left her feeling "very uncomfortable" she left in a taxi in tears. She said she later texted him to say he had ignored "clear non-verbal cues" and that he had responded at the time by saying: "Clearly, I misread things in the moment and I'm truly sorry."

1-14-18 Vogue suspends Mario Testino and Bruce Weber amid sexual exploitation claims
Photographers Mario Testino and Bruce Weber have been suspended from working with fashion magazines including Vogue, amid allegations they sexually exploited male models and assistants. A series of claims were made against the pair in a New York Times article. Weber denies the claims, while lawyers for Testino said his accusers "cannot be considered reliable sources". Vogue publisher Conde Nast said it would not work with the men "for the foreseeable future". Artistic director Anna Wintour, who is also Vogue's editor-in-chief, said in a statement that the claims had "been hard to hear and heartbreaking to confront". In a separate statement, Wintour and Conde Naste chief Bob Sauerberg also said they were "deeply disturbed" by the accusations. The allegations against Testino date back to the mid-1990s and include groping and masturbation, the paper reported. Ryan Locke, a model who worked with Testino on Gucci campaigns, described him as a "sexual predator". Hugo Tillman, a photographic assistant, said Testino pinned him down on a bed before being removed by another person.Another assistant, Roman Barrett, said sexual harassment was a "constant reality". He claims the photographer masturbated in front of him. (Webmaster's comment: Men are also the victims of male sexual predator assaults. And don't forget the choir boys.)

1-14-18 Sri Lanka leader rejects move to allow women to buy alcohol
A move to grant women in Sri Lanka the same rights as men to buy alcohol legally has been overruled by President Maithripala Sirisena. He told a rally he had ordered the government to withdraw the reform, which would also have allowed women to work in bars without a permit. He said he had only found out about the move from the newspapers. The government announced on Wednesday it was amending a 1955 law, agreeing that it discriminated against women. Critics have accused the president of not taking gender equality seriously. "This is not just about this archaic sexist law but the archaic sexist system in which this law is just one more tool of control," wrote one Sri Lankan blogger. While the previous law was not always strictly enforced, many Sri Lankan women had welcomed the change. It would have allowed women over the age of 18 to buy alcohol legally for the first time in more than 60 years. A ban on alcohol being sold outside the hours of 09:00 to 21:00 would have been changed to allow sales between 08:00 and 22:00.(Webmaster's comment: The assault on women never stops.)

1-12-18 James Franco: Five women accuse actor of inappropriate behaviour
James Franco has been accused of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour by five women, including students from his acting school, US media report. Four of the actor-director's former students and an actress who said Franco was her mentor told the LA Times they were victims of "an abuse of power". It comes after claims against Franco on social media following his best actor win at Sunday's Golden Globe awards. The star said the earlier allegations made on Twitter were "not accurate". On Sunday, Franco attended the Globes ceremony wearing a Time's Up pin on his lapel, signalling his support for an initiative aimed at combating sexual harassment in the film industry and other workplaces. That prompted accusations of sexual misconduct against the 39-year-old on Twitter from actresses Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Violet Paley. On Thursday, Tither-Kaplan told the LA Times that Franco participated in an "abuse of power" on film sets designed to create a "culture of exploiting non-celebrity women". She added that during a sex scene filmed three years ago with Franco and several women, the actor had removed plastic guards covering the actresses' genitalia while simulating oral sex. Two other student actresses said that Franco had become angry during a photo shoot when they refused to remove their shirts and expose their breasts, the LA Times reports.

1-12-18 China professor accused in #MeToo campaign is sacked
A Chinese university has fired a professor accused of sexual misconduct, after a former student named him in a #MeToo campaign. Beihang University in Beijing said an investigation had established that Chen Xiaowu had sexually harassed students. The former student, Luo Xixi, shared her story on China's version of Twitter, Weibo, earlier this month. Her account went viral and was seen as China's first widely-shared #MeToo moment. Ms Luo, who now lives in the US, previously told the BBC that the #MeToo movement in the West had given her "a lot of courage". In her post, she said that Mr Chen had tried to force himself on her 13 years ago, after luring her to his sister's house. He later relented after she burst into tears, she said. She had contacted other women who also said they had been harassed by him, and gathered evidence - including audio recordings - before taking the case to the university and sharing the case online. (Webmaster's comment: There are 3.8 billion males in the world and over 1/3 have probably sexually abused women. Out of of the 161 million males in the United States about 53 million have probably sexually abused women.)

1-11-18 School superintendent takes blame for dramatic teacher arrest
After a teacher challenged Vermilion Parish Superintendent Jerome Puyau over his pay rise, she was removed from a school board meeting, handcuffed and arrested. In the wake of backlash over viral footage of the arrest, the Louisiana superintendent speaks out.

1-11-18 A woman's choice - sexual favours or lose her home
Across the US, sexual harassment at the hands of landlords, property managers and others in the housing industry can drive poor women and their children into homelessness. It is a problem badly understood and virtually unstudied. Khristen Sellers needed a home. So when Four-County Community Services - a local housing agency - offered her an opportunity to move into a white panelled, three-bedroom trailer home on the outskirts of town, she readily accepted. That's when the trouble started. Sellers remembers the first time the agency's inspector, a former North Carolina state police officer named Eric Pender, came to the property with a clipboard in hand. As she continued to clean, she says the conversation quickly turned from the house to Sellers' personal life. Undeterred, Sellers says Pender asked her if she "gives head" or if she'd ever been paid for sex, implying that his signature on the inspection was the only thing standing between her and a place to live. At one point, she says he called her into the bathroom under the pretence of showing her a needed repair. She says he pulled her in by her hips, blocked the doorway and took out his penis. She managed to push him out of the way. "It was continuous," she says. "He would never sign. Each time he came, it was like, 'You owe me before I sign this paper. And you gotta make a decision.'"

1-11-18 Media Men list: Moira Donegan reveals she was author
The creator of an online spreadsheet that named men in the media industry alleged to have abused women has come forward, amid rumours that she was to be identified by a magazine. The creator of an online spreadsheet that named men in the media industry alleged to have abused women has come forward, amid rumours that she was to be identified by a magazine. Writer Moira Donegan said she set up the list for women to share their stories "without being needlessly discredited or judged". The list quickly went viral when it was set up in October. It was online for only 12 hours but gathered the names of more than 70 men. Allegations against those named ranged from harassment to rape. Writing in The Cut magazine, Ms Donegan said she was "incredibly naïve" when she made the Google spreadsheet, which was called the Shitty Media Men list. It followed a string of allegations made against dozens of men in the entertainment industry, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. "I had imagined a document that would assemble the collective, unspoken knowledge of sexual misconduct that was shared by the women in my circles: What I got instead was a much broader reckoning with abuses of power that spanned an industry," she said. She said she became "overwhelmed and scared" as more names and allegations were added to the list and was worried that her career might be ruined. Although she decided to take the list down she said it was clear that it was "clearly cathartic" for the women who were using it "saying that it had happened to them too". (Webmaster's comment: 70 is nothing. 1 in 4 women in the United States have been sexually abused by men. THAT'S 40 MILLION WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES THAT HAVE BEEN SEXUALLY ABUSED. Everything from groping to rape.)

1-11-18 Cheating and manipulation: Confessions of a gaslighter
Greg, a Canadian lawyer, is 28 but he's already had 11 serious relationships. He says each of those relationships ended with infidelity, on his part, and severe self-doubt on the part of the women. He is a self-confessed "gaslighter". "Looking back it's clear that I was gaslighting the women and slowly making them second-guess their version of reality," he says. He's speaking out now to give insight into the mind of a gaslighter, and to warn women of the tell-tale signs. Gaslighting has been described as psychological abuse where false information is deliberately presented to the victim - the purpose being to make the victim question their own memory and perception of events. Greg learned that he was a gaslighter recently, while in therapy. He pinpoints the start of his behaviour to a relationship when he was a 21-year-old law undergraduate. Paula was four years older and completing a master's degree. Greg describes the relationship as "romantic but unsteady". He soon began sexual encounters with other women behind her back. But Paula was an intelligent woman and soon picked up that Greg was being unfaithful to her. Greg says that in order to continue cheating, while still maintaining their relationship, he had to "alter her reality". He began identifying "techniques and pathways" in which he could manipulate Paula - laying the groundwork in order to make the lies that would come later more believable. "Paula was extremely intelligent, but I was aware that I was leaving traces of infidelity in the digital world, on social media," says Greg. He said he made jokes over a period of time pointing to her "obsession" with social media, making her feel that she was suspicious in an unhealthy, even "crazy" way. "I deliberately used demeaning language to make her lose confidence in her reading of the situation, of my infidelity. She was 'paranoid', she was 'crazy', she was 'full of drama'. "I'd say this all as jokes. But they would build over time, and she then started to believe." The desired effect was achieved. Paula, who had suspected his infidelity, began to wonder aloud if perhaps she had been wrong to doubt him, if her judgement had left her. While she still had her doubts, Greg says she had started to question herself and apologised for suspecting him, vowing to spend less time on social media. (Webmaster's comment: Women should trust their suspicions. They are probably right. Many men will deliberatly manipulate women to control them and get sex from them. They are very skilled at this.)

1-10-18 Snapshot: Record Unhappiness With Women's Position in U.S
Nearly four in 10 Americans say they are "very" or "somewhat" dissatisfied with the position of women in the U.S., the highest since Gallup first asked the question in 2001. The year 2017 turned a sharper focus on women in U.S. society, from the Women's March on Washington to the "Me Too" movement drawing attention to allegations of sexual harassment and abuse, and the "Time's Up" movement's focus on gender equity in show business and business more generally. Gallup's update on a question that asks Americans about their satisfaction with the position of women in society reflects this focus, with a significantly larger percentage now saying that they are dissatisfied than in 2001 to 2008 when these questions were last asked. U.S. women are substantially more dissatisfied with the position of women in society. Nearly half of women (46%) say they are very or somewhat dissatisfied with their position in society, up from 30% in 2008, when Gallup last asked the question (and the trend's highest point.) Dissatisfaction is also up among men, although at significantly lower levels than among women.

1-10-18 Rape victims' clothing on display at Belgian exhibition
An exhibition in Brussels is displaying clothing worn by rape victims at the time they were attacked, reportedly to dispel the "stubborn myth" that provocative dress is a factor in violent sexual crimes. The exhibition, held in the Molenbeek district of the Belgian capital, is called "Is it my fault?" It refers to the self-doubt that many victims feel after an attack, the Flanders News website reports. The clothes loaned to the organisers - victim support group CAW East Brabant - include tracksuit bottoms, pyjamas and dresses. CAW's Liesbeth Kennes told VRT1 radio "What you immediately notice when you walk around here: they are all very normal pieces that anyone would wear. "There is even a children's shirt with an image of 'My Little Pony' in the exhibition, which brings home a harsh reality," she said. Ms Kennes says that "victim blaming" still remains a problem in sexual assault cases, where the victim may be questioned on the assumption that they were at least partly responsible for the sexual aggression against them. In 2015, she told VRT's De Redactie website that only 10% of rapes in the country are ever reported to the police, and that of those, only one in ten cases results in a conviction. "Behind those figures are people of flesh and blood, women, men and children," she said, "Our society discourages victims from speaking about what they have experienced." While victims are accused of dressing provocatively, flirting, or even cycling home late at night, Ms Kennes says "There is only one person responsible, one person who could prevent rape: the perpetrator".

1-10-18 South Africa police hunt rapist with bitten penis
South African hospitals are on the alert for a man with an injured penis after a pregnant woman managed to bite her rapist's genitals as he assaulted her in front of her child. The woman was sexually assaulted after accepting a lift from two men in Mpumalanga province as she tried to reach a clinic with her child, five. Instead she was driven into the bushes and raped at knifepoint, police say. They now hope his injuries will mean the man can be bought to justice. "We appeal to all health institutions that should they found a man with an injured private part, they must as soon as possible contact Constable Solly Mabuza," Mpumalanga police said in a statement. The men, the statement says, were driving a white Toyota Tazz near the town of White River. They initially threatened the woman, who is three months pregnant, at gunpoint, warning her not to scream. After she bit her attacker, he fled and was "currently not found", the statement explained. (Webmaster's comment: I hope she bit it right off!)

1-10-18 Catherine Deneuve defends men's 'right to hit on' women
French actress Catherine Deneuve has said that men should be "free to hit on" women. She is one of 100 French women who wrote an open letter, warning about a new "puritanism" sparked by recent sexual harassment scandals. It deplores a wave of "denunciations", following rape allegations made against US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. A group of French feminists condemned the letter, accusing the signatories of trivialising sexual violence. Mr Weinstein denies all allegations of non-consensual sex, but has admitted that his behaviour has "caused a lot of pain". The letter by French women writers, performers and academics was published in France's Le Monde newspaper on Tuesday. "Men have been punished summarily, forced out of their jobs when all they did was touch someone's knee or try to steal a kiss," it said. (Webmaster's comment: Groping a women's genitals without her permission is a sexual attack and not OK!) "Rape is a crime, but trying to seduce someone, even persistently or clumsily, is not - and nor is men being gentlemanly a chauvinist attack." The authors argued that there was a new "puritanism" afoot in the world. They said that while it was legitimate and necessary to speak out against the abuse of power by some men, the constant denunciations have spiralled out of control. According to the writers, this is creating a public mood in which women are seen as powerless, as perpetual victims. "As women we do not recognise ourselves in this feminism, which beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality." (Webmaster's comment: Women have been conditioned by men to accept sexual abuse for centuries. These women are their own worst enemy!)

1-10-18 Spain Catalonia: Conviction over Inés Arrimadas gang-rape jibe
A Spanish woman who wrote a Facebook post saying she wanted to see unionist leader Inés Arrimadas gang raped has been given a four-month suspended jail sentence. Rosa Maria Miras Puigpinós was found guilty of offending moral integrity. The post was written after a TV debate in which Ms Arrimadas defended her stance against Catalan independence. Ms Arrimadas, who heads the Catalan wing of the liberal unionist Citizens party, said it was "hate speech". Miras Puigpinós, 45, posted the comment after the television debate in September. She has since deleted her profile and apologised to Ms Arrimadas. Miras Puigpinós' post also made homophobic comments towards the leader of the Catalan Socialists, Miquel Iceta. Only Ms Arrimadas complained to the police. "I'm going to report this woman. Not only for what she said against me, but also for all the women that have been raped," Ms Arrimadas said on Twitter at the time.

1-9-18 Golden Globes 2018: Sexual harassment scandal dominates ceremony
Powerful speeches about Hollywood's sexual abuse scandal have dominated the 75th Golden Globe Awards. It was the first major Hollywood awards ceremony since the film industry was hit by sexual harassment scandals, with stars wearing black to honour victims. Oprah Winfrey summed up the mood, saying "a new day is on the horizon" as she collected an honorary award. The big film winner of the night was Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which took home four awards. It won the best film drama award, with its star Frances McDormand also picking up a trophy for best actress. The Oscar-winning actress stars as a grieving mother who challenges police over the fact her daughter's killer has not been found. Big Little Lies won the most awards in the television categories, including honours for its stars Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern and Alexander Skarsgard. It was also named best limited TV series. Kidman won the first award of the night for her role as a victim of domestic violence. She dedicated her win to her castmates, daughters and mother, saying: "Wow, the power of women."

1-9-18 Craig McLachlan: Actor denies sexual misconduct allegations
Australian actor Craig McLachlan has denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by three women. The accusations against McLachlan, 52, concern his time performing in a 2014 production of the Rocky Horror Show. Three cast members accused the former Neighbours actor of inappropriate touching and harassment. McLachlan stepped down from the Rocky Horror Show's current Australian run on Monday, but rejected the allegations as "entirely false". "Frankly, they seem to be simple inventions, perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety," he wrote in response to allegations published by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The actresses, Christie Whelan Browne, Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi, said they had come forward to protect other cast members. McLachlan had been reprising his role as Dr Frank N. Furter in Adelaide. The allegations, also published by Fairfax Media on Monday, include that McLachlan pulled aside Whelan Browne's underwear during a performance and kissed her buttock. "I think people who know him know that he's very generous, warm, funny... I saw a very different side come out in him which was terrifying," she told the ABC.

1-8-18 US police chief 'kutecop4you' arrested in child sex sting
The stunned wife of a US police chief who was arrested for soliciting sex with a child says her family's lives "have been completely shattered". Michael William Diebold, who ran the three-man police force in Leechburg, Pennsylvania, was arrested on Friday. The 40-year-old allegedly sent explicit texts and photos with a person he believed was 14, but it was a police sting. His wife apologised to the public on Sunday. "I have never hurt so bad in all my life," Danielle Reinke Diebold said in a statement to KDKA News. She described her husband as the "first man ever in my life who never made me question, never gave me a gut feeling, never a bad instinct or sign and we were even in the process of planning to extend our family". "This is not who we knew. We knew a loving, caring father and husband and we are grieving the loss of that man," she added. According to Pennsylvania state prosecutors, Mr Diebold was arrested on Friday after trying to meet an undercover officer who was posing online as a teenager. The criminal complaint says that Mr Diebold had been contacted by the bogus teen after posting an advert in which he stated he was a "full-time police officer". Identifying himself as "kutecop4you", Mr Diebold wrote: "I am a dom male that is also employed as a full time police officer. I hope that does not scare you off." After the undercover agent claimed in the text exchange to be a 14-year-old girl, Mr Diebold allegedly responded: "Everyone has to have a first time."

1-7-18 Golden Globes: Sex scandal fallout expected to dominate Hollywood awards
Film awards season gets under way with the Golden Globes later - the first major ceremony since Hollywood was hit by its sexual harassment scandals. Stars of film and television are expected to wear black on the red carpet in a protest against misconduct. Acceptance speeches - and host Seth Meyers' opening monologue - are also expected to focus on the issue. Guillermo del Toro's otherworldly romance The Shape of Water has the most nominations of any film, with seven. Its stars include Britain's Sally Hawkins, who is nominated for best actress in a film drama. It's also up for best drama film, alongside Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. The best comedy or musical film nominees are The Disaster Artist, Get Out, The Greatest Showman, Lady Bird and I, Tonya.

1-6-18 Will #MeToo spread in China?
On New Year's Day, China finally had its own #MeToo moment. Luo Xixi, an academic with a PhD from the prestigious Beihang University in Beijing, said she was sexually harassed by one of her professors when she was studying there 12 years ago. She recounted her experience on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, and said she was still haunted by the experience. Her post gained more than three million views within a day, triggering a heated debate online about sexual harassment. Shortly afterwards, Beihang University announced that the professor in question had been suspended from his duties, and that an investigation was under way. The professor has denied the allegations. Ms Luo, who now lives in the US, told the BBC that the #MeToo movement had given her "a lot of courage". But the digital campaign has not been as prominent on Chinese social media until now - and even then, there haven't been as many other people stepping forward to share their experiences. Many Chinese feminist groups are encouraging women to follow in Ms Luo's footsteps, but think that even if the #MeToo movement takes off it will look quite different in China. (Webmaster's comment: The #MeToo movement has been huge in the West, but MILLIONS of Western women have still not spoken up!)

1-5-18 Sex addiction is gaining medical credibility as a real thing
Guidelines from the World Health Organization are being drawn up that may recognise sexual compulsivity as a mental disorder. If your sex life gets you into trouble, does that make you a sex addict – or just someone who has made some bad choices? The debate over sex addiction has taken a new twist, as guidelines are being drawn up that may recognise sexual compulsivity as a mental disorder. Sex addiction usually hits the headlines when someone famous gets caught behaving badly and lays the blame on their “disorder”. Celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey have reportedly sought treatment for sex addiction recently. But many health professionals say sex addiction isn’t a real illness. Even in the US, where the idea is most popular, this diagnosis does not feature in the official textbook of psychiatric illnesses, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.Soon those who support the idea of sex addiction could get some support from an alternative set of diagnostic guidelines, from the World Health Organization. The WHO has put out for consultation an updated version of its International Classification of Diseases. The document was originally going to include sex addiction, but after debate this was softened to “compulsive sexual behaviour“, defined as a persistent pattern of failure to control intense sexual impulses. But it’s still more controversial than the old category of “excessive sexual drive”, which was more neutral about possible causes. But sceptics say the idea of addiction or compulsive behaviour around sex is just a way for people to duck responsibility for misbehaviour. (Webmaster's comment: And I totally agree!)

1-5-18 Anti-harassment campaign
A coalition of powerful Hollywood women this week unveiled a campaign to fight sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond. Time’s Up is backed by more than 300 high-profile actresses, agents, and other entertainment figures, including Ashley Judd, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Kerry Washington, the producer Shonda Rhimes, and chairwoman of Universal Pictures Donna Langley. In an open letter, the group listed goals including working for legislation to punish companies that tolerate systemic sexual harassment, discouraging nondisclosure agreements that silence victims, and pressuring Hollywood studios and talent agencies to reach leadership gender parity by 2020. The initiative also includes a $13 million donor-funded legal defense fund to aid women working in blue-collar jobs, such as home health-care aides, farmworkers, and waitstaff, with sexual-harassment complaints.

1-5-18 Indian national accused of sex assault on US flight
US authorities have arrested an Indian man after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her as she slept in the seat next to him on a US flight. Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, was sitting between his own wife and the alleged victim, officials say. The woman said she had woken up to find her shirt and trousers unbuttoned and the suspect's hand in her trousers. Mr Ramamoorthy denied the accusations, telling police he was himself asleep after taking a pill. Mr Ramamoorthy, an Indian citizen living in the US on a temporary visa, was sitting in the middle seat, with his wife on the aisle side and the alleged victim in the window seat. The flight was on Spirit Airlines, travelling overnight and arriving in Detroit on Wednesday morning from Las Vegas. Mr Ramamoorthy was held without bail after appearing in a federal court in Michigan on Thursday after prosecutors argued there was a risk he could abscond. Prosecutors told the Washington Post that he had been charged with aggravated sexual abuse.

1-5-18 Every woman in South Asia can say #MeToo
The #MeToo movement that started in the U.S. resonates in South Asia as “painfully familiar,” said Rafia Zakaria. Women here, too, routinely face bosses “who demand illicit relationships” and fire them if they fail to submit to unwanted advances. Just as in the West, those lucky enough not to be groped or pinched still suffer the indignity of being paid less than their male counterparts, listened to less, and promoted less often. Yet here, “the misery begins even before they get to work.” Many women must bargain with husbands or fathers to be allowed to work at all, often agreeing to wear a hijab or burqa in public and to hand over their wages. Then, on their way to the workplace, women get harassed by bus drivers, taxi drivers, ticket takers, and even the other male passengers, who perceive them “as morally loose or available” simply because they are on their way to work. When they return home, women with jobs are more likely to face domestic violence, because while the husbands enjoy the money their wives bring in, they also see that cash as a challenge to their masculinity. As long as the culture promotes male superiority, nothing will change. Our situation “is a two-sided hell: harassment by bosses at work and abuse by husbands at home.”

1-3-18 McMafia: The scale of human trafficking in numbers
The issue of human trafficking is being highlighted in new BBC One drama McMafia, through the character of beautician Lyudmilla. More than 18,000 people are victims every year, according to the UN. But the true scale of the trade in human lives is thought to be much greater than figures suggest.

1-2-18 New York City Ballet: Peter Martins retires amid abuse claims
The longstanding leader of the New York City Ballet, Peter Martins, has retired amid accusations of sexual harassment and abusive behaviour by ballet members. Mr Martins, 71, was placed on leave last month pending an investigation. He denied the allegations in a letter to the board announcing his retirement, according to the Associated Press (AP). Mr Martins, a Danish former ballet dancer, had been the ballet's master-in-chief since 1990. The New York Times recently reported that City Ballet dancers had come forward to allege verbal and physical abuse dating back to 1993. In a statement reported by AP, the ballet's board thanked Mr Martins for his work but said the investigation into misconduct would continue.

1-1-18 Time's Up: Women launch campaign to fight sexual harassment
More than 300 actresses, writers and directors have launched a project to help fight sexual harassment in the film industry and other workplaces. The initiative, which is called Time's Up, was announced via a full-page advert printed in the New York Times. The Hollywood project is described as a "unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere". It comes in the wake of sexual abuse allegations by high-profile actresses against film producer Harvey Weinstein. The campaign, which is backed by hundreds of actresses including Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria and Emma Stone, has already raised more than $13m (£9.6m) of its $15m target. The money raised will be used to fund legal support for both female and male victims of sexual harassment at work. The project is aimed primarily at those who are unable to meet the payments to defend themselves, such as agricultural or factory workers, caretakers and waitresses. In a "solidarity letter" published on its website, Time's Up says the "struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard" must end, adding: "Time's up on this impenetrable monopoly." The letter, which is aimed at "every woman... who has had to fend off sexual advances", goes on to say that such harassment can often continue because "perpetrators and employers never face any consequences". (Webmaster's comment: The consequences should always include serious jail time!)

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