21 Abuse of Women News Articles
for March 2018
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3-18-18 Speaking up about rape in conservative Kazakhstan
In the conservative Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan, many women are afraid to speak up about rape and sexual harassment. But a local campaign - one which predates the MeToo and Time's Up movements - has been urging women not to stay silent. Saina Raisova almost breaks down when she recalls the day she was raped by two men last year. The 26-year-old jumped out of a third floor window in order to escape from her attackers, breaking her pelvis and a heel. She survived her fall, but says that following her rape, "the first thing I thought of was to commit suicide. I thought I wouldn't be able to live with this." Saina lives in constant pain now due to her injuries. But it's been no less harrowing for her to achieve justice. Speaking up about sexual assault is considered extremely shameful by many in Kazakhstan, and Saina tells the BBC she faced severe pressure to stay silent about her rape. "I had to fight not only with law enforcement agencies, but also with myself and with my relatives. Because they were shocked. They didn't understand. "'Why do you need to make this public,' they said. 'Leave it with Allah. He will punish.' (Webmaster's comment: No he will not! He lets them run free to rape again!) "My parents wanted to hide this completely, it was a great stigma for them." Last year, after seeing that the criminal case she brought was progressing slowly, and fearing that the rapists could go unpunished, Saina decided to go public and talk about her case. In January, the court sentenced one of her rapists to 10 years. Another man, alleged to be the second rapist, is still on the run. "Many people blame victims, not the criminals. They tell me you shouldn't have gone, you shouldn't have agreed [to meet], you got what you wanted," she says. Saina is one of many women to join the "don't be silent" movement - a group that helps victims of sexual violence get their voices heard. Since being set up in 2016 the movement has helped 19 women take their cases to court and within one year of the launch, the #???????KZ hashtag (which translates to "don't be silent") has been used nearly 100,000 times online.
3-17-18 Oscars Academy chief John Bailey 'faces harassment allegations'
The head of the organisation behind the Oscars is facing several allegations of sexual harassment, Hollywood trade publications report. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety cite unnamed sources as saying three claims have been made against John Bailey. Mr Bailey, a cinematographer, has led the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since last year. The body approved a new code of conduct in December after a wave of harassment allegations shook the industry. Mr Bailey, 75, has not yet commented on the reports. They first emerged in Variety magazine, which said the academy had received three harassment complaints against Mr Bailey on Wednesday and had immediately opened a review. The academy has confirmed that a review is under way but did not say who was involved. "The Membership Committee reviews all complaints brought against Academy members according to our Standards of Conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the Board of Governors," it said in a brief statement. Mr Bailey's work includes the films American Gigolo, The Big Chill and Groundhog Day. He was awarded the American Society of Cinematographers Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Two weeks ago he told the annual luncheon for Oscar nominees that what he called the "fossilised bedrock" of Hollywood's worst abuses was being "jack-hammered into oblivion".
3-16-18 Banksy protest artwork unveiled in New York
Provocative artist Banksy has revealed a 20m high artwork in New York to draw attention to the imprisonment of Zehra Dogan, a Kurdish painter from Turkey. His image of her behind bars depicts the last bar as a pencil, and next to the mural is a call for her release. Dogan was jailed for two years and nine months last year in Turkey, for her painting of the Kurdish town Nusaybin. Her picture, copied from a newspaper photograph, showed the town reduced to rubble during conflict. The photograph was taken by government forces in the area where they had fought Kurdish militants. It features Turkish flags draped over destroyed buildings. Dogan posted her watercolour painting to social media and was subsequently arrested and sentenced. Banksy's mural, highlighting her first year in custody, has been painted on the historic Bowery Wall made famous by artist Keith Haring during the 80s.
3-16-18 Brazil: Big rallies held after Rio politician is shot dead
Tens of thousands of people in Rio de Janeiro and other cities across Brazil have taken to the streets to mourn a murdered politician who had campaigned against police brutality. Marielle Franco, a 38-year-old Rio city councillor, was viewed by many as a champion of women's rights. Ms Franco and her driver were both shot dead while in her car on Wednesday. Brazilian President Michel Temer called her murder an attack on democracy and the rule of law. "I'm here at the request of President Temer," he said at a press conference. "I would like to tell the friends of relatives of Marielle that we will find those responsible and punish them for this barbaric crime," Mr Jungmann added. "Justice will be done." Ms Franco was returning from an event encouraging black women's empowerment in central Rio when a car drew alongside hers and nine shots rang out. She and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were both killed, and her press officer, who was sitting in the back seat of the car, was injured. Police officials said it appeared Ms Franco had been deliberately targeted. She was shot four times in the head, and three bullets hit Mr Gomes. Ms Franco was elected to the city council in 2016 and presided over the women's commission. She was a councillor for the left-wing Socialism and Liberty Party. Last month, she was chosen to be the speaker of the commission overseeing the deployment of federal security forces into Rio's favelas.
3-15-18 Mark Cuban has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman
Mark Cuban, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, has been accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Portland nightclub in 2011. The unnamed woman told police she was taking a photo with the billionaire businessman at the Barrel Room when Cuban—who she said appeared very drunk—“thrust his hand down the back of [her] jeans” and touched her inappropriately, according to the local publication Willamette Week. When a detective told Cuban of the accusations, a police transcript says, he responded, “F--- me! I’m so f---ed.” Cuban, 59, denied the allegations then and now and reportedly passed a polygraph test at the time; Portland prosecutors declined to pursue the case, citing insufficient evidence. A nightclub employee has since come forward to claim that Cuban was asked to leave the venue on the night of the incident for being “gropey.” The NBA has opened its own review. The allegation comes a week after Sports Illustrated published reports of a “culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior” in the Mavericks’ front office.
3-15-18 Daniels: A sex scandal’s serious implications
The Stormy Daniels story has become “a precarious new legal front” for an embattled White House, said Jim Rutenberg in The New York Times. The adult-film actress—real name Stephanie Clifford—last week sued to break a 2016 agreement silencing her about an alleged affair with President Trump in 2006, so that she can share any text messages, photos, videos, and “paternity information” related to their agreement. Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen preposterously claims to have paid Daniels $130,000 of his own funds days before the election without telling Trump. Daniels has already recorded a potentially explosive interview for CBS’s 60 Minutes, scheduled to be broadcast Sunday, that Trump’s lawyers may ask a court to block from airing. This story is not merely about “the tawdry details of infidelity,” said Matthew Yglesias in Vox.com. It’s about potential campaign law violations, cover-ups, and the real possibility that Daniels was not the only person blackmailing the president over his many secrets. “It’s time for Washington to stop tittering in embarrassment and recognize that there is a serious scandal here.”
3-14-18 Uganda's Makerere University: 'My lecturer tried to rape me'
When she made it into one of Africa's most prestigious universities, the future looked bright for Monica. But an attempted rape by a member of staff has left that future lying in pieces. As Monica recalls her story, her voice starts to crack. She describes how the assailant tricked her into going to his home. After swapping courses at Makerere University in Uganda's capital Kampala, Monica - not her real name - was determined to catch up with her new subject. "A lecturer told me that he would help me with class work. I called him and requested an appointment on Monday before class. He insisted I meet him on Sunday," she recalls. The prospect of private tuition more than made up for the disruption to her weekend. But at the appointed time, he was not at the agreed location. "I walked there, only for him to say I was late and he had left, and that I should meet him somewhere else. When he eventually arrived, he asked me to follow him," she says. "That is how he tricked me into going to his place of residence." Telling her story means reliving the spine-chilling experience. She takes a moment to wipe tears from her reddening eyes, as she recalls what happened next. "I expected that we would get down to my class work. Instead, he attempted to rape me." She does not want to give details of the attack, but describes how she fought back - putting into practice some long-forgotten Girl Guide training. "I had been trained that if a man attempts to rape you, you have to calm down, be submissive, then raise your leg and kick them where it hurts hardest. And that is what I did," she says, sighing deeply, as if she has only just emerged from the nightmarish encounter. She also managed to snap pictures of him in his room, aware that the evidence could be vital.
3-13-18 Bertrand Cantat: Killer rock star pulls out of French festivals
A French rock star who was jailed for murdering his former girlfriend has pulled out of a string of festival appearances after facing a backlash. Bertrand Cantat was sentenced to eight years for beating actress Marie Trintignant to death, but was released after just four and returned to music. A petition signed by almost 75,000 people called for his removal from a Normandy festival performance in May. It comes after recent protests against male violence in the country. Cantat is the former lead singer of band Noir Désir, one of the country's most successful rock bands. He was jailed for beating his girlfriend Marie Trintignant, a well-known French actress, to death in a hotel room in Lithuania in 2003. The murder sent shockwaves through France at the time, but he was released in 2007. Cantat later returned to music with a new album in 2013. The controversy around him has steadily increased in recent months following his launch of a solo career. Tens of thousands signed a petition asking Normandy's Papillons de Nuit festival to remove him from their line-up. "By inviting Bertrand Cantat, you trivialise domestic violence and violence against women," the petition read. "I have served my sentence. I did not benefit from any privileges. I wish today, just like any citizen, for the right to reinsertion. The right to exercise my profession," he wrote. (Webmaster's comment: Only an 8-year sentence for beating a woman to death (murdering a person) and then getting out in 4 years. Outrageous!!!)
3-12-18 Metropolitan Opera fires James Levine after sex abuse claims
New York's Metropolitan Opera has fired eminent conductor James Levine, after an internal inquiry found "credible evidence" to support claims he sexually abused young male musicians. Mr Levine, who denies the allegations, was suspended in December when they were made public. The conductor, now 74, was music director at the Met for 40 years. He retired for health reasons in 2016, but had continued to work with the opera as music director emeritus. "The investigation uncovered credible evidence that Mr Levine had engaged in sexually abusive and harassing conduct both before and during the period when he worked at the Met," the opera house said in a statement. It said there was also evidence that the conductor abused and harassed "vulnerable artists in the early stages of their careers". The Met said more than 70 people were interviewed during its investigation. Four men have accused Mr Levine of sexually abusing them decades ago. Some say they were teenagers at the time. An Illinois police report, seen by the New York Times, said one of the alleged victims claimed that the abuse began in 1985 when he was 15 and Mr Levine was 41, and continued until 1993.
3-10-18 Top US figure skating coach suspended over alleged sexual misconduct
A renowned figure skating coach who has mentored Olympic and world champions has been suspended by US Figure Skating, the organisation said. Richard Callaghan, 72, is barred from any figure skating activities pending a fresh investigation into decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct. When several male skaters levelled their accusations in the 1990s, the veteran coach "vehemently denied" them. A watchdog to prevent sexual abuse of athletes will investigate the case. "US Figure Skating suspended the membership of Richard Callaghan on March 6, 2018, in compliance with the policies and procedures of the US Center for SafeSport," the sport's governing board said in a statement on Friday. Mr Callaghan told ABC News he had not been officially notified of the suspension. He also declined to speak about the allegations. SafeSport, established last year, examines complaints of sexual abuse and other mistreatment of athletes. Craig Maurizi, 56, first made his allegations against Mr Callaghan public in a 1999 New York Times article. He is reported to have recently complained to SafeSport but has declined to confirm this. Now an Olympic coach himself, Mr Maurizi alleged that the coach engaged in sexually inappropriate behaviour with him when he was 15. Mr Maurizi also accused Mr Callaghan of abusing his position of authority to begin a full sexual relationship with him starting when he was 18 years old and continuing for a few years. US Figure Skating acknowledged it looked into Mr Maurizi's accusations in 1999 but took no action as the alleged wrongdoing dated back to a decade earlier.
3-8-18 Full disclosure
Full disclosure, after porn star Stormy Daniels sued President Trump to nullify a $130,000 “hush agreement” about their past sexual relationship, saying he failed to sign it. The suit makes ominous mention of “certain still images” Trump allegedly sent her.
3-8-18 Stormy Daniels: Trump lawyer obtains restraining order
US President Donald Trump obtained a restraining order against an adult film actress to prevent her from speaking publicly about their alleged affair, legal documents show. Mr Trump's personal lawyer obtained the order against Stormy Daniels in private arbitration proceedings last month. It bars her from sharing "confidential information" about their alleged relationship, US media report. Mr Trump says allegations against him are all false. (Webmaster's comment: Then why silence her? Doesn't she have the right of free speech?) White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Wednesday that the president had won arbitration proceedings against the actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. "This case has already been won in arbitration and anything beyond that, I would refer you to the president's outside counsel," she said. But the attorney representing Ms Clifford told CBS News that he was "dumbfounded" by the White House's comment. "For the White House spokesperson to stand up and claim that Trump won the case in arbitration is ludicrous," Michael Avenatti said. "How do you win something when the other side is not even invited?" he said.
3-8-18 Iran jails woman for removing headscarf in public
An Iranian woman who publicly removed her veil to protest against a mandatory hijab law has been sentenced to two years in prison, prosecutors say. The woman, who has not been officially named, was found guilty of "encouraging moral corruption", Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said. He added that 21 months of the woman's sentence had been suspended and that she was in need of medical treatment. It follows dozens of similar arrests of Iranian women in recent weeks. Most of those detained for defying the country's strict law on appearing in public in a headscarf have been released without charge. The woman sentenced in the capital, Tehran, on Wednesday was jailed for three months without parole. She is "in need of long-term medical treatment and has to be seen by a psychiatrist", Mr Jafari-Dolatabadi said. He criticised the suspension of the majority of her sentence and argued that she should serve the full term of her penalty. In December, an Iranian woman who was detained after defiantly taking off her headscarf and holding it on a stick in Tehran became the face of protests in the country. Images of her standing on a telecoms box in a busy street in the city were widely shared on social media. The woman was later freed. The photograph of the woman was first widely used in connection to the White Wednesday campaign in which women in Iran wear white to protest against the country's strict dress code. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, women have been forced to cover their hair according to Islamic law on modesty.
3-7-18 Belgium sexism law: Man who insulted officer first to be convicted
A man who insulted a female police officer because of her gender has become the first person to be convicted of sexism in a public space in Belgium. The man, who has not been named, was stopped in June 2016 for violating the highway code and told the officer that her job did not suit women. A court in Brussels fined him €3,000 (£2,690; $3,725). He can still appeal. The law was introduced in 2014 after an outcry over a documentary showing the abuse women faced on the streets. It condemns any act or statement meant to "express contempt", that considers a person inferior due to their gender or reduces someone to a sexual dimension. The court sentenced the man, who was reportedly not in court, over sexism, insults and threats. He can be jailed for a month if he fails to pay the fine in time, Le Soir newspaper reports (in French). "This is the first time we have used this law to prosecute someone," said Gilles Blondeau, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office. "It happens frequently that people arrested by the police insult or threaten them. But to personally blame a policewoman because of her sex is something particular." (Webmaster's comment: In Europe they are protecting women from insults by male brutes. In America we're lucky if we can get the male brutes convicted of rape.)
3-7-18 Stormy Daniels sues Trump over 'hush agreement'
An adult film actress embroiled in allegations of an affair with Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against him alleging that a non-disclosure contract she signed is invalid. Stormy Daniels says the agreement, drawn up before the 2016 election, is "void" because he did not sign it. Mr Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, confirmed last month he had privately paid her $130,000 (£95,000). The lawsuit alleges that Mr Cohen tried to "intimidate her into silence." In a 2011 interview with InTouch magazine, the actress said she began a sexual relationship with Mr Trump in 2006, shortly after his wife Melania had given birth to his son Barron. The reports re-emerged in January when the Wall Street Journal reported that she was paid to sign a non-disclosure agreement in the run up to the 2016 election, which prevented her from discussing the alleged liaison. Mr Cohen has said the president "vehemently denies" any romantic involvement with the adult film star. The civil lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, says that only days before the election, Ms Clifford and Mr Cohen signed the "hush agreement" but Mr Trump did not, "thus rendering it legally null and void and of no consequence". It adds: "To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms Clifford into silence and 'shut her up' in order to 'protect Mr Trump' continue unabated." (Webmaster's comment: Trump's wife Melania must be so proud of her husband! So must his daughter Ivanka.)
3-2-18 First male gymnast accuses Larry Nassar of sexual abuse
An 18-year-old university athlete has become the first male gymnast to say in a lawsuit that he was abused by convicted pedophile Larry Nassar. Jacob Moore alleged as part of a joint civil lawsuit that Nassar touched his genitals under the guise of treating his shoulder injury with acupuncture. The court filing came on the same day an Olympic gold medalist sued the US Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics. Aly Raisman said her abuse "could have been prevented" by team officials. Her lawsuit, filed in California, claims that both organisations "put their quest for money and medals above" her safety. More than 260 women and girls have now accused the disgraced ex-doctor of sexual abuse. "Both USA Gymnastics and the US Olympic Committee have been very quick to capitalise and celebrate my success," she testified during a January sentencing hearing for Nassar. "But did they reach out to me when I came forward? No," said Ms Raisman, who won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. During those victim-impact statements, which lasted for more than a week, Mr Moore's sister described the abuse that both she and her brother suffered. "My whole family was fooled by you," said his sister, Kamerin, who is a former US National Team gymnast. "You put acupuncture needles right next to his genitals," she told him. Mr Moores' lawsuit alleges that Nassar brought him to his basement and treated his shoulder injury with "acupuncture in his pubic area and in and around his genitalia". It also states that Nassar "pulled down Moore's pants, exposing his genitalia" to an underage female gymnast who was also present.
3-1-18 Governor indicted
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens faced the specter of impeachment this week, after he was charged with felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking nude photos of his ex-lover without her consent. Missouri’s GOP-controlled House of Representatives formed a special committee after the indictment to investigate the Republican governor, the first step toward possible impeachment. The governor, once considered a rising star in GOP politics, has admitted to having an affair with his former hairdresser but denies taking nude photos of her without her permission. Greitens allegedly blindfolded and restrained the woman during a sexual encounter in his basement, then threatened to release nude photos of her if she ever told anyone about their relationship. “This stuff is going to get worse before it gets better,” said State Rep. Nate Walker, a Republican and former Greitens supporter who has called for his resignation. “And it’s going to get really, really, really bad.”
3-1-18 Ryan Seacrest
Ryan Seacrest’s former personal stylist has accused the American Idol host of a years-long campaign of sexual aggression—claiming that the TV star groped her, pushed her head into his crotch, and once slapped her buttocks so hard she had a visible welt. In a letter to the cable channel E! in November, Suzie Hardy described several occasions when Seacrest allegedly subjected her to inappropriate behavior—including “grinding his erect penis against her while clad only in his underwear,” reported Variety. Hardy, who began working with Seacrest in 2006, reported him to HR in 2013, she said, which led to her employment with E! ending. E! said that it conducted “an extremely comprehensive and thorough” investigation and found “insufficient evidence to support the claims.” Seacrest denies any wrongdoing.
3-1-18 Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser has offered his own contribution to the #MeToo movement, accusing former Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Philip Berk of groping him in 2003. In an interview with GQ about his decade-long absence from Hollywood, the Mummy star said he was attending an HFPA luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel when Berk allegedly grabbed his “ass cheek” and fondled him. “I felt ill,” said Fraser, 49. “I thought I was going to cry.” Fraser said he was too scared to speak out for fear of ruining his career. But he “became depressed” and ended up retreating from public life. He demanded an apology from Berk—who sent one, though he denied any wrongdoing, saying he had merely pinched the actor’s behind as a joke. The HFPA is investigating Fraser’s allegations.
3-1-18 France grandfather admits 40 rapes and sex assaults
A French grandfather has admitted raping and sexually assaulting around 40 women in France and Belgium since the 1980s, officials say. The married 57-year-old, who has not been officially named, was arrested after police linked his car to the rape of a young woman last week in Belgium. His DNA matched samples found after 19 other attacks. The case has shocked the northern town of Pont-sur-Sambre, where the mayor described him as a "well-liked" man. The father-of-three worked as a janitor and was previously the head of the local football club, French media reported, identifying him as Dino Scala. The suspect - nicknamed "the rapist of Sambre" after the local river - is thought to be one of the country's most prolific serial rapists in recent decades. He usually attacked the women from behind, early in the morning, wore gloves and covered his face, prosecutor Jean-Philippe Vicentini said. The man told police he had "acted on urges he was unable to control", Mr Vicentini added. The investigation into a string of attacks going back to 1988 was opened in 1996. One of the victims was 13 years old and several others were 17, a police source told AFP news agency.
3-1-18 US Olympic chief resigns in wake of Nassar abuse scandal
The head of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has resigned, citing health reasons. Chief Executive Scott Blackmun recently revealed he was battling prostate cancer, but has faced extensive criticism in the wake of an abuse scandal involving US gymnastics. His departure was announced at the same time as initiatives to tackle abuse. Former Olympic doctor Larry Nassar was jailed last month on hundreds of counts of abuse spanning decades. Two US senators called for Mr Blackmun's resignation earlier this month after a report in the Wall Street Journal newspaper suggested he had been told about allegations against Nassar in July 2015. The organisation responded by saying they would not part ways with Mr Blackmun until an independent investigation was complete. But on Wednesday they announced his departure had been agreed. He had held the position since 2010. "We have mutually agreed it is in the best interest of both Scott and the USOC that we identify new leadership so that we can immediately address the urgent initiatives ahead of us," USOC Chairman Larry Probst said in a statement published on Wednesday. A statement said the initiatives announced alongside his departure were "designed to protect athletes from abuse and respond quickly and effectively when issues surface". They include further funding for counselling of Nassar's victims, the creation of an advisory group and further internal reviews.
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21 Abuse of Women News Articles
for March 2018
Abuse of Women News Articles for February 2018