41 Abuse of Women News Articles
for May 2018
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5-31-18 Harvey Weinstein indicted on rape and sex offence charges
A grand jury in New York has indicted disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on charges of rape and a criminal sexual act. The offences relate to an alleged attack on a woman in 2013 and another woman in 2004. Neither woman has been named. He was initially charged by prosecutors last week. This latest step moves the case towards a trial. Mr Weinstein's lawyer has said he will deny all the charges against him. He could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of either offence. New York district attorney Cyrus Vance said Mr Weinstein was now one step closer to accountability, adding that his office would try the case not in the press but in the courtroom. Mr Weinstein did not testify before the grand jury, whose decision to indict him is a reflection of their view that enough evidence exists to pursue a prosecution. The former film producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women. He faces additional investigations in Los Angeles, London, and by the US federal government.
5-30-18 Missouri Governor Eric Greitens resigns amid sex scandal
Facing impeachment over an extramarital affair and campaign finance inquiry, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has announced he will quit on Friday. The first-term governor was considered a rising Republican star until allegations emerged he had photographed a naked woman without her consent. The ex-Navy Seal called the allegations a "political witch hunt". The Rhodes scholar and father-of-two presented himself as a family man during his 2016 campaign. The Missouri General Assembly, which is controlled by the governor's own party, has been considering whether he should be impeached. "The last few months have been incredibly difficult, for me, for my family, for my team, for my friends and for many, many people that I love," the 44-year-old said at Tuesday's news conference. He added: "This ordeal has been designed to cause an incredible amount of strain on my family." Mr Greitens said he had not broken any laws. He concluded: "For the moment let us walk off the battlefield with our heads held high. "We have a good and proud story to tell our children." Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson, also a Republican, is taking over as the state's top politician.
5-26-18 University of Southern California president quits in gynaecology scandal
The president of the University of Southern California (USC) has quit amid a scandal over the alleged actions of a former college gynaecologist. CL Max Nikias has agreed to step down, with the university facing several lawsuits and accusations of a cover up. The lawsuits accuse George Tyndall, who worked at a university clinic for 30 years, of sexual misconduct, including groping and improper examinations. Mr Tyndall, 71, has denied any wrongdoing in interviews with US media. Two class actions were filed on Friday "on behalf of thousands of female students". Lawyer Howard Janet said his team's case "centres on allegations of grossly improper pelvic exams that involved improper probing, at times without gloves, sexually charged remarks and illicit photographing of genitalia". Mr Janet was behind the legal action that saw a $190m (£111m) settlement in 2014 at Johns Hopkins Hospital over secret tapes made there by gynaecologist Nikita Levy. A lawyer for another group taking action at USC, John Manly, said the case there also had echoes of Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar, who is serving a life term in jail for sexually abusing more than 300 women and girls at the university and at USA Gymnastics. The group he is part of, Jane Does 5-10, alleges the university deliberately concealed Mr Tyndall's alleged abuses and failed to take action on complaints.
5-25-18 Harvey Weinstein charged with rape following New York arrest
Former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has been charged in New York with rape and several counts of sexual abuse stemming from two separate accusers. Mr Weinstein turned himself in to police in the city earlier in the day. Dozens of women have made allegations against the 66 year old, including rape and sexual assault, and giving rise to the #MeToo movement. Mr Weinstein has denied committing any non-consensual sex acts. He is now out on bail, wearing a monitoring device. He arrived at the police station in lower Manhattan at 07:30 (12:30 BST), carrying three books. He was later was photographed smiling as he was escorted out the station in handcuffs. A statement from the New York Police Department said Mr Weinstein "was arrested, processed and charged with rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for incidents involving two separate women". The statement thanked "these brave survivors for their courage to come forward and seek justice". Details of the allegations and of those making the accusations have not yet been officially released. Former actress Lucia Evans, who said Weinstein forced her into oral sex in 2004, is thought to be one of the women whose cases triggered the charges. Another is actress Paz de la Huerta, who accused Mr Weinstein of raping her at her New York apartment in 2010. The allegations against the former film mogul triggered the #MeToo movement, which sought to demonstrate and draw attention to the widespread prevalence of sexual abuse and harassment.
5-25-18 Morgan Freeman apologises after sex harassment claims
US film star Morgan Freeman has apologised following allegations of sexual misconduct made by eight women and several other people. One production assistant accused Freeman of harassing her for months during filming of bank robbery comedy Going in Style, CNN reported. She said the 80-year-old touched her repeatedly, tried to lift her skirt and asked if she was wearing underwear. Freeman apologised to "anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected". "Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy," he said in a statement. Making women feel uncomfortable was "never my intent", he said. He is the latest well-known Hollywood figure to be accused of sexual misconduct after allegations of sex attacks by producer Harvey Weinstein led to the development of the #MeToo campaign against sexual harassment. The production assistant was among eight women to tell CNN they had been the victims of harassment. She told CNN that during the harassment another actor, Alan Arkin, "made a comment telling him to stop. Morgan got freaked out and didn't know what to say". Meanwhile a woman who worked on the 2013 film Now You See Me said staff knew "not to wear any top that would show our breasts, not to wear anything that would show our bottoms" or any close-fitting clothes if Freeman was around.
5-24-18 Bishops resign
In an unprecedented mass resignation, all 34 of Chile’s Catholic bishops stepped down last week after a papal investigation found “grave negligence” in the Chilean church’s handling of a massive clerical sex abuse scandal. Some 80 Chilean priests have been accused of abuse since 2000, and their superiors are accused of covering up the crimes and destroying evidence. Victims said one bishop, Juan Barros, was actually present when a senior priest, Father Fernando Karadima, was abusing them. Pope Francis, who appointed Barros, defended him during a papal visit to Chile in January, calling the victims’ testimony “slander”; the pope has since apologized for his comments. Now Francis must decide which, if any, of the resignations to accept.
5-24-18 Abuse settlement
Michigan State University agreed last week to pay $500 million to settle lawsuits filed by 332 victims of sports physician Larry Nassar, who worked at the university for roughly 20 years despite multiple reports that he was sexually abusing patients. About $425 million will be paid to the women and girls who have already said Nassar abused them, with an additional $75 million set aside for victims who have yet to come forward. It’s the most an American university has ever paid to settle a sexual abuse case, dwarfing the $109 million settlement reached by Penn State University to settle claims with victims of assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The settlement is equivalent to nearly 37 percent of the university’s general fund budget of $1.36 billion for the current academic year. The university will have to pay the cost through a combination of insurance, student tuition, and taxpayer funding.
5-24-18 Jury awards $1bn to woman raped as a teen
A US jury has awarded $1bn (£750m) in damages to a woman who was raped by an armed security guard when she was 14. Hope Cheston, who chose to be named, had her mother file the lawsuit on her behalf in 2015, and says the verdict is a symbolic win for survivors. Her lawyers say it is the largest jury verdict awarded in a sexual assault case in the US. The security firm is not worth $1bn and the judge may reduce the award so any final settlement figure is unclear. Ms Cheston, now 20, told the New York Times the verdict shows victims can get justice. "My verdict basically shows if you stick with it and do what you need to do to get your justice, there'll be a brighter end," Ms Cheston said. Her rapist, 28-year-old Brandon Lamar Zachary, has been serving a 20-year prison sentence for statutory rape since 2016, according to prison records. In 2012, Ms Cheston was at a friend's birthday party in Jonesboro, Georgia, with her boyfriend when the armed guard approached her, told her boyfriend not to move, and raped her on a picnic table. The civil lawsuit, filed by Ms Cheston's mother, Renetta Cheston-Thorton, accused Crime Prevention Agency, the security company that hired Zachary, of negligence in training and failing to safeguard a minor. The judge ruled against the company, and the jury decided upon the $1bn damages on Tuesday.
5-24-18 Sweden approves new law recognizing sex without consent as rape
Sweden has passed a new law saying that sex without consent is rape, even when there are no threats or force involved. The new law, due to come into effect on 1 July, says a person must give clear consent, verbal or physical. Prosecutors will no longer need to prove violence or that the victim was in a vulnerable situation in order to establish rape. Activists have welcomed the changes but critics say the law will not increase the number of rape convictions. With the new legislation, approved in parliament by 257 votes against 38, Sweden joins other European countries like the United Kingdom and Germany where sex without consent is considered rape. It says the lack of consent is enough to constitute a crime. It is "based on the obvious: sex must be voluntary", the government said when the legislation was proposed. The approved text stops short of making expressed consent a condition for sex but states that passivity is not a sign of agreeing to sex. "If a person wants to engage in sexual activities with someone who remains inactive or gives ambiguous signals, he or she will therefore have to find out if the other person is willing." Under the previous legislation, prosecutors had to prove that the perpetrator had used violence or that the victim had been exploited in a vulnerable condition, such as under the influence of alcohol, in order to secure a rape conviction. The law introduces two new offences, negligent rape and negligent sexual abuse, carrying a maximum prison term of four years. "The negligence aspect focuses on the fact that one of the parties did not participate voluntarily," the government said, adding that it would be possible to convict more people of sexual abuse.
5-24-18 Boko Haram crisis: Amnesty accuses Nigeria troops of rape
Nigerian soldiers have raped women and girls who fled the insurgency by militant Islamist group Boko Haram, Amnesty International has said. Troops separated women from their husbands and raped them, sometimes in exchange for food, in refugee camps, the rights group added. Thousands of people have also starved to death in the camps in north-eastern Nigeria since 2015, Amnesty said. Nigeria's military has dismissed the allegations as malicious and false. "These false reports, which are capable of derailing the good work being done by our patriotic and selfless soldiers, must stop," the military said in a statement. Troops have been battling the insurgents since 2009 in Borno and other north-eastern states. More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and about 1.8 million people have fled their homes. The military has repeatedly been accused of carrying out atrocities, and the US, during the presidency of Barack Obama, refused to sell weapons to Nigeria, citing concerns about the military's human rights record. However, the Trump administration has decided to press ahead with the sale of military aircraft and weapons, which Nigeria sees as vital to defeat the insurgents. In its report, They betrayed us, Amnesty recorded the testimony of a 25-year-old woman who said a soldier raped her while she was pregnant. "He knew I was five or six months pregnant. He said he saw me three times before. He didn't offer me any food, he called me and I ignored him but on the third day, he forced me to a room and raped me," she said.
5-24-18 Stormy Daniels given key to the city of West Hollywood
The California city of West Hollywood has proclaimed 23 May Stormy Daniels Day. In a ceremony at the Chi Chi La Rue sex shop, West Hollywood granted the adult film star the key to the city. Ms Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, says she had an affair with President Donald Trump over a decade ago, and has sued him over a non-disclosure agreement about the relationship. The president denies the affair. "In these politically tumultuous times, Stormy Daniels has proven herself to be a profile in courage by speaking truth to power even under threats to her safety and extreme intimidation from the current Administration. Today at 4PM in front of Chi Chi LaRue's, we'll be presenting a City Proclamation and Key to the City to Stormy in recognition of her leadership in the #RESIST movement. Today is officially "Stormy Daniels Day" in the City of West Hollywood - the Epicenter of the Resistance." West Hollywood Mayor John Duran and members of the city's council gave Ms Daniels the key to the city in a ceremony on Wednesday. "This community has a history of standing up to bullies and speaking truth to power, and I'm so very, very lucky to be a part of it," she reportedly said. Ms Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, also attended, and reportedly praised his client's courage. "This woman has a degree of fortitude that most of us can only dream about," he said, calling himself "blessed" to work with her.
5-22-18 Stormy Daniels case: Three women asking Trump uncomfortable questions
Three women have this week mounted challenges in court to try to tell their stories about Donald Trump. Two of them say they had an affair with him and then were silenced and another, an Apprentice contestant, says she was groped by Mr Trump. He denies their allegations, but his legal problems are mounting. Here's a rundown of what's been happening.
5-22-18 McDonald's workers make sexual harassment complaints
Ten workers at McDonald's fast food franchises in the US have filed complaints of sexual harassment against the firm. The female workers, one of whom is 15 years old, allege groping, propositions, indecent exposure and lewd comments. McDonald's said it takes such allegations "very seriously" and that its franchises should do the same. Similar harassment claims were lodged against McDonald's two years ago. The latest complaints, which were filed with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, were brought on behalf of the workers by the campaign group The Fight for $15. It says that the workers - based in cities such as Miami, Los Angeles and Detroit - were ignored or mocked when they reported instances of sexual harassment to their managers. Some also claimed to have met with retaliation, including being sacked, The Fight for $15 said. In one example, Breauna Morrow, a 15-year-old cashier in St Louis, said that she had been "repeatedly harassed" by a co-worker using "graphic, sexual language". However, when she reported the incident her "supervisors did nothing". "I know I'm not the only one and that's why I'm speaking out, so others don't have to face the harassment I've gone through," Ms Morrow said. In another incident, an employee said she had reported that a co-worker at a New Orleans outlet had groped her. However, instead of taking action, her managers mocked her and told her "she was probably giving the worker 'sex appeal'". The complaints name both McDonald's franchisees and the company itself. However the company views its franchisees as independent business owners. A McDonald's spokeswoman said: "There is no place for harassment and discrimination of any kind in our workplace.
5-22-18 Teaching boys not to 'stalk for love'
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Right? That is the mantra we are taught as children and teenagers. It is the story arc for almost any romantic comedy ever made - Boy meets Girl. Girl rejects boy. Boy pesters girl in evermore inventive ways until she gives in and they live happily ever after. It's been called the 'stalking for love' trope. But maybe there's a time and place for perseverance, and it's not when asking out a girl - that is what one aunt is teaching her teenage nephew in the US. Her message gained extra potency after a school shooting which killed 10 in Santa Fe, Texas, USA on Friday. The mother of 16-year old victim Shana Fisher told media her daughter had "endured four months of problems" from the shooter and publicly rejected him days before the attack. Many on social media are now debating how girls can respond to repeated romantic approaches or harassment from boys or men, and how boys should cope with unrequited love. In a tweet shared almost 130,000 times, @adigoesswimming explained a conversation she had with her nephew after a girl turned him down. "You know what do to now, right?" she asked him. "I know, I know, keep trying," he replied. "No. Leave her alone. She gave you an answer," his aunt responded. @adigoesswimming then explained her nephew was shocked, and no-one had ever told him that before. "Teach. Your. Boys," she concluded.
5-21-18 Janet Jackson rails against abuse in awards speech
Janet Jackson made her stance on the #MeToo movement clear as she won the Icon prize at the Billboard awards. "I believe that, for all of our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history," she said. "At long last, women have made it clear that we will no longer be controlled, manipulated, or abused. "I stand with those women and with those men equally outraged by discrimination, who support us in heart and mind." The singer, whose 1986 breakthrough album Control, dealt with themes of feminism and taking charge of her own identity, has previously sung about domestic abuse on songs like What About and Lessons Learned. The 52-year-old was the first black woman to receive the Icon Prize, as Bruno Mars pointed out while welcoming her to the stage. "The name Jackson represents artistic genius and iconic performance," said Mars. "The Jacksons are music royalty and the first family of entertainment. She is an activist. She's a humanitarian. She's a powerful woman."
5-19-18 Luc Besson: French film director accused of rape
Police in Paris are investigating a rape allegation made against Luc Besson, one of France's best-known film directors. The complaint was filed by an actress at a Paris police station on Friday. "Luc Besson categorically denies these fantasist accusations," the director's lawyer Thierry Marembert told the AFP news agency. "[The complainant] is someone he knows, towards whom he has never behaved inappropriately." Besson, 59, a director, producer and screenwriter, is most famous for directing the 1988 film Le Grand Bleu, as well as Leon, Subway, The Fifth Element and action thriller Nikita. He recently directed the sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne.
5-18-18 Catfish suspended over Nev Schulman sexual harassment claims
Production of MTV show Catfish has been suspended following claims of sexual harassment against its host, Nev Schulman. The allegations surfaced after a former participant on the show posted a YouTube video last week claiming she was harassed. Nev denies the allegations, saying what he's been accused of "did not happen". In a statement to the New York Daily News, MTV said it's conducting a "thorough investigation". For those who don't watch the show, Catfish follows Nev Schulman as he investigates people using fake online profiles. He's being accused of inappropriate conduct by a woman who appeared on the cyber-dating series in 2015. In a YouTube video uploaded on 12 May, the woman claims Nev "picked apart" her sexuality as a lesbian and propositioned her for sex. "The behaviour described in this video did not happen," Nev said in a statement. "I'm fortunate that there are a number of former colleagues who were present during this time period who are willing to speak up with the truth. "I have always been transparent about my life and would always take responsibility for my actions - but these claims are false," he added.
5-17-18 Stormy Daniels: Trump discloses payment to reimburse lawyer
US President Donald Trump has officially disclosed his reimbursement to his lawyer, who paid a porn star to hush up her claims of an affair. The Office of Government Ethics found on Wednesday that Mr Trump ought to have revealed the payment in his previous financial disclosure. The filing shows he paid Michael Cohen between $100,001 (£75,000) and $250,000 for expenses incurred in 2016. Mr Trump previously denied knowing of the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels. The White House stated in a footnote to the filing that it was listing the payment "in the interest of transparency", and contended it did not have to make the disclosure. However, the head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) wrote in a letter that "the payment made by Mr Cohen is required to be reported" in the liabilities section of the statement. In his letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the OGE acting director said: "You may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing." The deputy attorney general is overseeing the Department of Justice investigation into whether Trump aides colluded with alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. The Stormy Daniels payment is a potential legal problem for the president because it could be seen as an illegal campaign contribution. Mr Cohen, whose records relating to the settlement were seized in an FBI raid last month, is now reportedly under criminal investigation. Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, alleges that she and Mr Trump had sex in a hotel room in Lake Tahoe, a resort area between California and Nevada, in 2006. Mr Trump's lawyer said his client "vehemently denies" the claim. If the actress's account is true, the tryst would have happened just a few months after Melania Trump gave birth to her son, Barron, whose father is Mr Trump. (Webmaster's comment: So Trump has been lying all along!)
5-17-18 Whitney Houston was 'sexually abused', film claims
A new documentary about late singer Whitney Houston alleges that her cousin, Dee Dee Warwick, sexually abused her. Houston's half-brother Gary Garland-Houston and her assistant, Mary Jones, both made the claims against Dee Dee, who died in 2008. The film, Whitney, is directed by Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald. Dee Dee Warwick is the younger sister of soul singer Dionne Warwick and was the niece of Houston's mother. Whitney debuted in Cannes on Wednesday night. The Warwick family has been contacted for comment by the BBC.
5-13-18 BDSM and consent: How to stop rough sex crossing the line into abuse
When allegations of assault were made against New York's top prosecutor Eric Schneiderman this week, he denied them, saying engaging in non-consensual sex was a line he would not cross. "In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone," he told The New Yorker magazine, which broke the story. Four women say he repeatedly slapped them and one said he insisted she call him "master" in non-consensual situations. One former girlfriend, Michelle Manning Barish, said: "This was under no circumstances a sex game gone wrong... I did not consent to physical assault." New York prosecutors are investigating the allegations. This is not the first time a man accused of assault has claimed he was consensually engaging in rough sex (in Mr Schneiderman's case, he was in a sexual relationship with three of his four accusers; a fourth woman said he hit her after she rebuffed him). In 2014, Canadian musician and former radio host Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted of multiple sexual assault charges after several women claimed he had choked, slapped and bitten them without warning or consent. And in 2015, nine women accused adult film star James Deen of assaulting them and not respecting their sexual boundaries or safe words. He denied the accusations and no charges were ever brought. In recent days, Mr Schneiderman's case has come under close scrutiny in the BDSM community, an overlapping acronym for bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism. The BBC spoke with sex experts and prominent members of the community who said full and free consent was a vital element of the practice, in which partners consent to inflicting or enduring pain or physical abuse. They said they were keen to explain what does, in fact, make a consensual BDSM relationship.
5-12-18 R Kelly gives defiant performance amid protests in North Carolina
R&B singer R Kelly took defiantly to the stage in the US state of North Carolina amid a campaign over his treatment of women. The singer told the crowd on Friday night that he had "been through a lot" in recent days before launching into a number of sexually suggestive songs. Protesters demonstrated outside the venue against Kelly, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. The singer denies wrongdoing and is not facing any criminal charges. In one of his first performances since a campaign against him was launched, Kelly thanked his supporters at the Greensboro Coliseum for continuing to "fight for me". He added that he had been asked to perform a more low key set before breaking into sexually explicit songs and at one point rubbing a fan's smartphone between his legs, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports. Kelly, 51, was removed from Spotify playlists this week as part of the streaming service's new "Hate Content & Hateful Conduct" policy, who has been hit with a number of allegations including trapping women in a sex "cult". He has recently been targeted by the #MuteRKelly campaign, which calls for the singer to be boycotted. The campaign gained momentum last week when it was picked up by the Time's Up movement against sexual harassment. Time's Up has called for "appropriate investigations... into the allegations of R Kelly's abuse made by women of colour". He denies the allegations and has said he "supports the pro-women goals" of the movement. In April, Kelly faced a fresh allegation of sexual misconduct from a former partner who said he "intentionally" infected her with a sexually transmitted disease.
5-12-18 Toronto van attack: Inside the dark world of 'incels'
The suspect accused of a deadly van attack in Toronto wrote about an "Incel Rebellion" on Facebook, prompting huge attention on a little-known internet subculture. Who are the young men who frequent incel - short for "involuntarily celibate" - message boards? "Obviously I don't have much hope of attracting a woman in the first place." Jack Peterson is a 19-year-old from Chicago. He's one of the thousands of young men who visit forums on Reddit and other incel websites. "I've had a couple of negative experiences in relationships and so that has made me feel, like you know... it's hard to move on from my past and start a new relationship," he says. "I've had women who have done pretty bad things to me." These overall themes of failure and frustration - along with anger and hate - are common on incel forums. I spoke to several young men who call themselves incel. They're in their teens or early 20s and many have experienced rejection or negative encounters with women. They go to message boards out of loneliness. What they find is a group of angry men pushing the idea that they have lost the genetic lottery, and there's almost nothing they can do about it. Jack has a YouTube channel and a podcast. He is one of very few incels prepared to speak to the media after the Toronto attacks. Others agreed to speak if I changed their names. They're embarrassed because they're unsuccessful at relationships - but many are also hiding extreme views. One 19-year-old incel from the UK - I'll call him Liam - has been active on forums from a young age. He's unemployed, and lives at home with his family. He admits: "I've got this sort of misogynistic view which is not helping me in life, generally." I ask him directly: does he hate women? "In some ways, yes," he stutters. "I try not to, but I find myself like - I'll just be talking and I'll say things that I shouldn't really say, just because I've been looking at forums." (Webmaster's comment: No one, man or woman, is owed sex! You have to earn that right with a willing partner. If you can't do that then you don't belong in the gene pool. So grow up and behave like a decent human being.)
5-12-18 What has #MeToo actually changed?
The Oscars, the Golden Globes, Cannes Film Festival. Until 2017 they were Tinsel Town's glitziest back-slapping forums. Now they're its favourite protest events. Of course it's down to #MeToo, the campaign against sexual harassment and abuse that swept through Hollywood last autumn and has since been Googled in every country on Earth. In its current form, the movement began with film executive Harvey Weinstein - or rather, with the dozens of women who accuse him of sexual harassment, abuse or rape. The New York Times printed the first allegations on 5 October, and the mogul was fired from his own company inside a week. Pandora's box was open. On 15 October, actress Alyssa Milano suggested on Twitter that anyone who had been "sexually harassed or assaulted" should reply to her Tweet with "Me Too", to demonstrate the scale of the problem. Half a million people responded in the first 24 hours. A barrage of allegations has since emerged against high-profile men in entertainment, the media, politics, and tech. Many deny any wrongdoing. The repercussions are still in flux, but Hollywood's power dynamics have undoubtedly shifted. That's less obviously true in the world beyond, and begs the question: What's different for the millions of ordinary people who shared their own #MeToo stories? Are the currents of the movement visible in their lives too? How far has the rallying cry been converted into real-world change? One initiative has made solid progress (and spent solid millions) in a bid to make things better on the ground: The Time's Up Legal Defense Fund. More than 300 actresses, writers and directors launched the project on 1 January, raising $21m (£15m) in just a month to fund legal assistance for people who suffer harassment, abuse or assault at work. The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) in Washington DC is fielding the considerable admin, matching applicants with lawyers who can offer them free advice. "We have received more than 2,700 requests for assistance from every state in the United States, and there are more than 500 attorneys in the network who are ready to take on Time's Up cases," Sharyn Tejani, director of the fund at the NWLC, told the BBC. "The fund prioritises cases involving low-wage workers, women in non-traditional jobs, people of colour, LGBTQ people, and people facing legal retaliation because they dared to speak out about sexual harassment," said Ms Tejani. (Webmaster's comment: Millions of men belong in prison for what they've done. So let's get going.)
5-11-18 India woman beaten to death over child abduction rumours
More than 30 people have been arrested over lynching of a 55-year-old woman in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The killing happened amid rumours and false WhatsApp messages over kidnapping of children in the state. Police say local people beat the woman to death and attacked her family after seeing them give sweets to children. It is not clear when and how the rumours started. India has seen sporadic incidents of mob justice and vigilantism in the past. Mob attacks on people over rumours of abduction of children have been reported from Tamil Nadu in recent weeks. Last month, a man was beaten to death by a mob that mistook him for a child trafficker after he was seen aimlessly wandering the streets. The latest incident took place when a family visiting Tiruvannamalai district stopped their car to ask for directions. "The woman saw a few children playing near the road and gave them some chocolates," a police officer said. Local residents, who have been spooked by a recent spate of fake messages claiming child abductions, "gathered around the car and severely attacked them". Four others who were in the car at the time were severely injured and are undergoing treatment, police told BBC Tamil's Pramila Krishnan.
5-11-18 Italy girl, 6, calls police for help: 'He's beating my mum'
A six-year-old in Italy who saw her mother being hit by her partner called the police for help, media reports say. "Come, he's beating my mother," the girl tearfully told emergency services in Messina, Sicily, at 02:00 (00:00 GMT) on Wednesday, Rai News reported. Police arrived to find a 33-year-old woman bleeding from injuries in a courtyard, with neighbours watching on. They later arrested her partner, 44, for suspected mistreatment and personal injury of family members. The man had fled the scene with the couple's three-year-old daughter to the family home they shared. The six-year-old girl, who is not the biological child of the man, was found crying beside her mother, who was taken to hospital for treatment. She has been praised by Italian media for her sensitivity and sense of responsibility in calling the emergency services, while nearby witnesses did nothing.
5-10-18 Incels: The celibate men who hate women
After every terrorist mass murder in the West, people’s first reaction is always the same, said Gary Younge in TheGuardian.com. “It must be a Muslim.” But the man charged with driving a van along a Toronto sidewalk last week, killing eight women and two men, appears to have been inspired not by religion, but by “toxic masculinity.” Alek Minassian, 25, posted a Facebook message before the attack hailing the “incel movement,” an online community of “involuntarily celibate” men that sprang up in 2016. “Incels” hate women for denying them the sex they believe is “rightfully theirs.” They call other people “normies”—attractive women are “Stacys,” sexually successful men are “Chads”—and revere Elliot Rodger, the student who in 2014 killed six people in Isla Vista, Calif., as revenge over his failure to find a girlfriend. “The Incel Rebellion has already begun,” Minassian wrote on Facebook. “All hail Supreme Gentleman Elliot Rodger!” Incels are just one subset of “anti-women communities” online, said Jessica Valenti in The New York Times. The “manosphere” also includes “men’s rights” activists, who think men are oppressed, and “pickup artists,” who discuss how to “manipulate women into having sex.” What all these movements share is “an organized hatred” of women who do not submit to men’s needs and demands. Feminists have long warned about the propensity of these hate groups “for real-life violence.” But we’ve largely been ignored. That’s because sexism and misogyny are still considered “normal” in our society, “rather than deviant.” And until that changes, far too many men will assault, rape, and murder women. “Not every attack is preventable, but the misogyny that drives them is.”
5-10-18 Bill Cosby: #MeToo’s first conviction
It’ll go down as the first conviction of the #MeToo era, said Anna North in Vox.com. In a verdict that caused shrieks of exultation, a jury in Norristown, Pa., last week found Bill Cosby guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman named Andrea Constand in 2004. Cosby, who faces up to 30 years in prison, probably thought he’d escaped justice after his first trial ended last summer with a hung jury. But that was before a string of explosive allegations against rich and powerful men sparked a “cultural reckoning around sexual harassment and assault.” His conviction suggests the #MeToo movement has made it “easier for survivors to get justice.” We are truly entering a “new era,” said Maria Panaritis in The Philadelphia Enquirer. Harvey Weinstein and men like him “had better be afraid. Very afraid.” Cosby deserves whatever sentence he gets for what he did to Constand, said Wesley Morris in The New York Times. But for black folks like me, who grew up watching The Cosby Show, the comedian’s fall from grace is deeply disorienting. Cosby’s character, Cliff Huxtable, was “America’s Dad”—an icon for black Americans. Wise, witty, educated, and affluent, he “made blackness palatable to a country historically conditioned to think the worst” of our race. Yet now we know that Cosby used his wealth and fame to become the very stereotype that Huxtable did so much to dispel—the black predator. “Cosby told lots of jokes. This was his sickest one.” (Webmaster's comment: Millions of more male sex predators should follow.)
5-10-18 Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw vehemently denied allegations from a former colleague that he sexually harassed and groped her while he was an anchor at NBC Nightly News during the 1990s. Linda Vester, a former correspondent at NBC News, has told Variety that Brokaw propositioned and tried to forcibly kiss her on at least two occasions, including a time when he showed up to her hotel room uninvited. In a leaked email sent to NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, Brokaw, 78, described Vester as a “character assassin” who was angry because she did not become a star at NBC. “I am angry, hurt, and unmoored from what I thought would be the final passage of my life and career,” Brokaw said. More than 115 of Brokaw’s current and former colleagues at NBC—including Rachel Maddow and Andrew Mitchell—have signed a letter in support of the famed anchor, calling him “a man of tremendous decency and integrity.” But two other former NBC employees also alleged that Brokaw made sexual advances to them decades ago.
5-10-18 Cardinal charged
The Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official, Cardinal George Pell, was ordered this week by an Australian court to stand trial on allegations of child sexual abuse. Pell, 76, the Vatican’s de facto finance chief, has returned to Australia to face the charges, which date from the 1970s to the ’90s when he was a priest in the Melbourne area and later archbishop of the city. The court dismissed the most serious allegations against the cardinal because of concerns regarding witness credibility; the charges that remain include allegations that he groped two boys at a swimming pool and assaulted two choristers. Pell has pleaded not guilty and denied all the allegations, saying, “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”
5-10-18 Gymnastics scandal
Dozens of athletes have accused the former coach of Brazil’s national gymnastics team of sexual abusing them when they were children. More than 40 current or former gymnasts told reporters from Globo TV that Fernando de Carvalho Lopes had watched them shower, touched their genitals, or asked them to masturbate in front of him. One gymnast, Petrix Barbosa, said the abuse began when he was age 10 or 11. “I woke up with him—I don’t know how many times—with his hand down my pants,” he said. Lopes was fired from the national team just before the 2016 Olympics, after a 13-year-old gymnast told his parents he was being abused. Lopes denies the allegations and says he has “a clear conscience.”
5-10-18 Chris Brown sued after victim claims she was raped at his home
A woman is suing Chris Brown after claiming she was raped during a party at his home last year. The victim alleges she went to the singer's house after a concert at a nightclub - and was assaulted by rapper Lowell Grissom Jr - aka Young Lo. The woman's lawyer called it "one of the most horrific cases" she had seen. Newsbeat has contacted Chris Brown's representatives for a comment. We've been unable to contact a representative for Young Lo. A lawsuit was filed at the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Wednesday. It alleges the woman, known only as Jane Doe, went to 1 Oak nightclub on 23 February last year. "At some point our client was invited to attend an 'after party' at a recording studio to meet Young Lo and Chris Brown," lawyer Gloria Allred said at a press conference. The lawsuit alleges the woman's phone was taken away from her and when she asked to leave she was told she couldn't have it back as the party was moving to Chris Brown's home. It claims the singer provided alcohol and illegal drugs and was also seen with guns in front of guests at his home. "The lawsuit alleges that while she was at Brown's house the plaintiff became the victim of horrific sexual assault," Ms Allred said. It claims the woman was raped by Young Lo and sexually assaulted by another woman. The lawsuit accuses Chris Brown and others of several allegations including sexual battery, assault and gender violence - and says the victim is seeking damages. "This is one of the most horrific sexual assault cases that I have ever seen," said Ms Allred. "Our client Jane Doe has been severely traumatised by what she was forced to suffer."
5-10-18 Our perilous sexual moment
Everyone seems furious. And most everyone is wrong. all need more freedom to openly discuss — and engage in — sex. Instead, we all too often pounce on provocative opinions and hem in what is deemed "acceptable" bounds of debate. This is a shame. Consider the rhetorical maelstrom created when George Mason University economist Robin Hanson recently suggested that the Toronto attack — in which a self-described incel (an involuntary celibate) mowed down 10 pedestrians — shows that we should worry not just about income inequality, but also the sexual inequality that is leaving too many men sexually frustrated. Hanson, whose blog Overcoming Bias is dedicated to raising uncomfortable questions that cut against ingrained thinking, mused that "cultural elites" might consider "redistribution" schemes that could help incels get a fair share of the action. This was a provocative suggestion, no doubt. But Hanson wasn't really serious about it. He is a libertarian, after all, so talk of "redistribution" was more in the vein of a thought experiment. Still, many people were understandably offended by even the hint of a suggestion that men are "owed" sex, or that this particular man was somehow justified in his violence because of some societal failure to keep his sexual drive satiated. This was, after all, the second instance of incel violence in four years. But almost everyone reacted poorly. Liberals roundly pilloried Hanson. Slate's Jordan Weissman called him "America's creepiest economist," before doing an entirely tendentious interview with him with the aim of exposing Hanson as a nutjob. Wonkette's Robyn Pennacchia accused Hanson of "singing the songs of horny men." Motherboard's Samantha Cole declared that Hanson really wants "women to f--k violent men." (Webmaster's comment: No man is ever owed sex! He must earn it from a willing partner!)
5-8-18 Eric Schneiderman, New York attorney general, quits amid assault reports
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned following allegations of assault by four women. The New Yorker magazine published a report quoting the women, two of them ex-girlfriends, who accused Mr Schneiderman, 63, of hitting them. Mr Schneiderman has been a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and a fierce opponent of President Donald Trump. In a statement, Mr Schneiderman said he "strongly contests" the allegations. "In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity," the statement says. "I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross." Mr Schneiderman said: "While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office's work at this critical time." Mr Schneiderman became attorney general in 2010 and had intended to run for re-election to the post this year. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had called for Mr Schneiderman's resignation, following the reports. "No-one is above the law, including New York's top legal officer," he said. "I do not believe it is possible for Eric Schneiderman to continue to serve as attorney general." Mr Cuomo said he would ask a prosecutor to investigate the allegations. (Webmaster's comment: More than 5,500 women are injured by their husbands or boyfriends every day. And those are only the beatings that are reported.)
5-7-18 India rape: Second Jharkhand teenager set alight, police say
A 17-year-old girl in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand is in a critical condition after she was raped and then set on fire, police say. A local man has been arrested in connection with the attack. It is the second such incident to be reported in Jharkhand in recent days - another teenage girl who police say was raped and burned alive died on Sunday. Police have not indicated the two cases are connected. They come as India reels from a string of violent sexual crimes. One of them involves an eight-year-old Kashmiri Muslim girl who was gang raped, drugged and murdered in January. The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the trial of eight men, all of them Hindus, who have been arrested in the case must be held in Punjab because of the deep divisions between the communities. In the latest case in Jharkhand, the girl is undergoing treatment in hospital after suffering 95% burn injuries, police told BBC Hindi's Ravi Prakash. "The accused told us that he wanted to marry the victim but she wasn't ready," police officer Shailendra Barnwal said. They added that he attacked her on Friday in her relative's house in a village in Pakur district. The accused lived close by. According to the police, he waited until she was alone, then broke into the house and raped her before setting her alight. Neighbours reportedly rushed to the house on hearing her screams and took her to hospital.
5-6-18 India police arrest main suspect after teen raped and burned alive
Indian police say they have arrested the main suspect in an alleged gang-rape and murder of a teenage girl. Dhanu Bhuiyan and his accomplices are accused of burning the 16-year-old alive on Friday in the state of Jharkhand. She was killed after her parents complained to village elders that she had been raped, according to police. The elders had told two accused rapists to do 100 sit-ups and pay a 50,000 rupee (£550; $750) fine as punishment. The men were allegedly so enraged by the penalty that they beat the girl's parents then set her on fire. "The two accused thrashed the parents and rushed to the house where they set the girl ablaze with the help of their accomplices," Ashok Ram, the officer in charge of the local police station, told the AFP news agency. Police say they have arrested 15 of the 18 people they want to investigate in connection with the incidents. They say Mr Bhuiyan was arrested at a relative's house where he was hiding. The suspect has not commented on the accusations. About 40,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2016 out of a population of 1.324 billion. In America 95,730 rape cases were reported out of a population of 322 million in 2016. THAT'S OVER 9 TIMES THE RATE OF RAPES IN INDIA. UNITED STATES IS THE RAPE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! (Webmaster's comment: And just like in Indai many of America women live in constant threat of being killed if they report being raped.)
5-5-18 Junot Diaz: US author quits festival after sex harassment claim
Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Junot Diaz has withdrawn from a literary festival in Australia after another US writer accused him of harassment. During a session at the Sydney Writers' Festival, he was confronted by Zinzi Clemmons, who alleged he had forcibly kissed her six years ago. Two other female writers have since accused him of misogynistic remarks. Speaking to the New York Times, Mr Diaz, 49, said he took responsibility for his past. Last month the Dominican-American author - who won the Pulitzer for his book The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - wrote an article describing how he was raped as a child. During an event at the Sydney Writers' Festival, Ms Clemmons referred to the article and then asked him why he had treated her the way he had, attendees told the New York Times newspaper. She then repeated the allegation on social media, saying the incident took place when she was aged 26 and alleging that she was "far from the only one" he had sexually harassed. She added that she believed that Mr Diaz's article about his experience of rape had been written to distract attention from allegations about his behaviour that he feared were about to emerge. In Mr Diaz's piece in the New Yorker, he said that after being raped he suffered depression and "uncontrollable rage". He said his later relationships with women were troubled and he found it hard to remain faithful. In his statement, Mr Diaz did not address Ms Clemmons's allegation directly but said it was vital to teach men about consent. Two more female US authors have since said that Mr Diaz behaved aggressively towards them.
5-5-18 India girl, 16, burnt alive after Jharkhand rape
A 16-year-old girl in India was burnt alive after her parents complained to village elders that she had been raped, according to police. Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the attacks in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand. Police said the elders had ordered the accused rapists to do 100 sit-ups and pay a 50,000 rupee (£550; $750) fine as punishment. They were so enraged they beat the girl's parents then set her on fire. "The two accused thrashed the parents and rushed to the house where they set the girl ablaze with the help of their accomplices," Ashok Ram, the officer in charge of the local police station, told AFP news agency. The girl was believed to have been abducted from her home while her parents were attending a wedding. Local police said she was raped by two men in a forested area near the village of Raja Kendua. Upon discovering the assault, her parents went to village elders to pursue charges against the suspected perpetrators. Councils of village elders carry no legal weight. However, they have significant influence in many parts of rural India and are a way of settling disputes without having to go through India's expensive judicial system. Police in the state say that they have arrested 14 of the 18 people they want to investigate with regards to the rape and subsequent murder. (Webmaster's comment: More brutality from the most barbaric nation on earth!)
5-4-18 Nobel Prize for Literature delayed amid Swedish Academy 'sex assault' scandal
The organisation that decides the Nobel Prize for Literature has said it will not announce an award this year, after it was engulfed in a scandal over sexual assault allegations. The Swedish Academy has been in crisis over its handling of allegations against the husband of a member. She has since quit, as have the academy's head and four other members. The academy says it will now announce the 2018 winner along with the 2019 winner next year. The scandal is the biggest to hit the prize since it was first awarded in 1901. Apart from six years during the world wars, there has been only one year when the prize was not awarded. No worthy winner was found in 1935. This year's other Nobel prizes will go ahead as usual. In a statement on its website, the academy said: "The present decision was arrived at in view of the currently diminished Academy and the reduced public confidence in the Academy." It said that the academy's "operative practices need to be evolved", including tackling its statutes, conflict-of-interest issues and management of information. Some academy members had argued that the prize should proceed to protect the tradition, but others said the institution was in no state to present the award. The #MeToo campaign, which showed the prevalence of sexual assault globally, may have played a part in the academy's decision. It would have been difficult for potential winners to accept the prize with the academy in such turmoil.
5-1-18 Spain 'wolf pack' case: Fury over verdict sparks #MeToo campaign
Outrage amongst women in Spain over a court's decision to clear five men of the crime of rape after they performed and filmed non-consensual sex with a teenager has led to an extraordinary outpouring of personal stories of male abuse on social media. Using the hashtag #cuéntalo (tell it), tens of thousands of women have decided to show their solidarity with the victim in the "wolf pack" case, so called because of the name of the WhatsApp group her attackers used to comment on their sordid acts. WARNING: You may find some of the accounts in this story disturbing. Women have detailed instances in which they have suffered unwanted sexual attention or violent abuse from male family members, strangers or teachers and others in positions of authority. The stories have trickled in to form a flood of anger about what women have had to endure, mostly in silence - until now. (Webmaster's comment: These same cases are repeated millions of times in America!)
- "It was my father and it started before I can remember," wrote Elisa. "Two years old, three? Less? I have just turned 41 and a few months ago I went back into therapy because, even if I think I have, I haven't got over it. Chronic depression, anxiety attacks, nightmares… I never had a partner. Alone I feel safe."
- "When I was 12 a stranger masturbated on me on the city bus taking me home. I didn't move. I felt shame, guilt, disgust. I didn't tell anyone until years later. I lived as if it hadn't happened but I didn't wear a skirt again for years. It's the first one I remember."
- "I was 13 when my teacher started touching me without my consent and he did it for three months, I was living through a depression and tried suicide, I am telling this because I am not scared anymore."
- "15 years old. A quiet street. A young man throws himself at me from behind and gropes my bum. He whispers: you're lovely. I am speechless. He goes away. He comes back, doing the same but harder grabbing my hips and rubbing himself up against me. I scream. He goes away. Two people look at me. I feel shame."
- "Among the 12 occasions I remembered yesterday because of Cristina's #cuéntalo, I have an identical one to yours, at the age of 14. In the clubhouse toilet at a village party, opening the door to three men getting naked. 17. I am not telling about the times that I couldn't escape. It's painful to say: I am a judge and I never went to the police."
- "My husband abuses me. I ask for a divorce. The sentence obliges me to live on the second floor of my attacker's house. I tell my story on TV. He gets annoyed because I report it, he comes round, ties me to a chair and burns me alive. I am telling you because Ana Orantes cannot."
5-1-18 Ashley Judd sues Harvey Weinstein for 'damaging' career
Actress Ashley Judd is suing Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein claiming he damaged her career in retaliation for her rejecting his sexual advances. Monday's lawsuit accuses the Oscar-winning producer of defamation, sexual harassment and violation of the California Unfair Competition Law. Ms Judd was in the first group of women who came forward last year to accuse the filmmaker of sexual misconduct. Mr Weinstein is facing multiple claims of rape, intimidation and harassment. "Weinstein used his power in the entertainment industry to damage Ms Judd's reputation and limit her ability to find work," the lawsuit filed at a court in Los Angeles alleges. It comes after Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson said last year that he had been considering Ms Judd for a role in the 2002 film but that she was "blacklisted" following conversations with the Weinstein Company. He said that Mr Weinstein had warned him that the actress was a "nightmare" to work with. Mr Weinstein, however, has said that he had no role in Mr Jackson's casting and has denied trying to derail Ms Judd's career. A spokesperson for Mr Weinstein said in a statement that the producer had "neither defamed Ms Judd nor ever interfered with Ms Judd's career". Speaking to BBC Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur in January, Ms Judd said she believed that Mr Weinstein had "blackballed" her because she was "not frightened" of him. "I think that is why he blacklisted me and did unfortunately as we know now such a successful job sabotaging my career," she added. If the lawsuit is successful, the actress has said she would donate any monetary damages to the Time's Up legal defence fund. Its legal fund will offer support to people who have experienced sexual harassment, abuse or assault in the workplace.
5-1-18 Cardinal Pell ordered to stand trial on sexual assault charges
Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell will stand trial on historical sexual assault charges, a court has ruled. Cardinal Pell formally pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing. An Australian magistrate ruled on Tuesday that there was enough evidence for the case to proceed to a trial on some charges, but not on others. Cardinal Pell, 76, is Australia's most senior Catholic and one of the most powerful officials in the Vatican. He was given a large police guard as he entered the Melbourne Magistrates' Court in front of dozens of media representatives and members of the public. Cardinal Pell, who is considered the Church's third-ranked official, took a leave of absence from the Vatican last year to fight the charges in his home country. Most of the evidence given remains confidential. But following the hearing on Tuesday, his lawyer, Robert Richter QC, argued that the most "vile" allegations against his client had been dismissed. Last June, police in the state of Victoria charged the senior cleric with what they described as historical charges involving "multiple complainants". More than 30 witnesses testified during a preliminary court hearing, known as a committal, that ran for four weeks from March. Many sessions were closed to the public, which is standard practice in Victoria in sexual offence cases. In open hearings, the court heard that an alleged incident took place at a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s when the cleric was archbishop of Melbourne. Another allegation related to a swimming pool in the city of Ballarat in the 1970s, when Cardinal Pell was a local priest, the court heard.
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