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18 Abuse of Women News Articles
for June 2018
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6-22-18 Fighting sexual harassment in science may mean changing science itself
A recent report highlights just how prevalent harassment is in academic science. The #MeToo movement has revealed sexual and gender harassment in every corner of American life. Science hasn’t been immune. High profile cases — such as decades’ worth of complaints against astronomer Geoff Marcy, and allegations that geologist David Marchant verbally and physically abused women scientists in Antarctica — make headlines. But it is the often underreported gender harassment, both serious and subtle, that contributes most to the scope of the problem. And efforts to recruit more women into scientific fields fall awfully flat when those women end up harassed out of their careers. A report published on June 12 by the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine offers an exhaustive, 311-page look into just how pervasive the problem really is: More than 50 percent of women in academia say they have experienced sexual harassment. “I am sure that many were aware of the issue, but were perhaps surprised by the magnitude of the problem,” says Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences. The report offers a list of recommendations to combat harassment, many of which are focused on changing the culture of science to create an environment where there is more civility and safety. But when the entire scientific training system is based on huge power imbalances between professors and trainees, creating that environment will involve more than team-building exercises and casual Fridays. Real change may mean changing everything about the way scientific training works. One of the most shocking statistics out of the report was actually an old number. It was from a 2003 review estimating that 58 percent of academic employees had experienced sexual harassment. The only field with worse numbers? The military (at 69 percent).

6-22-18 India women: Anti-trafficking activists raped after staging street play
Five Indian anti-trafficking activists performing a street play were gang-raped at gunpoint in the eastern state of Jharkhand, police have confirmed. The women were forced into cars and raped in a "secluded area", police told BBC Hindi. Police say they are investigating the incident but have not made any arrests. The women were working with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to raise awareness about human trafficking in the remote Khunti district. About 40,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2016. Many cases, however, are believed to go unreported because of the stigma that is attached to rape and sexual assault. "After performing, they headed towards a local mission school," senior police official AV Homkar told BBC Hindi's Niraj Sinha. "Around the same time, some armed people reached the school. They abducted five girls from their team and took them to a jungle and raped them. We have dedicated three teams of police to interrogate several people. Another police official told BBC Hindi the five women were now safe under police protection, awaiting the results of medical tests.

6-21-18 World Cup 2018: Female reporter groped and kissed on air
A female reporter groped live on air at the World Cup has spoken out about harassment by sports fans. Colombian correspondent Julieth Gonzalez Theran was working for DW Espanol in Moscow when a man grabbed her breast and kissed her cheek. She continued her report without interruption but has since addressed the incident online. "We do not deserve this treatment," Gonzalez Theran said. "We are equally valuable and professional." She told her employer, Deutsche Welle, she had been on the scene for two hours preparing for the broadcast. "When we went live, this fan took advantage of the situation," she said. "But afterwards, when I checked to see if he was still there, he was gone." The incident happened last week in the city of Saransk ahead of the Russia-Saudi Arabia game. DW posted the footage on social media, calling it an "attack" and "blatant harassment". Many online commentators, however, downplayed the incident. One labelled the criticism as "feminist hysteria", and others suggested the kiss should be seen as a "welcome" or a "compliment". Gonzalez Theran continued to speak out about her treatment on Twitter, retweeting messages of support from her colleagues. "This is not funny," DW presenter Cristina Cubas tweeted. "It's not a kiss. It's a non-consenting attack." On Wednesday, almost a week after the incident happened, DW published an article about the controversy, in which Germany's first female national league referee branded the behaviour "unacceptable". "For me it is an isolated incident," Gonzalez Theran said. "There are always fans that compliment you and behave respectfully. This one went too far." Harassment of female reporters is not uncommon in sports reporting. (Webmaster's comment: Notice all the excuses that are made for males attacking women!)

6-21-18 Medecins Sans Frontieres staff 'used local prostitutes'
Aid workers at charity Medecins Sans Frontieres used local prostitutes while working in Africa, whistleblowers have told the Victoria Derbyshire programme. Female former employees said the behaviour was widespread. One said a senior colleague said it was possible to barter medication in exchange for sex. The charity said it does not tolerate "abuse, harassment or exploitation". The use of prostitutes is banned by MSF under its strict code of conduct. The women spoke anonymously for fear of being blacklisted by foreign aid agencies, among which there can be a large crossover of staff. The allegations were made against logistical staff, and not doctors or nurses, at MSF - one of the world's biggest foreign aid agencies, also known as Doctors Without Borders. One former employee, who worked out of the charity's London office, said she had seen a senior member of staff bring girls back to MSF accommodation while posted in Kenya. "The girls were very young and rumoured to be prostitutes," she said, adding that it was "implicit" that they were there for sex. "My colleague, who was staying in the same residence for a long time, felt that this was a regular occurrence," she said. The whistleblower claimed they felt unable to challenge the man "because he was quite senior". "I felt that, with some of the older guys, there was definitely an abuse of power. They'd been there for a long time and took advantage of their exalted status as a Western aid worker," she said. "There's definitely a feeling that certain predatory men were seen as too big to fail. "You would often see men who were older, middle-aged, partying with much younger local girls. It was sexualised."

6-15-18 Where pimps prey on the desperate
The poverty racking Venezuela has left the country’s women and girls easy prey for international sex traffickers, said José Meléndez. This is no sad tale of a few duped young women. A vast transnational network, headed by Colombian crime syndicates but also involving corrupt cops and border guards, has ensnared hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans, some as young as 11 or 12. And as Venezuela’s economic collapse accelerates, emptying shelves of food and medicine, more women are at risk. An estimated 60,000 women were trafficked in 2016; that number hit 200,000 last year and could reach 600,000—or 2 percent of the population—in 2020. Most of the victims come from the poorest parts of the country, and many are indigenous. Flights out of Venezuela are insanely expensive and heavily policed, so the women travel by land to neighboring Colombia, where they are promised nightclub or waitressing work or even acting or modeling jobs. Those jobs don’t exist; instead, the women are flown to Mexico, Asia, or the former Soviet bloc for sex work. The gangs bribe immigration officials in those countries to let the women in. Having agreed to repay their traffickers the cost of travel, clothes, food, and lodging, the women become “trapped in a cycle of debt” they can never work off. “It is modern slavery.”

6-15-18 Florida college fraternity sued over 'revenge porn'
An Arizona woman is suing her ex-boyfriend and members of a university fraternity in Florida for sharing sexual content without her consent. Kathryn Novak's lawsuit alleges sexual exploitation by Delta Sigma Phi members at the University of Central Florida. The filing says images and videos of her and "many" other women were posted in a secret Facebook group they ran. The national Delta Sigma Phi Facebook page said it had suspended its Orlando chapter immediately. It called the allegations "disturbing and antithetical to our organization's values and mission". The lawsuit, filed in Orlando, alleges that Ms Novak's ex-boyfriend, Brandon Simpson, shared intimate images and videos of her with other fraternity members without her permission, during their long-distance relationship from October 2017 to February 2018. Speaking to the New York Times newspaper on Thursday, Mr Avenatti alleged that at least one sexual video had been recorded without his client's knowledge. The court filing alleges that Mr Simpson and other members of the fraternity used a secret Facebook page called "Dog Pound" to circulate nude images and videos "of their girlfriends and other unwitting victims, including images depicting the young women engaged in private sexual activity". In one alleged instance, a video where Ms Novak's face was identifiable was allegedly sent to five fraternity brothers and then viewed by as many as 200 people, the lawsuit alleges. The filing names Mr Simpson, the Delta Sigma Phi University of Central Florida chapter, and four other members of the group as defendants. US fraternities have been mired in controversy in recent years after being implicated in numerous campus sexual assaults, and deaths during harsh initiation ceremonies - so-called hazing - across the country.

6-15-18 Eurydice Dixon: Comedian's killing prompts anger in Australia
The alleged rape and murder of a young comedian as she walked home at night in Australia has prompted an outpouring of public grief and anger. The body of Eurydice Dixon, 22, was found at a football field in Melbourne early on Wednesday, only hours after she had performed a gig at a city bar. A man, 19, has been charged by police. Comedians and the public have inundated social media with tributes to Ms Dixon, in a case that has reignited local debate about violence against women. For many, it has evoked memories of the 2012 murder of an Irish woman, Jill Meagher, whose death in an adjacent Melbourne suburb prompted a peace march involving an estimated 30,000 people. Although not widely known, Ms Dixon has been remembered as a talented comedian at the start of her career. "She had a great passion for women's issues and social justice issues and she drew upon them a lot in the material that she produced as a comic," fellow comedian Nicky Barry told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Authorities allege that Ms Dixon was attacked in the suburb of Carlton North sometime after leaving a bar in central Melbourne about 22:30 local time on Tuesday. A 19-year-old man, Jaymes Todd, handed himself to police on Wednesday and was charged with her rape and murder. Police say they did not know each other. Local media reported that Ms Dixon was a few hundred metres from home when she was attacked.

6-13-18 Miss Iraq and Miss Israel reunited after selfie controversy
Six months ago, a simple selfie between two Miss Universe contestants provoked a backlash that pushed one to flee her home country, her family in tow. Sarah Idan was representing Iraq at the 2017 pageant in Las Vegas when she snapped a picture with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, and posted it online. In the caption, she wrote "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel". But some people in Iraq did not see it that way and, she said, sent her death threats. Iraq and Israel have no diplomatic relations, and Ms Idan's message was interpreted by some as an endorsement of Israel and a betrayal of Palestinian Arabs. "When I posted the picture I didn't think for a second there would be blowback," she told CNN at the time. "I woke up to calls from my family and the Miss Iraq Organization going insane. The death threats I got online were so scary." Ms Idan and her family relocated to the US, but on Monday she was reunited with Ms Gandelsman in Israel, where the two posted fresh pictures online. Ms Idan posted a photograph and a video on her Instagram page, with the caption "Sisters reunion". "I don't think Iraq and Israel are enemies, I think maybe the governments are enemies with each other," she said in an interview with Israel's Channel 2 News. "But there's a lot of Iraqi people that don't have a problem with Israelis."

6-12-18 US asylum: Domestic and gang violence cases 'no longer generally qualify'
The US attorney general has ruled that victims of domestic abuse and gang violence should no longer generally qualify for asylum in the US. Jeff Sessions' ruling overturns a 2016 decision which granted asylum to a woman from El Salvador who had been raped and abused by her husband. Activists criticised the move, saying it will affect tens of thousands. Mr Sessions has said he has a "zero tolerance" stance toward illegal immigration on the country's border. "Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum," Mr Sessions wrote in his 31-page ruling released on Monday. "The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes - such as domestic violence or gang violence - or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim." US and international law currently say that people can seek asylum if they fear persecution at home on the basis of their race, political opinion, nationality, religion or because they belong to a particular social group. The US Board of Immigration Appeals found in 2016 that the woman qualified under the "particular social group" definition, but Mr Sessions overturned the finding on Monday. (Webmaster's comment: This is a ruling against women pure and simple. Jeff Sessions is a hate filled man and wishes to help no non-white female.)

6-12-18 Jean-Claude Arnault, photographer in Nobel prize scandal, charged with rape
A French photographer at the heart of a scandal that saw this year's Nobel Prize for Literature postponed has been charged with rape. Jean-Claude Arnault, who was charged with two counts of rape dating back to 2011, denies the allegations. The Swedish Academy, which handles the prize, last month postponed it amid criticism of its handling of the case. Swedish prosecutor Christina Voigt said the evidence against Mr Arnault "was robust and sufficient for prosecution". The photographer, who is well-known in Sweden, is married to a former member of the centuries-old Swedish Academy. "He maintains that he is completely innocent of the allegations," said Mr Arnault's lawyer, Bjorn Hurtig. "I do not share the prosecutor's view that the evidence is robust," he added. "Accounts differ, there is no technical evidence, there are no direct witness accounts and the events are a long time in the past." The two counts of rape concern the same woman, who has not been identified. It evolved out of Sweden's #MeToo movement. In late 2017, some 18 women came forward in a Swedish newspaper to accuse Mr Arnault of sexual harassment and assault, prompting an investigation by state prosecutors. He denied all the alleged incidents, many of which were said to have happened at properties owned by the Academy or at his literary club. Mr Arnault has also been accused of groping the heir to the Swedish throne, Crown Princess Victoria, during a formal dinner in 2006 - which he denies. In April, the Swedish organisation handed over an internal report it had conducted through lawyers to judicial authorities.

6-8-18 South African company apologises for sexist beer campaign
A South African company has apologised for the branding of its new range of craft beers, which sparked an outcry, especially among women. Vale Bru ran a marketing campaign for the beers with names such as Filthy Brunette‚ Easy Blonde‚ Raven Porra and Ripe Redhead. Easy Blonde came with the tagline: "All your friends have already had her". After being criticised for being sexist, the company promised to remove the labels and names. The social media campaign advertised Filthy Brunette as: "When gushing and moist are used to describe something‚ then you know." While the Raven Porra was described as, "a porter with the best head in town". According to South Africa's Times Live, Porra is a derogatory term for someone of Portuguese origin. Thandi Guilherme, author of the platform Craft Geek, wrote on Instagram that Vale Bru "should be absolutely ashamed of yourselves. Crass, sexist, misogynistic branding and labelling". The Johannesburg-based company issued its first apology, which has since been deleted, on Instagram. It said: "Our attempt at making you‚ and ourselves‚ uncomfortable‚ worked. However‚ we never meant to belittle or degrade you." (Webmaster's comment: They wnated to appeal to the worst within many men!) Ms Guilherme later wrote on her blog: "#Metoo, Rape culture and Trump's 'locker room' misogyny are not funny. These are real problems that society is trying to deal with. Don't go there." "Maybe they should have asked themselves whether these are things that they would appreciate people saying about their little sister."

6-6-18 Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has no respect for Stormy Daniels
A lawyer for US President Donald Trump has said a porn actress who claims she had an affair with Mr Trump does not deserve "respect" due to her sex work. "I respect women - beautiful women and women with value - but a woman who sells her body for sexual exploitation I don't respect," said Rudy Giuliani. "Someone who sells his or her body for money has no good name," he added. A lawyer for actress Stormy Daniels, who is suing Mr Trump for defamation, called Mr Giuliani "an absolute pig". (Webmaster's comment: That's insulting to pigs!) Speaking at an investment conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Mr Giuliani told a panellist: "I'm sorry I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who... isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation." "I mean, she has no reputation. If you're going to sell your body for money, you just don't have a reputation. I may be old fashioned." he continued. In response, Ms Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, called the former New York mayor a "misogynist". He added: "His client Mr Trump didn't seem to have any 'moral' issues with her and others back in 2006."

6-6-18 Stanford rape case judge Aaron Persky removed from office
A US judge who was widely criticised for his leniency towards a campus rapist has been removed from office by voters. Judge Aaron Persky handed Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner a six-month sentence in June 2016. But county judges in California are elected, and if a petition to remove them from office garners enough signatures a vote will be held. Such elections are rare - the last time a US judge was recalled was in 1977. Tuesday's vote in Santa Clara County marks the first time a Californian judge has been removed in this way for more than 80 years. "We are outraged at [his] actions, and we don't just want talk, we want to take him out of office," an earlier statement from the campaign to remove him said. "Persky is unfit to sit on the bench," it added. The former Santa Clara County judge recently said he had no regrets about the case. He has also been cleared of misconduct by the California Commission on Judicial Performance. (Webmaster's comment: These bastards protect their own!) Turner was seen by two other students sexually assaulting his victim, now 23, behind a rubbish bin outdoors in January 2015. In March 2016, he was found guilty of three felony charges and faced up to 14 years in prison. But he was handed the much shorter sentence after Judge Persky expressed concern about the impact prison would have on him. The case sparked a national debate about sexual assault and whether wealthy white men are treated more favourably in court. Turner was released after serving only three months in county jail. (Webmaster's comment: This is many white man's idea of punishment for rape. Many white men even think it is not a crime. Women to them are property.)

6-3-18 Weinstein: Invulnerable no more
It could just as well have been the red carpet, as cameras flashed and reporters shouted, “Harvey! Harvey!” said Kevin Fallon in TheDailyBeast.com. But, with a “sinister grin,” Harvey Weinstein was turning himself in for arraignment at a Manhattan police precinct, where he was charged with raping an unnamed woman and forcing actress Lucia Evans to perform a sex act on him. For decades, the powerful Hollywood producer appeared invulnerable, and the sight of him in handcuffs was a major victory for the #MeToo movement, which began last fall when more than 80 women came forward to accuse Weinstein of sexual abuse. His “transformation from mogul to perp” is a watershed moment, said Melena Ryzik in The New York Times. This prosecution should send a clear message to abusers everywhere: “Stop behaving badly, or beware the consequences.” Sadly, it’s no mystery why Weinstein arrived with a smirk, said Maureen Callahan in NYPost.com. He “strode into court knowing he’d stride right back out” after paying $1 million to post bail, and his ultimate fate remains far from certain. His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, successfully defended Dominique Strauss-Kahn against sexual assault charges, and says Weinstein “fully expects to be exonerated.” Brafman even had the gall to tell the judge, “Mr. Weinstein did not create the casting couch in Hollywood,” indicating the defense will claim that the director’s accusers knowingly traded sex for stardom. Still, Weinstein is in real trouble, said Eliana Dockterman in Time.com. Authorities in Los Angeles and London are also looking into various allegations of assault, and Weinstein faces a federal investigation and nearly a dozen lawsuits. Many of Weinstein’s accusers could be asked to testify “to establish a pattern of bad behavior,” a strategy that helped convict Bill Cosby.

6-3-18 Abuse scandal
University of Southern California President C.L. Max Nikias agreed last week to resign, amid fierce criticism of the school’s handling of sexual abuse complaints against a longtime gynecologist at the student health center. The university has admitted that it failed to act on at least eight complaints about Dr. George Tyndall, 71, between 2000 and 2014. Police are now investigating claims from at least 52 women who have come forward to say Tyndall abused them, including accusations that he conducted pelvic exams without gloves, forced participants in clinical trials to strip naked, and took inappropriate photographs. An internal campus investigation in 2016 determined that many of the complaints were true, but Tyndall was allowed to quietly resign last year. Tyndall is estimated to have treated some 10,000 women over nearly three decades at USC.

6-3-18 Governor resigns
Facing possible impeachment amid accusations of sexual misconduct and campaign finance violations, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens resigned this week. The first-term Republican had been facing pressure to step down for months, beginning with a January report that he tried to use nude photos to blackmail a woman with whom he’d been having an extramarital affair. The woman later told a Missouri House committee that Greitens took the photos without her permission and also forced her to perform oral sex. Greitens also faces an unrelated felony charge that he illegally obtained a donor list from a veterans’ charity he founded. His announcement came just hours after a state judge ruled that Greitens’ campaign and a dark-money political group affiliated with him would have to reveal fundraising information to a legislative committee. Greitens, a former Navy SEAL with eyes on the White House, has insisted that he had committed no crimes or “any offense worthy of this treatment.”

6-1-18 Houston Texans cheerleaders sue NFL team for discrimination
Five cheerleaders for the Houston Texans are suing the NFL team for gender discrimination and for creating unfair and unsafe working conditions. The lawsuit claims the team failed to pay the women for overtime and that officials harassed and fat-shamed them. The women say they were paid around 10 cents per hour for their work. This is the second such lawsuit against the Texans in as many months and just the latest legal action against an NFL team over its cheerleading programme. "While their beauty and cheers provided ample entertainment for fans, the Houston Texans cheerleaders were never treated like the integral part of the team that they are," their lawsuit states. The legal action, which was filed by women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred, accuses the team of failing to pay overtime, intentionally inflicting emotional distress on the dance squad, breach of contract, and assault by threat of bodily injury. The accusers say they were paid the state's minimum rate of $7.25 per hour during the regular season, but that they were required to be present for countless additional activities for which they were not paid. They also say that cheerleader coaches weight-shamed them and mocked their ethnic backgrounds. One Hispanic cheerleader says she was told to straighten her hair or else the coach would "find another Latina girl to replace her". One woman says a coach duct-taped her "stomach skin underneath her shorts", then showed the rest of the squad how much "better it looks". The lawsuit states the cheerleaders had to tweet multiple times a day during the season and spend multiple hours in the gym, reports KPRC-TV. "Stop penny-pinching," Mrs Allred said at a news conference on Friday, arguing that the women are owed significant backpay.

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18 Abuse of Women News Articles
for June 2018

Abuse of Women News Articles for May 2018