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20 Abuse of Women News Articles
for August 2018
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Sioux Falls Feminists News

8-15-18 Why single Nigerian women battle to rent homes
Many landlords in Nigeria suspect single women of being prostitutes, making it difficult for them to rent apartments. A successful career woman, Olufunmilola Ogungbile, 30, never thought that she would be sleeping on a friend's couch after five months of apartment-hunting in Abeokuta city in south-western Nigeria. She had moved from Lagos after securing a good job with the Ogun state government as a project administrator. Despite being financially independent, she struggled to find an apartment in middle and upmarket areas because she was single. "The first question the landlord would ask me is if I'm married?" Ms Ogungbile said, "I'd say 'No', and they'd follow with, 'Why not'?" She was often left puzzled. "What does my marital status have to do with me getting a place to live in?" Ms Ogungbile said the discrimination was widespread. "Ninety-nine per cent of the landlords I met did not want to rent to me because I am a single woman," she told the BBC. "Most landlords and agents would tell me, 'Can you bring your boyfriend or your husband?' In these kinds of apartments, we don't like boys coming in. We just want decent people." Ms Ogungbile believes the hurdles she faced are down to cultural expectations - marriage is a benchmark used to measure decency. "In this part of the world, if you are not married then you are a prostitute," she added.

8-14-18 'I took on my abusive boss and won'
Gloria Kente had been working for the family for three years when her employer's boyfriend began hurling racial abuse at her. Although her life was far from perfect, until that point she made ends meet with the little wage she received and the love she had for her employer's kids. Ms Kente was then working as a domestic worker in a gated community complex in a part of Cape Town where the average property goes for 1.5m rand ($108,000; £85,000) - more than 70 times the annual wage of someone living in Khayelitsha, the township she called home. Not that she was in Khayelitsha much. It took more than two hours to reach work each day, forcing her to leave her children and grandchildren behind from Monday to Friday each week while she lived with her employer. For more than one million domestic workers in South Africa, this routine is not uncommon and, in fact, is often an expectation. But the separation made it all the harder when the abuse started. At first, it was verbal insults: "fat, lazy" and the "k word" - an offensive and illegal derogatory term used to denigrate black people, rarely spoken out loud in South Africa. It can be argued that the country's domestic workers form the backbone of the country, keeping the home going and looking after the children. Kyla Mills is one of thousands of South Africans whose domestic worker literally felt like part of the family - so much so that she considers the woman she knew as "Ma Lina" to be a second mother. "Ma Lina fed me, bathed me and tucked me into bed many times," she says. And yet abuse - and low pay - remains rife across the nation.

8-13-18 US Democrat Keith Ellison denies domestic abuse allegations
Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison has denied claims of domestic abuse days before his primary election for state attorney general. His former girlfriend Karen Monahan and her son allege Mr Ellison once dragged her off a bed while screaming obscenities at her. They claim there is also video footage of the incident, which Mr Ellison denied in a statement on Sunday. He is a front-runner for the Democratic Minnesota attorney general candidacy. "Karen and I were in a long-term relationship which ended in 2016, and I still care deeply for her well-being," Mr Ellison said in a statement on Sunday. "This video does not exist because I have never behaved in this way, and any characterisation otherwise is false." The Minnesota lawmaker is a top figure in the Democratic party. Last year, he became deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Ms Monahan shared her own statement with Fox 9 on Sunday, calling violence "an American tradition". She said the alleged dragging incident occurred in 2016. "I am a #METOO survivor," she wrote. "After several years of being in a relationship with Keith Ellison, it became clear, I had survived narcissist abuse." She alleges that Mr Ellison threatened and intimidated her when she mentioned sharing her experiences with him in a memoir. Ms Monahan also said she told Mr Ellison to seek help for his behaviours. "I told him time and time again, I didn't want to share my story publicly, it was more important for healing and restoration to occur with this situation. I told him not only he deserved it, but his family and constituents deserve it as well. "But no matter how many times I offered, he wouldn't take me up on it."

8-11-18 6ix9ine: Rapper faces prison and sex offender registry
Tekashi 6ix9ine could face prison time for the sexual exploitation of a child, as well as new assault charges. The Manhattan District Attorney's office claims the rapper violated his 2015 plea deal by re-offending twice. It's been recommended that the 22-year-old be tried as an adult and sentenced to up to three years in prison. The office has also asked for him to be registered under the Sexual Offender Registration Act, according to documents seen by Newsbeat. 6ix9ine, real name Daniel Hernandez, originally pleaded guilty in October 2015 to using a child in a sexual performance when he was 18. In a video, posted online, a 13-year-old girl was seen engaging in oral intercourse while Tekashi stood behind her. Under the conditions of a plea deal over the original crime he agreed not to commit another offence for two years so that he wouldn't have to register as a sex offender. However, if he breached that plea deal he was told he could face up to three years in prison. The hip hop star has since been arrested twice for allegedly choking a 16-year-old in a shopping centre in Houston earlier this year. In May he was also arrested for driving without a licence, assaulting a police officer and obstructing governmental administration. She also stated that the star's behaviour undermines any argument that he should be "relieved" of a criminal record and recommended adult sentencing, even though committing the sexual offence at 18 makes him eligible for "youthful offender treatment".

8-10-18 Catcall ban
French legislators have passed a new law banning the harassment of women on the street. Catcallers and people who make sexist comments in public places will soon be hit with fines of up to $875, while those who film up women’s skirts can be fined $17,000. First proposed a year ago, the law was passed just days after a video went viral of a man punching a young woman on a Paris street after she told him to quit harassing her. Some women think the new law will do little good. “It’s a joke,” said the woman in the video, Marie Laguerre. “It means having police officers on every street.” The law also sets the age of consent at 15, after an outcry over a case last year in which a 28-year-old man was not charged with rape for having sex with an 11-year-old because the girl did not explicitly say no.

8-10-18 Casey Affleck sorry for 'unprofessional' behaviour on film set
Actor Casey Affleck has apologised for the "unprofessional environment" on the set of his 2010 film I'm Still Here. "I behaved in a way, and I allowed others to behave in a way that was really unprofessional, and I'm sorry," he told the Associated Press. The Oscar winner was sued by two female crew members who accused him of sexual harassment while working on the mockumentary film, which he directed. Affleck denied the allegations and the lawsuits were settled out of court. "That I was ever involved in a conflict that resulted in a lawsuit is something that I really regret," he said. "I had never had any complaints like that made about me before in my life and it was really embarrassing, and I didn't know how to handle it, and I didn't agree with everything, the way I was being described and the things that were said about me," Affleck said. "But I wanted to try to make it right, and so we made it right in the way that was asked at the time." Affleck was also a producer on I'm Still Here, in which actor Joaquin Phoenix was seen pretending to launch a musical alter-ego. He said that meant "the buck had to stop" with him and that he had "to accept responsibility" for what took place on the set. Affleck's accusers, producer Amanda White and director of photography Magdalena Gorka, alleged that they were repeatedly subjected to sexual innuendoes and unwanted advances.

8-10-18 Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich held for 'prostitute assault'
Tour de France-winning cyclist Jan Ullrich has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a prostitute in Frankfurt. "He is in police custody," a police spokesman told AFP news agency, adding that the German national "was under the influence of alcohol and drugs". The 44-year-old won the race in 1997. He was also arrested the previous Friday in Majorca after reportedly jumping over a neighbour's fence and making threats. Mr Ullrich said he was only trying to talk to his neighbour. The neighbour was revealed to be German actor and director Til Schweiger, who starred in Quentin Tarrantino's Inglourious Basterds. He told local media he would not be pressing charges against his former "good friend", but a restraining order was issued. The latest incident happened in a luxury hotel. Police said he argued with an "escort lady" and "physically attacked and injured her".

8-9-18 Willow Creek: Church leaders quit over sexual misconduct scandal
The leaders at one of the biggest megachurches in the US have quit over a sexual misconduct scandal that has already claimed its founder. A statement from elders at the Willow Creek church said a "new start" was needed, and that they should have handled the allegations better. Bill Hybels stepped down earlier this year after accusations of inappropriate conduct emerged. He has denied the allegations but said he had become a distraction. With more than 25,000 members and locations in Chicago, Willow Creek is thought to be the fifth largest megachurch in the US. Megachurches are defined as congregations with regular weekly attendance of at least 2,000 persons. Several women have come forward with accusations against Mr Hybels dating back to the 1990s. Earlier this year, the Chicago Tribune and Christianity Today both detailed allegations that he had made unwanted advances and suggestive comments to church members. Church leaders were reportedly told four years ago that Mr Hybels was having an affair with one woman and was accused of harassment by others. An internal investigation cleared him of wrongdoing. But in April, after the allegations went public, Mr Hybels said he would step down, months ahead of his planned retirement date in October this year. His announcement brought gasps from his congregation. New allegations emerged over the weekend, with a former assistant alleging he groped her repeatedly. The latest claims prompted the resignation of one of Mr Hybels' successors Steve Carter, who quit over the church's handling of the misconduct allegations. It appears the rest of the church leaders also felt compelled to act.

8-9-18 Stanford sex attack: Brock Turner loses assault appeal
An appeals court has rejected an attempt by former US college student Brock Turner to have his sexual assault and attempted rape felonies overturned. His case garnered national attention in 2016 after the former star swimmer was sentenced to just six months in jail. A three-judge panel in a San Jose, California court ruled Wednesday that arguments put forward by Turner's lawyer for a new trial lacked merit. The ruling means the 22-year-old will remain on the sex-offenders register. Turner was originally arrested in 2015 after two students witnessed him assaulting an unconscious woman outside a Stanford University fraternity house party. In 2016 a jury found him guilty of three charges: sexually assaulting an intoxicated victim, sexually assaulting an unconscious victim and attempting to rape her. Although prosecutors had sought a six-year term for his crimes, Turner was sentenced to six months and released after serving three. The case judge, Aaron Persky, was widely criticised for leniency and removed from office by voters earlier this year after a recall campaign. (Webmaster's comment: He should have gotten 10 years, not 3 months!)

8-9-18 New Zealand man admits secretly filming 34 women in shower
A New Zealand man has pleaded guilty to filming 34 women at his guesthouse with covert cameras in shampoo bottles. The man from Hawke's Bay, North Island - who has not been named to protect his wife - made 219 secret recordings from December 2017 to February 2018. He also admitted posting the videos to a porn site, some with descriptions. Most of the victims were under 30 and the disguised cameras were placed to film between their shoulders and knees, though faces often came into view. It is not known if the disguised shampoo bottles were homemade devices or bought online. The women - who stayed between one night and two weeks - were tracked down by police and said in a statement they felt shocked, ashamed, angered and degraded by the man's actions. When the man was arrested in February, he told police he had "done it for the thrill and risk of being caught", news outlet Stuff said. After arranging when the women would use the shower facilities at the homestay he ran, the man would activate the cameras through a remote-control device, the Hastings District Court was told. He would later remove the shampoo bottles and download the videos onto his computer at night. Videos were then posted on a porn site, where the man urged viewers to leave positive comments to encourage him to make more recordings. He shared some of the victims' ethnicities and professions, and also added details about the acts he would like to perform on them and how he had violated their privacy without them knowing.

8-8-18 USC president steps down amid gynaecology sex abuse scandal
The president of the University of Southern California (USC) has stepped down, months after he agreed to, over a scandal involving a school doctor. CL Max Nikias is now President Emeritus of USC as the university faces lawsuits over the alleged actions of a former campus gynaecologist. The lawsuits accuse George Tyndall, who worked at a university clinic for 30 years, of sexual misconduct, including groping and improper examinations. Mr Tyndall has denied any wrongdoing. USC Board of Trustees Chairman Rick Caruso said in a statement on Tuesday that Mr Nikias had stepped down, effective immediately, but would "continue to assist with the transition of the incoming president". As the university looks for a replacement president, board member Wanda Austin - former CEO of the Aerospace Corporation - has been named interim president. She is the first female and first African American appointed to serve in the role. Ms Austin was also the first female and African American president at the Aerospace Corp. Regarding the scandals around Mr Tyndall, the chairman said that "the behaviour and environment that allowed it to persist are inexcusable and will no longer be tolerated". "The Board and I are committed to an ambitious, aggressive agenda for change. As I have said previously, it is evident that the recent crises have resulted from systemic and cultural failures." Mr Nikias had announced his resignation in May, but remained in his role. More than 670 concerned faculty members who believed Mr Nikias did not intend to step down signed a petition to ensure his departure, the Washington Post reported.

8-8-18 'I was kidnapped in London and trafficked for sex'
Anna came to London from Romania intending to study, but first she needed to earn some money. She took temporary jobs - waitressing, cleaning, maths tutoring. Then one day in March 2011 she was snatched off the street, flown to Ireland and put through nine months of hell. Anna was nearly home. There was just enough time to nip inside and eat lunch before leaving for her next cleaning job. She was wearing headphones and listening to Beyoncé singing I Was Here as she walked down the street in Wood Green, north London. She was just a few doors away. She reached into her bag to pull out her keys when suddenly someone grabbed her by the neck from behind, covered her mouth, and dragged into the back of a dark red car. There were three of them, two men and a woman. They were slapping her, punching her, and screaming threats in Romanian. Her ears were ringing. The woman in the passenger seat grabbed her bag and pulled the glasses from her face. If she didn't do what they told her, they shouted, her family in Romania would be killed. "I didn't know what was happening or where they were taking me," Anna says. "I was imagining everything - from organ harvesting or prostitution, to being killed, to God knows what." The woman was going through her bag, looking in her wallet, scrolling through the recent calls and Facebook friends on her phone, looking at her papers. Her passport was there - she carried it everywhere after her previous one was stolen from her room. Anna could see there was no point trying to escape from the car, but when they arrived at an airport and she was left alone with just one of the men, she began to wonder if this was her chance. Could she appeal to airport staff for help? "It's hard to scream when you feel so threatened," she says. "They had my papers, they knew where my mum was, they knew everything about me." It was a risk she couldn't bring herself to take.

8-6-18 Did we really evolve domestic violence? We don’t know yet
A study suggests men in some societies who are violent to their partners may have more children – but that doesn’t mean that evolution favours domestic violence. Why is domestic violence so horrifyingly common around the world? According to a study out today, men who are violent towards their partners have more children in societies without birth control. This implies that evolution favours domestic violence – but can that really be true? We have been here before. Some evolutionary psychologists have long argued that domestic violence is a behaviour that has evolved because it benefits males. However, the claim is usually that the reason for the violence is to ensure that women are faithful. The new study suggests the key factor is instead the number of children. The researchers studied the Tsimane people of Bolivia, who have a pre-industrial culture with no access to contraception. Shockingly, 85 per cent of women reported violent incidents. The team found that women were more likely to give birth in a year in which their partner was violent towards them. While the team did not explore the reasons for this, the implication is that men have evolved to use violence, or the threat of violence, to force their partners to have sex with them – that is, to rape them. “Intimate partner violence may persist as an evolutionary strategy to enhance male fitness,” writes Elizabeth Pillsworth of California State University in an accompanying perspective piece. This is an idea both sexes will find repulsive, for many reasons. One fear is that some abusive men might wrongly seize upon research like this as a defence – “evolution made me do it”. There is reason to worry: in 2009 a judge in Italy cut the sentence of a man convicted of murder after learning he had gene variants linked to violent tendencies. (Webmaster's comment: Males have a large brain capable of controlling their bulit-in drives. If they don't lock them up and throw away the key. Protecting us from male brutes is more improtant than giving them the right to physically hurt others and get away with it.)

8-6-18 Jordan Peterson on the 'backlash against masculinity'
The Canadian psychologist Jordan B Peterson says there is a "backlash" against masculinity and "a sense there is something toxic about masculinity". He told Hardtalk's Stephen Sackur: "There are biological differences between men and women that express themselves in temperament and in occupational choice and that any attempt to enforce equality of outcomes is unwarranted and ill advised as a consequence." Mr Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos. (Webmaster's comment: It's not masculinity that women object to, it's male brutes who use force against women and males who are biased against women!)

8-6-18 Let's ban catcalling
In these crude and dispiriting times, it's always worth celebrating when a rare blow for decency is struck anywhere by anyone. Following fast upon their recent triumph on behalf of children's welfare over the international smartphone lobby, French legislators have just approved a package of laws that make it a crime for louts to harass women in the street with catcalling and lewd comments. Le jour de gloire est arrivé! This bill was passed following a lengthy campaign by the government of President Emmanuel Macron, partly in response to a video seen by millions in which a woman has an ash tray thrown at her head after telling a catcaller to piss off. It's wonderful to think there is still at least one country in which the head of state advocates on behalf of such popular causes as decency and good manners and against boorishness and obscenity. I have not always had uniformly kind things to say about our NATO allies, but here I think the case can safely be made that Macron is, with the obvious exception of His Majesty Hans Adams II, the most interesting European leader now living. How long till he asks Pope Francis for a concordat, I wonder? America should follow the lead of her oldest ally here. It's difficult, of course, with our 50 states and countless municipalities to imagine how we could get something passed uniformly. Even the Koch brothers cannot convince all of our (mostly Republican-controlled) state legislatures to pass uniform laws for the purpose of their own enrichment. To address this problem at the federal level would mean making the harassment of women the business of the FBI and the United States Marshals Service.

8-3-18 #MeToo: Now it’s CBS chief Moonves
When the #MeToo movement began bringing down powerful and wealthy men, said Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker, CBS chief Les Moonves fashioned himself as a champion of women. “One of the most powerful media executives in America,” Moonves founded a national commission, chaired by Anita Hill, dedicated to fighting sexual harassment. But his “private actions belie his public statements.” Six women who have had professional dealings with Moonves over a 20-year period say that he sexually harassed them, including “forcible touching or kissing during business meetings.” That includes actress Illeana Douglas, who described how Moonves asked her for sex during a business meeting, pinned her to a couch, pulled up her skirt, and forcibly kissed her. All of the accusers say Moonves damaged their careers in retaliation for rejecting his advances. “He has gotten away with it for decades,” says writer Janet Jones, one of the accusers. “And it’s just not OK.” Moonves’ response to the allegations followed a familiar pattern, said Christina Cauterucci in Slate.com. He admitted that he’d made advances that may have made some women uncomfortable, but insisted that “I always understood and respected—and abided by the principle—that ‘no’ means ‘no.’” Conveniently, that standard means that “any sexual indignity may be ethically visited upon someone until the exact moment she utters a clear and convincing ‘no.’” Moonves was supposed to be one of the “good guys,” said Monica Hesse in The Washington Post. The sad thing is, he still thinks he is, and that in pressing subordinates for sex, he was just playing by the “rules.” What that tells us is that “we’re no longer talking about a bad guy—we’re talking about a bad society.”

8-3-18 Sexaul Harrassment has consequences
At least 24 candidates have ended their campaigns or re-election bids so far this year after allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct became public, including 13 Democrats and 11 Republicans. Eight of the candidates were running at the federal level, while 16 were seeking state offices.

8-3-18 Kimberly Guilfoyle
Kimberly Guilfoyle was forced out of Fox News after an internal investigation found evidence of misconduct, including showing colleagues photos of penises, HuffingtonPost.com reports. A co-host on The Five, Guilfoyle, 49, presented her departure last month as a mutual decision and expressed eagerness to campaign alongside her new boyfriend, Donald Trump Jr., ahead of the midterm elections. But an internal Fox investigation found that Guilfoyle showed colleagues photos of male genitalia, volunteered details at work about her sex life, and emotionally abused hair and makeup artists, said HuffingtonPost.com. She also allegedly pressured colleagues to defend former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, who was publicly accused of sexual harassment in 2016 and eventually resigned. Guilfoyle’s attorney said the misconduct allegations came from “disgruntled and self-interested employees” at Fox.

8-2-18 High-ranking Chinese monk accused of sexually harassing nuns
A high-ranking Chinese monk has denied accusations he sexually harassed nuns and coerced them into sex by "controlling their minds". Abbot Xuecheng's alleged actions were detailed in a report sent to government officials by two monks from Longquan temple where he is based. The temple, in Beijing, has accused the monks of "distorting facts". Xuecheng is the latest public figure to be accused of sexual misconduct as part of a growing #MeToo movement in China. He is the head of the Buddhist Association of China, the youngest person to ever hold the position, and a political adviser to the government. The abbot also has more than a million followers on Chinese social network Weibo. The temple said in a statement posted on Weibo (in Chinese) that it would call for an investigation team to be set up, but stressed Xuechang's denial of the charges. It said the "fabricated evidence" had "illegal intentions to maliciously frame Abbot Xuecheng". The report written by two monks at Longquang temple, Xianjia and Xianqi, accuses Abbot Xuecheng of sending illicit messages to the nuns and coercing them into sexual relations. The report alleges that six nuns were targeted - four gave in to his requests. It also accuses the abbot of using text messages to "mind-control" the nuns by claiming that sex was part of their study of Buddhist doctrines. The 95-page document, which was leaked online, also said one of the nuns had filed a police report in June alleging Xuecheng had sexually assaulted her. According to the monks, they began investigations into Xuecheng's actions after a nun who stayed in Beijing in December 2017 showed them sexual messages sent from the abbot.

8-2-18 Illinois lawmaker Nick Sauer quits after 'catfishing' claim
An Illinois state representative has resigned following allegations he used photos of his ex-girlfriend to "catfish other men". Republican Nick Sauer allegedly used the photos on a fake Instagram account to lure men into "graphic conversations of a sexual nature". His former girlfriend Kate Kelly made the allegations in a formal complaint. Catfishing refers to creating fake personas to trick others into bogus online conversations. Mr Sauer said in a statement his duties would be affected "by the distraction of addressing these allegations. "After speaking with my family, I feel it best to step away from my public responsibilities," the first term lawmaker said. Illinois house Republican leader Jim Durkin called the allegations "troubling", saying the "proper authorities" should be allowed to investigate. Publishing private sexual images without consent is a crime in the state of Illinois. Ms Kelly filed the complaint with the Office of the Legislative Inspector General on Wednesday, according to reports on US news website Politico. The article says that Ms Kelly has also filed a report with the Chicago Police Department. Speaking to the website, Ms Kelly said she and Mr Sauer, both unmarried, met on the dating app Tinder in 2016 but broke up earlier this year when she discovered he had been seeing other women.

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20 Abuse of Women News Articles
for August 2018

Abuse of Women News Articles for July 2018