As the Senate Armed Services Committee meets Wednesday to take up its version of the Defense Authorization bill, senators will likely devote at least as much verbiage to discussion of sexual assault in the military ranks as they do to the finer points of the Pentagon budget that is the bill’s main focus. But missing from the committee’s final version of the bill will be the one measure that advocates for survivors of sexual assault and rape say is critical to ending the crisis that grips the military: removing the reporting and prosecution of sexual assault cases from the chain of command.
|By: RH Reality Check Thursday June 13, 2013 6:58 pm|
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Sunday May 26, 2013 4:00 pm|
Family Policy Institute of Washington is so eager to get a parental notification law passed in Washington state that its executive director, Joseph Backholm, is apparently willing to misrepresent court-documented facts.
|By: Peterr Saturday May 18, 2013 9:00 am|
In watching and listening to the unfolding stories over the last week of sexual assault in the military, I could not help but notice how similar the military’s mess is to the situation in the Roman Catholic church over child abuse carried out by priests. Trusted leaders misused their positions of power to gratify their own sexual desires, and even worse, the hierarchy all too often protected the abusers and failed the victims.
Here’s hoping that the brass at the Pentagon have learned a few things from the bishops about how NOT to deal with the perpetrators of sexual assault by those in authority.
|By: RH Reality Check Thursday April 4, 2013 6:02 pm|
We have seen much — and much-deserved — criticism of the mainstream media coverage of the Steubenville rape verdict. Some reporters, notoriously, have focused on what “good students” the convicted young men are and what “bright futures” had been squandered by their actions. While these may have been misguided analyses of the verdict, the outrage stems from the fact that such comments are part of a broader social narrative.
The lack of discourse and concern for the future of the Steubenville victim points to a deeper social problem; it’s a double-down on blaming the victim.
|By: Peterr Saturday March 23, 2013 10:40 am|
Another week, another court-ordered document dump of records that detail the abuses covered up by bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. This time, it’s Joliet, Illinois.
While the bishop that comes off worst in these files is retired, another former bishop of Joliet is not only still active, but has been promoted and currently serves in several powerful roles with the USCCB: J. Peter Sartain of Portland.
For victims, this isn’t about simply getting their own abuse to stop anymore. It’s not about money for counseling, treatment, and other things. It’s about making visible the behavior of not only the priests but the bishops who protected them.
|By: Pam Spaulding Thursday March 21, 2013 6:06 pm|
It seems almost ridiculous that this essay has to be written, but sadly it does. Rape affects every community, and there is not enough discussion about its intersection with LGBTQ issues. Many kudos to essayists Sue Kerr of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents and Ian Finkenbinder, Seattle-based activist of OneAngryQueer, for their courage as rape survivors to bring this topic to the fore, discussing the misogyny — the rape culture — that tries to keep matters compartmentalized and about the behavior of women, and the victim seen first as someone who “asked for it” and not the perp.
|By: DSWright Wednesday March 20, 2013 4:00 pm|
Questions still surround the Steubenville Rape Case even after the guilty verdict that sent two of the perpetrators to prison for years. David Zirin argues that without the involvement of hackers the case was set to be dropped.
|By: RH Reality Check Tuesday March 12, 2013 7:10 pm|
Last week, Democratic strategist, writer, and rape survivor Zerlina Maxwell went on The Sean Hannity Show and argued that men and boys should be trained not to rape. Maxwell was viciously attacked by conservatives following her appearance. But if there’s any problem with Maxwell’s argument, it’s not that it went too far — it’s that it could have gone even further.
|By: EdwardTeller Monday March 11, 2013 4:10 pm|
A battle is brewing in Alaska over how to interpret Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s involvement in, and final vote upon, Senate Bill 47, the Violence Against Women Act. Murkowski was a co-sponsor of the bill, and has been proclaiming for weeks her progressive role in this important legislation.
|By: Peterr Saturday March 9, 2013 9:00 am|
Once upon a time, the USCCB produced a pastoral statement on domestic violence that opened with this sentence: “As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified.” Among other things, the statement takes on those who would misuse scripture to justify domestic violence, and calls on the church to keep in mind three things: the safety of the victim (and any children in the home), accountability for the perpetrator, and either restoring the relationship or mourning its loss.
Once upon a time, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops supported the Violence Against Women Act. This is not that time. Not any more . . .