A new study has found that many rape victims in the United States are paying medical bills for the aftermath of their assaults, despite the fact that the federal government has laws in place to prevent exactly that from happening. Federal law ensures that victims aren’t charged for rape kits, regardless of whether they report the attack to police. However, the real financial confusion starts when medical treatment is required beyond that initial exam.
The government-funded study was done by the Urban Institute in partnership with George Mason University and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Researchers took a look at sexual assault care providers and the organizations that pay for them, carrying out case studies in six states. Their research found that in most states, rape victims do receive free rape kits, but in many cases, healthcare administrators often accidentally billed victims. Keep reading »
This story is so full of WTF, I almost don’t know where to begin. Two 12-year-old girls — their names have been published elsewhere, but as they are minors, I am choosing not to — are accused of stabbing another 12-year-old girl 19 times and then leaving her for dead in a Wisconsin woods. CNN said the victim had to literally “crawl to her own rescue” and was found on the side of a road by two passerbys on bikes, who called the police. The little girl immediately told the police who was responsible for the attack, and the two accused girls were taken into custody. According to police, the two had been planning the attack on their friend/classmate for months, with the intention of killing her, in the hopes of impressing someone called “The Slender Man.”
Yeah. WTF. Keep reading »
The NYPD has finally agreed to ban the confiscation condoms as evidence from people they suspect of being sex workers. With similar measures having been fought for and won in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., this seems like a win for sexual health, right?
Well, sort of. The headlines I keep seeing aren’t actually accurate: “NYPD to stop seizing sex work suspects’ condoms,” “NYPD To Stop Seizing Condoms From Suspects As Evidence Of Prostitution,” etc. This sort of shoddy reporting might mean that the public thinks that condoms as evidence is an issue over and done with, when in fact there is more to do. The policy announced by NYPD Commissioner Bratton bars confiscation of condoms as arrest evidence in prostitution, prostitution in a school zone, and loitering for the purposes of prostitution cases, which is a great start. But it’s not as overarching as the mainstream media seems to think it is. Keep reading »
Love is a complicated thing. The most complicated thing, even. Montagues fall in love with Capulets. Americans fall in love with Australians. And no matter how morally depraved and heinous his crimes, there always seems to be some woman who will marry a convicted murderer. Take Leydi Figueroa Uceda, a Peruvian woman who has been engaged to Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man who allegedly killed teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005, since last year. Not only are these two engaged, but Uceda is now five months’ pregnant with their child. Keep reading »
Alec Baldwin got a summons from the NYPD on the streets of New York City today for — surprise! — disorderly conduct. In typical Alec Baldwin fashion, it was for getting “belligerent” with police, according to In Touch Weekly. He was caught by police riding his bike down a (presumably one-way) street the wrong way, because he’s a famous Hollywood actor and don’t need no stinkin’ driving laws.When the NYPD stopped him, Baldwin didn’t have any ID on him and “got belligerent” over the hassle. A witness told In Touch Baldwin was “ballistic” and “screaming” at cops. So the police issued him two summonses, one for disorderly conduct and the other for riding his bicycle the wrong way. He was photographed being placed into a squad car, although apparently getting summonses is not the same as being arrested. In any case, try as he might to stay out of public life, his pomposity and grandiosity appear to continue unabated. [In Touch Weekly] [Image via WENN]
This week, Arizona’s Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed a law cracking down on so-called “revenge porn,” classifying it as a sex offense. “Revenge porn” consists of sexual photos or videos which are posted online without the person’s consent. Generally speaking, ex-boyfriends or jilted partners post intimate images or videos of ex-girlfriends, which go up along with the women’s full names, addresses and employers. The aim is to ridicule humiliate their victims.
AZ’s strict new law makes “revenge porn” a felony, establishing an initial 18 months in prison, or two-and-a-half years in prison if the person in the image can be easily identified. It will apply to any “photograph, videotape, film or digitial recording of a person” and makes it a crime to “disclose, display, distribute, publish, advertise or offer.” It doesn’t include an exception for photos deemed by the press to be in the public interest, such as celebs’ or politicians’ sexy photos. It does make an exception for “voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting.”
Keep reading »
Birthday celebrations sure have changed since I was a kid: a middle school teacher in Texas has been arrested for performing a lap dance for her 15-year-old student on his birthday.
Felicia Smith, 42, allegedly gave a four-minute, full-contact lap dance in February to the unnamed boy in front of other students in the classroom. The boy told police that he sat in a chair next to her desk while music played, she “moved back and forth on his crotch and then touched him all over his body” and he spanked her butt several times. She also reportedly sank down to her knees and put her head between his legs. At the end, Smith allegedly told the boy, “I love you, baby. Happy birthday.” First Coast News reports that video exists of the whole incident. Keep reading »
A 16-year-old girl named Maren Sanchez was stabbed to death by a male classmate in a Milford, Connecticut, high school today, allegedly after she turned down an invitation to the junior prom tonight.
Sanchez was a junior and Honor Society student at Jonathan Law High School. Students told the Connecticut Post that she was asked to the dance by an ex-boyfriend and when she turned him down, he slashed her across the throat. The attack happened around 7:15 a.m., during first period, in a first-floor hallway. A teacher intervened and the attacker was restrained, but Sanchez was pronounced dead a half hour later at a local hospital. The school’s prom has since been rescheduled. Keep reading »