“My niece was given a date rape drug that weekend. She’s 20-years-old – thank God nothing happened because she was with some responsible guys that took care of her. She was safe because she was with a group of friends that realized – she said, ‘Oh, my god, I can’t feel my … ” and she started losing consciousness. Thank god the people she was with put her in a room, closed the door, and she didn’t come to for three and a half hours. … There is an epidemic going on out here in regards to the treatment of women. We have to figure out how we can empower people in different ways. … I’m not a conventional parent, which I take a lot of pride in. The first thing I had my niece do was sit down with my daughter and a couple of her friends and tell her about that experience. I don’t just sit with Willow and go, ‘hey, this is what Mommy thinks.’ Let me just bring in a little reality to validate what Mommy’s been talking to you about.”
This is Jada Pinkett Smith discussing about #JusticeForJada, the hashtag in support of a 16-year-old girl named Jada, whose sexual assault went viral on the Internet. While speaking at an event on Sunday night and then following up with US Weekly, Pinkett Smith revealed that her niece was roofied the same weekend as Jada’s assault. So the actress asked her niece to sit down with her 13-year-old daughter Willow and talk about the experience — not to scare her, I think, but to open her eyes to rape culture in a very concrete way.
After the jump, Pinkett Smith explained more how she is raising Willow to be confident and assertive: Keep reading »
It can’t be easy to go through life with the last name “Sandusky” right now. But I have nothing but respect for Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, convicted child molester/ex-assistant Penn State football coach. Matthew, who was one of six adopted kids, spoke with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday night about the sexually abuse he suffered by his adopted dad. But as can happen with victims of childhood sexual trauma, repressed many of these memories until he was an adult. When Matthew was interviewed years ago by investigators looking into his father’s past, he didn’t remember all the sexual abuse that he now recalls. Keep reading »
In October 2013, a group of current and former students accused the University of Connecticut of violating Title IX by mishandling their sexual assault cases which occurred at the school between 2010 and 2013. The Department of Education’s Office For Civil Rights launched an investigation into the school and whether it failed to follow the gender equality law that provides equal opportunity and access to education.
UCONN still refuses to broadly take responsibility for its failures. But today it was announced that the school is settling with five of the students it is accused of failing. Keep reading »
“This has been extremely difficult and stressful for me personally and for those I love. I’m appreciative of the family, friends, fans and business partners who supported me throughout this and look forward to happier times as we all move forward with our lives.”
On Monday, a woman named Joanie Faircloth released a public statement recanting her rape accusations against Conor Oberst, also known as the singer Bright Eyes. The North Carolina woman had written in an xoJane comment thread that she had been raped by the musician when she was 16. (The comments have since been deleted.) Oberst always denied the allegations and in February, he sued Faircloth for libel. Following her statement released this week, Oberst released a statement of his own. His spokesperson told Rolling Stone it’s unclear whether he will continue forward with the libel lawsuit. [Rolling Stone] [Photo: Getty]
“The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100 percent false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness. I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused.”
This is a statement released by Joanie Faircloth, a North Carolina woman who last year, in the comments section of an xoJane article, accused Bright Eyes singer Conor Oberst of raping her when she was 16. (The comments have since been deleted.) Oberst has always denied the allegations; in February, he sued Faircloth for libel. According to the statement, she contacted Oberst’s lawyers today with this notarized recant. Well, shit. [SPIN] [Photo: Getty]
I woke up one morning last week to my Twitter in an uproar. That’s reasonably common in my world, as many of the people I follow are marginalized and there’s a lot to be angry about. Turns out that the FBI has seized MyRedbook, a California site where masseuses and escorts could advertise for clients for free, and arrested two people, Eric Omuro and Annmarie Lanoce, in connection to “using the mail and the Internet to facilitate prostitution” as well as money laundering under several aliases.
As of right now it’s not entirely clear if those arrests were the main focus of the sting, or if there will be more upcoming. It’s terrifying to many people close to me, who used MyRedbook to advertise their erotic entertainment services because other options like Eros were too expensive or less trafficked by paying customers. We don’t really know what options sex workers who had profiles up on MyRedbook have to protect themselves from investigation. I’m among them, as I used to advertise on MyRedbook as a professional dominatrix. Keep reading »
It has the elements of so many sexual assault allegations before it: fraternity members, a lot of alcohol, football players, freshman girls. And like too many other stories about sexual assault, this one also includes a university that failed a sexual assault victim and allowed campus rapists to get off scot-free.
This weekend, The New York Times published a gut-punch of a piece (on their front page, in fact) about a young woman called Anna who is a student at Hobart & William Smith, a college in upstate New York. During her first few weeks of college, Anna was sexually assaulted while drunk by several football players on the night of a frat party. After Anna sent texts that she was afraid, a friend found her drunkenly bent over a pool table, face down, surrounded by six or seven football players, including one right behind her who had his pants down. Keep reading »
I haven’t been following the Australian swimming community’s sexual abuse scandal. I only feel like I have been. That’s because these sorts of heartbreaking stories are so goddamned familiar: a coach is accused of sexually abusing the young charges under his tutelage and with whom he has shared lots of private time, often far from home.
In Australia’s case, several coaches were accused of sexual abuse of both male and female swimmers between the ages of 11 and 16. One coach is Scott Volkers, who is accused of child sexual abuse by three now-adult women. Volkers is accused, among other things, of rubbing the genitalia of a 13-year-old girl and groping the girls’ breasts; he has long claimed his innocence. Charges were dropped against Volkers in 2002 because accusations could not be proven “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Two years later, in 2004, prosecutor Margaret Cunneen advised against recharging him.
Currently, Australia is holding an investigation (called a “royal commission”) focusing on the country’s institutional response, including whether Cunneen’s advice not to recharge him was appropriate. At the time, Cunneen showed skepticism that the abuse could be prosecuted. Which, as a lawyer, is her job to prove. However, what Cunneen said about it all was pretty offensive to these victims. Cunneen said it could all be seen as “trivial … almost fanciful” and it would be difficult to prosecute Volkers for molestation because his victim may not have developed breasts yet. “It is legitimate to consider whether 12-year-old swimmers even had breasts,” she said. Keep reading »