On November 18, a 23-year-old woman in St. Louis, Missouri, was punched in the face. She told police she was ambushed late at night while she and her boyfriend were picking up a drunk friend from a bar and punched as part of what’s been called the “knockout game.”
The “knockout game,” in case your grandmother has not been emailing you repeatedly about it, is an alleged game teens are playing in which they attack random folks on the street and knock them out. The woman appeared on KMOV local news, describing the alleged attack and discussing how she had a double fracture of the bone under her eye and needed reconstructive surgery.
Now the woman has admitted it was all a lie. Ashley DePew, 23, was actually punched in the face by her boyfriend, Justin Simms, 25. Keep reading »
Following an outcry over some complete and utter bullllllshit, an Alabama judge will resentence a convicted rapist who got exactly zero prison time for his crimes. Austin Clem was found guilty by a jury of raping a teenaged girl, who was his neighbor, twice when she was 14 and again when she was 18. Two weeks ago, Judge James Woodroof sentenced Clem to two years in a program for non-violent offenders — despite the fact that rape is one of the most violent acts there is — and three years of supervised probation. Everyone but Austin Clem himself promptly asked Judge Woodroof, What the fuck are you thinking? The district attorney for the Limestone County jurisdiction appealed the sentencing as too lenient. His victim, who is now age 20, even went on Melissa Harris-Perry’s show to speak out against his slap-on-the-wrist sentencing. The judge has responded accordingly: yesterday, he filed paperwork for re-sentencing. Put that criminal behind bars where he belongs so he can’t hurt someone else again. [WHNT, Mother Jones]
You’ll never hear me offer up much praise for Dr. Phil, but his wife, Robin McGraw, is owed some props. Her foundation, When Georgia Smiled, has released a free app for smartphones called ASPIRE News that seeks to aid women who are in abusive relationships. ASPIRE News is, on the surface, just your standard news reader, offering “summaries of top stories in world, sports, and entertainment news” — but the app also has a help section, filled with resources for victims of domestic violence, like phone numbers for shelters and help lines. Additionally, the app can be set up to secretly alert the user’s “trusted contacts” that they’re in an emergency situation, simply by tapping the top of the screen three times. Because the app looks and operates just like your standard news reader, it won’t draw the attention of abusers who closely monitor their victims’ every move.
ASPIRE News makes clear that it’s not a replacement for emergency services, and that 911 should still be called if necessary, but for DV victims that don’t want or aren’t yet ready to call authorities, the app’s ability to alert a trusted love one that they need help could be a lifesaver. [iTunes via When Georgia Smiled]
Earlier today we learned about the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter against 54-year-old Theodore Wafer in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride.
On November 2, the Michigan man shot McBride in the face through a closed and locked screen door at his home when she knocked on his front door earlier this month after getting into a car accident nearby. Wafer claims his gun went off accidentally and also that he believed she was an intruder. Prosecutors said there was no sign of a forced entry at all.
After two weeks of frustration for civil rights activists, Detroit prosecutors have finally charged Wafer. MSNBC spoke today with Renisha’s mom and dad, Monica McBride and Walter Simmons, who have stayed out of the public eye these past few weeks. Keep reading »
It’s an incredible and heartbreaking story: the family of a young woman who was kidnapped last week by her abusive ex-boyfriend confronted him in a stand-off and saved her life.
Bethany Arceneaux, 29, was kidnapped on Wednesday in Louisiana, by Scott Thomas, her ex-boyfriend and father of her child. Arceneaux filed a restraining order against Thomas in June, explaining he threatened to kill her before and “put a knife to my neck countless times.” But he ignored that order — as all too many abusers do — and on Wednesday, showed up outside the daycare where she was retrieving their child. Witnesses saw Thomas force Arceneaux into his vehicle, leaving their two-year-old child alone inside her car as he drove off.
At some point, according to KATC news, Thomas allegedly called Arceneaux’s family and asked them to take care of his kids, because he was going to kill both himself and Arceneaux. Keep reading »
The police have done some pretty disgusting stuff before but this one takes the cake: A woman alleges Haskell, Arkansas, police officer Brandon Carter showed up at her workplace, demanded she show her breasts, and then chased her around the office with a taser when she said “no.” Ashlea Bennet said Carter, who was on-duty, came to her workplace on December 13, 2011, and demanded she show him her boobs. She refused. Carter then allegedly removed the Taser from his belt and threatened to tase her if she didn’t show him her boobs. He then allegedly chased her around her workplace with a taser, ”zapping her repeatedly,” according to the New York Daily News. What is wrong with people?! [New York Daily News, Court House News] [Image of a man with a taser via Shutterstock]
Female genital mutilation (also called female circumcision) should be treated just like child abuse and considered a crime, according to a new report called “Tackling Female Genital Mutilation In The UK.”
The report, which was put together by Equality Now, the Royal Colleges of Midwifery, Nursing, Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the union Unite, stipulated any evidence of FGM should be reported to police and educators. Currently over 24,000 girls under age 18 are at risk of having their clitorises and labia removed, said the report, because they live with women who had FGM themselves. Keep reading »
The Indian people have spoken: four men convicted of the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman were sentenced to death today. Keep reading »