So, Stephen A. Smith had a bust weekend. The ESPN panelist kicked off Friday with some what-the-fuck-did-he-just-say? remarks about victims who “provoke” domestic violence and all Internet hell broke loose. On the show “First Take,” Smith and other panelists were discussing Ray Rice, an NFL player who physically assaulted his now-wife and has been suspended for two games. (By the way, the NFL is quite rightly being criticized for this slap on the wrist punishment — another player is currently being suspended for a full year for smoking pot.) In seeming sympathy with abusers, Smith shared his opinion at two different points in the conversation that some DV can be provoked.
“Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions,” he said, adding later, “We … got to make sure [victims] can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen.” Keep reading »
Here’s a story that has me heavy in the heart:
Last night in Spring, Texas, a man looking for his ex-wife — whom he had beaten in the past — tied up and murdered the ex-wife’s sister, brother-in-law, and four of their children “execution-style” after they would not reveal his ex-wife’s location.
Ron Lee Haskell forced himself into his sister-in-law’s house near Houston while looking for his ex-wife Melanie Haskell (who was not there). He reportedly tied up everyone in the family and asked them to reveal his ex-wife’s location. When they couldn’t or wouldn’t answer, he shot six of them to death and wounded another, a 15-year-old girl named Cassidy Stay.
Cassidy told police she played dead until her ex-uncle left, at which point she called 911 and reported that Haskell was on his way to murder her grandparents. That phone call by Cassidy — who is currently in critical condition — appears to have saved her grandparents’ lives. Keep reading »
A University of Washington student was arrested on Saturday afternoon after writing comments online that he intended to be “the next Elliot Rodger” and he would “make sure I kill only women.” Keep reading »
Last week, The Frisky published an essay by an anonymous writer about her rape. She wrote about the absurdity of columnist George Will’s allegation that being a victim of sexual assault confers certain privileges. Activists have responded to Will’s inane, offensive piece with the hashtag #SurvivorPrivilege, snarkily writing about all the ways that they’ve “benefitted” from their sexual assault. Our writer’s piece focused on losing her virginity at 16 through rape and the effect it has had on her life.
The writer chose to be anonymous. So, as I often do, I put a note at the end of the piece offering to forward emails along to the author if anyone wanted to be in touch. I didn’t necessarily expect any response. But in the ensuing week, I’ve been blown away by the amount of email that I’ve been forwarding (and will continue to forward as they come in). These emails have been showing me things, both good and bad, about sexual assault in America.
NOTE: I want to make clear that am not referring to any specific letter writing, or sharing details of anyone’s story without permission. These are observations that I’ve made in aggregate from all the emails. My hope is to convey how similar stories of sexual assault and how powerful they are in a way that slogans and statistics can’t contain. Keep reading »