Sudan has freed Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman who was sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging for not renouncing her Christian faith. Ibrahim was born to a Muslim father but was raised Christian, and then married a Christian man. Sudan lives under Sharia law and considers women the same religion as their father and relationships with non-Muslim men as “adultery.” It charged Ibrahim with apostasy and adultery and sentenced her to death while she was pregnant. Last month, Ibrahim gave birth to her second child while in prison. Today, her lawyer announced Ibrahim has been freed, claiming the initial judgment against her was “faulty.” Now she, her two children and her husband are reunited. It’s nice to read some good news for once. [CNN]
James Madison University in Virginia allowed three frat boys found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman and distributing video of it to stay on campus until graduation, even for years.
According to the Huffington Post, Sarah Butters, then a sophomore and a sorority member, was sexually assaulted in Panama City, Florida, on a spring break vacation in 2013. She later learned that the three young men, whom she had considered her friends, had filmed video of the assault inside a bathroom and passed it around.
In the video, Butters is blackout drunk, topless and being groped as the men try to take off her underwear/bathing suit bottom. She is heard saying “This isn’t okay, this isn’t a good idea.” She told WHSV news, “I’m clearly, like, not really able to defend myself or fight them off. We were in an enclosed bathroom. It was three of them surrounding me and none of them thought they were doing anything wrong.”
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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper has dropped conservative columnist George Will in part due to his recent column arguing that being a rape victim is a “coveted status” on a college campus that “confers privileges.” The newspaper insinuated that Will’s column had been on the chopping block for awhile but this sexual assault column “made the decisions easier. The column was offensive and inaccurate; we apologize for publishing it.” Will is going to be replaced by another conservative columnist, the paper said. Finally, some repercussions. [Politico]
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 »