A Montana school teacher will serve just 30 days for raping a student in part because the judge believed the 14-year-old girl—who has since committed suicide—was “as much in control” of the relationship as her teacher.
As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, let’s hope that we also pay homage to the whole of Rosa Park’s life by doing everything we can, during the next 50 years, to end sexual assault and domestic violence.
Swarthmore is among a number of colleges and universities that are being investigated by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for violating Title IX by creating a “hostile environment” and discouraging students from reporting or pursuing disciplinary action against sexual misconduct.
A situation in June in which a woman sent unsolicited penis pictures she had received to the sender’s mother, and an ongoing debate in Britain about what, if any, depictions of sex should be banned have raised interesting questions about the limits of privacy and consent.
Antiquated ideas about women’s sexuality are extremely damaging. But it is even more damaging to act as if sexual assault and rape are the price women pay for independence and sexual freedom.
What will it take to get ordinary, everyday people to accept that sexual assault is a terrible crime? Over and over again, we’re seeing that when someone is sexually assaulted—especially a teenager—communities react by supporting the assailants and castigating the victims.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff flatly rejected removal of sex-crimes prosecution from the chain of command; Sen. Gillibrand took them to school. Meanwhile, Saxby Chambliss claimed that “the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.”
While Fox News has devoted extensive airtime to pushing scandals that have since begun to fall apart, it has largely ignored new allegations of sexual assault in the military.
Conflating the word “rape” with “sex” demeans sex for all of us, but most especially for survivors of sexual violence.
As a former civilian social worker for the Air Force, I cannot help but weigh in on the national debate about how to reform the Department of Defense’s sexual assault policies.