I recently held a seminar on rape in war with military lawyers from across the world. We talked through a number of obstacles to prevention and elimination of sexual violence, but at the end of the seminar everyone agreed that the biggest of them all is silence.
Rape, and other forms of violence and abuse such as birth control sabotage or pregnancy coercion, are acts that seek to strip power from women and inhibit their decisionmaking. This election-year, where are the real conversations about violence against women, not just idiotic statements about rape?
“Abortion exceptions” are human rights violations and bad public health policy. Any administration that banned abortion “with exceptions” would force every single woman who needs an abortion to live a nightmare scenario: hope that you qualify and can actually get an abortion, or be denied access altogether. Today, all over the country, many women are already living that nightmare.
It seems they can’t help themselves. One after another, not inconsequentially right-wing, white, male politicians continue to pontificate on the choices women should, and should not, be able to make in the aftermath of a rape. For John Koster, that is in the aftermath of “the rape thing.”
Richard Mourdock argued in a debate that women who have been raped should not have access to abortion services because their pregnancies are a “gift from god.” As a survivor of childhood sexual violence, I disagree with him completely.
I was raped during my freshman year of college. To add to the burden, I got pregnant.
Has their ever been an election cycle where sexual assault has become such a political issue?
A woman who wanted to terminate her pregnancy has had her abortion halted by the courts at the request of an anti-choice group.
Comments defining rape as legitimate or forcible have made one court question whether a disabled woman really fought off her attacker.
Can we do anything useful to stop sexual assault in conflict, and, if so, is the United Nations the entity to do it?