Blind Justice: On Law School, Misogyny and Sexual Abuse

Reprinted with permission from The Toast In my third year of law school, I began to remember things I had spent most of my life forgetting. My attention fractured into a thousand glass splinters, each one cutting. I was assailed with strange images. With the images came disconnection, as if I was watching what was in […]

Is Your Campus Safe? 5 Ways to Know

The following is a reprint from the latest issue of Ms. To get the entire magazine in your mailbox or inbox, subscribe now! According to a 2015 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 1 in 5 women students experience a rape or attempted rape while in college. Here are five ways to gauge your school’s sexual-violence climate. […]

From Iraq to North Dakota: The Global Sex-Trafficking Crisis

Recent reports have surfaced about the sexual enslavement of women and girls by the so-called Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL), an extremist group that has overtaken territories in Northern Iraq and Syria. Video footage appears to show ISIS men sitting around talking and laughing before they bid to purchase women and girls; price tables for […]

Ending the Rape Kit Backlog: What’s the Price of a Survivor’s Peace of Mind?

A nationwide investigation spearheaded by USA Today has found that at least 70,000 rape kits sit untested in laboratories around the country. While Detroit and other cities have made headlines for their determination to clear rape kit backlogs (in Detroit’s case, only after the Department of Justice found its police department guilty of “negative, victim-blaming beliefs” in 2008) this […]

Kimberlé Crenshaw on Sandra Bland & Why We Need to #SayHerName

The jailhouse death of Sandra Bland has her family and activists asking a lot of questions—which don’t seem to have good answers. Bland’s case is the latest example of police violence against black women, joining many other women and girls of color who have been harassed, abused or killed at the hands of law enforcement. […]

Bill Cosby Clearly Doesn’t Understand Consent

This past weekend, a 10-year old deposition offered stunning new revelations about Bill Cosby’s sexual encounters from the 1970s onward. Obtained by The New York Times, the document is part of a civil suit filed against Cosby by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand, and it shows that Cosby’s understanding of consent is highly questionable—at best. Constand first met Cosby […]

What You Won’t See on Orange Is the New Black

When I heard that Piper Kerman wrote the book Orange is the New Black about her experience at the Danbury, Connecticut federal prison camp, I was excited. I served part of my 15-year sentence with her and I found the book an accurate snapshot of Danbury FPC. (Full disclosure: I am “Esposito” in Piper’s book.) […]

When an Unwanted Pregnancy Lands You Behind Bars

Kenlissia Jones did what many women before her have done. Facing a pregnancy she could not or did not want to continue, Jones, a 23-year-old black woman from Georgia, went online in search of a solution. There, she purchased Cytotec, a prescription abortion-inducing pill, from a pharmaceutical company in Canada. She delivered a five and […]

Women’s Health Is in the Hands of the Supreme Court

OK, I admit it. I’ve become obsessed with SCOTUS Blog. During the last week, I’ve spent hours at my computer, watching lawyers live blog as the Supreme Court announced its decisions. I’m a passionate women’s health activist, and this is not where I wanted to be spending my time. No complaints about SCOTUS Blog itself. […]

Passing the Test: Cities Chip In to Reduce the Rape Kit Backlog

The following is from the latest Ms. To read the entire issue, get a print or digital subscription today! Helena Lazaro was washing the vintage Volkswagen Rabbit she had been gifted for her 17th birthday when a man appeared next to her, brandishing a knife. He forced her into the car and made her drive […]