Congress Moves Forward on Rape-Kit Funding

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The U.S. Senate subcommittee on commerce, justice, science and related agencies showed its support this week for combating the backlog of untested rape kits by including $41 million in its 2015 fiscal year spending bill as part of a community-based sexual assault response reform initiative. This announcement comes on the heels of an earlier House […]

Stop Being Surprised, Damn It

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I am not one bit surprised that a heavily-armed Elliott Rodger knocked on the door of Alpha Phi sorority at UC Santa Barbara, and when there was no response, shot and killed two Tri Delta sorority members who were outside. I am not one bit dumbfounded that when his anxious parents called police to do […]

Misogyny Kills: How the Isla Vista Shooting Proves What #YesAllWomen Already Know

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On Friday night in Isla Vista, Elliot Rodger began the “day of retribution” he promised on YouTube, killing six women and men as part of what he himself called a “war on women.” I had arrived in Isla Vista five minutes earlier. I didn’t realize that when I pulled up to join my friend for the […]

Unfairly Judged: Why Cecily McMillan Doesn’t Belong in Prison

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This story originally appeared at The Nation Pretend you have to choose a book: one is a lurid airport paperback written for people who don’t like to read, the story of a bad girl getting taken down a peg; the other is missing half its pages and it has a lot of footnotes. You’d choose […]

A Week of White House Progress on Campus Rape

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The Obama administration has been ramping up its efforts to combat campus rape this year. Just this week, the White House released a 20-page report on combating campus rape, launched a star-studded PSA on the issue and announced that 55 colleges and universities are under federal investigation for the alleged mishandling of sexual violence cases. The […]

Rape, Rape Culture and Patriarchy

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This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, drawing to an end tomorrow, was full of the usual stories about men’s violence, especially on university campuses. From football-obsessed state schools to elite private campuses, the reality of rape and rape culture was reported by journalists and critiqued by victim-survivors. But the month of April also included an […]

Probation for Raping a 3-Year-Old?

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A mind-boggling report in a Delaware newspaper recently revealed that Robert H. Richards IV, heir to the DuPont chemical fortune, pleaded guilty in 2009 to raping his then-3-year-old daughter, but got off without a lick of jail time. Instead, Judge Jan Jurden sentenced him to eight years probation. Richards’ crime—fourth-degree rape—is a felony that carries a […]

“Dear Student, There’s Been A Sex Assault on Campus … “

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Every couple of weeks I open my college email and the first message I see has the subject line “Notification of Sexual Assault on Campus”. We get these emails because the school is legally required (by Title IX) to notify us when someone reports a sex crime on campus. The emails start, Sexual assault /misconduct […]

When Cops Rape Crime Victims

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Just this month, three police officers in different cities have been charged with raping women who called the police for help: March 20, Baltimore: A police officer with Baltimore’s MTA, the local transit authority, was charged with raping a woman who called for help after her car was hit by a city bus. Officer Martez Johnson responded […]

Before Workplace Harassment Had a Name

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It started with my first job. As section editor of a small town newspaper in 1975, I learned that a male section editor was paid much more than me. I told the top reporter, a woman, and she demanded equal pay or she would march right over to our competitor, the local radio station. She […]