Deny, Attack, Blame: The Prosecution of Women Reporting Rape

DARVO is an acronym—Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim and Offender. It was first identified by trauma researcher Jennifer Freyd in the late 90s, who noticed sex offenders tend to respond with a specific pattern when confronted or held accountable: deny their involvement in any wrongdoing, or deny their actions caused any real harm; attack victim credibility by inserting doubt about their accusers’ motives and psychological soundness; and promote a narrative positioning themselves as victims of false, reputation-ruining accusations.

Being betrayed by the institutions meant to protect them discourages victims from seeking justice. DARVO should have no place in investigations of rape.

Most Girls in the Juvenile System Experience Abuse Prior to Incarceration. Their Stories of Abuse Don’t End There.

Over 80 percent of girls in the juvenile justice system in multiple U.S. states are sexually or physically abused prior to incarceration. But their stories of abuse do not end there. Many young women continue to experience sexual and physical abuse by juvenile justice employees after being placed in juvenile detention.

‘We Condemn the Public Shaming of Amber Heard’: 130 Women’s Rights Signatories Sign Open Letter

“In the Depp v. Heard trial, behaviors that are common to survivors were relentlessly mocked and misunderstood,” said Dr. Emma Katz, author of Coercive Control in Children’s and Mothers’ Lives. “These common survivor behaviors—including covering injuries with makeup and leaving your abuser then arranging to meet with them again—were widely condemned as signs of deception. Many survivors watched these public conversations unfold with dread, as the question, ‘Will I be believed if I come forward?’ seemed to be met with a resounding ‘no.’”

#MeToo, Five Years Later

In the five years since it took off like wildfire, the #MeToo campaign has made widespread sexual abuse in the U.S. visible for the first time and inspired a record number of sexual harassment lawsuits against employers. It exposed how our decades-old workplace anti-harassment laws were outdated and often ineffective. In the last five years, 22 states and the District of Columbia passed more than 70 workplace anti-harassment bills in the last five years—many with bipartisan support.

Even still, U.S. rape culture persists and creates an environment where women and girls are disbelieved, survivors are discouraged from reporting abuse, and male abusers are forgiven—or even rewarded—for sexually abusive behavior. Congress must do more.

‘I’m This. I’m That. I’m Many Things’: Pratibha Parmar on Andrea Dworkin and ‘My Name Is Andrea’

Pratibha Parmar’s 2022 film about Andrea Dworkin brought both pushback and praise within feminist and queer communities. In this Q&A, Parmar shares her thoughts on reactions to the film but also about her interest in Dworkin.

“There is an arc between generations of female artists’ protesting violence against women. And I want Andrea’s voice to be part of the conversation on its own terms and in its complexity.”

The Bonobo Sisterhood Versus White Supremacist Patriarchy

Diane Rosenfeld’s new book The Bonobo Sisterhood: Revolution Through Female Alliance is a call to action, a way forward and societal shift that can free us from the grips of patriarchy.

“The bonobos are peaceful, loving, food sharing, freely sexual and xenophilic, meaning they love strangers, they do not fear them,” because “they have nothing to fear,” she writes. In the bonobos, Rosenfeld finds proof positive that “patriarchy is not inevitable.” 

Ms. Global: Scotland Eliminates Period Product Fees; Poland’s Pride March; Nonbinary Joan of Arc Debuts at Globe Theatre

Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms.. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

This week: Scotland paves way for period poverty movement; volunteers provide menstrual products in Pakistan, amid floods; Pride marches in Poland; Spain passes “yes means yes” consent law; and more.