Like Prince Harry, Survivors of Family Sexual Assault Know What It’s Like to Cope With Family After Public Truth-Telling

In his new book Spare, Prince Harry outlines the trauma he experienced as a child after Princess Diana’s death, as well as the whitewashing and abuse he and his wife, Meghan Markle, suffered at the hands of both the press and his royal family. As a survivor of sexual violence, I recognize Harry’s plight and also the incredibly painful journey of losing relatives because of truth-telling in an effort to be whole again.

How Johnny Depp Turned Abuse Allegations Into a Comeback

By 2018, Johnny Depp was bordering on irrelevancy—but he soon gained a tremendous fandom as a public trial unfolded, prompted by abuse allegations from his ex-wife Amber Heard. In December, Heard announced she would no longer be moving forward with her appeal because “cannot afford to risk an impossible bill—one that is not just financial, but also psychological, physical and emotional.”

Depp has paved a new path for accused men in search of cultural capital—and accomplished the very thing women throughout the ages have been baselessly accused of: leveraging victimhood to gain status. Depp, whose career was flailing, became not just a rallying cry for men’s rights and the supposed victimhood of being a successful, wealthy, white man in a changing world, but a newly hot commodity in Hollywood once again with a thriving fan base.

On the Power of Choice and Imagination: The Ms. Q&A with ‘Women Talking’ Producer Dede Gardner

Already showing in select theaters and releasing nationwide on Jan. 27, Women Talking is both beautiful and harrowing: an ideologically captivating drama about how a group of women with very little agency navigate making a choice that will have profound effects on their lives, their children’s lives and their community. This extraordinary film features an equally extraordinary ensemble cast, including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley and Judith Ivey, with Ben Whishaw and Frances McDormand.

The film takes place in 2010 in an isolated religious community, where it’s been discovered that men and boys have been drugging and raping the women and girls while they sleep; the story concentrates on the small group chosen to make a crucial decision for all the women and girls in the colony: stay and fight back, or leave. Ms. had the opportunity to speak with producer Dede Gardner about her work on the film and its reflection of the power of community, of choice, and of imagination.

Denying Access to Abortion Is Femicide

It has been just over two years since the imposition of a near-total ban on abortion across Poland. The ban removed almost all conditions in which a woman can access abortion care, leaving millions of women in the dark when it comes to deciding what happens to their bodies. 

It is more critical than ever that we stand up to support access to life-saving abortion care, especially those with the power to liberalize laws. There are millions of lives depending on it. 

War on Women Report: Abortion Unavailable in 14 States; Harvey Weinstein Is Guilty; Tucker Carlson Named ‘Misinformer of the Year’

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

This month: WNBA star Brittney Griner is home; abortion is unavailable in 14 states, the number of women experiencing police force is rising; Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault; Fox News star Tucker Carlson was named ‘Misinformer of the Year;’ and more.

#MeToo Victory: Biden Signs Law Limiting NDAs and Protecting the Right to Speak Out About Sexual Abuse

Since Alyssa Milano’s #MeToo tweet went viral five years ago, 16 states have passed laws blocking employers from requiring employees to sign agreements prohibiting them from speaking out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault on the job.

Now, Congress has created a new national standard prohibiting this behavior: On Dec. 7, President Biden signed the Speak Out Act, limiting the enforceability of non-disclosure agreements and non-disparagement agreements (NDAs) for sexual harassment and sexual assault disputes.

Dobbs’ Effect on Military Women: ‘Our Fighting Force Is Hindered and Our Security Is at Risk’

Forty percent of active-duty service women in the U.S. are stationed in states with abortion bans, as are 43 percent of civilian women working in the military. The time, cost and stress of traveling out of state will no doubt take a tremendous toll not only on women seeking abortion, but on the military itself and national security.

“Women who are active-duty service members do not get to choose what state they live in, which means they could lose abortion access at the whim of any state with an abortion ban.”

New Laws Give Sexual Assault Survivors the Freedom to Share Their Stories

When the Ending Forced Arbitration for Sexual Assault and Harassment Act became law, it was a huge step forward for sexual assault and harassment survivors, restoring their right to pursue their best legal path. And now with the signing of the Speak Out Act, we’ve removed another obstacle for survivors, making it even harder for employers to cover up workplace harassment and assault. 

One in three women—disproportionately women of color—have suffered sexual harassment or assault in the workplace. Coupled together, these new laws are a one-two punch that will help survivors tell their stories. 

Ending the Global Child Sex Abuse Crisis

For the first time in history, the United Nations General Assembly has designated a new annual World Day for the prevention of child sexual exploitation—and it couldn’t come soon enough.

One in five women and one in 13 men worldwide have been sexually abused as children, and 120 million girls and young women under 20 years old have been victims of forced sexual contact. Countless victims around the globe are silenced by bad laws and some countries’ legal agreements with the Roman Catholic Church that weaken, and at times completely dismantle, their opportunity for justice.