California Law Eliminates Spousal Rape Exemption—But “Patriarchy Still Dies Hard”

Up to 14 percent of married women experience marital rape. Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill mostly eliminating an antiquated distinction in California law between “spousal rape” and rape, which has for years resulted in more lenient penalties for perpetrators who rape their spouses.

“The first question a rape victim is asked should not be whether or not they are married.”

Rising Gun Ownership, Incidents of Domestic Violence, and How Women Pay the Price

Nine of the top 10 states for female homicide rates—Alaska, Missouri, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Dakota, Tennessee and Montana—have no requirements for purchasing firearms, and they do not perform background checks for private party purchases. But new data suggests enhanced gun measures are effective at curbing homicides of women in domestic violence situations involving firearms.

California Law Bans “Condom Stealthing”: Removing a Condom Without Consent Is “A Grave Violation of Dignity and Autonomy”

Stealthing, the act of removing a condom during sex without consent, has been prohibited in California.

“I have been working on the issue of ‘stealthing’ since 2017 and I am elated that there is now some accountability for those who perpetrate the act,” said Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, who authored the law. “This law is the first of its kind in the nation, but I urge other states to follow in California’s direction and make it clear that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal.”

As a Woman Researcher, I Experienced the Harassment and Silencing of the Women Soldiers I Interviewed

Women peacekeepers are being asked to increase the security for women civilians in conflict zones—yet women peacekeepers are being sexually harassed and assaulted by men in their own militaries. How can the U.N. Security Council stand by its call to troop contributing countries to increase the numbers of women peacekeepers they are deploying, when they can’t keep them safe?

“Respect Us, or Expect Us”: Indigenous Women Continue to Fight Against Pipeline 3

On October 1, Pipeline 3 became operational in Minnesota, despite resistance efforts led by Indigenous women and two-spirit individuals, who are seeking to hold President Biden accountable for promises made and broken.

The construction of the pipeline endangers local women and girls and infringes upon the rights of the rice, the land, the water, the nonhuman beings and the people. 

Coercing Rape Survivors to Be Pregnant for the State—The Texas Way

Texas has one of the nation’s highest rape rates. Shockingly, its newest near-total abortion ban contains no exceptions for rape or incest. When asked about this, Gov. Greg Abbott said, “Texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of Texas.”

Abbott’s disturbing pledge fits in line with a tried-and-true political strategy: claim to address a public health issue by pivoting to crime control. But as history has taught us, public health crises will not be solved in the prosecutor’s office or by claiming to be tough on crime.   

Race, Disability and Coercive Control: One More Look at the Gabby Petito Case

Two features of Petito’s case have been strikingly absent from media coverage: her disability, and the myriad signs that Petito’s boyfriend was subjecting her to a form of domestic violence known as coercive control.

Yet Petito’s disability was central to how the system failed her prior to her death. Her case also shows what happens when law and society oversimplify domestic violence and overlook coercive control.

Over Half of College Sexual Assaults Happen Between Orientation and Thanksgiving. Here’s How to Protect Survivors

More than half of sexual assaults on campus occur between orientation and Thanksgiving—a period known as the “Red Zone.” And with the amount of new students on campus doubling as a result of COVID-19, these numbers risk being doubled as well.

With campus awareness and mental health support, we as students, faculty, family and community can reclaim Red Zones.