Ms. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide. This week: news from Sweden, China, COP27 in Egypt, Iran, and more.
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.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in a case, challenging the constitutionality of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
The lead plaintiffs, the Brackeens, are a well-to-do white, evangelical Texan couple, who are seeking to adopt a Navaho girl against the wishes of her relatives, who want to adopt her themselves. Among other arguments, the Brackeens allege reverse racism—that the law discriminates against them based on their race in violation of the equality guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.
But this is just the most recent chapter in a long history of white people taking Native children from their parents, tribes and cultures.
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.
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.
“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.’”
Afghanistan’s Taliban are escalating restrictions against women and girls. The Taliban are intensifying these assaults in response to women’s rights campaigns in Afghanistan and Iran, and amid their own struggle to consolidate power.
Their intensifying violations against women risk mass atrocities and may presage greater violent extremism and threats to international security. Policymakers must respond.
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: The anti-abortion movement frames its tactics as “pro-woman,” Kanye West claims Black women are engaging in genocide, the House Committee votes to subpoena Trump, Brittney Griner’s appeal is rejected and more.
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.
Centering the voices and needs of students and survivors, Every Voice Coalition is addressing systemic gaps in higher education’s approach to handling campus sexual violence.