Archive for rape victims

Rape survivor to TPC: "Say something and be barraged with accusations"

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rape victim it could be you Awhile back, our own David Garber posted this: Rape: Unspeakable Crime, But Not Speaking Is Also Not Responsible. Under that post is a comment by one of our regular readers/commenters, flan59 . She has graciously given her permission to post that comment here. She was raped by a "bad guy with a gun." Her words are electrifying, terrifying, brave, and deserving of a post of their own. Verbatim:

It's fear. At least in my case it was. Paralyzing fear. Of everything. It was over and I wanted to forget it happened.

I have always felt guilty and have worried that my attacker went on to rape others. It is the shame I live with every day... not the attempted rape...as I fought off my rapist successfully....who had a gun, by the way...

... and still, my boss yelled at me for sleeping with my window open as if the attack was my fault.

Yeah...so even me...asleep in my own bed...gets the lecture...I should have known better...sleeping with my own window open...what was I thinking? So you can imagine how a woman who was date raped feels...

Say something and be barraged with accusations...that is what women who are raped deal with.

And it seems the guy threatened them. That is why incest victims don't speak out either.

Flan followed up with an email:

By the way - all of the gun rhetoric and blaming the victim talk that is all over the news and social media has caused flashbacks and I am now in treatment for PTSD. My PTSD is caused by other traumas too - entire childhood with a verbally abusive alcoholic father - losing my twin brother Paul at 16 to schizophrenia - and then at 48 to lung cancer. I have lost several jobs recently because of it and am in serious debt, further sending me into my black hole.

I have found a great therapist and psychiatrist and have been in treatment for the last month or so. It was a good thing I started when I did because I lost my nephew in Jan and my sister-in-law two weeks ago, both under very tragic circumstances.

It seems the bad shit will never end. Then I hear the horror stories from my friends who have "Pauls" of their own who are getting incarcerated, victimized, becoming homeless, and dying from suicide or by cops - and it is all too much. I am so glad I got into therapy because I didn't know how much more of this I could take.

This needs no further commentary. Thank you, Flan, for allowing TPC to share your story, your feelings, your pain, and above all, your courage.

Note: Headline edited.

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Dep't. of WTF: #Christie, George Will, Obama urinal cakes (!), Planned Parenthood edition

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wtf girl

Every so often I read a cluster(f***) of stories that simultaneously has me shaking my head, mumbling "no words..." and screaming WTF!?  Today is one of those times. There were more stories than I could list in the headline, so you get a bonus link. Suffice it to say, I need a Valium. Or at the very least, some Pepto Bismol with a chaser of Pinot.

Welcome to today's Moments of WTF. Let's start the show off with everyone's favorite fallen GOP star, Chris Christie:

I have complete faith and confidence in Scott,” Christie said, according to The Bergen Record, adding: “I believe he has great integrity.” (via TPM)

Seriously, Gov. War on Drugs? You have "complete faith and confidence" in this Scott?

Then again, look who's talking. Moving on to George Will's horrible rape column. Via Think Progress:

...Washington Post columnist George Will wrote a column claiming that being a rape victim is now a “coveted status” that college women seek out. Will argued that complaints of rape and sexual assualt on college campus were overblown. He also suggested that women claiming to be raped were “delusional.”

Pot. Kettle. Delusional. Speaking of which...

A George Will column about sexual assault, which received lots of criticism and caused one newspaper to drop the longtime syndicated conservative columnist, had all male editors, the Washington Post's Erik Wemple reported on Friday. (via TPM)

Par for the Republican course.

Next up: Faith And Freedom Conference Features Obama Urinal Cakes. You read that right. Far, far right:

Classy, guys, real classy. Remind us to point this out again the next time someone complains that we called GW Bush a chimp.

So are you ready for the Planned Parenthood link yet? I'll wait while you get something sharp with which to poke your eye out.

All set? Here we go, a field trip to WalkerWorld. You remember Walker, right? He's the guy Chris Christie has "complete faith and confidence" in. Via the Green Bay Press Gazette:

MADISON — Planned Parenthood will close its family planning health center in Fond du Lac on Sept. 25 after 36 years of service to the community.

It is the fifth Wisconsin Planned Parenthood health center to close due to state cuts in the last budget cycle, according to a Planned Parenthood news release. [...]

The centers provided birth control, cervical and breast cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, Well Woman Exams, pregnancy testing, and HIV testing. None of the health centers provided abortions, the release said. The centers provided 18,848 health care services to 3,104 patients each year... Gov. Walker ended state funding for women who receive health care at Planned Parenthood. This, coupled with the governor’s rejection of federal funds to expand health care coverage and the drastic rollback of BadgerCare coverage, has increased the need for affordable health care options. These politically motivated actions will have a significant impact on women seeking affordable health care.”

What "great integrity" Scotty has, right Chris Christie? When you're done gagging and pledging donations to Democratic candidates, I'll resume.

Okay, here we go, today's final WTF Department entry. There are plenty more where these came from, but there's only so much we can take in one sitting. This story involves the always-and-ever-vile and thankfully-former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL). Need a refresher course on this asshat? Here you go, scroll your hearts out. Via HuffPo:

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Illinois), the outspoken, tea party-backed congressman who was ousted in 2012 after just one term in Congress, went on a Twitter rampage Thursday evening after being kicked off his own radio program for using racial slurs on-air. [...]

Walsh, by his own account, used several epithets during a discussion on the Redskins' controversial name, including the n-word."

Please link over for the details. In fact, link over to all the stories, because a snippet does not the whole story tell.

And that concludes today's Department of WTF.

smile keep smiling

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"Doonesbury" confronts rape: "Welcome to the military, ladies."

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doonesbury welcome to the military ladies rape cartoon

doonesbury military rape

Garry Trudeau isn't pulling any punches in this week's Sunday offering, and for that we should all thank him. The treatment of women (and men!) in the military who reported having been sexually assaulted is abysmal. So abysmal, in fact, that women all too often will not step forward because they know how it will all turn out.

Hence, this Doonesbury strip. Standing O, Mr. Trudeau.

To refresh your memory, Think Progress reported this back in November:

A new report released on Wednesday calls on Congress to pass new reforms related to sexual assault in the military, a problem that the Defense Department estimates occurred approximately 26,000 times over the course of the last year but may in fact be even higher. [...]

In 2012, of the 26,000 military personnel estimated to have experienced sexual assault, 14,000 were men and 12,000 were women,” the report notes. The opening of new positions to women within the armed services is also dismissed as a reason for an increase in estimated sexual assaults. [...]

Anu Bhagwhati, a former Marine and founder of the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), also spoke to reporters on the call about her experience while serving. “As a former commander, and a Marine who saw my own share of harassment, discrimination and betrayal, I saw swept under the rug often by senior officers often enough to know that sweeping institutional change is needed to give survivors of sexual violence a shot at justice.” SWAN helped draft the Gillibrand’s bill, Bhagwhati explained, arguing that it strengthens justice for both the victims and the accused.

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Identifying Rapist Lands Victim In Jail

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Norma Esparza

Sometimes justice gets it right. Other times they get it all wrong. Here's an mind-boggling example of the latter. Now there may be some sticky stuff to this story, but the devil is in the details.

Some 18 years ago, a woman named Norma Esparza, now 39, was a victim of rape. She confessed this to her then boyfriend Gianni Van, though she was afraid to go to the police to make a report for fear she'd be made the victim, as so many women/men before her. Esparza was forced by her boyfriend to identify her accused attacker. They went to a bar where this attack has taken place and she pointed out Gonzalo Ramirez to Van. From there he took justice into his own hands.

DailyMailOnline:

Van went on to get revenge for the sexual assault by kidnapping Mr Ramirez and stabbing him to death.

Ms Esparza, from California now living in France, today proclaimed her innocence before she was taken into custody in Orange County.

This story isn't quite that simple, though. Esparza didn't learn until recently that Ramirez had been killed. What she did know was this:

She claims to have been taken by Van to see a bloodied, but alive, Ramirez after which she was threatened with a gun to make her promise to stay silent.

Van told her they had released Ramirez but Esparza learned when she was interviewed by police weeks later that he had been killed

She claims to have been taken by Van to see a bloodied, but alive, Ramirez after which she was threatened with a gun to make her promise to stay silent.

Van told her they had released Ramirez but Esparza learned when she was interviewed by police weeks later that he had been killed, Mr Mancillas (Esparza's current husband) said.

After this she was pressured to marry Van so she could not be bound to testify against him.

She fled to Europe where her education continued until she got her doctorate and became a professor. She stayed in Europe to teach, got divorced from Mr.Van and since married. She's now the mother of a four year old daughter.

Things seemed to be fine until she returned to the US for a visit recently. Upon entering, she was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Esparz and daughter

The mother-of-one has now been jailed after rejecting a manslaughter plea deal offered by prosecutors who allege she encouraged the murder of Ramirez by pointing him out to Van at a Santa Ana bar 18 years ago.

This just seems to be the story of an innocent victim who's life has gone from bad to very bad to even worse. But is this her fault or the fault of the system that makes reporting a crime such a horrific ordeal?

Ms. Esparza should have taken the risks and probable humiliation that millions are made to endure and reported this degrading crimes. But she didn't. She merely pointed him out to her boyfriend and believed he and some friends had beaten him for his crime and he was let go. She didn't give her boyfriend an order, a gun or knife and dispatch him to the ultimate revenge. This wasn't an episode of Dexter.

Murder is wrong. Period. But arresting the victim for identifying the alleged rapist, then accusing her of complicity in his murder is not the way to improve the already sagging confidence any victim of any crime has in police and their procedures. The accused rapist deserved his opportunity to defend himself in court -- not to be a murder victim based on deranged vigilantes. But if we want this kind of thing to stop, maybe it's time to look at why women, and to be fair, men, are reluctant to report such heinous crimes.

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What I will not write about today

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frustrated18

Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

  • 15 States Have Loosened Gun Restrictions-- Because providing gun manufacturers with more cash, coveting phallic symbols, pretending you can outgun murderers under stress, and endangering more lives is a priority. USA! USA!

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

drunk wine crafts corks

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What I will not write about today

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frustrated17

Sometimes I get so frustrated and/or disheartened and/or annoyed by some of the news stories of the day that I can’t bring myself to write about them. Here are a few recent reports that made my blood pressure hit the roof. I am avoiding delving into them at length out of concern for my physical and mental health.

  • Rush Limbaugh Compares Suspected Boston Bomber To Trayvon Martin-- Yes, Rush, the non-existent librul media supports Tsarnaev, and linking unarmed Trayvon to a guy who bombed a bunch of people to smithereens and then gunned down a police officer draws a perfect parallel. If this is about photos aired by the media, in both cases multiple images were shown repeatedly, younger ones, older ones, flattering ones, and not-so flattering ones. Here's an idea:

big glass of stfu

See what I mean? So who’s up for a couple of Margs or a trough of wine?

huge glass of wine 2 drunk

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VIDEO: "A needed response to the Steubenville rapists... or any rapists out there."

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girl passed out PSA rape

Today while I was on with Nicole Sandler doing my weekly radio spot, she ended the show with this must-see PSA aimed at teenage boys on what to do with a girl who’s passed out on your couch.

I had never seen it, and immediately teared up. What a simple and perfect message about respect and compassion:

Samantha Stendal:

To the Steubenville rapists...or any rapists out there.

It was posted on March 22, and already has 1,282,067 views.

Check out this comment that was posted under the video on YouTube:

Madd Lawgick:

This society has far more misandric beliefs then it does misogynist beliefs at this point. The man hating is at a ridiculous level in every aspect from elementary school to Prison sentences.

"real" Feminist always claim to be fighting for the rights of both genders but you NEVER see this in action. In actions all you see is feminist trying to gain more and more PRIVILEGES(not rights) for women and ignoring an issues dealing with men.

The radfems are heading the Feminists movement now.

Yeah, we "radfems" hate men so much that we try to prevent and cope with the devastation of rape. 

Melissa Harris-Perry must be trying so hard to "gain more PRIVILEGES" that she showed all kinds of compassion to rape survivors, having been one herself. She's clearly "ignoring all those issues dealing with men," those poor men who brutally abuse women, when she said to the Steubenville survivor, you “are not alone. We have failed you. I believe in you.”

What a radfem.

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