Guilty Verdict in Cosby Trail is a Victory for Survivors

PUBLIC POLICY SEXUAL ASSAULT Guilty Verdict in Cosby Trial is a Victory for Survivors APR 30, 2018 Following years of allegations of sexual assault, Bill Cosby has been found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent sexual assault against Andrea Constand. The trial included testimony from five of Cosby’s victims, in addition to Constand. In an amicus brief filed in the case, […]

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Police say Delaware man raped girl 250 times over 5 years

Dreamtime-header tree

Delaware police say a man repeatedly raped the same girl 250 times over the course of five years. 41-year-old Richard White Jr. was recently indicted on 11 counts of second-degree rape, four counts of sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child porn. Police detail that the raping started back in 2012. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/09/08/police-say-delaware-man-raped-girl-250-times-over-5-years/23201925/

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Paterno knew about Sandusky’s child sex abuse before 2001: report

What did Joe Paterno know and when did he know it? According to an explosive new CNN report published Saturday, the legendary ex-Penn State football coach may have known about Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse of young boys years before Sandusky’s 2011 arrest. CNN obtained a Pennslyvania police report that described Paterno’s reaction to whistleblower Mike McQueary showing up in his […]

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Understanding Your State Law on Rape Kit Reform

END THE BACKLOG is an initiative of the Joyful Heart Foundation to shine a light on the backlog of untested rape kits throughout the United States. Our goal is to end this injustice by conducting groundbreaking research identifying the extent of the nation’s backlog and best practices for eliminating it, expanding the national dialogue on rape kit testing through increased public awareness, engaging communities and government agencies and officials and advocating for comprehensive rape kit reform legislation and policies at the local, state and federal levels. We urge you to learn more about the backlog, where it exists and why it matters. We invite you to take action and support efforts to test rape kits. Help us send the message that we must take rape seriously.  Survivors’ Voices Drive Rape Kit Reform in Texas Today’s guest author is Wendy Davis, former Texas state senator and founder of the advocacy organization Deeds Not Words. Here, she discusses the rape kit reform laws she sponsored in the Senate and addresses the need for survivors’ voices to drive policy solutions. I first started working on the issue of sexual violence in 2009 while serving in the Texas Senate. A representative from the state’s forensic lab came to my office, sat down with my staff, and laid out their belief that we had a significant number of untested rape kits sitting in law enforcement evidence rooms across our state. At this point, Illinois had already […]

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Keep Students Safe From Sexual Assault & Enforce Title IV

Change.org Petition   Ask Betsy DeVos to keep students safe and enforce Title IX This petition will be delivered to: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Senator Lamar Alexander The current Administration is planning to weaken the enforcement of Title IX, a move that would be devastating for students especially those who are LGBT and of color. Survivors and our allies across the country are coming together to ask Education Secretary DeVos to listen to survivors, keep students safe, and enforce protections Title IX has long provided. Join Know Your IX and End Rape on Campus and ask DeVos to commit to the following : Maintain the Department of Education’s guidance documents clarifying schools’ legal responsibilities to prevent and address sexual harassment under Title IX Continue to recognize preponderance of evidence (i.e. “more likely than not”) as the appropriate standard of proof in campus sexual harassment investigations; Maintain federal transparency in Title IX enforcement by continuing to publish lists of schools under investigation for Title IX violations and those who have claimed religious exemptions allowing them to discriminate against LGBT, pregnant, and parenting students DeVos will have the power to enforce Title IX protections and ensure that every student is able to attend school without fear of violence. It’s up to us to make sure that she does. Mahroh Jahangiri Executive Director, Know Your IX https://www.change.org/p/dearbetsy-keep-students-safe-and-enforce-title-ix

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Former Vanderbilt Football Player Found Guilty of Rape

By Tim Ghianni | NASHVILLE, TENN. A Tennessee jury on Friday found a former Vanderbilt University football player guilty of raping an unconscious female student in a teammate’s dormitory room in 2013. The Nashville jury found Brandon Banks, 23, guilty of aggravated rape and aggravated sexual battery after deliberating for about 15 hours over two days. The case stoked simmering concern about sexual assault on college campuses by athletes. Banks faces at least 15 years in prison, Assistant District Attorney Roger Moore told media. Sentencing will be Aug. 18. “We are very satisfied with their verdict,” Moore said. Defense attorney Mark Scruggs did not respond to a request to comment. He was quoted by The Tennessean newspaper as saying that Banks was “shocked but understands that this is only the first part of this process. There’s a lot more to do from here on.” Teammates Brandon Vandenburg and Cory Batey, two of the four former Vanderbilt football players charged in the case along with Banks, were found guilty when tried together in January 2015 but a mistrial was declared. Batey was later retried, convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Vandenburg was found guilty in June 2016 and sentenced to 17 years in prison. A fourth player, Jaborian “Tip” McKenzie, who testified against his three teammates, has yet to stand trial in the case. The players used cell phones to record their crimes, and those videos – shown to […]

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Michigan State : Three Football Players Face Charges & Coach Fired in Sexual Assault Case.

Timeline of key events in Michigan State football Sexual Assault investigation Michigan State football players Donnie Corley, Josh King and Demetric Vance have been charged in connection to a sexual assault investigation and a staff member. In the same investigation. Auston Robertson has also been charged with criminal sexual conduct in a separate case. Here’s the latest on how this story has evolved. http://www.mlive.com/spartans/index.ssf/2017/06/michigan_states_donnie_corley_1.html#incart_most-read_news_article Xx M

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Howard school staff, mental health experts weigh in on suicide depiction in Netflix series

Andrew Michaels Contact Reporter Howard County Times The Netflix hit series “13 Reasons Why” has the Howard County school system, and schools in neighboring counties, warning parents about the show’s graphic depictions of teen suicide, rape and bullying. At the same time, many are saying the show opens a doorway into conversations on suicide and other “uncomfortable” topics. The streaming service’s show caught viewer attention nationwide after its debut in March. The show follows the story of high school student Hannah Baker, who commits suicide and leaves behind 13 cassette tape recordings for her peers, who she said contributed to her decision to end her life. Based on a 2007 novel with the same title, the graphic depictions in the 13-episode show – rated TV-MA for mature audiences only – raised concerns among mental health experts, educators, parents and youth. Efforts against the show include that of Oxford High School students in Michigan, who started their “13 reasons why not” project, discussing their uplifting stories about getting help during tough times every day throughout May. Three episodes feature explicit material, such as rape and suicide, and have “viewer discretion advised” warnings. In a statement earlier this month, Netflix said that they added more warnings before the first episode, following critic response. Original messages before the graphic episodes also reemphasized its content. After becoming the “most tweeted show of 2017,” according to Variety, “13 Reasons Why” was renewed for a second season, to […]

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Everyone Suffers in Abusive Household

Original post 3/2014 Everyone suffers in an abusive environment. Our house was always in chaos. An alcoholic stepfather who abused my mother and a mother who abused her daughter. There were three other children in the house who saw the abuse, heard the screams and threats. I used to think the victim was the only person with scars. At 9 years old I survived almost daily beatings by taking drugs, plenty of alcohol and trying to kill myself. It never occurred to me my brother suffered from witnessing the abuse. My brother’s scars are from seeing our stepfather beat our mother. Dragging her down the hall beating her head from side to side. Putting a knife to her throat saying he would kill her. Most of their fights ending in front of our bedrooms. We had front row seats to hell. My mother abused me, the methods escalated as I aged. I heard stories of abuse as early as six months old. I don’t think my mother was trying to kill me. She’s like the women on the news who allow their kids to die. She didn’t push my head under the water but would have crocodile tears if I drowned accidentally. One weekend driving back from Houston we passed the exit to my mother’s house. I had strong emotions about my brother not me. I didn’t understand the emotions. It hit me like a train, my brother was not […]

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How Many Untested Rape Kits Does Your State Have?

Advocates For Sexual Assault Who Drive Change End The Backlog is a program of Joyful Heart Foundation, a national non-profit organization founded by actress and activist Mariska Hargitay with the mission to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse, support survivors’ healing, and end this violence forever. Over the years, however, we have begun to see progress. Increasingly, states and local jurisdictions are beginning to recognize the value of testing rape kits. They are starting to count, track and test the untested kits in their facilities, and they’re seeing powerful result.  What do we know about the rape kit backlog & what’s being done to end it. Explore our interactive map: http://www.endthebacklog.org For example, in New York City, where there had been a backlog of 17,000 untested rape kits before eliminated in 2003, city and law enforcement officials enacted a policy and developed a system to test every rape kit. The city’s arrest rate for rape has since jumped from 40% to 70%.”Joyful Heart now provides us with expertise, guidance and a national perspective. They are helping to find ways to secure the funds needed to test the remaining kits and ensuring that all efforts to end this atrocity, is an important project under the direction of Joyful Heart foundation. – Kym Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor The federal government estimates that hundreds of thousands of rape kits sit untested in police and crime lab storage facilities across the […]

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Happy Birthday Daddy

Today would be your 76 birthday, there are a few things to say. I don’t know if you were with God in your final hours. I can’t assume you asked for forgiveness, I can’t assume you’re in Heaven. Granny and Gramps went to their graves not knowing the pain you inflicted on me. Granny would breakdown, I would not cause her such pain. You told me several times you were going to kill yourself, I didn’t doubt. I chose to keep the information to myself. Granny was never the same after taking your life. You called delusional, hallucinationing your phone was tapped. I found the cassettes, listened to every one, it’s sad where the mind can take us. I have an idea how difficult it must have been living with a delusional mind. Years soften the memories and pain, time doesn’t mean forgiveness. I choose to move forward building a healthy life. I’ve forgotten those times, their packed away, never to share. Your son doesn’t have recollections of the worst times, he hardly knew you, you two didn’t spend much time. He knows nothing of my pain, like granny, he will go to his grave knowing none. I talked with your half-brother Michael last year, he had photos and fond memories of you, the times you shared. Thru him I learned your side of the family suffered from depression for generations back. Until next year Melinda

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A Mother’s Guilt

      Daughter My Birthday wish for You I hope that every candle brings a new wish. I hope the Smile that lights your face stays there all year-long. I hope everything  you’ve dreamed it will come true. I hope you know how much I love You and how proud I am of you. Happy Birthday With So Much Love. Card from my Mother You can’t give back what you took from my life. Xx  M

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Twenty Minutes of Rape

Information provided by RAINN SHARE THIS ARTICLE: Twenty Minutes of Rape June 22, 2016 “I so admire this woman, who had the guts to expose what she is going through and share it with the world.” Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) offered these thoughts on a night when a bipartisan group of 18 members of Congress stood in solidarity, each reading parts of a victim impact statement written by the survivor of a brutal sexual assault that occurred on Stanford University’s campus in 2014. The story has resonated around the world. In March of 2016, 20-year-old Brock Turner was convicted of three felony counts: sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object; sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object; and assault with an intent to commit rape. Despite the finding of guilt and the brutal details of the crime—which involved a college party, an incapacitated and unconscious victim, and bystanders intervening when they discovered the victim behind a dumpster not far from campus—Judge Aaron Perksy decided to impose a sentence of only six months. This sentence was far less than the six years recommended by prosecutors, and only one-quarter of the normal two-year minimum sentence. Persky avoided minimum sentence by finding that “unusual circumstances” existed. The short sentence shocked many, as did a statement written by the perpetrator’s father defending his son’s “20 minutes of action.” Bringing national attention to the case, CNN anchor Ashleigh Banfield spent more […]

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Brock Turner Gets Six Month Jail Sentence For Sexual Assulting Unconscious Woman..Rape is Rape

I’m sick to my stomach after reading how Brock Turner serves only six months in jail for Raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. If you think raping is okay, you need help. The Judge is accountable for the low jail sentence.  Rape is Rape.  Xx  M The Stanford Survivor Has a Name. It’s “My Hero.” JUNE 10, 2016 | BY MAILE ZAMBUTO | FILED UNDER JHF BLOG > OUR ISSUES SEXUAL ASSAULT IN OUR WORDS FROM THE CEO I first learned about Brock Allen Turner’s sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster on the Stanford University campus at the time everyone else did: last weekend. As the coverage was unfolding, I was with Mariska, members of our Joyful Heart Foundation staff and volunteers filming a local series of our NO MORE PSAs for Hawai‘i Says NO MORE. From morning into the night, we gathered at the Hawaii News Now studios in Honolulu and what we saw during the filming was brave, strong, and compassionate person after person, standing up for each other, for the people they love, for their partners, wives, husbands, children, neighbors, friends, mothers, and fathers, for people they’ve never met, for themselves. They were standing up to say NO MORE to the beliefs and attitudes that misplace blame on survivors, excuse those who cause harm, and allow institutions to look the other way. And outside of that room, the same thing was happening. […]

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Child Marriages, life of beatings and Sexual Assault by husband

  When I was 14 years old, I was kidnapped for a marriage to a much older man, as depicted in the film Difret. On the day I was abducted, I was raped by my would be “husband.” I knew I had to fight back and escape the first chance I got. I was taken to a hut and locked up. When I received another visit from my abductors I saw my chance. When he was suddenly called away, he left his gun leaning against the wall and the door unlocked. My father had taught me how to fire a gun, so I took it and ran. When he and his friends chased me, I shot him. It was the most terrifying, horrible ordeal of my entire life — and I’m one of the lucky ones. I was accused of murder and after 2 years in the courts, the judge ruled that it was, in fact, self-defense. My trial led to a re-examination of this tradition and the Ethiopian government is now working to end child marriage and female genital cutting by 2025. In addition, the African Union recently launched a campaign to end child marriage across the continent. I am now dedicating my life to working on this issue and to give voice to the screams of unheard rural women and girls. I don’t want to see the same story happen to any more girls. And yet, it still is. […]

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Joyful Heart’s Male Survivor PSA Series

NO MORE Excuses: The Male Survivors Series We recognize that male survivors are met with persistent and harmful responses: That sexual abuse can’t happen to guys. That they just need to get over it. That guys wouldn’t “let” that happen to them. In 2016, Joyful Heart partnered with Viacom and 1in6, a leading organization that provides support and information to adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, released a new series of video and print ads—adding to a suite of print ads released in 2014—specifically addressing the myths and excuses that male survivors hear. They invite men who have experienced unwanted or abusive sexual abuse in childhood, and those who care for them, to visit 1in6.org for help. In case you missed it, I wanted to share our new series in Joyful Heart’s groundbreaking, celebrity-driven NO MORE PSA campaign developed in partnership with 1in6, a leading organization providing support and information to male survivors of childhood sexual abuse, produced by Viacom and created by Rachel Howald and Young & Rubicam. The PSAs are already airing across Viacom’s networks, and tomorrow, you’ll be able to see them during the eighth #NOMOREexcuses marathon of Law & Order: SVU on USA Network, starting at 1pm/12c. WATCH THE NEW VIDEO http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/programs/education/no-more/psa-campaign/no-more-excuses-male-survivors-series#sthash.cIxU9PCn.dpuf Today, I wrote on our blog about why we’ve been partnering with USA for these marathons since 2014. We already know that television and media have the power to shape and change attitudes. And […]

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