Posts tagged with "sexual assault"

Breaking News illustration via Nicole Salazar for use by 360 Magazine

Hunter Echo Makes Disgusting Comments About Millie Bobby Brown

By: Skyler Johnson

On July 12, TikTok user Hunter Echo–AKA Hunter Ecimovic–made a now-deleted livestream where he jokingly claimed he abused and groomed Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown after a picture surfaced of the two kissing. He also went into great detail about their sex life during the course of their alleged eight month relationship when he was 20 and she was 16. While Ecimovic made serious accusations against himself, he still seemed to shrug it off and stated that he didn’t do anything wrong. 

To be clear, everything that Ecimovic has said at this time is alleged. We have no clear knowledge of what this relationship might’ve been, and whether or not it even existed in the first place. All we know is what Ecimovic has said and all we’ve seen is one picture that’s surfaced of the two kissing. 

There is the question of whether or not the information should have been made public in the first place, looking past who decided to make it that way. After all, the internet has no right to know about Brown’s abuse. Brown shouldn’t be forced to deal the public knowing about her trauma, yet she’s having to deal with people constantly asking if she’s okay. While this is well-intentioned, a lot of survivors don’t want to talk openly about their trauma. This is likely especially for the case for Millie Bobby Brown, who we’re not even sure had any form of relationship with Ecimovic. Yet, people online are treating her like she’s a survivor–which may not be a label she’s comfortable with.

The comments Ecimovic made were obviously gross, but not surprising when directed towards Brown, whose relationships and physicality have constantly been publicized and degraded by the public. 

Millie Bobby Brown’s Sexualization

Despite Brown’s young age, because of her popularity and the popularity of Stranger Things, her life and public image have constantly been put into question. This questioning comes from both men who obsess over her physicality and women who have expressed desire for her to be in a relationship with Stranger Things co-star Finn Wolfhard, among others. 

She’s gotten attention from people who believe that she’s presented herself, or has been presented, in a sexual way. Critics claim that certain outfit choices she made weren’t “acceptable” because they showed too much of her skin. 

Brown’s dating life has long been under a large amount of scrutiny. Everyone knew when she was dating Musical.ly star Jacob Sartorius, and Brown recieved backlash. Some begged her to cheat on him with Wolfhard.

Ultimately, this is a problem for many child stars and celebrities–particularly internet celebrities. With cases like Danielle Cohn and Danielle Bregoli being clear examples, albeit they made more extreme choices. Ultimately, all Brown is doing is wearing dresses and dating people which, obviously, a lot of teenage girls do. But because of her fame, she gets criticized for it.

While bragging about alleged sexual abuse and grooming may seem sociopathic, the American public is so in-tune with celebrities and their dating lives. In this way, it’s not unrealistic that someone would talk about Brown in the way that Ecimovic has. To be clear, this is not me defending the actions of Ecimovic in any way. What he said is still horrendous, especially if his accusations hold any merit. Sexual assault is not something to laugh off with your friends. All I’m saying is that because of the way our society treats teenage girls, Ecimovic’s comments make sense.

The Aftermath (What We Know So Far)

While Brown hasn’t said anything about the situation personally (and she doesn’t have to), her team has made a statement suggesting they’re going to take action. What that exactly means, no one is entirely sure. Though the next step most likely won’t be legal action given everything at this point is hear-say. However, the de-platforming of Ecimovic is possible. Ecimovic’s Instagram and Twitter account have both been suspended, and Ecimovic has made an apology for the livestream. Ecimovic has now suggested that his comments about grooming Brown was a fabrication, but again, we don’t yet really know anything.

Guillen illustration

The Murder of Fort Hood Soldier, Vanessa Guillen

By Emmet McGeown


“How can this happen on a military base? How can this happen while she was on duty? How can this just happen and then let it go under the rug like it was nothing?” These were the words of Mayra Guillen, sister of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who has been missing for months and is now confirmed dead.  

On April 22nd, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old Hispanic Small Arms and Artillery Repairer, went missing. She was last seen alive at a parking lot at squadron headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. For months, Pfc. Guillen’s family held out hope that their beloved was still alive, yet the discovery of remains near the Leon River, north of Austin, has vanquished that hope. While the FBI is still awaiting a positive DNA analysis, the family believes that the remains belong to Vanessa.  

Yet, this story does not begin with her disappearance nor does it end with her death. Prior to her vanishing, Pfc. Guillen, according to her sisters, was having difficulties with sexual harassment while stationed at Fort Hood, outside Killeen, Texas. The attorney representing the family in the case revealed that Guillen had confided to her sisters and several other soldiers that a superior had walked in on her while taking a shower and that he proceeded to sit down and watch her. Other relatives and Pfc. Guillen’s boyfriend have noted on social media that something is “not right” and that Vanessa felt unsafe at the military base.  

However, during a press conference on Thursday, July 2nd, senior special agent for the Fort Hood Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), Damon Phelps, reported that there was no evidence backing the claim that she had been sexually harassed. He affirmed that “there has been no information — and we have interviewed hundreds of people… There is no credible information about that.” Despite this rebut by CID, family attorney, Natalie Khawam said, in an interview with PEOPLE, that she believes Pfc. Guillens was sexually harassed by Spc. Aaron David Robinson.

Spc. Robinson was the leading suspect in Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance, and as authorities caught up with him on Tuesday evening, he shot himself. It has since been revealed that Robinson was, in fact, responsible for the murder of Pfc. Guillen’s. Guillen’s was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked, according to the family’s attorney. They made this discovery through an extensive investigation, in which witnesses divulged that they saw Robinson transporting a large box labelled “very heavy in weight.”

Then, after consenting to an examination of his cellphone records, court documents reveal, it was discovered that Robinson made several phone-calls to his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar on the night of Apri 22nd and into the early hours of the April 23rd. After being interviewed multiple times, Aguilar finally told investigators that her boyfriend had murdered Guillen. She also revealed how she and her boyfriend had met up and dismembered Guillen’s body together with a “hatchet or machete type knife” and, after attempting to set her corpse on fire, buried Guillen’s body parts in three different holes. Texas Rangers have since arrested Aguilar and she now faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  

The issue of sexual harassment within the Army remains a problem in this case, given that Guillen’s family, according to their attorney, claimed that Vanessa was planning on reporting Robinson the day after she was murdered, and had delayed over fear of reprisal and inaction. Yet the Army says there exists no credible evidence that she was sexually harassed before her disappearance, and in a statement from the Fort Hood Press Center, officials said that the criminal investigation “has not found any connection between sexual harassment and Vanessa’s disappearance.” They plan to continue their investigation in light of new revelations. 

Lupe Guillen, another sister of Vanessa’s, told NPR that her sister wanted to be in the military since she was a little girl, “she wanted to be a fighter. She wanted to be a hero. She wanted to be someone in life. … The military failed her.

The family is now pushing for legislation to create an independent agency for soldiers who are victims of sexual harassment and assault. 

After a year Vanessa’s fiancé speaks out claiming “They failed us,” see the full ABC interview here.

For more updated information and to read other statements from family and friends click here.

It has been a year since Vanessa’s body was found and her family members, friends, and fellow military members still have many unanswered questions. While it is assumed that Vanessa’s killer was one of another soldier stationed at Fort Hood in Texas, Aaron Robinson, the army is still investigating. Her fiancé spoke to ABC last week, discussing his anger and frustration at the lack of answers and closure he, her family and friends have. Many are upset with how the Army handled the situation and investigation. Interrogating her friends instead of going after Robinson, who many suspected from the beginning.

Her family now hopes that the “I Am Vanessa Guillen” bill, which will make sexual harassment a crime in military law will be approved and help prevent other soldiers from being harassed while defending their country, and other families from feeling the loss they do.

Stay tuned to 360 Magazine for more updates and links to current articles and videos.

ABC will also be airing coverage every week until someone is convicted.

car sharing phoenix for use by 360 Magazine

Research Shows Ridesharing Services Reduce Sexual Assault

Contrary to portraits painted in popular media, new research involving ridesharing services shows they provide an additional level of protection for potential sexual assault victims, particularly in neighborhoods with inadequate public transportation or in circumstances that are more prone to sex crimes.

The study, “The Deterrent Effect of Ride-sharing on Sexual Assault and Investigation of Situational Contingencies,” published in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research, found the entry of Uber into a city in the United States contributes to a 6.3% reduction in rape incidents.

“Even a 1% increase in Uber pickups in a neighborhood translates to a more than 3% decrease in the likelihood of sexual assaults,” said Jiyong Park of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The study was conducted by Park alongside Min-Seok Pang of Temple University, Junetae Kim of the National Cancer Center Korea and Byungtae Lee of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

This research investigates the relationship between ridesharing and sexual assault, which has been a controversial, but underexplored topic in public debates on the sharing economy and ridesharing. This study is the first to present systematic empirical evidence that a ridesharing platform can provide a viable means to prevent sexual crimes under certain circumstances.

“Ridesharing can reduce a passenger’s risk of being a target of sexual assault by providing a more reliable and timely transportation option for traveling to a safer place,” said Park. “Moreover, ridesharing contributes to a more significant reduction in the likelihood of rape occurrences in neighborhoods with limited transportation accessibility, such as the city’s outskirts and neighborhoods where a higher percentage of the population is non-Caucasian.”

The study also found that ridesharing is more effective in deterring sexual crime in riskier circumstances, such as around alcohol-serving establishments on weekend nights or when the probability of crime occurrences increases.

“Despite the common misconception due to popular media stories, our work proves that digital platforms can be leveraged to solve societal challenges by matching supply and demand closely for relevant services, which calls for spatiotemporal investigations of granular-level data in designing platform businesses and devising policy instruments,” concluded Park.

About INFORMS and Information Systems Research

Information Systems Research is a premier peer-reviewed scholarly journal that covers the latest theory, research and intellectual developments for information systems in institutions, organizations, the economy and society to advance knowledge about the effective and efficient utilization of information technology. It is published by INFORMS, the leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals. More information is available at www.informs.org or @informs.

False Light by Eric Dezenhall for use by 360 Magazine

False Light Author on Cuomo Scandal

New York Governor May Not Weather This Long-Term

Eric Dezenhall, noted D.C. crisis management expert and author of the new novel False Lightpublished a column in RealClearPolitics Tuesday, offering insight into the ongoing scandal surrounding New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo has been hit with two scandals in the last few weeks regarding COVID deaths inside nursing homes and multiple women who have accused him of sexual harassment.

“On the timing side, Cuomo was puffed up during the early stages of the COVID pandemic not for his charm, but because he provided a seemingly cogent and competent foil to President Donald Trump’s colossal buffoonery in the face of the crisis,” Mr. Dezenhall wrote.

But now that Trump is out of office, he continued, “the rifle scope must go somewhere,” in this case the women who have alleged at inappropriate behavior from Cuomo. This has led to the media that spent much of the last year praising Cuomo to quickly turn on him, exacerbating the already damning scandal regarding the nursing homes. Between COVID and the allegations, Mr. Dezenhall wrote that the governor may not be able to endure a drawn out firestorm.

“If I were to make a prediction, it would be that Cuomo doesn’t weather this one long-term. The people of New York are in a terrible mood and very few constituencies have a vested interest in keeping him,” Mr. Dezenhall wrote. “He’s been in office for more than a decade now.  And in an age when progressives are confronting the consequences of a movement they initiated, Cuomo’s alleged behavior is a hard cause to rally behind.”

False Light, Mr. Dezenhall’s latest novel, creates a fictional storyline that seems all too real, giving readers a thrilling account of the tumultuous events surrounding a public figure’s sexual assault allegations and a path to justice for “the little man.”

 

Hiking by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Tums’ Inappropriate ‘Camping Trip Chili’ Commercial

By: Emily Bunn

Antacid brand, Tums, recently released a commercial for Tums Naturals which features two women camping in the woods. As they heat chili over their campfire, one of the women begins to feel some heartburn. Suddenly, a towering, ominous red pepper appears behind her menacingly. The pepper is noticeably phallic, and dominates the small woman. TUMS announces, “When heartburn takes you by surprise, fight back.” The woman shown suddenly dropping her chili and defenselessly being dragged across the forest floor. As she is hauled away, she flashes the pepper her container of TUMS–almost as if she is wielding off an attacker with pepper spray.

The commercial has stirred associations with sexual assault, as the woman is dragged off without consent from the phallic figure. Tums’ commercial is an insensitive and inappropriate representation of such serious matters. To equate having some temporary heartburn to being assaulted is a far cry, and comparing the two lessens the severity of experiencing life-long trauma from sexual misconduct. TUMs ineffable lapse of judgement in creating this disturbing commercial is unprofessional, and promotes rape culture through joking about assault and brushing off the severity of such.

The commercial represents the woman as an unknowing victim, painting her in the horror trope light of the ‘final girl.’ The final girl trope in horror movies represents the heroine left standing at the end of the movie who fights off the offending villain, the most ‘pure’ woman–oftentimes a virgin–whose obedience rewards her with life. This trope is rooted in misogyny, and is an outdated sentiment of the entertainment industry’s emphasis on the male gaze. Just like in horror movies, the woman in this commercial gets to escape–thanks to her handy Tums– but this resolution begs the question: without her Tums, what would have happened to this woman? What is it that the giant pepper is threatening her life with, and why did Tums find it appropriate to relate a life-or-death situation to mere heartburn? Some may say it’s for laughs, but when situations like this actually occur– not with a giant pepper, but instead with an aggressive abuser who aims to hurt women– it’s no laughing matter. Whereas in a fictitious horror movie–or Tums commercial– the final girl gets to escape with her life, women who experience sexual assault are forced to live every day with the real life horror of their trauma.

Book illustration

The Stranglehold Series

By Katherine Jeffries

Lenient and non-existent criminal sentences have given rise to movements such as #metoo, #yesallwomen, #whyididntreport, #protecteverychild, #endmodernslavery, #blacklivesmatter to name a only a few. The growing unrest of a rigged justice system is rightly being met with a “burn it down” sentiment.

The Stranglehold Series was inspired by the very frustrations and inequalities we, as a country, are currently attempting to voice and rectify. While the BlackLivesMatter movement, as well as others, focuses on horridly heavy-handed punishments, even deadly uses of force for petty detainments of people of color, Stranglehold was birthed from the growing disgust of certain privileged offenders getting little-to-no consequence for acts so inhumane that most people cannot process the monstrous details.

We have privileged perpetrators such as Brock Turner, who, in 2016, brutally assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Even with witnesses to the heinousness of his attack, he got little to no punishment for the various and twisted injuries he inflicted. Not a year later, the #metoo movement against prominent men who assault women and men alike went viral. Because of public outcry and the bravery of those willing to share their stories in solidarity, some semblance of justice is beginning. More recently, in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, actual video evidence of the murder did not result in the arrest of the killers until that footage was made public months later, demonstrating that if you are well-connected, you could commit the coldest atrocities and skate back into life-as-usual—so long as someone is incentivized enough to keep your secret.

These kinds of non-existent or delayed sentences doled out by those in the criminal justice system who don’t want to “ruin” the lives of predators has only emboldened some institutions into not only hiding those who commit certain crimes, but also continue to allow perpetrators access to more victims (as we’ve seen with the Catholic and Mormon churches, to name only a few). Despite complaints and investigations filed, some organizations even reward and promote harassers, as we’re discovering with the military and hundreds of women being demoted or discharged for reporting while their attacker is unscathed, such as the recent and upsetting murder of Vanessa Guillan.

Much of the same issues are at play in the society in my thriller series, Stranglehold. Unknown US politicians are funneling money into legal organizations set to keep violent, even sadistic criminals on the streets, all in hopes of growing government power in the name of “safety.” Although I’d quickly condemn anyone enacting vigilante justice against any suspect or convict, Stranglehold does offer a satisfying outlet as Grant Steele, Gemma Pearl and Trent Roth deliver swift and ruthless deaths to those who find pleasure or triumph in the pain of the innocent.

That said, Stranglehold isn’t a typical bang-bang-you’re-dead thriller. After all, Gemma Pearl can hear—down to the word—if someone is lying. That she can decide—on the spot—who is guilty isn’t the sole determiner, it sure helps them focus on who’s a threat and find what they need to decide who lives and dies. (In our current political climate, how handy would it be to have not only a sign-language interpreter sharing the stage with any given talking-head, but someone like Gemma calling bullshit. Not sure it would change much, but it would add some comedy to it all).

Beyond that aspect of magic realism, which allows for many polite phrases and the motives behind them to have moments of examination (imagine being around someone who knows every little white lie you tell—every.single.one), Stranglehold takes on the emotional toll trauma exacts. After all, Gemma Pearl isn’t only an assassin, but a woman who has endured years of isolation, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband. The two of them were corralled into their marriage for the sake of Gemma’s safety, which inspires Gemma to ask, “Safe from who?” After Gemma murders her husband and while under Grant and Trent’s protection, Gemma is allowed to unearth and begin to unravel the trauma she’s not only endured, but also caused.

Most thrillers don’t attempt to unpack the damage done to their characters, portraying them instead as revenge-driven-until-revenge-satisfied. Stranglehold is far more thoughtful than that and readers who have survived abuse and trauma deserve a character who is strong, graceful and vulnerable at once. Trauma survivors have earned a character who is wounded but wanting more for herself, who is writhing out form beneath the feelings of unworthiness and invisibility abuse causes, who is learning to voice her hopes and carefully venture back into trust and love with someone who is just as embattled, just as scarred, just as determined to be healed as she is.

As a society, as a world, we have a long way to go, but with the discussions in Stranglehold about punishment, honesty, government roles and trauma healing, we can hopefully step into deeper interactions with ourselves as we heal and with each other as we demand a better system of actual justice.

How to Ensure Your Son is Clear on Consent

The Legal Information Institute includes in their definition of assault, “reasonable apprehension of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. Physical injury is not required.” Studies have shown that more than 90% of our communication is non-verbal. We need to teach our young people, especially our young men, how to read non-verbal cues. If you lean into a person and they do not lean forward in return or, more importantly, lean backwards, they are letting you know that you are encroaching on their personal space. Any further encroachment can be considered offensive. Does that mean you have to stop talking to that person? Absolutely not! It just means, slow your roll. It does mean don’t touch them, tickle or grab them. You may want to role play this scenario with your son so that there is a clear understanding before any alcohol is added to the mix. Diminished capacity is not an excuse.

CONSENT TO SEXUAL ACTIVITY

Of late, discussions surrounding consent have centered on consent as it relates to sex. As the common definition of sex amongst adolescents includes penetration, it is again, imperative  to inform our young men that sexual assault can include, per Women’s Health “Fondling or unwanted touching above or under clothes.” This means that many of the popular movie make-out scenes where guys just reach over and commence touching without any conversation would be viewed as sexual assault today. The goal is to not increase the stress and anxiety surrounding interacting with someone you’re attracted to. In fact, if handled correctly, communication reduces everyone’s stress.

HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE CONSENT

1. Say something! “I really like you, is it okay if I …” or “I really would like to kiss you?” and pause for a response.

2. Don’t be ambiguous. “Do you want to go to my room?” is not code for “and have sex.”

3. Pay attention! If the person you’re with has gotten quiet, they may have become uncomfortable and are having trouble verbalizing their feelings. Stop whatever you’re doing immediately, and check-in with your partner. SILENCE IS NOT CONSENT, ASK!

4. Don’t be selfish! While it is easy to focus on your own pleasure, it is important to stay connected with your partner and don’t make the other person feel bad if they seem hesitant or want to stop. They are withdrawing consent. This is important; they don’t have to say “no” to withdraw consent. If they are no longer actively participating, there is NO consent.

CAN THERE BE CONSENT WHEN DRUNK?

This is an important question as it relates to your son’s college career. College protocol and the law do not always have to agree. In other words, if students are inebriated at the time, and there is what was understood to be consensual sex at the time, and neither lost consciousness, in some states the parties would still be considered incapacitated to consent; however, in other states a legal argument can be made that there was consent. Based on your college’s protocol, l you can be considered impaired even if both parties consented, and you may  face consequences such as expulsion. Make sure to understand your school’s Student Code of Conduct. All major colleges and universities now have a section to address sexual misconduct. It’s a good idea to review this with your son before he leaves so that there is no ambiguity. So now your drunk, how do you decide? Even when drunk, go back to step 1: Say something. If you or your partner can’t communicate, there can’t be consent. Remember, if there is any doubt, there is NO consent.

YES, A MAN MUST ALSO CONSENT

Just because a woman offers sex, does not mean a man has to want it. There is nothing wrong with a guy turning down sex. Sexual emancipation has given rise to a dark side, an underreported behavior. Some sororities are encouraging the collecting of sexual scalps. Without consent, it is wrong when a man does it. It is equally wrong when a woman does it. It is important for young men to realize that they can be sexually assaulted and/or raped. It is a myth that men cannot be raped. There is a powerful scene in the popular History Channel’s series Vikings which depicts just such an event. Sexual assault of a male is traumatic and should not be minimized because of gender. Males should be encouraged to report and are entitled to the same protections afforded female victims. You need to make sure your son is aware that this is NEVER okay.

IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO WITHDRAW CONSENT?

This is an extremely important concept. Just because someone consents to sex, that does not mean they have given up their right to end the experience at any point. Once someone says “stop,” or “no” or ceases participation, they have withdrawn consent and the other party needs to stop as they are no longer with a “willing” participant. There is no justification to continue the encounter.

At this point, some parents may be thinking, “am I making a mistake letting my son go away to school?” The college transition for a prepared adolescent is a valuable experience. In addition to education, college provides an opportunity for a young man to master self-sufficiency, gain self-esteem and most importantly develop the critical thinking skills needed to be successful in life. Teach your son about consent. This is an important tool that will make him a better person, then allow him the opportunity to step up and become that person.

DR. NADINE PIERRE-LOUIS is the Founder and CEO of Doc and Jock LLC, whose mission is to enhance awareness and communication on male issues with the slogan Real Men Talk™.Dr. Pierre-Louis has more than 15 years of experience as a Human Growth and Development Educator and Licensed Marriage Therapist.

In addition to her private practice, Dr. Pierre-Louis works as an adjunct professor at one of the nation’s largest community colleges, where she has gained a reputation for using humor to simplify complex concepts, making learning fun. She is the recipient of the 2016 AC4 Columbia University IACM Fellowship.

Dr. Pierre-Louis lives in Florida and is the mother of two sons, ages 24 and 20.

Former Vice President Joe Biden Knows America’s “Dirty Little Secret”

Former Vice President Joe Biden Knows America’s “Dirty Little Secret”

Former Vice President Joe Biden has called it a, “public health epidemic.” A “stain on the moral character of a society.” An issue that “cuts to the very core of how we measure ourselves.” Joe Biden believes, “We must change the culture.” See Joe Biden live, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, January 28, 2019.

Fort Lauderdale, FLA – Hope for Children Foundation®! ; mission stands firmly in supporting the prevention of cruelty to children, extending and offering protection to children, families and adults in the United States through free online video and movie education. Hope for Children Foundation celebrates the lives of children and families in the United States of America.

The FBI reported 97% of abused children reported to the legal system are not protected.

Read more about this and view free online videos by going to the Website: www.hopeforchildrenfoundation.org  Hope for Children Foundation’s presence is throughout the United States due to the power of the Internet. Many free movies and videos are available for your increased protection and knowledge. Be careful and make sure you are on the correct URL address. A few others wrongly use our name. We have the Trademark Registration number 5,409,810.

Joe Biden has spent more than 25 years fighting to end violence against women, children and men, in the United States. In the 1990s, as a senator, he wrote the landmark Violence Against Women Act, which drastically changed how the U.S. responded to domestic violence and sexual assault. 

This video produced by Hope for Children Foundation shows how this Act offers protection to women, children and men:

Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/embed/zZAPzGy7HZI

Donations to Hope for Children Foundation

You can donate online through Paypal or mail a check to a safe P.O. Box 191028  Dallas, TX  75219. All of our training has always been free to everyone. Therefore, we greatly appreciate your donation to further the future of Hope for Children Foundation.

Abuse of Power – Help End the Cycle of Abuse

Joe Biden was raised by a gentle, honorable man who always taught his children that the greatest sin anyone could commit is the abuse of power — and the cardinal sin is when a man raises his hand to a woman or a child or someone with less physical power, including raising a hand to a weaker man.

When he started to work on this issue, violence against women, children and men, were not taken as seriously, and survivors were not given the recourse they deserved. Too often, victims of violent crimes were blamed. Too often, perpetrators were not prosecuted.

Joe Biden, Hope for Children Foundation, and many others, are convinced America needs to change its culture. And in order to change the culture, we have to pull the mask off of this dirty little secret. A simple message for all Americans:  You should be the ultimate agents of change. It’s time for all of you to step up. 

Think about a culture that exists when a victim who’s been abused or raped is asked all the wrong questions: Why were you there? What were you wearing? What did you say? Why did you say it? What were you drinking? Those are all the wrong questions. It’s never the victim’s fault.

The right questions are: What made that person think they had a right to touch me?  Why on Earth did no one step up when they had the chance? Or for you men:  Why didn’t I have the courage to speak up — to intervene, to act?  Men to ask yourselves: What would I have done if she was my sister?

Passing the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, has literally saved lives. Women, men and children need to know they won’t be abused again by the system, they’re reporting violen! ce at higher rates. Twenty – five years ago, there was no domestic violence hotline — now 3.4 million women and men have called the National Domestic Violence Hotline and gotten support and help.

The yearly domestic violence rates dropped 64 percent between 1993 and 2010. There were no special victims units — now, police departments across the country have specially trained personnel to treat domestic abuse as crime rather than a private matter. The culture is changing so that abusers are now treated as the criminals they are. It’s no longer acceptable for a man to abuse a woman in public or privately in the home. Sexism is no longer tolerated. We no longer remain silent when a woman is being abused in front of us. The #MeToo and #Time’sUp Movements have helped to empower victims of violent crimes. The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.

We all should take a pledge and act on three things: (1) I promise to intervene instead of being a bystander. (2) I promise to recognize that any time consent is not given — or cannot be given — it’s sexual assault and it’s a crime; and (3) I promise to do everything I! can to create an environment where sexual assault is unacceptable, where survivors are supported, where perpetrators are treated with the moral and legal accountability they deserve. 

Healthy Support for the United States of America

Joe Biden by instinct and long experience has shown he has the ability to reach across the aisle and return this country to civility and compromise with integrity, respect, dignity and honor in the best interest of protecting Americans, and other people around the world. Joe Biden is interested in all Americans and supports a healing process for all to experience. Hope for Children Foundation encourages you to attend Joe Biden’s American Promise Tour. We did, and realized America is better off having a man and a women standing strong for Americans like former Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden.

For more information, visit the website at http://www.hopeforchildrenfoundation.org

UMW Shadow Event Raises Campus Awareness Of Sexual Assault

“The event was impactful and enlightening.” – UMW student

“It’s taken me a while to come to terms with my situation and just going to the event was beneficial to me.” – UMW student

“I feel like we changed some lives last night.” – Speaker at event

‘The testimonials were very powerful.” – Alex Weathersby, RCASA

The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia held its first ever Shadow Event on Tuesday, November 14. The event was put on by UMW’s Where is the Line?, a club dedicated to raising awareness for sexual assault and domestic violence as well as providing support to survivors and empowering people to restore the hope that was lost. The club is affiliated with the Fear2Freedom organization.

The Shadow Event was held in on campus Dodd Auditorium. 6 survivors were given the opportunity to share their stories anonymously. A large, back light projection screen was set up in the center of the stage and each speaker had a designated color light that illuminated their silhouette to the audience. There were 5 female speakers and 1 male at the November 14 event. Over 100 students from the small school were in attendance to show their support. Representatives from the local prevention and support organization, Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault (RCASA), were also in attendance to provide counseling to audience members who may have been triggered by the speeches. In addition to the 6 speakers, there were singers that performed a song every 2 speeches to allow audience members to recollect themselves and take a mental break. Tori Power of the school’s show choir group covered Sara Bareilles’ “Brave”, Ellé Antzoulatos, WITL’s marketing coordinator, sang Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb”, and Rachel Lynch, a dedicated member of WITL, sang an a Capella version of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallejuah”. The audience members were given a set of colored notecards and a pencil upon arrival and had the opportunity to write words of encouragement to each speaker. The notes have been screened by club members and will be given to each survivor who spoke to help with the healing process.

The event was a tremendous success and WITL has begun planning and preparation for this spring’s Celebration Event, an interactive event where students will put together after care kits for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence to receive upon intake into a shelter or at the beginning of a rape kit. To help fund for the event, the club has launched a T-Shirt sale. To support, click HERE

About Where is the Line?
ere is the Line is a club dedicated to the prevention of and spreading awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence. The club hosts events and projects to aid survivors as well as educating peers about the issue. The club founded the Share The Hope project, a non-profit jewelry sale in which for each bracelet sold, one is donated to a survivor. WITL at UMW was. Founded by Nicole Lind and Kelsey Welsh in January 2017.

About Fear2Freedom
Fear 2 Freedom (F2F) is a global non-profit founded in 2011 by Rosemary Trible. Their mission is to help to restore hope and dignity to survivors of sexual assault while empowering students and communities to combat sexual violence.

 

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