Earlier this month, a 911 dispatcher in Ohio was recorded telling a 20-year-old woman who had just been raped to “quit crying.” After she provided a description of her assailant, the caller went on to say, “They’re not going to be able to find him with the information that you’ve given.” This incident had its viral moment, sparking outrage at the dispatcher’s lack of empathy. But it also speaks to the larger issue of how we are counting rapes in the United States. Sixty-nine percent of police departments surveyed in 2012 said that dispatchers like this one, often with little training, are authorized to do the initial coding of sexual assault crimes.
That’s important, because miscoding of such crimes is masking the high incidence of rape in the United States. We don’t have an overestimation of rape; we have a gross underestimation. A thorough analysis of federal data published earlier this year by Corey Rayburn Yung, associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, concludes that between 1995 and 2012, police departments across the country systematically undercounted and underreported sexual assaults.
Yung used murder rates—the statistic with the most reliable measure of accuracy and one that is historically highly correlated with the incidence of rape—as a baseline for his analysis. After nearly two years of work, he estimates conservatively that between 796,213 and 1,145,309 sexual assault cases never made it into national FBI counts during the studied period.
An Iranian lesbian has said the country’s authorities tried to force her into having gender reassignment surgery to “fix” her sexuality.
The woman, known as Sara, said she was ordered to undergo the “treatment” by a psychologist, after coming out to her family, aged 20.
Sara told Reuters: “At first it was difficult. They tried to convince me that I was wrong and made an appointment with a psychologist.”
“She said I was really a man in a woman’s body and I had to change my body to suit my personality.
“My sister had brought a photo along, (taken when) I was maybe 5 years old. I was wearing boy’s clothes and had a toy gun in my hand and the psychologist emphasised that this photo showed that I was a man.
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a Massachusetts buffer zone law violates the First Amendment; the justices were unanimous in the ruling. In case you weren’t up to speed on the case, here are the basics: Fourteen years ago, the high court upheld a Colorado law that created an 8-foot “bubble zone” around patients entering or exiting clinics. But Massachusetts’ buffer zone law prohibited demonstrators from standing within 35 feet of the facility, a length the justices seemed dubious of from the start. Walking that length — the size of a school bus — takes approximately seven seconds.
A lot can happen in those seven seconds. A lot can happen when protesters are allowed to enter clinics, physically confront patients or block doors. Massachusetts passed its law in response to aggressive and dangerous conduct from protesters stationed directly outside clinics, including an incident in 1994 where a gunman opened fire at two abortion clinics, killing two people and injuring five others. In its defense of the measure, the state argued before the justices that the buffer law is not a prohibition on speech, but a practical measure to keep access to these facilities “open and clear of all but essential foot traffic, in light of more than two decades of compromised facility access and public safety.”
Wagatwe Wanjuki was sexually assaulted by another student while attending Tufts University. But instead of punishing her attacker, the school asked her to leave.
Wanjuki first came forward about her assault in 2009. In 2008, she says, she was repeatedly assaulted by a fellow student she was in a relationship with. When she tried to report him to the administration, Tufts responded by telling her that their legal counsel said they didn’t have to take action.
Washington Post syndicated columnist George Will is standing by his recent article on sexual assault that sparked considerable backlash and led at least one prominent newspaper to drop his byline.
In an interview with C-SPAN that will air in full sometime in July, Will said he wouldn’t take back a word of his controversial column, and dismissed his critics as overreacting. “Today, for some reason, indignation is the default position of certain people,” Will said. “I think it has something to do with the internet.”
Will takes issue with the Obama Administration’s recent report on the scope of the campus rape crisis, which cites data from the Department of Justice to conclude that one in five college women are the victim of sexual assault. He claims that statistic is much too high and doesn’t line up with the other data about sexual assault reports.
Over the past week, experts who research violence against women have pointed out the flaws with Will’s interpretation of the data, which relies on a dubious analysis from the American Enterprise Institute — a right-wing group that has a long history of downplaying campus sexual assaults. Nonetheless, Will is defending his column as an important tool to educate people about the real data at the heart of the issue.
The shocking scale of female genital mutilation (FGM) in a Swedish school, where every single girl in one class had been subjected to the procedure, has been revealed.
School health services in Norrköping, eastern Sweden, discovered 60 cases of FGM since March, according to the Norrköpings Tidningar newspaper.
In the class where all of the girls had FGM performed on them, 28 were subjected to infibulation – the most extreme kind where the clitoris and labia are complete cut away, and the genitals are sewn to leave a small vaginal opening.
Razieh Ebrahimi was forced to marry at the age of 14, became a mother at 15, and killed her husband at 17. Now at 21, she is on Iran’s death row.
Ebrahimi, who shot dead her hubsand while he was sleeping, faces imminent execution, despite international laws prohibiting execution for crimes committed by juveniles.
Human Rights Watch, has urged Iran’s judiciary to halt the execution. Earlier this week, Ebrahimi’s lawyer also asked judges to consider a retrial, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.
“I married our neighbour’s son when I was only 14 because my dad insisted,” Ebrahimi was quoted as telling officials working on her case, according to Mehr. “My dad insisted I should marry him because he was educated and was working as a teacher. I was 15 when I gave birth to my child.” Her child is believed to be now six years old.
“I didn’t know who I am or what is life all about,” she said soon after being arrested. “My husband mistreated me. He used any excuse to insult me, even attacking me physically.”