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#BreakTheSilence on Rape Culture

Smita Sharma was molested by a professor and then, her cousin committed suicide after facing abuse. Today, this photojournalist traverses...

venerdì 1 maggio 2015

Gang-raped by 11 men


The mother of girl killed on a bus in Punjab

A young woman was gang-raped by 11 men, including the husband of a friend, now says she had consensual sex. In another tragic episode in Punjab, a 14-year-old has been killed after she was thrown off a moving bus in Punjab on Wednesday for resisting molestation attempts by a group of men while her mother is still in hospital with severe injuries.

The woman was visiting a friend on Wednesday when the latter's husband and some men abducted her and took her to a deserted room in the village fields, where they took turns to rape her.

On camera, the woman, a dupatta wrapped around her face, showed injury marks on her arms, as she narrated at a Moga hospital how she was allegedly assaulted. At the same hospital, a male friend who was with her, is being treated for injuries, with his head bandaged. He said, "There were 12-13 men who beat me up... I don't know why.

The woman belongs to Moga in Punjab, which has witnessed massive protests over the death of a 14-year-old girl who was molested on a private bus and later pushed off the moving vehicle. The teen hit her head and died; her mother, who was also molested and then thrown off the bus, is in hospital with severe injuries. 

Four men have been arrested and charged with molestation and murder.

The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party brought up the girl's death in Parliament on Thursday, attacking Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal and his family. The bus in which the girl was assaulted is run by a company in which the Badals have stake.

"Moga is Punjab's Nirbhaya," said Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, drawing parallels with the brutal gang-rape and murder of a medical student in a moving bus in Delhi in 2012.

The Congress has demanded a judicial inquiry, alleging that local authorities will not act because of the Badal connection.

Woman Allegedly Gang-Raped in Punjab's Moga Where Teen Was Molested, Thrown Off Bus May 01, 2015

Punjab: Girl jumps to death after staff on bus molest her May 01, 2015

Family of Punjab Teen Who Died After Being Thrown Off Bus Alleges Pressure From Police May 01, 2015

20-yr-old lady raped murdered and hanged on tree 1 MAGGIO 2015

MUMBAI:  From a line-up of 10 photographs, a five-year-old in Mumbai identified the man who took her to a deserted stretch near her home, raped her and left her bleeding by the road. She knew the "uncle" from the garment shop that she frequented with her mother.
The child, who needed two surgeries, identified her rapist yesterday, nine days after the incident. 32-year-old Alam Ansari was arrested soon after.
The police say Ansari saw the girl often when she came with her mother for embroidery work.
On April 21, the girl, who lives in the Antop Hill area of central Mumbai, went to a grocery shop nearby when she was picked up by the accused man. CCTV footage showed a man first talking to the child and then carrying her away in his arms. The police say the man had offered her chocolates but she refused. She was raped two kilometers away.

The child was found bleeding and crying by residents. But it would be almost four hours before she could be taken to a hospital; she had to wait, bleeding, as police teams from Wadala Truck Terminal and Antop Hill argued over jurisdiction.

"The child was juggled between the two police stations for hours before she was taken to Sion Hospital. That too, because residents finally lost their patience," said Sheesh Bhandari, a resident of Antop Hill.

Two police officers were suspended on the orders of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

5-Year-Old Mumbai Girl Identifies Man Who Allegedly Raped Her May 01, 2015

A USC student told authorities she was raped by an Uber driver last week, according to campus officials.
The university issued a crime alert about the case last night. 
The alert says the alleged sexual assault took place Saturday at approximately 1 a.m. The student says she took an Uber from a downtown party and that she was too drunk to remember much else, according to the USC report.
It says:
The victim later contacted the driver of the car, and he told her they had sexual intercourse. The victim does not recall giving consent to sexual activity.
California law says that people must be sober enough to give consent to have sex.
A USC spokesman said detectives at the Los Angeles Police Department's Southwest division were investigating the report.
We reached out to the division but could not reach anyone. We also contacted Uber to allow the company to respond. We had yet to hear back, but Uber usually does respond to media requests. When it does, we'll add what the firm has to say below.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to call authorities at (213) 485-6571.
UPDATE at 5:38 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2015: A USC spokesman wanted to make it clear that the school has not confirmed or denied that the ride-share driver in question was working for Uber.
In a March USC crime alert about an alleged sexual battery, the school recommended that students use Uber to be safe:
Avoid walking alone. Use Campus Cruiser (213)740-4911, Uber on Thursday through Sunday nights, from 8pm until midnight. www.Uber.com/GO/USC2015. 
That boilerplate-like copy was not included in last night's alert about the alleged rape.
LAPD spokesman Jack Richter says that the alleged assault was reported three days after the victim said it took place.
He said the victim believes the crime happened Saturday at 2 a.m.

USC STUDENT SAYS SHE WAS RAPED BY AN UBER DRIVER  APRIL 30, 2015

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md -
A man is accused of sexually assaulting a Catholic nun during a home invasion, Prince George's County police said.

The victim was raped late Wednesday night at a residence in Chillum, FOX 5's Emily Miller was first to report. The suspect got away, but was caught Thursday morning in Northeast D.C. while hiding in a kitchen cabinet, police said.

Prince George's County police identified the suspect as 27-year-old Juan Randolph. Sources tell FOX 5 the victim, an older woman, was a virgin.
"This is just a very disturbing crime. When something like this occurs, it just really affects our entire community-- it affects our police department," said Cpl. Nicole Hubbard with the Prince George's County Police Department.

The victim apparently had a roommate who was not hurt. 
Police said Randolph took the victim's cell phone. Police tracked the phone, which led them to the D.C. apartment where his friend, Yolanda Hairston, lives with her children.

"Well I didn't know that he had actually hid in my apartment. I thought that he left. He was asleep when I woke up at 2 this morning to use the bathroom and then when they came and knocked on the door, he was no longer in the unit. I didn't know that he was hiding, but he was in here-- and they did apprehend him," said Hairston.

"Where in your apartment was he hiding?" asked FOX 5's Emily Miller.

"Under my kitchen sink," said Hairston.
Hairston said Randolph got out of jail a few weeks ago. She and other neighbors said he got out of the Washington Psychiatric Institute last week.  

Hairston didn't know why he was arrested and was upset when FOX 5 told her about the arrest.

"It's disturbing. I really don't know what to say. I don't have any words. I just feel bad. And like I said, I'm praying so I don't have this heaviness on my heart because it's a lot to think about. But no words can describe what she's going through and I do really sincerely feel saddened for this," said Hairston.
Randolph has a long rap sheet that dates back to 2002 in Maryland. He also has been charged with domestic violence multiple times in the District. Last November, he was arrested in D.C. for allegedly using his cell phone to record women going to the bathroom in a public library.

At this point, there is no known connection between the victim and the suspect.
Randolph is charged with first and second degree rape, first and second degree assault, theft, home invasion and related charges. Police said he has admitted his involvement in the sexual assault. 

He remains in the District awaiting extradition to Prince George's County.

Man rapes nun in Maryland home invasion, police say May 01, 2015 

At around 6.20pm on Tuesday evening, a 17 year old girl was sexually assaulted at knifepoint by a group of three men in Albury, NSW. 

The girl managed to escape from the men following the attack and immediately called the police for help. The police are investigating the incident and have released computer-generated images of the men based on the victim’s description, in the hope that members of the public will come forward with information about their identities and whereabouts.

Albury Mayor Kevin Mack has attracted widespread criticism for his response to the attack. In an interview with ABC news, Mack said he thinks women should avoid walking alone in order to avoid being sexually assaulted.

“I always have encouraged women not to walk alone, to have someone with them at all times, because that in itself is aninvitation for someone to take advantage of you,” he said.

'We'll endeavour to do what we can as a council to ensure our areas, our footways and the parks are well lit and give people that sense that they feel safe,'

"It's a salient reminder to us all not to take what we have for granted, and to make sure we have appropriate safety in place.”

He described the perpetrator’s behaviour as “inordinate”.

The comments immediately attracted outrage for exhibiting victim blaming attitudes. The comments, many social media users said, imply that it is a woman’s responsibility to protect herself against sexual assault rather than a man’s responsibility to avoid becoming a perpetrator.

The comments from the mayor reinforce rape myths that women are responsible for stopping rape. Women can't stop rape, men need to decide to stop raping women,” spokesperson for activist group Collective Shout Melinda Liszewski said.

Importantly, Liszewski also pointed out that Mack’s response to the attack excluded any discussion of the perpetrators of the crime.

“He hasn't addressed the perpetrators of the crimes, they have completely disappeared from the dialogue,” she said.

“It’s an injustice to blame the victim.”

Social media users are similarly outraged. One Twitter user, Kate Pern, joined by many others, have requested a 24-hour chaperone service following Mack’s remarks.

“I am a nurse and I walk to and from work alone, until you so kindly pointed out today, I was completely unaware that I was a walking ‘invitation for someone to take advantage’ of me,” she wrote.

“In light of this new information, I would like to request that you provide me with chaperone service from my house.”

“I guess my question to the Mayor of Albury is how am I supposed to get around? On a Segway?” another Twitter user asked.

“Stop the #victimblaming, Albury Mayor. The girl was raped because of men with disgusting attitudes of women not because she chose to walk alone,” wrote another.

Mack’s comments follow a series of similar incidents in which prominent public figures have elicited outrage by responding to sexual assaults with victim blaming attitudes.

In March of this year another 17 year old, Masa Vutokic, died following a stabbing attack in a Melbourne park. Instead of condemning the perpetrators, Detective Inspector Mick Hughes responded to the incident by advising women not to walk alone in parks. 

"I suggest to people, particularly females, they shouldn't be alone in parks," he said.

Hughes’ comments received an immediate backlash in the mainstream and social media.

Just a month later, another NSW mayor also exhibited victim blaming attitudes in response to the sexual assault that occurred in Sydney’s Kings Cross in 2013.Waverley Mayor Sally Betts provided a positive character reference for the perpetrator, Luke Lazarus, and then suggested an education program to teach girls how to avoid “vulnerable situations”. 

The quick succession of the three incidents has begun a widespread conversation about the dominant narrative around sexual assault and victim blaming.

Journalist and commentator Bernard Keane drew a connection between the two incidents on Twitter: “Hey @WaverleyMayor thought about running on a joint ticket with the mayor of Albury? He blames women for getting raped too.”

In each of these incidents, the violent attacks that occurred were abhorrent and inexcusable. So why, in every instance, was the focus on the behaviour of the vicitims and not the perpetrators?







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