Post in evidenza

Supreme Court of India Orders To Block Rape Videos

In a very welcome move, the Supreme Court of India is acting against the publication and dissemination of rape videos

venerdì 25 settembre 2015

END RAPE CULTURE

The UBCM has voted overwhelmingly to form a task force to end rape culture. (Chase Carter/Flickr)

Every 107 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S.



Municipal politicians across B.C. have voted to form a task force seeking ways to end what is described as a rape culture in this country.
The resolution was supported by two Cariboo Regional District directors who both revealed they were raped as teens.
Joan Sorley and Margo Wagner spoke about their experiences before hundreds of local politicians at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver Thursday.
Sorley says whe was raped as a 14-year-old while babysitting.
"I've spent the last 50 years, probably, being ashamed of this without really realizing that's what I was feeling," Sorley said. "No one ever told me it wasn't my fault."
Wagner told the audience that she didn't report her rape 43 years ago and wouldn't report it if she were raped today because there is no "easy way" to get justice.
After her speech, the 62-year-old said it was incredibly hard to speak publicly about her assault, adding she had been stopped countless times in the convention centre lobby or bathroom by women who recounted being raped, too.
The resolution also wants the task force to examine ways to improve reporting, arrest and convictions rates for sexual assaults.
Delegates agree that a culture that excuses or tolerates sexual violence has seeped into schools, universities and workplaces across the country.

Rape culture: personal stories prompt creation of task force Sep 25, 2015


Since the beginning of this school year, students at the University of Manitoba have been bombarded by a rising number of messages promoting consensual sexual relations and critiquing rape culture.
With controversies surrounding orientation week celebrations on campuses over the past few years, universities across Canada have intensified their fight against sexual assault from a framework that they claim bolsters mutual consent and empowers both partners in sexual encounters.
Rebecca Kunzman, vice-president advocacy at the University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU), said that her student organization has teamed up with students, faculty, and administration to raise awareness about the issue on the U of M campus.
“We know that most sexual assaults that occur on campus occur in the first six weeks of class,” said Kunzman.
Given the number of social events integral to orientation celebrations, such as student-run socials and informal parties where alcohol and other intoxicating substances may be consumed, Kunzman said that these events are the driving factor behind sexual assault statistics on campuses.
Last fall, U of M student Wanda Hounslow, in conjunction with sociology instructor Mary-Anne Kandrack – both members of the U of M Sexual Assault Working Group – spearheaded the #NoMoreBlurredLines campaign to promote consent culture and target the issue of sexual assault at the University of Manitoba.
Hounslow said that the #NoMoreBlurredLines concept originated from the controversial 2013 song released by Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines.” Critics of the song argued that the lyrics promote victim-blaming messages and implied that consent can be ambiguous.
Recently, Hounslow partnered with UMSU to promote consent culture at their Frosh Music Festival as part of the “Nothing implies consent. Only yes means yes!” initiative.
In contrast to the popularly coined “No Means No” campaign advocated by the Canadian Federation of Students and picked up by various nation-wide student organizations to combat rape culture, many universities have been shifting toward more sex-positive messages implied by “Yes Means Yes” initiatives to drive what they call a culture of consent.

YES MEANS YES Nuova legge contro gli stupri nei campus 26 AGOSTO 2015

“Unless you hear a yes, nothing else is consensual when it comes to consent. We are trying to end the blurred lines about consent and sexual activity,” Kunzman said.
The university has been devising its own resources, workshops, and other initiatives about consent culture, driven by a small group on campus. Frosh Festival “codes of conduct” have been plastered across campus to draw widespread attention to the problem.
Citing the Winnipeg-based Klinic Community Health Centre, the U of M has defined sexual assault as any of the following acts – whether verbal, emotional, or physical – without consent: sexual contact, violent or aggressive sexual attacks, unsolicited sexual comments, harassment or threats that make one feel uncomfortable, violated, or under attack, touching without permission, forced kissing or fondling, and oral, anal, or vaginal penetration (rape).
Klinic describes consent as an ongoing, voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activities.
From January through the end of August there were three reports of sexual assault under investigation at the university, according to information from the U of M security services provided by John Danakas, executive director of public affairs at the U of M.
Katie Kutryk, health and wellness educator at the U of M, said in an email that most incidences cast under the university’s broad definition of sexual assault are unreported.
“Keep in mind that ‘reported numbers’ of sexual assaults are highly unrepresentative of what actually goes on,” she said.
The legal definition outlined in the Canadian Criminal Code states that a person may be convicted of assault, including sexual assault, for intentionally applying force against another without consent.
Consent is not obtained where the complainant submits or does not resist by reason of the actual application of force, threats or fear of the application of force, fraud, or the exercise of authority.
If the accused alleges that they believe that the sexual act was consensual, then sufficient evidence must be provided and reviewed in court to consider the presence or absence of reasonable grounds for that belief.

University of Manitoba law professor Karen Busby said consent should be “continuous and contemporaneous.”

“Most of the time you don’t actually get the spoken word ‘yes,’ but if there are indications of no and less-than-enthusiastic, or any kind of hint that there isn’t a yes, then that means there’s a no,” Busby said.
“If there is ambiguity about whether or not there was a yes, there isn’t a yes.”
Busby admitted that allegations of sexual assault can be difficult to convict, as typically there are only two witnesses: the complainant and the defendant.
In court, cases must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, which, Busby said, is usually in favour of defendants.
“In cases of incapacity or inability to consent, then we cannot assume consent. In some situations, consent is not possible,” Busby told the Manitoban.
“Criminal charges are one thing, but what you want is for people to be in healthy balanced relationships. In the past, and sometimes today, some men perceived that once they are aroused, they have the right to release, and we need to challenge that.”
Some laws surrounding consent have evolved, although advocates argue that attitudes toward consent have not.
“There have been a lot of interesting cases in the news in recent years where lawyers or judges will give these horrible messages that aren’t in line with consent culture, in speaking about the victims’ clothing or how they were carrying themselves […] So we do see the need for these kinds of campaigns,” said Alana Robert, UMSU women’s representative, who also founded the Justice for Women Student Group at the U of M.
“It’s an issue on our campus, whether systems or witnesses are reporting it, as a lot of the time sexual assault goes underreported, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.”

U Of M Takes Steps Toward Affirmative Consent 

Sexual Violence on Canadian Campuses 20 MAGGIO 2015

CARRY THAT WEIGHT Campus Rape Culture 20 MAGGIO 2015



A brilliantly-written exploration of high school sporting rape culture.

This was a difficult read – not in terms of the writing or style, but simply in terms of the subject matter. I’m glad that rape culture is being explored and dissected in contemporary YA books – I think Courtney Summers’ All The Rage is the most high profile release on this topic for 2015 – but it’s also subject matter that elicits (at least for me) intense feelings of despair, hopelessness, anger, and revulsion. The fact that it’s so necessary to tackle rape culture is damning in and of itself. 

The setting echoes so many of the stories of this sort that we’ve heard on the news – a small town, high school athletes who come from good families, boys with bright futures ahead of them, boys who are the pride of their town – and a girl who was inebriated, dressed inappropriately, known for promiscuous behaviour. At least, that’s how the mainstream narrative portrays it.

The book is told from the perspective of Kate, who attended the party at which the assault happened but left early because she got drunk rather swiftly on in the evening. Her childhood best friend, Ben, who later becomes her boyfriend, drives her home, but then returns to the party. Once the allegations have emerged, Kate can’t shake the feeling that Ben is lying about where he was when the attack took place. News crews descend on the town, rumours fly, and battle lines are drawn.

We’re a mob and we are circling the wagons to protect our own.

The effect of social media is also examined closely in the story – indeed, it shows the magnifying force of Facebook and the like when it comes to matters like this, particularly in shaming the victim. Photos and a video of the assault are circulated online, vile comments are shared – hell, the party even generates its own horrifying hashtag. (On the flip side, this all means that evidence which may help in prosecuting the crime is now widely available.)

But it certainly takes a long, hard look at bystander behaviour. Someone had to take those photos, and film the rape of an unconscious teenage girl – indeed, several someones. And they all thought it was okay, it was funny, she deserved it, or just didn’t care. Nobody intervened. And while this particular story may be fiction, we’ve seen too many examples of bystander behaviour in real life.

‘Boys will be boys’ is what people say to excuse guys when they do something awful.

Through the perspective of Kate, who finds that she can’t stop asking questions – which eventually leads her to discover the ugly truth – the author skillfully criticizes the permissiveness of society that enables rape culture. And ultimately, Kate becomes a social pariah and stands alone in her defence of the victim – at least, in terms of her high school peers.

One other message I really appreciated in the book was that love does not conquer all, in terms of the relationship between Kate and Ben. When she finally finds out the truth, she cannot overlook Ben’s actions or lack thereof. While people like to draw lines between girls like Kate, and girls like the victim Stacey, Kate knows better. It’s not what you wore, or how much you had to drink, or your sexual history. It could have been her.

Apart from its dissection of rape culture, What We Saw also takes a powerful look at notions of consent, of very selective media narratives, and of the fallout when the furor dies down.

“Why does everybody say ‘feminist’ that way?”

“What way?”

“The way Dooney kept saying ‘herpes’ after health class last year. Like it’s this terrible, unspeakable thing.”

Book Review: What We Saw By Aaron Hartzler Hannah Atkins September 23, 2015


Laura Gray-Rosendale, author of “College Girl,” took time out of her packed schedule to stop at Illinois State University on Tuesday to spread the word about the importance of dealing with sexual assault in our society and even shared her own story.
“College Girl” is a memoir that integrates life writing, rhetoric and trauma theory and narrates Gray-Rosendale’s brutal rape and its repercussions while she attended Syracuse University in the 80s.
Gray-Rosendale took the stage in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center for “A Reading from ‘College Girl.’”
The Harold K. Sage Foundation, the Illinois State University Foundation and the Department of English sponsored her appearance.
The event had a great turnout, as students were extremely interested in the book and her story.
Gray-Rosendale read the third chapter of her book, leading up to her personal story of being assaulted.
“This does not just happen to one person, it happens to a community that ripples on and on,” Gray-Rosendale said.
This left the audience wanting more, allowing them to purchase her book at the end of the event. Followed by the reading, there was a Q & A for the audience to ask questions.
Knowing that rape and sexual assault is an extremely sensitive topic, Gray-Rosendale urged the audience to take its time and gave them a moment to think of any questions or comments they felt necessary.
Questions about her ordeal rained in and inevitably led to how she dealt with the aftermath of her traumatic experience.
As expected, she relied heavily on her friends and family to help her deal with the outcomes of the assault and with her development of post-traumatic stress disorder.
“As I look back now, I got what I needed from my friends,” Gray-Rosendale said.
“My friend and her boyfriend would sleep on either side of me and hold me through the nightmares. They were instrumental in making me feel okay.”
Her responses were beneficial to providing advice for those in her situation, and she calmly provided thoughtful answers.
She concluded the Q & A by stressing how much responsibility universities have to make their students feel safe and keep them safe.
We live in a rape culture, and we also live in a culture of silence. We need to talk about these things, it is a social problem,” Gray-Rosendale said.
Find  “College Girl” by Laura Gray-Rosendale online through Amazon and other booksellers

Author of ‘College Girl’ gives advice for victims of assault LaceyMesch 

The Rape of Alisa Kaplan: A Survivor’s Story 30 AGOSTO 2015



The Abhorrent Tale Of Patrick Kane (NHL, Chicago Blackhawks) Kevin Cardona | September 23, 2015

Rick Ross Sued For ‘Rape Culture’ In Sex Assault Case 09.23.15

Derrick Rose Accused Of Gang Rape  27 AGOSTO 2015







RAPE FESTIVAL


Every 107 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S., and in Texas, two in five women have survived a rape or sexual assault. 

Last year nearly 900 sexual assaults were reported to the Austin Police Department and Travis County Sheriff's Office alone, however, both advocates and law enforcement estimate that the high number only represents 10-15% of all rapes that occurred in and around Austin during 2014, suggesting that the number of assaults taking place could be closer to between 6,000 and 9,000.
If those numbers are startling, they should be. Though awareness about sexual assault seems to be spreading, numbers aren't decreasing – or even stagnating. According to SafePlace, the Austin nonprofit that assists those affected by sexual assault and domestic violence, every day an average of two people report being raped here in Austin, a number that closely matches national statistics.
"The sexual assault occurrence rate in Austin is not unusually high," says Assistant Travis County District Attor­ney Dana Nelson. "What surprises people is that the numbers in general are really high." Nelson, who sat on the SafePlace board for just over six years (her term ended in February), works as the sex crimes liaison for the D.A.'s office. Nelson is responsible for staffing every sexual assault case involving an adult victim. She's also one of six people to present all cases assigned to the 3rd and 4th district courts.
The horrifically high numbers at home and across the nation demand that we look at the bigger picture in order to understand the smaller one. Rape culture – or a "culture that glorifies rape as sexy," as defined by SafePlace Director of Community Advocacy Emily LeBlanc – is intricately tied to mainstream American culture. Depictions of aggressive, nonconsensual sex are all around us (see Game of Thrones for a variety of particularly graphic examples). "It normalizes violence in sex, and it desensitizes everyone," clarifies LeBlanc.
But rape isn't sexy. It's a violent, brutally invasive crime that can rob victims of their sense of self and worth. It's often physically – as well as mentally – damaging, causing the penetrated body parts to rip, tear, and bleed. It can involve broken jaws, black eyes, concussions, unwanted pregnancies, and STDs. For survivors, there's nothing sexy about it.

Rape Culture ATX

Like many cities, Austin can be a breeding ground for sexual assault. With a thriving entertainment district, multiple college campuses, a lively young community, and the never-ending procession of festivals and special events, partying is prioritized.
"We encourage people to come party, but we leave them vulnerable in so many ways," summarizes Lieutenant Gena Curtis with Austin Police Department's Violent Crimes Unit. "We even set up a system to protect our young people with a bus shuttling them to and from campus and Downtown, but on that bus they're so vulnerable. It makes you wonder, how can you have it all? At what point is it too much?"
With school back in session and fall music festivals fast approaching, Curtis' question couldn't be more aptly timed. Festivals – and similar events – combine mass consumption of alcohol with thousands of people, many of whom are from out of town. "It brings in more people – i.e., more rapists and more victims – crams them into small, usually hot spaces, and then plies them with alcohol," says LeBlanc. "It's ingredients for the perfect storm."
Alcohol-facilitated assaults are by far the most commonly reported attacks at festivals. "Many times it's predators who go to these festivals looking for the vulnerable target – someone who's intoxicated, from out of town, alone, etc.," explains APD Sex Crimes Sergeant Christine Chomout. And of course, the greater concentration of people can lead to a greater concentration of victims. According to Nelson, alcohol – and drugs, but to a much lesser degree – play a large role in the attacks that get reported to law enforcement. In fact, alcohol is the most frequently used – and detected – date rape drug on the market.
However, because alcohol is legal and extremely popular, evidence of its use rarely helps prosecute a predator. Yet that same evidence is a key component in victim-blaming. More often than not, rape culture points its finger at the victim: claiming they drank too much, dressed too slutty, that they did drugs, that they were too young to be out, that sex workers can't by definition be raped, that men by definition can't be raped, that they didn't say no, that they went upstairs when they should have known better, that they got in the car when they should have known better.
"You should be able to be passed out and not get raped," says Nelson, a sentiment echoed by each and every advocate the Chronicle interviewed, including Dolores Laparte-Litton, one of APD's two Sex Crime Victim Services counselors. "If I'm passed out in this room, it does not give anyone the right to rape me," states Laparte-Litton.
Neither SafePlace nor APD had any hard numbers on hand to showing that sexual assault increases at local festivals, and a spokesperson for Austin City Limits Music Festival tells the Chronicle, "There have been no reported sexual assaults to APD during the event, and C3 is not aware of any reports of this nature in ACL's history." However, LeBlanc confirms that, for whatever reason, the past two Octobers have seen a spike in advocacy requests. "The advocates who have been doing this for years anecdotally brace for the influx, which tells me there's something to it," LeBlanc says.
ACL says the festival is focused on prevention: "ACL employs roving patrols of officers throughout the park designed to intercede in incidents before they escalate ... There are more officers employed by ACL inside the park than patrol Sixth Street on a weekend night. There are multiple systems in place to make ACL a safe environment for everyone, including medical areas where intoxicated individuals can be placed and monitored until they can get assistance or be sent home with a sober friend."
Of course, the issue extends far beyond the reach of any festival. There's also the near-nightly procession made by varying states of intoxicated people up and down Sixth Street. According to APD's Curtis, Chomout, and Laparte-Litton, it's all too frequent that the assaults that begin Downtown leave the survivors in the dark. "They wake up somewhere and don't remember what happened," explains Chomout. "Those cases are really hard because oftentimes the person just wants to leave. They don't get an address and don't remember what the [perpetrator] looks like."
"We need to be asking: Why are perpetrators scooping people off the street at 2:30 in the morning?" says Nelson. "They're not intoxicated most of the time, and often they went to Sixth Street at 2am on purpose when they know bars are closing."
Supporting Survivors

Since the majority of APD's Sex Crime Unit's work is responsive (as opposed to preventative), they're now heavily focused on taking a "victim-centered" approach. This entails working from a place that first and foremost supports the person assaulted. While the preferred end-goal for law enforcement is a trial and prosecution for the crime committed, that may not be what helps every victim recover.
"It's important to remember that for rape survivors there's no one answer for how they heal," explains SafePlace Executive Director Melinda Cantu. "We need to hear victims when they say what they need. For law enforcement, a lot of times justice and healing comes in the form of prosecution, but dropping out doesn't make the survivor wrong."
Of course, the lengthy timeline attached to a rape trial and the numerous times survivors are forced to recount the attack don't help. There's currently a five-day window to get a sexual assault forensic exam (SAFE). After that window, physical evidence has been washed (or digested) away. Once a certified sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) completes the exam – an intense and invasive process for the victim that lasts approximately four hours – the kit is sent to a warehouse in Houston.
Texas law allows assault victims the right to have evidence collected without choosing to report the crime to law enforcement, known as a non-report. Those who choose that route are given an identification number and two years to decide whether they want to make a report using the kit as evidence (the statute of limitations for rape in Texas is 10 years in most cases). After two years, the kit is destroyed. For survivors who report right away, the kit is sent off to be tested. Unfortunately, it takes about 10 to 12 months (sometimes longer) before that testing is done, due to an overwhelming back catalog of rape kits.
At that point, it's up to the D.A. to decide whether or not they can take the case to court. If Nelson and her team do take the case to court, there's another two- to three-year wait before the trial – proving that Law and Order: SVU is one big lie. According to Cantu, only 1% of the 10-15% of reported rapes will go to trial. What's more appalling, however, is that less than 3% of rapists will ever see a jail cell.
A lot of times it's easy to point blame at law enforcement or the prosecution team, but the bigger issue once again returns to rape culture. "The problem with cases not moving is rape culture," says LeBlanc. "We need to see an increase in prosecution – it's part of my 30-year plan. But it's bigger than the culture in the D.A.'s office. The whole community is good at victim-blaming, and that directly affects juries. They find some reason why the victim can't be themselves or someone they know and love, and that often leads to victim-blaming."
"Twenty years ago the way we talked about rape was much different," says Curtis. "Today the community has changed a great deal." Law enforcement and prosecution "used to be much more focused on the suspect; today we're more victim-centered. Social norms dictate a lot of that change, and we've come a long way. But we have a long way to go. The question is, what are people willing to stand by and accept?"
What's more, the women at SafePlace are insistent that rape has no singular archetype of victim. Numbers show that younger women in college are highly targeted; however, fixating on one "target" group only fuels victim-blaming within a jury pool. Spotlighting a singular victimology causes jurors to latch on to that one ideal while forsaking survivors who fall outside of that definition. This is especially problematic for queer survivorsmale survivors, and people of color, because these groups don't fit with the cookie-cutter image of what a "victim" looks like.
While the journey to eliminate victim-blaming is a long one, APD is currently focusing on one thing they can easily control: how they treat a survivor. More and more, they're switching their victim interview technique to a more sensory-based style referencing Eye Movement Desen­si­tiz­ation and Reprocessing therapy, something SafePlace has been advocating for some time now. As a psychotherapy used to treat trauma survivors, EMDR helps unlock memories stored deep inside survivors' brains. This style of interviewing refers to asking questions around the senses: What did it smell like? Was it hot? What did you hear? What did you feel? Instead of: And then what happened?
Because most people's higher-order brain functioning shuts down during traumatic events, memories get stored differently. Hence, asking sensory questions helps trigger the stored memories. It also helps for survivors to be given two full sleep cycles before being interviewed, as sleep gives the brain time to sort out details. LeBlanc recalls one survivor from a year or so ago who couldn't remember what her rapist looked like or where he took her. What she did remember was that she was wet. The rapist's sweat had dripped onto her as she was assaulted.
That key piece of information led law enforcement to test the clothing she'd been wearing during the assault, from which they managed to pull a DNA sample in order to catch the man who raped her.
"Giving power back to the survivor can be a long journey," says Curtis. "And it can be even harder when prosecution is denied. It's also hard for the detectives because they can't stay with every case when there won't be a trial because there's so much turnover."
APD's Sex Crimes Unit currently staffs 13 detectives and two sergeants (including Chomout). On average each detective is actively working on 15 to 25 cases at a given time. That's a constant rotation of anywhere from 195 to 325 active cases that require investigation and interviews.
Those numbers also don't take into account the non-active cases, nor the numerous reports that the sergeants clear daily because there's no possible follow-up. Approximately 350 cases have been assigned each month for the last quarter. Of course, not all cases are rape, as the Sex Crimes Unit covers over 30 offense codes, including peeping, flashing, and inappropriate photography.
Sex Crimes, like all the rest of APD, has its staffing decisions made by City Council. So whether it's having more officers on Sixth Street, or bringing on a new detective, it must be approved by Council.
In terms of better assisting survivors, Curtis also points out that her units, Sex Crimes and Family Violence, are located far from the center of Austin. The building can be found just south of where MLK turns into 969 – a location that is not easily accessible without a vehicle, as the closest bus stop is about a mile away on the opposite side of a four-lane highway. A large number of survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence don't have their own transportation and therefore must rely on public transit. While this might not seem like a huge factor, it greatly inhibits walk-ins from people looking for help. Especially when coming forward is already scary enough, no survivor needs one more factor to not report. "We need a bus stop here," says Curtis. "This location is not victim-centered."

Working Together

What makes Austin unique in its victim-focused approach is that everyone is working together, though that wasn't always the case. Cantu recalls a lot of tension between the nonprofit world and law enforcement for a time. But around 2004 a paradigm shifted. The Travis County Sexual Assault Response and Resource Team (SARRT) formed, with the primary goal of bettering local response to sexual abuse and assault by ongoing coordination among the agencies who work with the victims. The group, which is still active today, includes members of APD, SafePlace, Austin/Travis County SANEs, Travis County Sheriff's Office, prosecutors, and more.
APD and SafePlace agree that having such an open line of communication between all the branches has helped everyone to better realize their roles and limitations. It's also promoted a greater level of respect. "It's a big deal, and while it's not perfect, it's really good for the survivors, and children [we're working to serve]," says Cantu.
As one of a few cities that has such a well-oiled response team – to help keep victims from slipping through the cracks – APD gets frequent requests from other police departments asking for advice on building better community partners. "Sexual assault is not one group's issue," explains Chomout, who's been with APD for 21 years. She joined Sex Crimes in 2013, after begging Curtis to be transferred to the department. "Austin is a very progressive community. Here the police department is holding hands with the D.A. and the nonprofits. We all sit at a table together."
In fact, SafePlace credits Curtis with the recent decision to have all SAFEs conducted on SafePlace's campus, which took effect on May 30. "It's really about coming out of our comfort zones," explains Curtis. "The city of Austin might have been comfortable with the way we were conducting SAFEs [at emergency rooms, with lesser-trained staff], but we were retraumatizing victims in the process." The Eloise House – a four-room facility featuring two exam rooms as well as living room-like reception area – opened its doors on Aug. 13 and is now the location for all exams done in the Austin area. Within the first five days of opening, 16 SAFEs were conducted, which averages 3.2 rape victims per day.

What's Next?

Austin is not the worst offender when it comes to sexual assault – the disturbing numbers are on par with the national average. Sadly, the sexual assault rates are not part of what makes Austin weird, they're what make Austin normal.
"We're finally at a place where we do a decent job of teaching girls they don't have to be princesses, but we have not yet started teaching boys to not be perpetrators," explains LeBlanc, regarding how to evolve away from rape culture. "We have to change the culture fed to young men."
Nelson and Curtis agree. "There needs to be a re-focusing on what perpetrators are doing," says the assistant D.A. "When a predator is in the presence of the victim, they're there watching and staying as their target becomes more impaired. They're doing nothing to prevent them from being impaired because it serves their purpose. And let's be clear, their purpose is to sexually assault someone, not to have nonconsensual sex."
Sexual assault is a crime that incriminates bystanders as well. "I think folks can sometimes get invested in the group and think that since nobody else is saying anything it must be okay. We know that – more often than not – bystanders do not intervene," says LeBlanc. "If you see something that doesn't seem right, say something or get help. Austinites love our community and we should protect it, which means looking out for each other and letting friends/family/random guys [or women] at ACL [and other events with alcohol] know that sexual violence isn't okay in any form, be it in objectifying language, groping, or rape."

A Safe Place? Austin is no exception to the country's rape epidemic SARAH MARLOFF SEPT. 25, 2015




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