Category Archives: Acts of Violence

The Only Exception: Arkansas Case Reveals Danger Of State’s Undifferentiated Rape Shield Exception

Like many state counterparts, Federal Rule of Evidence 412(a), the Federal Rape Shield Rule, precludes the admission of evidence of an alleged victim’s prior sexual behavior/predisposition to prove her propensity to consent to sexual acts and her likely conformity with … Continue reading

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American Journalist Sexually Assaulted by Egyptian Gov’t Forces

Author and activist Mona Eltahawy is back in New York after being arrested, detained and sexually assaulted by members of the Egyptian Interior Ministry last week. Read her Twitter account of the incident here.  Her left arm and right hand were … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Sisters In Other Nations | 1 Comment

CFP: Lenahan (Gonzales) vs. U.S.: Domesticating International Law

From colleagues at American: Call for Symposium Papers- Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States of America: Domesticating International Law. Symposium will be held at American University Washington College of Law, Washington, D.C. on April 17, 2012. Deadline for Submission of Abstracts is January … Continue reading

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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Court Of Appeals of Iowa Fails to Resolve Whether Facebook Photos Trigger Rape Shield Rule Analysis

Similar to its federal counterpart, Iowa Rule of Evidence 5.412a, Iowa’s rape shield rule, Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in a criminal case in which a person is accused of sexual abuse, reputation or opinion evidence of the past … Continue reading

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What Derb doesn’t get (about the reality of sexual harassment)

As noted in earlier discussions, conservative pundit John Derbyshire recently wrote: “Is there anyone who thinks sexual harassment is a real thing? Is there anyone who doesn’t know it’s all a lawyers’ ramp, like “racial discrimination“? You pay a girl … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Sexism in the Media, Sexual Harassment | 1 Comment

Nancy Cantalupo on “Persistent Problem of Campus Sexual Violence”

Forthcoming this week in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal is this article by Nancy Chi Cantalupo: “Burying Our Heads in the Sand: Lack of Knowledge, Knowledge Avoidance, and the Persistent Problem of Campus Peer Sexual Violence.” Here is the … Continue reading

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The Oh in Ohio: Court of Appeals of Ohio Shockingly Concludes Rape Shield Rule Doesn’t Cover Nonconsensual Sexual Activity

We disagree with Michael to the extent that it stands for the proposition that the rape shield law has any application to prior sexual abuse suffered by a child victim. In construing the rape shield statute, “our paramount concern is the legislative … Continue reading

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Goodmark on “Legal System Fails Abused Women”

An op-ed by Leigh Goodmark (Baltimore) appears in today’s Baltimore Sun.  Here is an excerpt: After learning that Topeka, Kan., District Attorney Chad Taylor planned to stop prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence cases in response to county budget cuts, the Topeka … Continue reading

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Topeka Misdemeanor Domestic Battery Cases to be Prosecuted by Law Student Interns

In my last post about the Topeka imbroglio, I wondered how vigorously the County DA would prosecute misdemeanor domestic battery cases after the city of Topeka dicriminalized misdemeanor domestic battery and forced the County DA’s hand (by his own admission). … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Courts and the Judiciary | 1 Comment

Topeka Officially Decriminalizes Misdemeanor Domestic Battery

Earlier today, the Topeka City Council, by a vote of 7-3, repealed the local law that makes misdemeanor domestic battery a crime. The move, the councilors were told, would force District Attorney Chad Taylor to prosecute the cases because they would remain … Continue reading

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Research Resource: Gender Jurisprudence Collections at American University

Earlier this semester, the War Crimes Research Office and the Women and International Law Program at American University Washington College of Law announced the launch of the Gender Jurisprudence Collections (GJC).  Here is an excerpt from the school’s press release: … Continue reading

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Placing Topeka’s Possible Decriminalization of Misdemeanor Domestic Battery in Historical Context

After my previous post on the possibility of Topeka decriminalizing misdemeanor domestic battery, I decided to do some research to see if there is any historical precedent for such an action. It turns out that there is (sort of). In … Continue reading

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Topeka City Council to Vote on Measure to Decriminalize Misdemeanor Domestic Battery

Here are some excerpts from the article, Suspected domestic abusers go free as Topeka city, council officials bicker over funds: A bitter argument over money in Topeka, Kan., means that city and county authorities have neglected to prosecute or charge … Continue reading

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Does an Aggravating Factor Based on “a Difference in the Sexes of the Victim and the Defendant” Violate Equal Protection?

Following up on my previous post, here is another interesting case in a similar vein: State v. Wright, 563 S.E.2d 311 (S.C. 2002). In Wright, Todd Wright was convicted of criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. One of … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Courts and the Judiciary | 1 Comment

Does a Law Punishing More Severely a Male’s Assault of a Female Violate Equal Protection?

Eugene Volokh has an interesting post up over at The Volokh Conspiracy. The post discusses G.S. § 14-33(c)(2), which provides that Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who commits any assault, … Continue reading

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Victim Blaming NYPD Style in Park Slope, Brooklyn

In the wake of several recent sexual assaults in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the NYPD has been handing out some advice to local residents: Note to women in the South Park Slope and surrounding Brooklyn: You might want to think twice … Continue reading

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Unimpeachable: 7th Circuit Finds Evidence That Sauna Was Used as Place Of Prostitution Inadmissible Under Rape Shield Rule

Like all states, Wisconsin has a rape shield rule. Under Wisconsin’s rule, WIS. STAT. Section 972.11(2)(b), in civil and criminal cases involving alleged sex crimes, any evidence concerning the complaining witness’s prior sexual conduct or opinions of the witness’s prior … Continue reading

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“Open Letter from Black Women to the SlutWalk”

Black Women’s Blueprint has posted to Facebook (here) and its blog (here) this “Open Letter from Black Women to the SlutWalk”: We the undersigned women of African descent and anti-violence advocates, activists, scholars, organizational and spiritual leaders wish to address … Continue reading

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A Private Matter?: Military Court Opinion Reveals Problem With Military Rape Shield Rule

Federal Rule of Evidence 412(a), the federal Rape Shield Rule, provides that evidence of an alleged victim’s sexual predisposition or other sexual behavior is inadmissible to establish her propensity to consent to sexual acts and her conformity with that propensity, … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Courts and the Judiciary | 1 Comment

Feminist Law Prof Carrie Bettinger-Lopez and Miami Human Rights Clinic Win Big Women’s Rights Case Before Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

From Froomkinland: U. Miami lawyers from our new Human Rights Clinic won a major moral victory for their client Jessica Lenahan (formerly formerly Jessica Gonzales) in a decision announcedtoday July 21, 2011 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United … Continue reading

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Mészáros on “Young People Raping and Taping”

József Mészáros has posted to SSRN a working draft of his paper The New Pornographers: Neuroscience Justifies a Robust Regulatory Response to Young People Raping and Taping.  Here is the abstract: An increase in the occurrence of young men participating … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law, Feminism and Medicine, Feminism and Science, Feminist Legal Scholarship | 1 Comment

SlutWalk, Women, Talk! Taking Back Public Spaces

Some people are prone to draw a sharp line between sexually-tinged remarks and actual sexual assault. And yes, there is a huge difference. But such remarks are along the spectrum of harmful behaviors, and because they are too often deemed … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Sexual Harassment | 1 Comment

Forgiving Oneself Before Forgiving the Abuser: Healing and Domestic Violence

Justice without forgiveness?  Forgiveness without justice?  Considering these questions in the context of domestic violence, to my mind, at least, both questions focus on the ability of the so called “bad actor” to receive or achieve forgiveness.  But victims need … Continue reading

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Everything But The Girl: Northern District Of Indiana Opinion Sharpens Split Over Nature Of Affirmative Defense In Single-Instance Harassment Cases

An employer is subject to vicarious liability to a victimized employee for an actionable hostile environment created by a supervisor with immediate (or successively higher) authority over the employee. When no tangible employment action is taken, a defending employer may … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off on Everything But The Girl: Northern District Of Indiana Opinion Sharpens Split Over Nature Of Affirmative Defense In Single-Instance Harassment Cases

Are Up to 80% of All Men “Buyers of Sex”? Please Let the Answer Be No

From Newsweek, this article, “The John Next Door“: Men of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds do it. Rich men do it, and poor men do it, in forms so varied and ubiquitous that they can be summoned at a … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Human Trafficking, Pornography's Harms, Sex Trafficking | Comments Off on Are Up to 80% of All Men “Buyers of Sex”? Please Let the Answer Be No

Drawing Attention to Date Rape Drug Cases

In a column in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. -Tony Infanti

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Gettin’ (Un)Lucky in Kentucky: Court of Appeals of Kentucky Finds Trial Court Erred in Excluding Evidence That Alleged Victim Was a “Crack Whore”

Assume that a defendant is on trial for sexually assaulting a victim. And, assume that the defendant’s defense is, essentially, that the alleged victim is a “crack whore.” Should the defendant be able to present evidence of the alleged victim’s … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Courts and the Judiciary | 2 Comments

Correlation is not Causation

Why, why, why do people continue to ignore this simple rule–including people who presumably know better but who invoke a correlation as a lazy rhetorical device? In The Atlantic this month, neuroscientist David Eagleman writes about biological bases for criminal … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law, Feminism and Science, Masculinity, Prisons and Prisoners, Race and Racism | 1 Comment

Once a Bully, Always a Bully

From Reuters (here): U.S. scientists have found that boys who are bullies in the schoolyard are at increased risk of abusing their partner later in life. According to the study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the … Continue reading

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Janell Hobson on Rihanna’s New Video

Over at the Ms. Magazine blog, Janell Hobson writes about the reaction to Rihanna’s video for her new song, “Man Down.”  Here is an excerpt from Professor Hobson’s commentary: While certain groups may be shocked at the image of yet … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Culture | 1 Comment

Another Attack On Hotel Staff Member Results In Suspension Of Supervisor, Agreement To Provide “Panic Buttons”

The Hotel Pierre, site of another reported sexual attack on an employee, has suspended a housekeeping because that person apparently only entered the report into a logbook. A manager saw the report the next morning and called highers-up, who then … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law, Feminism and the Workplace, If you're a woman | Comments Off on Another Attack On Hotel Staff Member Results In Suspension Of Supervisor, Agreement To Provide “Panic Buttons”

“An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 American-born children are sold for sex each year. The escalating numbers have prompted national initiatives by the F.B.I. and other law enforcement agencies, and new or pending legislation in more than a dozen states, most recently Georgia, which enacted a toughened human trafficking law this month.”

That’s a sentence pulled from this NYT article.

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SlutWalks All Over the World

This article in the UK Guardian explains the recent history behind the SlutWalk, an in-the-streets form of women’s activism that also uses social networking sites to organize and mobilize: When a police officer from Toronto went on a routine visit … Continue reading

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Exception(al) Opinion: Supreme Court of Montana Opinion Might Mean Montana Has Broadest Abuse Exception to Court-Ordered Mediation

Mediation in child custody determinations is popular, partly due to the mediation principle of neutrality, which theoretically gives both parents an equal chance at a fair allocation of parenting time. However, not all divorce cases are appropriate for mediation. In severe cases of intimate partner violence there are … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Courts and the Judiciary | 1 Comment

Charges in the Tyler Clementi Case

From the Chronicle: A former freshman at Rutgers University at New Brunswick who allegedly used a hidden Web camera to broadcast his roommate’s sexual encounter with another man was indicted on Wednesday on 15 counts in a case that drew … Continue reading

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New Documentary on Women, War, Family and the Democratic Republic of Congo

Women Make Movies is distributing a new documentary film by Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel.  Here is the description of “Pushing the Elephant“: In the late 1990s, Rose Mapendo lost her family and home to the violence that engulfed the … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and the Arts, Immigration, Sisters In Other Nations | 1 Comment

Rodriguez and Elchahal, “Violence Against Women Still a Problem”

Miraisy Rodriguez (far left) and Farrah Elchahal (left), two great students in Professor Caroline Bettinger Lopez’s Human Rights Clinic at the University of Miami, published this op-ed in today’s Miami Herald: Eleven years ago, Jessica Lenahan’s three daughters were kidnapped and … Continue reading

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(Non)Consenting Adults: Illinois Opinion Finds Adultery Is Serious Provocation, Sexual Assault Is Not

I’m currently teaching 2nd degree murder in my Criminal Law class and was looking for a good Illinois case on the subject. In Illinois, a defendant who could otherwise be convicted of 1st degree murder can be convicted of 2nd … Continue reading

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There’s No Sex in Your Violence: Opinion Reveals Minnesota Only Allows Hostile Work Environment Claims Based On Sexual Harassment, Not Gender Discrimination

A female employee brings an action against a school district under the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA), alleging hostile work environment based upon gender discrimination. The gravaman of her complaint is that her male supervisor made sexist statements about the … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace, Sexual Harassment | Comments Off on There’s No Sex in Your Violence: Opinion Reveals Minnesota Only Allows Hostile Work Environment Claims Based On Sexual Harassment, Not Gender Discrimination

If a Woman Fears for her Life, it’s not “Boyfriend Trouble”

Andrea Chang, a writer for the LA Times, reported here that some Target retail stores in urban centers employ social workers to provide advice upon request to store workers.  It’s an innovative employee benefit which Target says helps combat “absenteeism … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Sexism in the Media, Women's Health | 1 Comment

Teenage Girl’s Fingers Hacked with a Knife for Complaining About Teasing and Threats

From India Today (here), this awful news of a girl whose fingers were were cut by her would-be molesters. A teenaged Dalit girl was publicly molested and her fingers chopped off in Lucknow on Tuesday. The class XII student was … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Sisters In Other Nations | 2 Comments

Manliness, Part IV: Blind Leading the Blind

Recently, there have been two events in the news that, while happening in two quite different parts of the United States, bear telling similarities.  One concerns the vicious attacks by young and presumably heterosexual men against gay men in the … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Masculinity | 1 Comment

Arundhati Roy, “Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds.”

The Hindu, a daily paper in India, reports here that a crowd of up to 100 people assembled outside the home of writer Arundhati Roy, shouted anti-Roy slogans and attempted to break into her home.  The incident is reported to … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law, Sisters In Other Nations, Socioeconomic Class | 2 Comments

Rape as the Ivy League’s Latest “Joke”

A lucky few of our readers may have missed the story about the Yale fraternity pledges who picketed the campus Women’s Center chanting, “‘No’ means ‘yes.’  ‘Yes’ means anal.” Let’s not think that awful taste and misogyny are specialties of … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Acts of Violence, Sexual Harassment | 1 Comment

Because Violent, Sexual Pathologies Attract More Readers than Stories about the Murder of Two Women

Today’s Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald profiles the convicted criminal David Russell Williams, former colonel in the Canadian military (here).  The article focuses on Williams’s “sadistic sexual urges” and photographic evidence (reprinted with the article) showing Mr. Williams dressed in women’s … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Sisters In Other Nations | 2 Comments

Rape is Violence, not “Buyer’s Remorse”

Over at Politics Daily, correspondent Sandra Fish details the controversy surrounding Colorado GOP Senate candidate Ken Buck: [Buck], the Weld County [Colorado]district attorney, is facing criticism from a liberal group for not prosecuting an acquaintance-rape complaint five years ago, when he … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Politics | 3 Comments

More Hazing Accusations Against Sigma Gamma Rho

This time, in California.  Here’s what the NY Times reports: In the San Jose State case . . . a former student at the university, charged in a civil lawsuit, filed Aug. 31, that over a three-week period in 2008 … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Acts of Violence | 1 Comment

Accomplices in Hatred, Allies in Hope

I attended high school from 1984-1987 in suburban New York. I confronted daily harassment between each period, each class. An innumerable group of male students would yell “faggot” and other insults so loud that I could not hold conversations. I … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, LGBT Rights, Primary and Secondary Education | 1 Comment

Manliness, Part II: What Is Courage?

As Bridget pointed out, in the news recently, we have seen a terrible episode involving young, presumably heterosexual, men who tortured gay men in the Bronx.  It is an appalling example of hypermasculinity where violent cruelty is its own reward.  … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Masculinity | 1 Comment

“Survivors Speak: Essential Leadership in Combating Demand for Sex Trafficking and Commercial Sex”

Watch here.

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