India: Kerala Nun who protested against rape-accused former Bishop expelled

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Kerala nun who protested against rape-accused former bishop expelled

The nun said she was issued four show-cause notices and that she replied to all and appeared before the superior general in person. She added she will remain a nun till her last.

KERALA Updated: Aug 07, 2019 14:40 IST

Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Time, Thiruvananthapuram
Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others.
Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others. (HT image)

A Catholic nun in Kerala said on Wednesday she has been removed from her position by the Franciscan Clarist Congregation (FCC) after she supported an agitation to arrest Franco Mullakkal, a former Jalandhar-based bishop accused of rape.

Sister Lucy Kalapura said the decision to expel her was taken two months ago and she was forced to sign papers by FCC authorities on Wednesday. She said most of the charges raised against her were baseless and that she was asked to vacate the convent immediately.

Sister Kalapura said she will move the court after consulting fellow nuns and others.

“I was victimised for speaking the truth. I will continue my fight. Many nuns are suffering silently. They will come out in coming days,” the nun said.

Two months ago, she had appeared before the Mother General of FCC congregation in Aluva of Ernakulam district to explain her position on the show-cause notices issued to her. She had also sought police protection to go to the congregation headquarters, saying her life was in danger.

The nun said she was issued four show-cause notices and that she replied to all and appeared before the superior general in person. She added she will remain a nun till her last.

Sister Kalapura said her struggle was not against the church but against some people who supported injustice and corrupt practices. She has also expressed her desire to meet Pope Francis.

“Some of the charges against me are quite frivolous. One of them is that I bought a car without informing the church and another that I appeared in a normal dress in a function,” she said.

She said the main grouse against her was that she openly supported the agitation Mullakkal.

A 43-year-old nun had filed a police complaint in June 2018, alleging Mullakkal had raped her in 2014 and continued to sexually assault her two more years. Later, she also released a seven-page letter she wrote to the Vatican ambassador in India narrating how her plight was overlooked by church authorities in Kerala.

When police failed to arrest the bishop, five of her fellow nuns staged a sit-in protest in Kochi. Many like Kalapura had joined the sit-in protest.

Later, a special investigation team formed to probe the case arrested Mullakal in September last year after several rounds of questioning.

There were many attempts to intimidate and transfer the five nuns, who stood in support of the victim. The victim and five nuns are now confined to their convent in Kuravilangad in Kottayam. The trial against the deposed bishop started in Kottayam last month.

“Sister Lucy Kalapura was victimised for supporting us. It’s sad that church authorities are stifling saner voices,” Sister Anupama, also who led the stir against Mullakal, said.

First Published: Aug 07, 2019 14:04 IST

India: 36 calls from family for help to the police for protection, now they are dead

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Before car crash, Unnao rape survivor’s family sent 36 SOS messages in 15 months

Family members claim they approached the police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) but were forced to finally write to the Chief Justice of India on July 12, demanding action ‘against people who were threatening the victim’s family.”

INDIA Updated: Aug 01, 2019 09:45 IST

Chandan Kumar
Chandan Kumar

Hindustan Times, Lucknow
On Sunday, the Unnao rape survivor , her family and lawyer were travelling in a car which was hit by an overspeeding truck in Raebareli, killing two members and leaving the survivor and the advocate critically injured.
On Sunday, the Unnao rape survivor , her family and lawyer were travelling in a car which was hit by an overspeeding truck in Raebareli, killing two members and leaving the survivor and the advocate critically injured. (PTI file photo)

Over the past year, family members of the 19-year-old rape survivor from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, wrote letters to top government officials, politicians and police officers seeking protection and help.

A majority of these missives — 36 since April 2018– were pleas for protection against four-time Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator, Kuldeep Singh Sengar, who is accused of raping the teenager. But the family says that most of the letters elicited no response from any of the authorities addressed.

“No one helped us. Police turned down our requests to take action against the MLA’s henchmen who had been harassing and threatening us,” said the woman’s maternal uncle.

Family members claim they approached the police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) but were forced to finally write to the Chief Justice of India on July 12, demanding action ‘against people who were threatening the victim’s family.”

Also read: What Unnao rape survivor has been through since June 2017

Watch | CJI to take up Unnao rape survivor’s letter on threats; CBI books accused MLA

CJI to take up Unnao rape survivor’s letter on threats; CBI books accused MLA
The Supreme Court took cognizance of a letter written by Unnao rape survivor alleging threat to her life. CJI Ranjan Gogoi said that he would take up the letter on Thursday.
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In August 2018, the family wrote to the CBI, which was probing the rape case, saying they were getting threats from Sengar’s associates. After receiving the letter, the CBI shifted Senger from Unnao jail to Sitapur jail.

In a letter to then principal secretary (home) of Uttar Pradesh Arvind Kumar on July 12 , the victim’s mother said the family was receiving threats from a man called as Manoj Singh, who is Sengar’s brother.

Also read: From village chief to MLA, Unnao rape accused Sengar’s clout grew quickly

“Manoj with one Kannu Singh and two other unidentified men drove down to my house and said that they have fixed the judge and arranged for release of Kuldeep Singh,” she wrote.

In another letter to the director general police (DGP) OP Singh on July 11, the mother claimed a threat by Haripal Singh, husband of Sashi Singh, one of the accused in the rape case. Sashi Singh is currently lodged in Unnao district jail.

Madhaw Prasad Verma, the Unnao superintendent of police, acknowledged that ”several” letters were written to the SP’s office by the family. “Most of the letter was about threat for which security was already provided to the victim. Officers here tell me that the security details of the victim were alerted on many occasions in response to these letters.”

Also read: Unnao rape survivor is critical but stable, continues to battle for life

First Published: Jul 31, 2019 23:51 IST

India: Unnao rape survivor’s ‘accident’: BJP MLA booked for murder

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Unnao rape survivor’s ‘accident’: BJP MLA booked for murder

The CBI is currently investigating the rape (the survivor was a minor at the time), and the murder of her father. The survivor and the aunt are also primary witnesses in the rape case.

INDIA Updated: Jul 29, 2019 23:41 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangarmau in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, was arrested in 2018 for allegedly raping the teenage girl at his residence in 2017. That case too was registered on a complaint by the survivor’s uncle, and the family battled for the one-year period in between.
Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangarmau in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, was arrested in 2018 for allegedly raping the teenage girl at his residence in 2017. That case too was registered on a complaint by the survivor’s uncle, and the family battled for the one-year period in between. (PTI)

A day after the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer were critically injured and two others (aunts of the survivor) killed in a road accident in Rae Bareli, resulting in widespread outrage, the Uttar Pradesh police on Monday booked Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar (currently in jail; he is the main accused in the rape case), his brother and around two dozen others for murder, attempted murder and criminal conspiracy.

With many people dwelling on the convenient accident — the survivor’s father was murdered, allegedly by Sengar’s brother — the state police, which initially seemed to be leaning towards the theory that there was no foul play in the accident, said it would hand over this case too to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) if there was a demand to do so. Later on Monday, the police forwarded the family’s request for a CBI investigation into the accident to the state government, which will now write to the Centre.

The CBI is currently investigating the rape (the survivor was a minor at the time), and the murder of her father. The survivor and the aunt are also primary witnesses in the rape case.

Scrambling to contain the damage, the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government said it will bear all expenses for the treatment of the rape survivor and her lawyer, Mahendra Singh.

Both are on ventilator support at the trauma unit at King George’s Medical University (KGMU) hospital in Lucknow, doctors said.

“The woman was in shock, apart from the fracture in the leg and collar bone, besides head and chest injury. Hence we have shifted her to ventilator support. Her condition is critical but stable,” said Dr Samir Misra, senior faculty, trauma surgery, at KGMU.

The case of murder, attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy against the MLA and the others was filed at the Gurbakshganj police station in Rae Bareli on the basis of a complaint by the rape survivor’s uncle who is in Rae Bareli jail in connection with a case filed under the Arms Act.

“MLA Kuldeep Sengar and his aides use to often threaten my family members to force them to withdraw the (rape) case against him. My wife and others were coming to meet me with papers related to the cases when their vehicle was hit by a truck, on the direction of the MLA,” reads the complaint lodged by the uncle.

On Monday, the mother of the victim too claimed Sengar was behind the accident. “This accident was a conspiracy by the BJP MLA to kill my daughter and family. I want CBI to probe the case,” she said. A person familiar with the matter said the mother had informed Unnao police on July 13 about threats from unidentified people.

“We have lodged an FIR under sections 302(murder), 307(attempt to murder), 506(criminal intimidation) and 120B(criminal conspiracy) of IPC against Sengar, his brother Mahesh Singh Sengar and others,” said superintendent of police(SP), Rae Bareli, Sunil Kumar Singh.

Beside the brother, police have booked Sengar’s aides Vinod Mishra, Haripal Singh, Naveen Singh, Komal Singh, Arun Singh, Gyanendra Singh, Rinku Singh and Avdhesh Singh along with “15-20 unidentified persons” in the matter.

The uncle sought parole to attend the funeral of his wife but Unnao district magistrate Devesh Pandey rejected the application on technical grounds.

Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a four-time MLA who represents Bangarmau in the Uttar Pradesh assembly, was arrested in 2018 for allegedly raping the teenage girl at his residence in 2017. That case too was registered on a complaint by the survivor’s uncle, and the family battled for the one-year period in between.

The woman had attempted to immolate herself outside the chief minister’s residence on April 8, 2018 to draw attention to the case. Her father died in police custody shortly after, following an assault by Sengar’s brother and a delay by police to take him to a hospital.

Director general of police (DGP), UP, OP Singh claimed “prima facie, it is a road accident” but added that an investigation is on and that the police are open to the CBI taking over. The driver of the truck was detained from the spot, while the owner was summoned to join investigations. Police are going through their mobile phone records to determine if they were in touch with a third person before the collision. Both are residents of Fatehpur.

Earlier, additional director general (ADG) of Lucknow Zone, Rajeev Krishna told reporters that the bodyguards assigned to the survivor were not with her because she “herself had asked the security personnel not to accompany her.”

The mother of the survivor said, “My daughter asked the police not to accompany her because there was no space in the car.”

The National Commission for Women took cognizance of the incident and wrote a letter to Uttar Pradesh Police requesting them to ensure a speedy investigation into the matter and take action deemed appropriate for the crime committed.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tweeted: “The accident of the rape victim is shocking. What is the status of the CBI probe? Why is the accused legislator still in the BJP? Can we expect justice from the BJP government without getting answers to these questions first?”

BSP leader Mayawati tweeted: “The accident of the Unnao rape victim in Rae Bareli seems to be a conspiracy to kill her. The Supreme Court should take note of it and punish all the culprits.”

Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal visited KGMU trauma centre and assured the victim’s mother of providing better medical treatment if she agreed to shift her to Delhi. After Maliwal, Samajwadi Party leader Juhi Singh, Congress MLAs Aradhana Mishra and Aditi Singh too visited the trauma centre and demanded that the government ensure a free and fair probe, besides security for the family.

UP minister of state for Women and Child Development, Swati Singh, additional chief secretary Avnish Awasthi, chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s advisor Mrityunjay Kumar too visited the trauma centre. The government later announced it would foot the bill for the treatment of the victim and her lawyer.

A CBI team also went to the trauma centre, although agency spokesperson RK Gaur said this was to meet the survivor’s family, not to begin investigation.

First Published: Jul 29, 2019 23:40 IST

All Israeli suspects in Cyprus gang rape released; British complainant arrested

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

All Israeli suspects in Cyprus gang rape released; British complainant arrested

Tourist who said she was attacked is detained on suspicion of filing false complaint; ‘rape never took place,’ police source says

Israeli suspects cover their faces with their shirts as they arrive at the Famagusta courthouse in Paralamni, Cyprus, July 26, 2019 (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Israeli suspects cover their faces with their shirts as they arrive at the Famagusta courthouse in Paralamni, Cyprus, July 26, 2019 (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Seven Israelis held in Cyprus on suspicion of gang raping a teenage British tourist in Cyprus earlier this month were released from custody Sunday, as police turned their attention to their accuser. The tourist has changed her testimony, saying the sex was consensual but that she filed the complaint against 12 Israeli teenagers because she felt humiliated by the fact that they filmed the act without her consent, Hebrew-language media reported Sunday, citing Cypriot press and police.

“All seven Israelis have been released, since 10 a.m.,” police spokesman Christos Andreou told AFP. “The young woman will be taken to court tomorrow morning (Monday).”

Relatives of the Israelis celebrated their release, singing, “Our father in heaven, how good is God,” in footage broadcast on Israel’s Channel 12 news on Sunday afternoon.

Earlier, a police source said the British teenager had been arrested. “She is facing charges of giving a false statement over an imaginary offense,” the police source told AFP. “Rape never took place,” one police source told Reuters.

Cypriot media said that she is suspected of filing a false complaint against the Israelis because they filmed her during the sex acts without having received her consent to do so.

“As I claimed throughout, there was no rape in Cyprus,” said Nir Yaslovitzh, an attorney for some of the suspects. “The youths who went on a vacation that became a nightmare will return to their homes today. All of them will return home to their families. Cypriot police carried out a professional and thorough investigation.”

Yaniv Havari, another Israeli attorney who represents a number of the suspects, told the Kan public broadcaster that his clients were able to provide convincing evidence that they did not commit the crime.

Nir Yaslovitzh, the attorney for some of the Israeli teenagers suspected of raping a British tourist in Cyprus, speaking outside the Cyprus court on July 26, 2019. (Screenshot: Twitter)

“She lied, she said 12 of them raped, that is what she claimed,” Havari said. “For nearly two weeks that is what she has claimed and after all 12 of the detainees gave their version, it seems her version doesn’t stand up.”

The dramatic development came after last week five of the Israeli suspects in the case were released and returned to Israel, though Cypriot police seemed poised at the time to file rape charges against at least three of those still being held.

In addition to those three detained suspects, whose DNA had been found at the scene, police had said they believed three other individuals may have been involved in the alleged crime — with analysis of DNA collected from the alleged victim’s body showing three unrecognized samples.

Twelve Israelis in all were arrested in the resort town of Ayia Napa last week on suspicion that they took part in the alleged gang rape. Some reportedly admitted to having consensual sex with the woman, while others were thought to have possibly been present in the room at the time.

The British woman filed a police complaint a week and a half ago against the Israelis, ranging in age from 15 to 18, who were staying at the Pambos Napa Rocks Hotel on the island nation’s southeastern coast.

The woman told the police two of the suspects held her down by the arms as she cried to be let go. She said that their friends then raped her, taking turns, and that several beat her.

Cypriot police found five used condoms and 13 condom wrappers in the room where the alleged rape occurred, reports said.

AFP contributed to this report.

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India: 5 fold hike in rape of kids from 1994 to 2016

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

5 fold hike in rape of kids from 1994 to 2016: Report

With a score of 297 out of 360, Puducherry emerged as the best performer in terms of child rights, according to the report.

INDIA Updated: Jul 04, 2019 07:35 IST

Anonna Dutt
Anonna Dutt
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Child Fund India,Plan India,Save the Children India
In 2016, 106,958 crimes against children were reported. Of these, 52% related to abduction and 34% to sexual offences, including rape. (HTFile)

There was a fivefold increase in rapes of children from 1994 to 2016 even as under-five mortality has reduced and the access to education has increased significantly, according to a new report of an alliance of six child rights organisations.

Child Fund India, Plan India, Save the Children India, SOS Children’s Villages India, Terre Des Homes, and World Vision India released the report on Wednesday under the banner of Joining Forces.

The report titled Child Rights in India – an unfinished agenda also evaluated the performances via-a-vis child rights of states and Union territories on 15 parameters like under-five mortality, sex ratio, access to education, play and recreation, protection from violence and child marriages among others.

With a score of 297 out of 360, Puducherry emerged as the best performer in terms of child rights, according to the report. The worst performers are Rajasthan (116), Uttar Pradesh (105) and Jharkhand (100). The report cited the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data and said the rapes increased from 3,986 in 1994 to 19,765 in 2016.

In 2016, 106,958 crimes against children were reported. Of these, 52% related to abduction and 34% to sexual offences, including rape.

“A large number of children are trafficked not only for sex trade but also for other forms of non-sex based exploitation that includes domestic labour, industrial labour, agricultural labour, begging, organ trade, and false marriage,” the report said.

Declining child sex ratio is another cause of concern. The progress has also been slow in combating malnutrition.

Plan India executive director Anuja Bansal underlined the need for the children to feel protected and safe.

Save The Children India CEO Bidisha Pillai said: “…we shine a light on the parameters that need to be improved further. Ensuring that the child rights reach the most marginalised will take double the effort now.”

Government think-tank NITI Aayog special secretary Yaduvendra Mathur said there is a need to invest more in the social sector to improve such parameters.

First Published: Jul 04, 2019 07:31 IST

Israel: ‘I’m innocent!’ freed Palestinian rape suspect declares

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

‘I’m innocent!’ freed Palestinian rape suspect declares, hugging his family

55 days after police arrested him for alleged sexual assault of 7-year-old Israeli girl, Mahmoud Qadusa walks out of prison due to lack of evidence against him

Mahmoud Qadusa (R) hugs his daughter after being released from prison on June 25, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Mahmoud Qadusa (R) hugs his daughter after being released from prison on June 25, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

As he embraced his relatives for the first time in nearly two months, a Palestinian man released from jail on Tuesday due to a lack of evidence tying him to the alleged rape of an Israeli girl declared his innocence.

“I have so much to explain about what I went through,” said Mahmoud Qadusa, who was mobbed by Israeli reporters as he hugged his children and siblings at the Beitunia checkpoint. “I’m innocent! I know myself. I was telling them the entire time that I’m not that person.”

Dozens of supporters escorted Qadusa in a convoy back to his home in the central West Bank village of Dir Kadis.

There, speaking by phone to the Kan public broadcaster, he asserted that he had never met the alleged victim and that “someone was behind the whole ordeal who told her to identify me [as the rapist].”

Mahmoud Qadusa after being released from prison on June 25, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“For seven years I’ve worked in that city,” Qadusa said of the ultra-Orthodox settlement where the rape allegedly took place. “I have Jewish friends there. They know me. Ask them what they think of me,” he said, breaking into tears.

One of those friends was Zvika Golbanzitz, who sent Qadusa’s family a bouquet of flowers congratulating them on his release. When police concluded that the attack had taken place on April 5 in a home owned by Golbanzitz, where Qadusa worked, the former testified on his behalf, saying he was with him the entire time.

Qadusa told Kan that police should find the “real” culprit and when they do, “don’t put him in jail, kill him.”

Earlier Tuesday, the IDF’s military advocate general announced that he was pulling the indictment against Qadusa, 46, due to lack of evidence.

“The evidentiary infrastructure that underlies the indictment does not at this time amount to a ‘reasonable chance of conviction.’ Therefore, by law, the criminal process cannot continue, the indictment must be withdrawn and Qadusa released from custody,” the MAG’s office said in a statement.

Attorney Nashaf Darwish (L) speaks with the brother and son of Mahmoud Qadusa, a Palestinian man charged with kidnapping and raping a 7-year-old Israeli girl, at the Judea Military Court in the West Bank on June 19, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

“This case tells us a lot about how the legal system operates with regard to Palestinians on the other side of the Green Line,” the freed suspect’s attorney Nashef Darwish said in a statement, arguing that Israel’s military rule in the West Bank prevents Palestinians from receiving a fair trial.

An attorney representing the 7-year-old said the family was in “utter shock” and “the girl is heartbroken and unwilling to leave her home.”

“The country is waking up to a situation in which the person who a 7-year-old claims raped her is being set free,” said Yehuda Fried.

Qadusa, a maintenance custodian at the girl’s school, was arrested 55 days ago.

According to the dropped charges, sometime “between the months of February and April” Qadusa dragged the girl from her school to a vacant home in the settlement, where he raped her as at least two of his friends pinned her down.

Illustrative: Orthodox girls arrive at their school. (Flash90)

Shortly after the indictment was leaked, police came under fire for relying almost entirely on the testimony of the 7-year-old, forgoing forensic evidence in addition to being unable to determine the exact date that the alleged crime had taken place.

Last week, law enforcement announced that they were reopening the investigation in order to verify the suspicions against Qadusa.

On Monday, an official with knowledge of the investigation confirmed that new details had called further into question the level of professionalism with which the probe had been conducted.

More than two months since the rape was believed to have taken place, only on Monday did police arrive at the home of the alleged victim to collect her clothes for DNA testing, the official confirmed, adding that detectives were skeptical as to whether any forensic evidence could be found.

The official also confirmed that the 7-year-old girl was only able to ID Qadusa in school after her mother pointed at him first and told her he was the man who had raped her.

Moreover, a failed polygraph test cited by the military court in successive decisions to extend Qadusa’s detention was carried out in Hebrew, rather than the defendant’s native Arabic, the official said.

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Women In Madagascar Fight Sexism And Victim-Shaming By The Government

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF GLOBAL VOICES)

 

#MySkirtMyRight: Women in Madagascar fight sexism and victim-shaming by the government

Screenshot from the TV5 Monde (national TV channel) coverage on the wave “My Skirt My Right” in Madagascar

Men’s greedy needs to assault women reduce as women wear modest clothes. It is therefore every parent’s duty to guide their daughters towards the right path and stop them from wearing revealing clothes and exposing themselves.

This is the message (since deleted) that was published on the Ministry of Education’s Facebook page on April 12, 2019, as the Malagasy government urged women not to wear revealing clothes in order to avoid being sexually assaulted.

In response, many Malagasy women shared pictures of themselves on social media wearing skirts or dresses using the hashtag #MaJupeMonDroit (My Skirt My Right) to voice their outrage at this sexist request that essentially shames victims instead of sanctioning men’s aggressive behavior. A more rational approach to preventing rape would be to educate people not to assault women. Below is a screenshot of Ministry of Education’s original Facebook post in Malagasy, before it was taken down:

Screenshot of the Facebook post from the Ministry of Education on the 12th April, requesting women to avoid wearing revealing clothes.

The wave of protests rapidly spread online in Madagascar. The movement started on social media by the Malagasy NGO Nifin’Akanga, which is fighting to decriminalize abortion. On the same day of the Ministry’s post, Nifin’Akanga responded quickly on Facebook, inviting the Malagasy online community to participate in an online campaign:

/// Skirt challenge/// 😉 PLEASE SHARE !!
Take a selfie in an outfit that you like: skirt, dress, etc.👗
Add the
#majupemondroit
My skirt, my right…
His zip, his problem with the law.
My body, my right
My uterus…not your decision!

They were joined by activists in the country and members of the Malagasy diaspora. Many activists also used the internationally-recognized hashtag #StopRapeCulture.

An editor in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, Soa Anina, listed on her blog 30 answers to 30 stereotypes of this movement. Here are a few of them:

No, the “sexual needs of predators” will not be kept under control this way, and certainly not if they benefit from the support of the Ministry. The government is only avoiding the issue by pointing the finger at the victim instead of the guilty abuser. No, it is not the responsibility of women to handle men’s and boys’ behaviors: men have to learn to behave with dignity in all circumstances, and parents need to educate their boys to become men. (…) The truth is, no garment will ever protect you. It is not about the garment: the pervert perpetrates the crime not because of his libido, but because he gets his pleasure from power, control and domination, all unrelated to the clothing worn, even if deemed “too sexy”. The Malagasy word “fanolanana” is an accurate description of rape: bend it until its resistance weakens.

The protest storm continued and was amplified by the national newspapers and online publications. Nasolo Valiavo Andriamiahaja is an editor for the newspaper l’Express de Madagascar. He associates all types of restrictive policies on clothing to a regression of women’s rights.  He recalls an anecdote from the King of Morocco during his temporary forced exile in Madagascar:

The Moroccan writer Tahar ben Jelloun shares that the king of Morocco Mohammed V did not hesitate to show off his daughters without the scarf, upon his return from Antsirabe (a province of Madagascar) in 1956, where the French colonial administration had exiled him. “Between the nineteen fifties and the start of the nineteen eighties, most Moroccan women had stopped wearing the scarf. They were wearing the djellaba and kept their head uncovered. It was the Iranian revolution and Khomeyni’s demagogic speeches that brought the scarf back.”

Following this uproar, the Ministry of Education formally apologized in a press release, putting an end to the storm:

Official statement from the Ministry published on Facebook explaining the withdrawal of the action against sexual assaults.

But for a number of activists and journalists like Antananarivo-based Mbolatiana Raveloarimisa, the fight is not over:

A lot of comments were trying to shame women instead of supporting the movement. This sad incident is only the catalyst that opened our eyes to a hidden reality. In Malagasy society, violence against women is only the tip of a huge iceberg. The entire administration is only the crystallization of a national silence on violence against women.

Brett Kavanaugh and pals accused of gang rapes in high school

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE DAILY NEWS)

 

Brett Kavanaugh and pals accused of gang rapes in high school, says lawyer Michael Avenatti

Brett Kavanaugh and pals accused of gang rapes in high school, says lawyer Michael Avenatti
Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. (Win McNamee / Getty Images)

 

Lawyer Michael Avenatti told the Senate Judiciary Committee late Sunday that he has multiple witnesses who can say Brett Kavanaugh participated in gang rapes of drunken women during high school.

“We are aware of significant evidence of multiple house parties in the Washington, D.C. area during the early 1980s during which Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge and others would participate in the targeting of women with alcohol/drugs in order to allow a ‘train’ of men to subsequently gang rape them,” Avenatti said in an email to Mike Davis, chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Avenatti did not disclose any details or identities of his witnesses.

Avenatti, who made a name for himself as porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, aired the allegations Sunday night as another allegation against Kavanaugh emerged in The New Yorker.

Judge, Kavanaugh’s high school friend, has previously denied that any sexual misconduct took place.

Michael Avenatti

@MichaelAvenatti

My e-mail of moments ago with Mike Davis, Chief Counsel for Nominations for U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. We demand that this process be thorough, open and fair, which is what the American public deserves. It must not be rushed and evidence/witnesses must not be hidden.

Avenatti hinted at the nature of his allegations when he suggested to the Senate Judiciary Committee a series of questions to ask Kavanaugh.

One of his questions: “Did you ever target one or more women for sex or rape at a house party? Did you ever assist Mark Judge or others in doing so?”

Also, Avenatti suggested asking Kavanaugh: “Did you ever attend any house party during which a woman was gang raped or used for sex by multiple men?”

And: “Did you ever witness a line of men outside a bedroom at any house party where you understood a woman was in the bedroom being raped or taken advantage of?”

Avenatti also said Kavanaugh should be asked if he ever tried to prevent men from raping or taking advantage of women at any house party.

The new allegations follow the claims of Christine Blasey Ford, who claims that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her at a high school party.

In this Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti talks to the media in Houston.
In this Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti talks to the media in Houston. (Marie D. De Jesus / AP)

 

Ford, who was 15 at the time, told the Washington Post that then-17-year-old Kavanaugh pushed her into a bedroom, groped her and tried to pull off her clothes while covering her mouth with his hand so she couldn’t scream.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she said. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Kavanaugh has denied Ford’s allegations.

“I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation,” he said in a statement distributed by the White House. “I did not do this back in high school or at any time.”

Late Sunday, Deborah Ramirez told the New Yorker that Kavanaugh had exposed himself to her at a dorm party when they were both at Yale.

She said Kavanaugh “thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away.”

“Brett was laughing,” she told the magazine. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.”

Kavanaugh also denied Ramirez’s accusations.

Stop Charging Rape Victims for Post-Assault Medical Care

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘CARE2’)

 

Stop Charging Rape Victims for Post-Assault Medical Care

34,075 SUPPORTERS
35,000 GOAL

According to current law, you can be billed for medical treatment you received after a rape. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in. Right now, the government allows hospitals to charge rape victims and their private insurers for additional costs after a rape. Thus one’s emotional trauma can often come with a high financial burden.

Currently, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), requires states to pay for rape kits. But there are often extra costs that are passed on to the victim. Pain medication, antibiotics, HIV prevention drugs, emergency contraceptives and other treatments aren’t guaranteed by the VAWA and they are not cheap. In fact, in 2013, women victims of rape paid out nearly 1.26 million dollars to cover extra medical costs. That’s nearly $1000 per person.

In no other instance are victims of violent crimes responsible for footing the bill for injuries the incurred. Rape victims shouldn’t be charged either.

The VAWA is up for reauthorization next year and it is time that Congress put an end to this practice by updating VAWA’s language to ensure all rape-related medical expenses are covered by the state.

Please sign this petition to voice your support for an updated VAWA that covers all rape-related medical expenses are covered by the states.

Dear Congress:

The Violence Against Women Act provides victims of sexual assault, rape and violence with the rights they deserve after such a harrowing experience. Yet, I recently learned that rape victims can actually be billed for the medical treatment they require after an assault. This is not the case for other violent crime victims and it shouldn’t be the case with rape victims. Please rectify this by updating the VAWA to ensure the state covers all rape-related medical expenses a victim may incur.

[Your comments here]

Sincerely,

[your name]

# Me Too: But, From A Different Perspective

# Me Too: But From A Different Perspective 

 

As most folks know by now there has been a lot of attention being paid to sexual abuse of women in the media lately and the call sign for this movement is #Me-Too. I am by no means a person who pays any attention to the Hollywood scene so I do not know who the movers and shakers are in that ‘world’, nor do I care to be. Evidently a couple of weeks ago a bigwig male Producer was accused by several women of sexually abusing them and this started the conversation about powerful men who have been sexually abusing ladies for many decades. If I had been asked a month ago what was meant by sexual abuse I would have thought they were talking about rape or attempted rape. Reality is sexual abuse goes much further than just trying to have sex with a lady who did not want to have sex with you. I would have thought that sexual abuse would have been along the line of the ‘Directors couch’ where if you wanted to get the part in one of their movies, you had to give out sexual favors. In the business world, I would have equated it to if a woman wanted to get the promotion they had to spread their legs or get on their knees. Reality is ladies getting their butts slapped or their tits grabbed is definitely sexual abuse/harassment also. But this article today is not about sexual harassment, but it is about another (Me Too), concerning women, and some men, and not just gay men.

 

I am a straight man so I can only relay my personal experiences from this angle. I have been married now for 18 years and I have not touched another woman in a sexual manner even once since we first got together back in 1999. What I am writing this article about is women being the brunt of physical abuse as in being punched and kicked, beaten. In my life, I was blessed to know many women and there was one thing that I came across over and over again and that was that every single woman that I have ever got to know had been physically beaten by a man, and usually more than one in their life. I was raised to respect women, I loved women and I definitely enjoyed the sex, but I never struck a lady for saying no. There were a few times in my life when a lady and I were well on the path to having sex when the woman for whatever her reason changed her mind and wanted to stop. Each of those times I put my hands up and did not touch her again, at all.

 

Think about guys who rape women, or even men. To me this is stupid, there are plenty of women everywhere who like to have sex just as much as the guys do. But, if you are so scummy or ugly that you can’t get a knothole in a tree to play with you then its time to find a woman or a guy if that is your persuasion, who excepts cash or credit cards. What I am getting at is, there is no reason for anyone to sexually force themselves onto a person who is telling you no! Then comes the physical aggression bit, why does anyone think that they have the right to rape, punch or kick another person? Machoism is the only thing that I can think of. Think of the situation of prisons where a person thinks they are such a bad ass that they will physically beat another person up, then rape them, you know, showing everyone else ‘who the man is’. These are the same ‘men’ who will say, hell no, I ain’t gay. All I have to say to that is, really. If you are willing to touch another person of the same sex as yourself in a sexual manner, guess what, your gay! But really this article isn’t about being gay or not being gay. This article is about physical aggression that is put upon women by men. To me, I was always taught that only a coward physically strikes a woman, not a man.

 

Think about it, my personal experience with women in my lifetime that I have gotten to know well enough where we could just talk as friends and every single one of them had been beaten by a ‘man’. This even applies to my wife and to my x-wife. Folks, this is sickening, there is no excuse for this to exist in our society, yet it does. What is it going to take to get this monster brought out of the closet, the President beating up the First Lady, in public? We need to have a movement called #Me-Too in regards to the physical beatings women are having to face in our society. How can we honestly say we have a civilized society with all this violence toward women, both sexually, or with the fist?