The U.S. government estimates that hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits languish in police and crime lab storage facilities. The EndTheBacklog project illustrates that there's "more we do NOT know about the backlog than we do know." Read the rest
Portland police officer Jeromie Palaoro is sitting on his couch collecting a paycheck pending the results of an investigation of his alleged sexual assault on a woman who had called the police to report that her boyfriend attacked her. Officer Palaoro was one of the officers who had responded to the call. The woman said that Officer Palaoro came to her hotel at 3:30am the following day in his street clothes but carrying a gun.
When he came into her room, Reid-James says Palaoro pulled out the gun and set it on the table. He then took off all of his clothes and demanded that she perform sexual acts on him.
According to Reid-James, this sexual assault lasted for 7-hours.
“The police bureau takes misconduct allegations very seriously,” police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson told KATU on Wednesday.
Officer Jeromie Palaoro has a history of misconduct. He was successfully sued last year for forcing his way into a home without a warrant and tracking mud. Read the rest
Under threat of an advertiser mutiny, TLC announced today that it was canceling its popular reality television show 19 Kids and Counting, which starred a conservative Christian family. TLC suspended the show in May after it came to light that one of the stars of the show, Josh Duggar had molested a number of very young girls, including his sisters, when he was 14-15 years old.
The latest season of “19 Kids and Counting” concluded two days before Josh Duggar’s May 21 apology. But TLC still had reruns on its schedule until the May 22 announcement that the show was being pulled indefinitely.
Then came the advertiser exodus, with more than 20 brands publicly declaring that they had no interest in advertising with “19 Kids and Counting” in the future.
Also mentioned in the lawsuit is Marc Collins-Rector, a sexual predator and founder and chairman of Digital Entertainment Network (aka DEN or <EN), an early internet video startup that made headlines for high capitalization and sex parties involving founders and teen boys. Collins-Rector is a registered sex offender who fled to Spain, and was arrested there in 2002. In 2004, Collins-Rector pled guilty to charges he lured minors across state lines for sexual acts. The allegations of sexual abuse involving Collins-Rector and other DEN executives shocked the web startup world in 1999, and led to the collapse of DEN's IPO.
The recently-launched Women Under Siege website is a new project of the NYC-based Women’s Media Center, and features a number of powerful essays and features by women, about sexual violence against women. There's an account by CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, who survived a sexual assault while covering uprisings in the Middle East; another about covering sexualized war in Congo by Lynsey Addario, who survived the same.
In this post, I'd like to draw special attention to a feature on the site about a subject with which I have personal familiarity: violence against indigenous women in Guatemala. Though the country's long civil war is over, the femicidio is not. Snip:
More than 100,000 women were raped in the 36 years of the Guatemalan genocide in which at least 200,000 people died. In this video, photojournalists Ofelia de Pablo and Javier Zurita interview survivors and document the ongoing forensic and legal investigation that has just indicted former Guatemalan President Efraín Ríos Montt.
There are so many powerful stories on the Women Under Siege website. Below, a photo by Ms. Addario, from Congo: "Lwange, 51, with her daughter, Florida, who had been raped the week before this photo was taken in 2008. The child had screamed at the time, then bled. With her vagina and her young psyche damaged, Florida would no longer speak."
Grace Brown created "Project Unbreakable" in October, 2011, and the tumblog appears to really be gathering momentum. The idea: "Use photography to help heal those who were sexually abused by asking them to write a quote from their attacker on a poster and photographing them holding the poster."
So many stories from so many different people. Men, too, not only women. I was so moved by this post, which includes both a photograph and an audio narrative by an elderly woman who was sexually abused as a 12-year-old girl during World War II in Germany. Do listen to her story.
"You can never forget it. It is in your brain, marked like a stamp," she says. "I still suffer from it."