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11 Abuse of Women News Articles
for July 2018
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7-13-18 Trump’s #MeToo message
“Heads up, women; there’s something Donald Trump wants you to know,” said Frida Ghitis. The #MeToo movement that’s finally called to account men who harass and assault women? The president thinks it’s a joke. Trump last week named as his new chief of communications Bill Shine, who was forced out as a Fox News executive after presiding over an empire that was “a nest of sexual harassment, denigration, and abuse of women.” Under Shine, CEO Roger Ailes and prime-time star Bill O’Reilly abused large numbers of female staffers, and lawsuits forced Fox to pay out tens of millions to the victims. Though Shine was not personally accused of harassment, he’s been named in several lawsuits, and it’s hard to believe he “was not well aware of the dark doings in the offices of the powerful.” Shine “will be right at home” working for Trump, who has been accused by more than 15 women of groping and harassing them. As if this president’s contempt for women hadn’t been clear enough, he used a rally in Montana last week to mock what he called “the Me Too generation,” sarcastically saying he’s now required to be “gentle” in dealing with female critics. Mr. President, women hear your message loud and clear.

7-13-18 Breastfeeding clash
The U.S. threatened Ecuador with painful repercussions if it didn’t withdraw a resolution promoting breastfeeding at the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly this spring, The New York Times reported this week. Citing decades of research, the resolution said that countries should try to limit the inaccurate or misleading marketing of baby formula. But in an apparent attempt to aid the $70 billion infant formula industry, the U.S. delegation told the Ecuadoreans to drop the resolution or face punishing trade measures and withdrawal of military aid, and Ecuador folded. “What happened was tantamount to blackmail, with the U.S. holding the world hostage,” said Patti Rundall of the nonprofit Baby Milk Action. Russia later put forth a nearly identical resolution that passed with no U.S. opposition.

7-12-18 Mira Sorvino: Casting director gagged me with condom when I was 16
Mira Sorvino has said a casting director gagged her with a condom when she was aged 16. The actress was auditioning for a horror movie scene, and said in order to scare her, she was tied to a chair and her arm was bruised. "I was 16 years old, and then he gagged me," she said during a podcast for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. "At the end he takes the gag out of my mouth and he said 'sorry for the prophylactic'." She added: "So he had gagged me with a condom. It was so inappropriate and what the heck was a casting director doing with a condom in his pocket in an audition?" Oscar-winning Sorvino, 50, did not name the casting director. She said that audition was one of her first introductions into how the acting system works and explained that "when you're young, you don't question". "When you're young, you're like 'Oh, OK I've got to be tough, I've got to be down to really perform. "If that means they need me to go this extra mile... you see, many times we have awards given to people for giving particularly raw performances, in very brutal sexual scenes or things like that," she said. She also recalled another sexual harassment encounter with an unnamed director. Sorvino said it was one of many instances where she was harassed whilst auditioning, having been told by friends "you're going to absolutely have to have sex with all kinds of people to advance your career."

7-10-18 Trump denies US opposition to WHO breastfeeding resolution
US President Donald Trump has defended US efforts to reportedly undermine a World Health Organization (WHO) measure in support of breastfeeding. A New York Times report claimed US officials fought against language that all governments should "protect, promote and support breastfeeding". The report alleges that the US threatened countries over the resolution, which eventually passed. A government spokesperson called the reports "patently false" on Monday. On Twitter, Mr Trump "called out" the Times and said the "US strongly supports breastfeeding". According to the Times report on Sunday based on interviews with dozens of meeting participants, US negotiators in Geneva objected to the resolution encouraging breastfeeding around the world and allegedly resorted to intimidation tactics to bully other countries into dropping it. American officials allegedly sought to remove the language pushing for global government support of breastfeeding practices and attacked countries that were in favour of it. Ecuador had planned to introduce the bill, but according to the newspaper, backed out after they were threatened with punishing trade measures and the withdrawal of US military aid. Officials also reportedly threatened to cut US aid to the WHO - over $118m (£89m) this year, which amounts to roughly 15% of the organisation's annual budget. The resolution was passed when it was introduced by Russia, but the US did successfully strike out language calling for WHO support to nations trying to prevent "inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children", and added the phrase "evidence based" to certain provisions.

7-7-18 South Korean women protest in Seoul over hidden sex cameras
Tens of thousands of women gathered in Seoul on Saturday calling for a crackdown on spy cam pornography, in one of the country's biggest ever female-only protests. Perpetrators film or photograph women with hidden cameras in public spaces. Although distributing pornography is illegal in South Korea, the videos and pictures are shared widely online. Organisers say women live in constant fear of being photographed or filmed without their knowledge. Carrying placards and banners with messages like "My life is not your porn", the women were mostly teenagers or in their 20s - seen as the main victims of the hidden cameras. "Those men who film such videos! Those who upload them! Those who watch them! All of them should be punished sternly!" they chanted. The women covered their faces with masks, hats and sunglasses as instructed by the organisers. Demonstrators said around 55,000 women took part, although police put the figure at around 20,000. The recent protests began after police arrested a 25-year-old woman in May for secretly photographing a male colleague who posed nude for university art students. She then shared the picture online. Demonstrators believe police only acted so swiftly because it was a female perpetrator, and pointed to instances of police closing cases with female victims because they could not find the photographers or track them online, because they posted on foreign servers. While the law mandates a maximum five-year prison term or 10 million won ($8,970; £6,770) fine for creating sexual images, and a maximum seven year sentence and 30 million won ($26,900; £20,200) fine for distributing them for profit, protesters say many receive far lighter punishments.

7-7-18 Woman behind Trudeau groping allegations stands by account
The woman who accused Canadian PM Justin Trudeau 18 years ago of groping her says she stands by her account. She released a statement on Friday to CBC News, her first public comment on the allegations that resurfaced over a month ago. She said the incident, described in August 2000 in an editorial in a local newspaper "did occur, as reported". Mr Trudeau has denied any wrongdoing, saying he is confident he did "not act inappropriately". The woman was a journalist at the time and covering an event attended by Mr Trudeau. The editorial and its allegations resurfaced after a blogger posted an image of the article on Twitter in June. The event in Creston, British Columbia, was held to raise money for an avalanche safety charity with which Mr Trudeau was involved. Days afterwards, an unsigned editorial appeared in a local paper, accusing him of "groping" a young female reporter. Mr Trudeau first responded to the nearly 20-year-old incident on 1 July when questioned by journalists. The prime minister said he did not recall any "negative interactions" at the event, though he said he remembered the day in Creston well. On Thursday, the prime minister offered a more detailed response. "I have been reflecting very carefully on what I remember," he said. "I feel I am confident I did not act inappropriately." Mr Trudeau said if he apologised at the time it was because he must have sensed the woman in question felt differently about their interaction. "The same interactions can be experienced very differently from one person to the next," he said. Published in the Creston Valley Advance newspaper, the piece accused Mr Trudeau of "inappropriately handling" the reporter, who felt "blatantly disrespected" by the actions, which were not described.

7-6-18 San Fermín bull festival begins under sexual abuse cloud
The world-famous San Fermín bull festival begins in northern Spain on Friday, despite protests calling for its cancellation over sexual violence. Five men sexually abused a woman at the festival in 2016, and thousands protested when they were sentenced on a lesser charge than rape in April. Some feminist groups have called on women to wear black and a purple scarf to the opening event, instead of the traditional white and red. Others have called for a total boycott. But local feminist activists in Pamplona, where the attack took place, have pushed back against the calls for protest. They have asked for their traditional festival to be respected, and said that protests were planned "without consensus, without any confirmation and without a clear goal", according to Spanish newspaper El Pais. The protests have been prompted by five men who were sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual abuse of a young festival attendee. Known as the "wolf pack" (La Manada), their case shocked the Spanish public - but the five men were recently released on bail, pending an appeal. In theory, that means they could be at the festival again this year - though there is no evidence to suggest any plan to attend. Animal rights protesters have also staged a protest over the running of the bulls, objecting to their killing in the bullring later in the day.

7-2-18 Harvey Weinstein faces new sex assault charges on third woman
Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein is facing fresh sexual assault charges. They involve a third woman in a case dating back to 2006, prosecutors say. The film producer, aged 66, faces life in prison over the charges - one count of criminal sexual act and two of predatory sexual assault. Mr Weinstein had already been charged with rape and other sexual crimes in May against two women. He pleaded not guilty to those charges. Also, he has previously said via his lawyer that he has never had non-consensual sex. The new charges are punishable by a minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of life imprisonment. "This indictment is the result of the extraordinary courage exhibited by the survivors who have come forward," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement. "Our investigation continues." He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted of either of the first offences relating to the first two women. The identity of one of the women whose accusations prompted the charges has been confirmed by her lawyer. Lucia Evans, a former actress, had already publicly accused Mr Weinstein of carrying out a sexual assault in 2004. The former film producer has been accused of sexual misconduct by more than 70 women, and led to the #MeToo movement, which has seen hundreds of women accusing high-profile

7-2-18 India rape: A victim's two-year wait for justice
A woman is raped in India every 13 minutes, according to the country's crime statistics but convictions are few and far between. Here is how an investigation by BBC Hindi's Sarvapriya Sangwan led to the first arrest in a two-year-old rape case. Lalitha (name changed on request) is 16 years old but her life is unlike that of most girls her age. She has a one-and-half-year-old son. She became pregnant in 2016 after she was allegedly raped by a friend of her family. Born in a poor Dalit (formerly untouchable) family in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, she is the second of two daughters. Her father, an illiterate daily wage labourer, is a widower. The accused, a 55-year-old friend of her father, allegedly offered to take her to state capital Lucknow in early 2016 to apply for a government scheme that would help pay for her wedding. But he allegedly raped her at knife point during the trip. She did not say anything to her father when she returned home. It was only months later, when her pregnancy became visible and women in the neighbourhood questioned her, that she told them what she says happened. "I want him to be behind bars, that's all I want," Lalitha said. Her father lodged a police complaint on 24 June 2016, about six months after the alleged rape. But the accused was only arrested two years later - on 20 June 2018 - a day after BBC Hindi published its investigation into the delays in the case. Until the arrest, BBC Hindi found, no charges had been filed against the accused. The police said they had been awaiting the results of a DNA report. A police officer told me that 5,500 cases were pending in Lucknow alone because of delayed DNA reports. (Webmaster's comment: A woman is raped in the United States every 5-1/2 minutes according to FBI crime statistics!)

7-2-18 Australian senator Leyonhjelm criticised for 'sexist slurs'
Australian Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has called on a political opponent to resign for making "offensive and sexist slurs" towards her. Senator David Leyonhjelm made remarks about Ms Hanson-Young's private life in the Senate last week, and again in a television interview at the weekend. His comments have been condemned by other MPs and the public. Mr Leyonhjelm, from the minor Liberal Democrats party, has said he will not apologise. Mr Leyonhjelm first made the comments on Thursday, during a debate on curbing violence against women, a topic of much discussion since the recent killing of comedian Eurydice Dixon. Senators had been talking about whether restrictions on the importation of some weapons should be relaxed to help women protect themselves. Mr Leyonhjelm told Ms Hanson-Young - who opposed the motion - in the Senate chamber that she should "stop shagging men". She said he later swore at her in the Senate. Mr Leyonhjelm made a similar comment on Australia's Sky News channel on Sunday. Ms Hanson-Young responded by tweeting that she would not be "intimidated or bullied" and was "seeking legal advice". "It is a sad reflection on society that even in 2018, attacks like these occur to women after they have spoken out about sexism, sexual harassment and abuse in their workplace and daily lives," said Ms Hanson-Young, a member of the minor Greens party. On Sunday, Sky News apologised for airing Mr Leyonhjelm's comment and for repeating it in text on the screen. It added that an employee had been suspended.

7-1-18 Why female suicide in Afghanistan is so prevalent
"I didn't want to live any more. That's why I tried to kill myself with poison." Jamila (not her real name) attempted suicide after she felt abandoned and betrayed by her fiancé - who decided, after a six-year-engagement, that he no longer wanted to marry her because she was "not a young woman any more". Jamila is 18 - and her family arranged her engagement when she was just 12. She was taken to a hospital in Herat by her mother and treated for poisoning last month. Jamila is one of thousands of Afghan women who try to kill themselves every year. About 3,000 Afghans attempt to take their own lives every year, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Herat province accounts for more than half of all cases nationwide. According to health officials in Herat, 1,800 people tried to kill themselves in 2017 alone, of whom 1,400 were women - and 35 succeeded in taking their own lives. The figure is almost twice as high as the year before, when some 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded. Globally, there are more male suicides than female suicides - but in Afghanistan it is estimated that 80% of suicide attempts are made by women. The AIHRC warns the number of attempted suicides could be even higher, "as many people in Afghanistan do not report suicide to authorities for a variety of reasons". Many people in religious rural areas keep suicide attempts within their families to themselves, as taking one's life is stigmatised and considered un-Islamic. There does not seem to be one single reason for Afghanistan's high female attempted suicide rate. Hawa Alam Nuristani of the AIHRC suggests reasons could "range from mental health problems and domestic violence, to forced marriages and many other social pressures that women are increasingly facing".

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11 Abuse of Women News Articles
for July 2018

Abuse of Women News Articles for June 2018