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43 Abuse of Women News Articles
for 2022
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5-9-22 Egypt arrests teenagers for harassing female tourists at pyramids
Prosecutors in Egypt have ordered the detention of 13 teenage boys arrested on suspicion of harassing two female foreign tourists at the Giza pyramids. Egyptians expressed outrage on social media last week after a video showed a group of youths haranguing the young women at the archaeological site. A prosecution statement said the boys were between 13 and 15 years old. They have claimed that they only wanted to take photos with the tourists and had not intended to cause any distress. The boys would be held at a juvenile detention centre until the investigation had been completed, the prosecution statement said. It added that a complaint accusing the boys of verbal and physical harassment had been filed by a tourist guide who filmed the video, rather than the women themselves. In the 35-second clip, the guide can be heard complaining that Egyptian boys are "running after the foreigners" and saying that he wants the tourism minister to be aware. The boys are seen holding up mobile phones as they crowd around the women, who attempt to get away. One of the women tries to push a boy away after another appears to touch her from behind. In recent years, dozens of women inspired by the #MeToo movement have spoken out on social media about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault in Egypt. The country's parliament approved harsher penalties for sexual harassment last year, amending the penal code to make it a felony and increasing the penalty to a minimum of two years in prison instead of six months, alongside a fine of between $6,370 (£4,740) and $12,740 (£9,480). However, Egyptian authorities have been accused of frequently failing to investigate and prosecute men accused of sexual harassment or assault against women and girls. A UN study in 2013 found that 99.3% of girls and women in Egypt reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime, and that 82.6% did not feel safe or secure in the street.

4-26-22 Johnny Depp blames 'burn Amber' text on Monty Python
Johnny Depp has said text messages he sent about burning and drowning his former partner Amber Heard were a joke based on a Monty Python sketch. Testifying before a Virginia court on Monday, the actor said he was "ashamed" of the messages, and that they were an attempt at humour. Mr Depp, 58, sued Ms Heard, 36, over a story she wrote in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence. He denies any abuse. Ms Heard filed a $100m counterclaim. Taking the stand for a fourth day, Mr Depp responded to questions about a 2013 text exchange with British actor Paul Bettany. "Let's burn her," Mr Depp had written. "Let's drown her before we burn her." He then made a further obscene suggestion "to make sure she is dead". Asked about the messages in court, Mr Depp said the messages were "directly" from a Monty Python sketch about burning and drowning witches. "This is a film we'd all watch when we were 10 - it's just irreverent and abstract humour," he said. During cross-examination, Mr Depp was pressed on his claims that Ms Heard was wrong to portray him as a domestic abuser. Jurors heard a series of audio recordings of conversations between the former couple, in which Mr Depp could be heard shouting vulgar insults and obscenities at Ms Heard. In one exchange, Ms Heard shouts at Mr Depp to put his "cigarettes out on someone else". Mr Depp could be heard insulting Ms Heard about her weight. He grimaced while the clips were played, while Ms Heard seemed to hold back tears. And lawyers for Ms Heard focused again on Mr Depp's history of substance use, claiming he would be violent during alcohol and drug binges. But Mr Depp said: "If anyone had a problem with my drinking, at any time in my life, it was me. The only person I've ever abused in my life is myself." At times, Mr Depp appeared visibly agitated by the lines of questioning, occasionally snapping at Ms Heard's lawyer, J Benjamin Rottenborn. Mr Rottenborn introduced a series of negative articles about Mr Depp, some dating back to 2014, trying to demonstrate that damage to his reputation - and his career - had been done years before Ms Heard publicly accused Mr Depp of abuse.

4-26-22 Sex for Water: What price are women and girls paying?
Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is currently facing a water shortage due to factors like changing weather patterns and ageing water facilities. Residents in informal communities like Kibra pay private vendors for water, meaning they now control the supply and access to water in the community. However, the price women and girls are paying is a lot more than just money.

4-26-22 Johnny Depp blames 'burn Amber' text on Monty Python
Johnny Depp has said text messages he sent about burning and drowning his former partner Amber Heard were a joke based on a Monty Python sketch. Testifying before a Virginia court on Monday, the actor said he was "ashamed" of the messages, and that they were an attempt at humour. Mr Depp, 58, sued Ms Heard, 36, over a story she wrote in which she described herself as a victim of domestic violence. He denies any abuse. Ms Heard filed a $100m counterclaim. Taking the stand for a fourth day, Mr Depp responded to questions about a 2013 text exchange with British actor Paul Bettany. "Let's burn her," Mr Depp had written. "Let's drown her before we burn her." He then made a further obscene suggestion "to make sure she is dead". Asked about the messages in court, Mr Depp said the messages were "directly" from a Monty Python sketch about burning and drowning witches. "This is a film we'd all watch when we were 10 - it's just irreverent and abstract humour," he said. During cross-examination, Mr Depp was pressed on his claims that Ms Heard was wrong to portray him as a domestic abuser. Jurors heard a series of audio recordings of conversations between the former couple, in which Mr Depp could be heard shouting vulgar insults and obscenities at Ms Heard. In one exchange, Ms Heard shouts at Mr Depp to put his "cigarettes out on someone else". Mr Depp could be heard insulting Ms Heard about her weight. He grimaced while the clips were played, while Ms Heard seemed to hold back tears. And lawyers for Ms Heard focused again on Mr Depp's history of substance use, claiming he would be violent during alcohol and drug binges. But Mr Depp said: "If anyone had a problem with my drinking, at any time in my life, it was me. The only person I've ever abused in my life is myself." At times, Mr Depp appeared visibly agitated by the lines of questioning, occasionally snapping at Ms Heard's lawyer, J Benjamin Rottenborn. Mr Rottenborn introduced a series of negative articles about Mr Depp, some dating back to 2014, trying to demonstrate that damage to his reputation - and his career - had been done years before Ms Heard publicly accused Mr Depp of abuse.

4-26-22 Sex for Water: What price are women and girls paying?
Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is currently facing a water shortage due to factors like changing weather patterns and ageing water facilities. Residents in informal communities like Kibra pay private vendors for water, meaning they now control the supply and access to water in the community. However, the price women and girls are paying is a lot more than just money.

4-22-22 Johnny Depp and Amber Heard face off in court
Here are some key moments in the second week of actor Johnny Depp's defamation trial against his ex-wife, Amber Heard. He's suing for $50m over an opinion piece written by Ms Heard in the Washington Post in which she claimed to have experienced domestic abuse. She is countersuing. Depp told jurors Ms Heard's abusive behaviour included stubbing a cigarette on his face. The court meanwhile saw a text message from Depp to his friend, British actor Paul Bettany, saying: "Lets burn Amber!!!" The trial is expected to last six weeks.

4-21-22 Johnny Depp faces questioning in case against ex-wife Amber Heard
Johnny Depp has sought to paint ex-wife Amber Heard as a volatile spouse who abused and demeaned him. The actor, 58, has sued Ms Heard over an article she wrote saying she was a victim of domestic violence. Mr Depp has denied any abuse. Ms Heard, 35, has sued him in return, with a $100m (£76m) counterclaim. In his testimony, Mr Depp said he felt "pure hatred" from Ms Heard. Cross-examination from her lawyers began on Wednesday after two days of testimony. His testimony is set to resume into a third day on Thursday. After the romance of their first year together soured, the pair argued regularly, he said, with Ms Heard frequently issuing a "sarcastic, demeaning, aggressive, violent, toxic spew", and occasionally resorting to violence. "It could begin with a slap," Mr Depp said. "It could begin with throwing a TV remote at my head. It could be throwing a glass of wine in my face." "She has a need for conflict. She has a need for violence," he said. And in recordings of the former couple played to the jury on Wednesday, Ms Heard can be heard admitting she "did start a physical fight" with Mr Depp. Mr Depp also recalled a now-infamous incident between him and his former wife, in which he found "human fecal matter" on his side of the bed in the flat he shared with Ms Heard. "It was so bizarre and so grotesque, that I could only laugh," he said. Ms Heard has denied that she or any of her friends left human excrement on the bed, testifying in Mr Depp's 2018 defamation trial in the UK that the idea was "absolutely disgusting". Jurors in the closely watched civil trial, which is taking place in Virginia, have heard two wildly different accounts of Mr Depp and Ms Heard's relationship. Lawyers for Ms Heard have so far worked to portray Mr Depp as a physically and sexually abusive partner prone to drug and alcohol binges. Mr Depp addressed his drug and alcohol use on Wednesday, saying he had become addicted to prescription opioids after receiving Roxycodone for a back injury.

4-20-22 Johnny Depp v Amber Heard: Actor says he never hit a woman
Actor Johnny Depp has testified in his $50m (£38m) defamation trial against ex-wife Amber Heard that he never struck her. The lawsuit is over an opinion piece Ms Heard wrote for the Washington Post in which she called herself a victim of domestic violence. He denies any abuse. Ms Heard has sued back, with a $100m counterclaim against Mr Depp. The closely watched civil trial, which is taking place in Virginia, is now in its second week. Ms Heard's team has portrayed Mr Depp as an abusive partner prone to drug and alcohol binges. Mr Depp's team has presented Ms Heard's claims of domestic violence as a "hoax" and a calculated strategy to ruin his reputation. Speaking to the jury on Tuesday, Mr Depp said the truth was all that mattered to him now. "I never struck Ms Heard in that way, nor have I struck any woman in my life," he testified, adding that "her accusations sort of permeated the industry". "It's been six years of trying times - so strange when one day you're Cinderella, so to speak, and then in 0.6 seconds, you're Quasimodo," he said, describing how people's attitudes towards him changed after Ms Heard's op-ed was published. The trial has focused so far on Mr Depp's demeanour and whether he was ever verbally or physically abusive towards Ms Heard. Lawyers for Mr Depp have accused his ex-wife, an actress, of giving the "performance of her life" in her descriptions of alleged abuse. Mr Depp began his testimony saying that Ms Heard's claims are "not based in any species of the truth". His lawyer went on to ask him to describe his childhood in Kentucky, and the abuse that he suffered from his mother. "I could see when she [his mother] was about to head into a situation where she was going to get riled up and someone was going to get it. And generally it was me," he said.

4-19-22 Egypt female TikTok star jailed for three years for human trafficking
An Egyptian TikTok star has been sentenced to three years in prison after a court convicted her of human trafficking at retrial. Haneen Hossam, who is in her early 20s, was accused of exploiting girls for money through video-sharing platforms. She denied the charge, which was linked to an invitation to her followers to get paid for making live videos. Human rights activists say she has been prosecuted as part of a crackdown on female social media influencers. They argue that the charges Hossam and at least 11 other women with millions of followers have faced since 2020 violate the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination and bodily autonomy. Hossam, a Cairo University student, gained more than 900,000 followers on TikTok by posting videos showing her lip-syncing to songs and dancing. She was first arrested in April 2020 after inviting her women followers to join another video-sharing platform, Likee, where she said they could make money by broadcasting live videos. That July, Cairo's Economic Court convicted Hossam and another TikTok star, Mawada al-Adham, of the charge of "violating family values and principles". It sentenced them to two years in prison and fined them 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($16,100; £12,400). An appeals court acquitted Hossam and overturned Adham's prison sentence in January 2021, and they were released the following month. However, prosecutors then introduced the more serious charge of human trafficking. The women were accused of "using girls in acts contrary to the principles and values of Egyptian society with the aim of gaining material benefits". Local media reported that it was related to a group Hossam had promoted on Likee and videos that Adham had posted on Instagram and TikTok. In June, the Cairo Criminal Court found them both guilty of the offence. Hossam was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in jail and Adham, who was present, was given a six-year sentence.

4-14-22 Cuba Gooding Jr: Actor admits forcibly kissing waitress
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr has admitted forcibly kissing a woman, in a plea deal that is expected to bring criminal proceedings against him to an end. The Oscar winner pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge of forcibly kissing a waitress in a nightclub in 2018. He must continue counselling for six months and avoid any further arrests. If he does, he can rescind his plea and instead plead guilty to a lesser violation of harassment. If he does not, he could face a year in jail. Gooding Jr, 54, won an Oscar for his role in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, and is also known for films including Boyz N The Hood and Men of Honour. He has been accused of groping and unwanted touching by more than 20 women, with three accusations leading to criminal charges. The plea deal means charges relating to all three will be dismissed, his lawyer said. The two women who brought the other charges had accused him of groping them in 2018 and 2019. His lawyer Frank Rothman told the AFP news agency: "In six months, if he stays out of trouble, that charge [to which he pleaded guilty] will be withdrawn, and he will have no criminal record at the end of this." In court on Wednesday, the actor said: "I apologise for making anybody ever feel inappropriately touched. "I am a celebrity figure. I come into contact with people. I never want them to feel slighted or uncomfortable in any way." One of the two other women addressed the court on Wednesday, telling how Gooding Jr had grabbed her breast "as if I was a piece of meat for dinner that night", according to the Associated Press. "I feel very sad and feel very lost for what I can do," she added. Gooding Jr still faces a civil lawsuit brought by a woman who has accused him of raping her twice in 2013, which he has denied.

3-22-22 Gareth Ward: Australia state MP charged with sexual abuse
A former minister in Australia's New South Wales (NSW) state government has been charged with sexually abusing a man and a teenage boy. Gareth Ward - now an independent MP - is alleged by police to have committed the crimes in 2013 and 2015. Mr Ward, 40, denies the charges. "I will be instructing my lawyers to seek to bring this matter before the courts as quickly as possible and I look forward to demonstrating my innocence there," he said on Tuesday. Mr Ward has been accused of five charges in total. The most serious - one charge of sexual intercourse without consent - carries a maximum jail term of 14 years. "Police will allege in court that the man indecently assaulted a 17-year-old boy at [NSW suburb] Meroo Meadow in February 2013, and sexually abused a 27-year-old man in Sydney in September 2015," NSW Police said in statement, without giving further details. Mr Ward revealed he was being investigated by police last year, prompting him to resign as minister for families, communities and disability services. He also stopped sitting with the ruling Liberal Party in parliament. On Tuesday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he would move a motion to remove Mr Ward from parliament if he did not resign. Mr Ward should be presumed innocent but it was "not compatible with the seriousness of the charges" for him to remain as an MP, the premier said. Mr Ward is due to face a court in May.

3-22-22 Sudan: BBC investigation shows abuse of female demonstrators
It's been five months since Sudan’s military staged a coup ending a power sharing agreement with civilian leaders. Every week since then, pro-democracy demonstrators have taken to the streets to challenge the junta’s authority. More than 80 people have been killed as security forces crack down on protests. Many of those taking to the streets are young women. But there are increasing reports security forces have been targeting them with beatings, sexual assault, and rape to silence them. Our Africa correspondent, Catherine Byaruhanga has been investigating these allegations in Khartoum.

3-18-22 Brittney Griner: Russia extends arrest of US basketball star over drugs charge
A Russian court has extended the detention of US basketball star Brittney Griner for another two months, reports state news agency Tass. The 31-year-old has been held in Moscow since February when customs officials allegedly found cannabis oil in her luggage. It carries a maximum 10-year jail sentence. Hillary Clinton had called for her release, after re-tweeting a BBC article about the player's predicament. But the Moscow court announced on Thursday it was keeping her in custody. "The court granted the request of the investigation and extended the period of detention of the US citizen Griner until May 19," the court said, according to Tass. Arguably the greatest female basketball player of all time, the double Olympic gold medallist has been called the "Tom Brady of her sport". Ms Griner went to Russia to play during the US league's off-season. In one of the last public sightings of her, captured on CCTV, the player is seen walking through security at a Moscow airport trailing a small, black suitcase. A star centre for the Phoenix Mercury team, she had landed at the Sheremetyevo airport, there to play another season with a Russian league. But a month after her detention, little has been known about her circumstances. Ekaterina Kalugina, a member of Public Monitoring Commission, a semi-official body with access to Russian prisons, told Russian news agency TASS Ms Griner was sharing a cell with two other women with no previous convictions. She said Ms Griner's "only issue" was that the prison beds were too short for her tall frame. Fans have criticised the muted response to the player's arrest, but the US State Department says it is doing everything it can to help her. A spokesperson for the State Department told the BBC on Thursday that US diplomats are "closely engaged on this case and in frequent contact with Brittney Griner's legal team"

3-16-22 Brittney Griner: How can a US basketball star just vanish?
She's arguably the greatest female basketball player of all time, and she's been detained in Moscow amid the war in Ukraine. Fans want to know why more people aren't paying attention. In one of the last public sightings of Brittney Griner, captured on CCTV, the American professional basketball player is seen walking through airport security trailing a small, black suitcase. Ms Griner, a star centre for the Phoenix Mercury, had landed at the Sheremetyevo airport, outside Moscow, there to play another season with a Russian league. In the security footage, she wears running shoes, black sweatpants and a black hoodie with "Black Lives for Peace" written on the back, her dark hair hanging in braids down past her shoulders. At 6ft 9in - tall even by basketball standards - she towers above the customs agents and other travellers. In another shot, she is seen sitting in front of a man, seemingly a customs agent, shaking her head "no". Then, nothing - until a Russian mugshot emerged on state television last week. Ms Griner, 31, is believed to have been arrested by Russian authorities on drug charges. A month after her detention, little is known about her circumstances. The uncertainty around her fate has fuelled an outpouring of support for the player, who is considered by fans and sports analysts alike to be perhaps the greatest female basketball player of all time. And it has also engendered a sense of outrage among some fans who say the response to Ms Griner's detainment has been strangely muted. Fans and experts say that the attention she's been given in comparison to male players exposes longstanding gender inequities in professional sports. "If this was an NBA [professional men's league] player of her calibre... this would be on the cover of not only every sports page but every news media page in the world," said Tamryn Spruill, a sports journalist who is writing a book on the WNBA and Ms Griner's contributions to the league.

3-11-22 Yemen: Two women freed in US-Saudi special op
Two Yemeni-American women held in Yemen have been freed in a mission by US and Saudi special forces, a Saudi official has said. The women had been captive since going to visit relatives in the capital, Sanaa, defence ministry spokesman Brig Gen Turki al-Malki said. The joint operation was carried out at the request of the US, Gen Malki said. Sanaa has been held by Houthi rebels since 2014. Saudi Arabia launched an offensive against them in 2015. The rebels have also taken control of large parts of the west of the country, forcing the Western-backed government to relocate to the southern port city of Aden. The conflict between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states has created a devastating humanitarian crisis and left tens of thousands of civilians dead or wounded. Reuters news agency cited an unnamed source as saying the women had been forced to marry "under duress" - and that the operation which freed the women happened in January. It is unclear how long the pair, which the source said were aged 19 and 20, had been held for. "The two US citizens were mistreated and restrictions were placed on their freedom and movement, and their passports were confiscated," Gen Malki said. Gen Malki said they were evacuated to Aden then flown to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, from where they are said to have returned to the US.

3-8-22 Bhavana Menon: India actress breaks silence on sexual assault
Bhavana Menon, a popular actress from the southern Indian state of Kerala, who was abducted and sexually assaulted in 2017, has broken her silence after five years, describing her "difficult journey from being a victim to a survivor". Menon, who has worked in more than 80 films in southern Indian languages and won a number of prestigious awards, was assaulted by a group of men while travelling from Thrissur to Kochi in February 2017. Her assault made headlines, especially after Dileep, one of the Malayalam-language film industry's biggest actors and Menon's co-star in half a dozen films, was named as an accused and charged with criminal conspiracy. He denied the charges against him, but was arrested and held in custody for three months before being released on bail. The case is being heard in a trial court. "I was just a normal fun-loving girl and then this one incident happened that turned my life upside down. Most people see the smiling photos I post on social media, but I have been to hell and back," Menon told me on the phone from the southern city of Bangalore. "I became this victim, this 'assaulted actress'. And for long, I kept asking, 'Why me?' I was blaming myself and I was looking for a way out," she said. "But in 2020, after the trial began, I spent 15 days giving evidence in court. And that's when things changed. Here I was, wanting to forget and move on, but then I had to remember everything, every tiny detail about the case." On the day of her assault, Menon was travelling from her hometown Thrissur to the city of Kochi, where she was to dub for a film the next morning, when she was kidnapped. Her attackers made videos of the assault - "maybe they wanted to blackmail me", she told me. Considering her - and Dileep's - celebrity status, there was tremendous media attention on the case and on any given day, local news channels invited panellists to speak for and against her. Many took to victim shaming on social media - they asked why she was travelling at 7pm and questioned her morality, some abused her and some said the case was all made up, that she had "staged it". "I was devastated, broken into a million pieces, all these things were very hurtful to me. I sometimes wanted to scream at the top of my lungs," she told Indian digital platform Mojo Story. "My dignity was snatched and then I was victim shamed."

2-15-22 Tilak Nagar: Delhi man held over rape of 87-year-old woman
A 30-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly raping an 87-year-old woman in India's national capital, Delhi. Police said the man was a sweeper who lived close to the woman's home in the city's Tilak Nagar area. The woman, who is bedridden, was alone at home on Sunday afternoon when she was attacked and robbed, police added. The victim's family had blamed the police for initially only registering a complaint of theft and not of rape - the police have denied this. Police said that the woman's family on Sunday had reported only theft - and alleged rape in a second complaint on Monday. But a relative told the Indian Express newspaper that the police allegedly told the victim and her daughter not to pursue the rape case as it would be "stressful" for them. "The police registered a theft case and didn't even inform us," this person said. The woman lives with her daughter, who was not at home at the time of the assault. She returned to find her mother injured. The National Women's Commission said on Monday it had written to the Delhi Police seeking action against the officers who had allegedly not reacted promptly. In 2020, another case of elderly rape - the survivor was an 86-year-old grandmother in Delhi - had shocked the country. Rape and sexual violence have been under the spotlight in India since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman on a bus in Delhi. After the global outcry over the brutality of the December 2012 Delhi bus rape, India introduced tough new rape laws, including the death penalty in especially horrific cases, and promised to set up fast-track courts to try rape cases. But, campaigners say, things have not changed much on the ground. "The situation hasn't changed because protecting women and girls should top the list of government priorities, but it does not even figure there," says Yogita Bhayana, activist with People Against Rapes in India (Pari), an NGO working with survivors.

2-12-22 Rebecca Hogue: Mother jailed for 16 months after boyfriend killed son
A US woman whose boyfriend killed her son while she was at work has been sentenced to 16 months in jail. Rebecca Hogue, 29, was convicted in November of the first-degree murder of her two-year-old son Ryder, under Oklahoma's "failure to protect" laws. A jury recommended she be sentenced to life in prison, but a judge has suspended the sentence to 16 months. It means she will spend 13 months behind bars, due to time already served. Speaking at her sentencing, Hogue said she would do anything to go back and prevent her son's death. "I was so proud of having such a beautiful, strong, smart, healthy child," Hogue said, according to the Norman Transcript. "The only thing in two years that has brought me peace is that the man who did this is dead. I know my child is in heaven and that [former boyfriend Trent] is nowhere near him." Sentencing Hogue, Judge Michael Tupper told her she did "not deserve to die in prison". "You are not a monster," the judge continued. "You have value and you have worth." Hogue's case drew significant attention from media and women's rights groups after she was charged with first-degree murder under the state's controversial "failure to protect" law. In Oklahoma, parents who fail to protect their children from child abuse can be charged with the same crimes as the actual abuser. Ryder was found dead on New Year's Day 2020. Hogue - who had returned from a 12-hour shift at a bar in the early hours of the morning - woke to find him not breathing. Her boyfriend, Christopher Trent, had disappeared. Four days after Ryder's death, police found Trent's body in the Wichita Mountains after an apparent suicide. The words "Rebecca is innocent" were carved into a tree nearby. A coroner's report concluded Ryder's cause of death was blunt-force trauma, and prosecutors later said it was clear Trent had killed him. Hogue said she had no idea Trent was abusing Ryder until his death, though she had begun to notice the boy had minor unexplained injuries.

2-11-22 Her boyfriend killed her son but she went to jail
Rebecca Hogue's boyfriend beat her toddler son to death while she was at work. So why is she the one being called a murderer? In the early hours of New Year's Day 2020, Rebecca Hogue came home from a 12-hour shift at the Oklahoma casino where she worked as a cocktail waitress, crawled into bed next to her 2-year-old son Ryder, and her boyfriend, and drifted off to sleep. The next morning, she woke to find that Ryder wasn't breathing. Her boyfriend, Christopher Trent, was at work. She called the police and panicked. Bodycam footage of that day from emergency responders shows her trying in vain to perform CPR on her son, who was pronounced dead when he arrived at hospital. A coroner's report later concluded that his cause of death was blunt-force trauma, and evidence from the home Hogue shared with Trent showed strands of Ryder's hair were found in the drywall. Hogue says she didn't know any of that then. She called Trent, begging him to meet her at the hospital. But he wouldn't respond to her texts or voice messages. Four days later, police found Trent's body in the Wichita Mountains. He had died by an apparent suicide. A prosecutor would later make clear it was known that Trent had killed Ryder. Carved into a tree near the site where his body was found were these words: Rebecca is innocent. But with Trent dead, the investigation turned to the 29-year-old Hogue, who was charged with first-degree murder. In Oklahoma, parents who fail to protect their children from child abuse can be charged with the same crimes as the actual abuser. "Failure to protect" laws, which exist in many US states, have drawn criticism from domestic violence experts who say in practice, they often criminalise victims of domestic abuse who may be too scared to leave. Hogue's case has drawn significant attention from media and women's rights groups, and raises questions about the lasting wounds of trauma, as well as the limitations of the law to bring justice for the victims of abuse.

2-10-22 Senate passes landmark bill banning forced arbitration in sexual misconduct cases
Legislation banning forced arbitration in sexual harassment and assault cases is heading to President Biden's desk. The Senate on Thursday passed the Ending Forced Arbitration Act, which prevents companies from forcing harassment and assault claims into arbitration, with bipartisan support, Axios and NBC News report. The House of Representatives passed the bill earlier this week. "This is among the largest workplace reforms, certainly in our lifetimes," Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) told NBC News. The White House has said it supports the bill, as current law allowing employers to require arbitration in misconduct cases "silences victims of abuse by forcing them into a confidential dispute forum without the right to appeal." The law was championed by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who sued former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment but has said she was prevented from speaking about the details of her case due to a nondisclosure agreement. Gillibrand told Axios that Carlson "sat down with Lindsey [Graham] to tell him about her experience at Fox News, and I think that was something very important to him." Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was among the Republicans who supported the bill. After the bill passed the House, Carlson said she was "thrilled" it received bipartisan support. Carlson previously wrote in a USA Today column in 2021, "More than 60 million Americans are under the thumb of forced arbitration in their employment agreements, and over a third of American workers are bound by NDAs. They cannot tell their own truths; they cannot tell their own stories. It's time to remove the muzzles, not just to make people safer but to also create more productive, positive businesses."

2-10-22 Angelina Jolie makes emotional speech about victims of abuse
Angelina Jolie made an emotional speech while advocating for the Violence Against Women Act. The actress addressed the US Congress and started to well up as she started talking about victims of abuse. A group of bipartisan senators passed the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, a decades-old law that lawmakers had failed to reauthorise in recent years. It's hoped that the legislation will help reduce domestic violence and extend support for victims.

2-9-22 US university in $250m payout for doctor's sex abuse
The University of California has agreed to pay nearly $250m (£185m) to over 200 women who allege they were sexually assaulted by a campus gynaecologist.Multiple women accuse the university's Los Angeles site (UCLA) of deliberately hiding James Heaps' alleged sexual abuse of patients. Mr Heaps was based at the UCLA student health centre during his 35-year career between 1983 and 2018. Hundreds of women, some of whom had cancer, say they were abused by him. The university did not begin investigating complaints against Mr Heaps until 2017. It has been accused in hundreds of lawsuits of deliberately hiding the gynaecologist's alleged sexual abuse of patients. His medical licence was suspended by a judge in 2019 for the duration of the sex abuse case. The university said it hoped the financial settlement would provide "healing and closure" for the women involved. Mr Heaps faces 21 criminal counts of sexual abuse against seven women and has pleaded not guilty. "The conduct alleged to have been committed by Heaps is reprehensible and contrary to the University's values," a UCLA statement said on Tuesday. "Our first and highest obligation will always be to the communities we serve, and we hope this settlement is one step toward providing healing and closure for the plaintiffs involved." But Kara Cagle, a breast cancer survivor who reported Mr Heaps while she was undergoing treatment at the university, told the Los Angeles Times: "Today, after eight long years, I received recognition of what happened to me. "Although there is some consolation in that, my heart breaks for all the women who were not spared, all the women who suffered after me, because UCLA refused to act." Tuesday's settlement does not halt an ongoing lawsuit by more than 300 patients. Last July,a federal judge approved a $73m settlement against Mr Heaps, which was brought by more than 5,500 women.

2-9-22 Australia: Grace Tame says caller 'threatened' against criticising PM
An Australian of the Year and sexual abuse survivor has said she received a "threatening" call warning her not to criticise the prime minister.Grace Tame made the allegation in a speech on Wednesday, where she said she'd been called by a "senior member of a government-funded organisation". She added she was asked to promise not to say anything "damning" about Scott Morrison. The government has denied knowledge of the call and said it will investigate. On Tuesday, Mr Morrison made a formal apology to former political staffer Brittany Higgins more than a year after the young woman went public with the allegation that she had been raped by a male colleague in a ministerial office. Her story sparked national anger, and an inquiry into parliament's culture which found more than a third of workers had been sexually harassed. Both Ms Higgins and Ms Tame have been heralded this past year for prompting a national conversation about abuse, power and gender inequality.On Wednesday, the pair delivered a highly anticipated joint address at the National Press Club in Canberra. Asked by journalists if she could name the threatening caller and their organisation, Ms Tame said: "if I was willing to name either, I would have put them in the speech". But she said the caller had been concerned about what she would say on the evening her successor as Australian of the Year was named. She said the caller had described her as an "influential figure" and that Mr Morrison would "have a fear" about what she might say "with an election coming soon". Australia is due to hold a general election before 21 May. "Sound familiar to anyone? Well, it does to me," Ms Tame said,before drawing a comparison with her former abuser - a teacher who had raped her as a child and pressured her to stay silent. Mr Morrison's office said it had not been aware of the call before Ms Tame's speech, adding "the individual should apologise". "The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable," a spokesperson said. But Ms Tame said launching a probe "misses the point entirely". "Stop deflecting, Scott. It's not about the person who made the call. It's the fact they felt like they had to do it at all," she tweeted.The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable," a spokesperson said. But Ms Tame said launching a probe "misses the point entirely". "Stop deflecting, Scott. It's not about the person who made the call. It's the fact they felt like they had to do it at all," she tweeted.The PM and the government consider the actions and statements of the individual as unacceptable," a spokesperson said. But Ms Tame said launching a probe "misses the point entirely". "Stop deflecting, Scott. It's not about the person who made the call. It's the fact they felt like they had to do it at all," she tweeted.

2-8-22 Brittany Higgins: Australian parliament makes formal apology to rape accuser
Australian PM Scott Morrison has made a formal apology to a former political staffer who says she was raped by colleague in Parliament House in 2019.Brittany Higgins' case sparked a sweeping review that identified a "boys club" culture in parliament in which sexual harassment is rife. The apology in parliament on Tuesday was also for others who have suffered sexual misconduct or bullying there. Mr Morrison has previously faced criticism over his responses. Ms Higgins, a former staffer for two ministers, was seated in the House of Representatives public gallery to watch the apologies by the prime minister, the opposition leader and others. "I am sorry, we are sorry. I am sorry to Ms Higgins for the terrible things that took place here. The place that should have been a place for safety, that turned out to be a nightmare," Mr Morrison said. "I am sorry for far more than that. All those that came before Ms Higgins … but she had the courage to speak,and so here we are." Ms Higgins helped inspire tens of thousands of people to join protests last year after coming forward with her allegation. A review later conducted by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins found that one in three staff working across parliamentary offices had experienced sexual harassment. Her team interviewed almost 500 people, read more than 300 written submissions, and heard from 1,723 individuals and 33 organisations. Its report detailed an alcohol-driven culture of "bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault". Tuesday's apology was one of the recommendations of the review by Ms Jenkins. Mr Morrison has been widely criticised for his government's response to the allegations from Ms Higgins. There was public outrage after he announced an investigation into parliament's culture in February last year after speaking to his wife, who had helped him "clarify" his views by comparing Ms Higgins to his own daughters. "It should not take a man having a daughter for him to treat women who've been assaulted with empathy and respect," wrote author Jamila Rizvi on Twitter at the time.

2-7-22 Peng Shuai: Weibo post sparked 'huge misunderstanding'
Tennis star Peng Shuai says there has been a "huge misunderstanding" over a post in which she claimed she was forced into having sexual relations with a former Chinese party leader.The November 2021 social media post was swiftly deleted and Ms Peng disappeared for weeks, sparking global concern. But now, speaking to France's L'Equipe newspaper, Ms Peng says she never alleged she suffered a sexual assault. However, the interview was done in highly controlled circumstances. The BBC's China correspondent Stephen McDonell compared it to a propaganda exercise, saying it left more questions than answers. L'Equipe had to submit questions in advance, and the interview was conducted at the Winter Olympics under the presence of a representative from China's Olympic Committee who also translated her comments from Chinese. Ms Peng told the outlet she was living a normal life - a line which has also been used by Chinese state officials about her previously.She also expressed thanks for the concern directed towards her. "I would like to know: why such concern?... I never said anyone sexually assaulted me," she told L'Equipe. The 36-year-old sporting star also hinted she could retire from professional tennis. "Considering my age, my multiple surgeries and the pandemic that forced me to stop for so long, I believe it will be very difficult to regain my physical level," she told L'Equipe. On 2 November, Ms Peng had published a 1,600-word essay on Chinese social platform Weibo where she accused former Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli of forcing her to have sex with him. The post detailed her relationship with him, but also included accusations that on at least one occasion she had felt coerced into sex.The post was shared widely on Chinese social media before it was removed less than an hour after publication. In the months that followed, Ms Peng denied making the accusations. She told L'Equipe interview the post had "given rise to a huge misunderstanding from the outside world". Ms Peng also added that she had deleted the post herself because she "wanted to". But she did not elaborate on how the post had been misunderstood.

2-7-22 Tennis player Peng Shuai denies accusing Chinese official of sexual assault: 'A huge misunderstanding'
Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai told a French newspaper on Sunday it is her "wish" that people stop twisting a social media post she made last year accusing a high-ranking Chinese official of sexual assault, calling it "an enormous misunderstanding."Peng's interview with L'Equipe was conducted in Beijing, with a Chinese Olympic Committee representative translating. The questions had to be submitted ahead of time, L'Equipe said, and Peng's answers printed verbatim. This was the 36-year-old's first interview with non-Chinese media since she posted and quickly deleted the accusation in November, The Associated Press reports. The allegation was posted on Peng's verified account on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform. She wrote that Zhang Gaoli, a former vice premier and member of the powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, forced her to have sex with him. After the post was taken down, Peng disappeared from public view, sparking concerns about her wellbeing. When asked about what she posted, Peng told L'Equipe, "Sexual assault? I never said that anyone made me submit to a sexual assault. This post resulted in an enormous misunderstanding from the outside world." She also said she "erased" the post, adding, "Why? Because I wanted to." Peng did not respond to a query about whether the post got her in trouble with the Chinese government. L'Equipe also asked about how her life has been since November, and Peng responded, "It is as it should be: Nothing special."Equipe also asked about how her life has been since November, and Peng responded, "It is as it should be: Nothing special."Equipe also asked about how her life has been since November, and Peng responded, "It is as it should be: Nothing special."

2-1-22 Rio Tinto says 21 female workers reported sexual assaults
Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto says 21 of its female employees reported an actual or attempted rape or sexual assault at work in the past five years.The mining giant - which operates in 35 countries - did not provide details on the incidents or where they took place. But the numbers were revealed in a wider workplace culture report that found sexism, racism and bullying systemic across the firm. It follows recent scrutiny over the treatment of women at mining camps. Last year, Western Australia's state government launched an inquiry into the issue following a number of court cases and media reports. Rio Tinto is one of the biggest operators of remote mining sites in Western Australia. It told the inquiry last year it was aware of problems but did not provide details. Around the same time, Rio's competitor, BHP, told the inquiry it had fired at least 48 workers for sexual assaults and harassment at its mining camps since 2019. Both companies - among Australia's richest - run large operations in the state's remote Pilbara region, to unearth iron ore, copper and other minerals. Thousands of workers are flown in each season and housed in village camp-style accommodation. Critics have long raised concerns about the hard-drinking, male-dominated culture that has been allowed to flourish at these sites for years. Rio's report on Tuesday did not specify if the reported assaults had occurred at these areas known as fly-in, fly-out (Fifo) camps. But it did find that rates of sexual harassment were higher at the sites. In general, about 28% of women and 7% of men had experienced sexual harassment at Rio. But that rate increased to 41% for female workers at Fifo sites.Thousands of workers are flown in each season and housed in village camp-style accommodation. Critics have long raised concerns about the hard-drinking, male-dominated culture that has been allowed to flourish at these sites for years. Rio's report on Tuesday did not specify if the reported assaults had occurred at these areas known as fly-in, fly-out (Fifo) camps. But it did find that rates of sexual harassment were higher at the sites. In general, about 28% of women and 7% of men had experienced sexual harassment at Rio. But that rate increased to 41% for female workers at Fifo sites.Thousands of workers are flown in each season and housed in village camp-style accommodation. Critics have long raised concerns about the hard-drinking, male-dominated culture that has been allowed to flourish at these sites for years. Rio's report on Tuesday did not specify if the reported assaults had occurred at these areas known as fly-in, fly-out (Fifo) camps. But it did find that rates of sexual harassment were higher at the sites. In general, about 28% of women and 7% of men had experienced sexual harassment at Rio. But that rate increased to 41% for female workers at Fifo sites.s report on Tuesday did not specify if the reported assaults had occurred at these areas known as fly-in, fly-out (Fifo) camps. But it did find that rates of sexual harassment were higher at the sites. In general, about 28% of women and 7% of men had experienced sexual harassment at Rio. But that rate increased to 41% for female workers at Fifo sites.s report on Tuesday did not specify if the reported assaults had occurred at these areas known as fly-in, fly-out (Fifo) camps. But it did find that rates of sexual harassment were higher at the sites. In general, about 28% of women and 7% of men had experienced sexual harassment at Rio. But that rate increased to 41% for female workers at Fifo sites.

1-31-22 Xuzhou mother: Video of chained woman in hut outrages China internet
A video of a Chinese mother of eight children locked up in a village hut with a chain around her neck has sparked outrage and shock in China.The video on Douyin, which owns TikTok, was shot by a man who visits the woman, and is visibly shocked at what he sees. After bringing her warm clothes, he asks her several questions but she is unable to answer properly. The video has gone viral with Chinese netizens demanding authorities intervene to help her. Many have also discussed the abuse of women and their limited rights in China's rural areas, and questioned the circumstances under which the woman in Xuzhou in eastern Jiangsu province gave birth to her eight children. They've asked how this escaped the notice of local authorities, given China's strict family planning restrictions. In the video, the woman appears dazed and unable to comprehend questions from the vlogger, who asks her repeatedly if she feels cold. She's dressed in only a light layer of clothes despite the freezing winter temperatures. Since being posted on Friday, the video has prompted fevered discussion about human trafficking in China's impoverished rural areas - despite the scant details available on this particular case. Many netizens drew comparisons to a 2007 Chinese film Blind Mountain, which tells the story of a young woman who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Authorities put out a statement on Friday dismissing any speculation about abduction. They identified the woman by her last name Yang, from Feng County Huankou Township. They said she had married her husband, identified as Mr Dong in 1998, and had been diagnosed with a mental health illness. His family had told local authorities that Ms Yang often had violent outbursts.But the response from officials further angered netizens who criticised authorities for not addressing the issue of her detainment, the use of the chains, and her overall welfare.

1-30-22 Manchester Utd's Mason Greenwood accused of assaulting woman
Police say they are working to "establish the full circumstances" after a woman accused Manchester United footballer Mason Greenwood of assaulting her.On Sunday video, photos, and an audio recording were posted on the woman's Instagram account before being deleted. Greater Manchester Police said it was "aware of images and videos circulating on social media". Manchester United said they "do not condone violence of any kind". They said they had been made aware of the allegations on social media but would make no further comment until the "facts have been established." Mason Greenwood has not responded to the allegations. The 20-year-old footballer, who made his debut for the club in March 2019, signed a four-year deal in February 2021 after rising up through the ranks of the United academy.

1-29-22 Chris Brown accused of drugging and raping woman on yacht
Chris Brown has been accused of drugging and raping a woman and is being sued for $20 million (£14.9m).The alleged assault reportedly took place on a yacht on 30 December 2020 in Miami, Florida. Radio 1 Newsbeat has contacted Chris Brown's management and record label for comment but they are yet to respond. Chris Brown has seemingly responded on his Instagram story, suggesting he is being sued because he is releasing new music. "I HOPE YALL SEE THIS PATTERN... whenever im releasing music or projects [sic]," he wrote. The lawsuit has been filed by an unidentified professional dancer and musician, who is named only as 'Jane Doe' in legal documents. The documents detail five separate allegations against the singer - sexual assault, violation of the Gender Violence Statute, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment. The woman claims she "fears for her life and career". She says she was invited to a yacht at a property owner by rapper and producer Diddy, where the alleged incident took place. According to the document, seen by the Newsbeat, the woman claims she was offered drinks by Brown after arriving, and later felt "a sudden, unexplained change in consciousness". It claims she became "disoriented, physically unstable, and started to fall in and out of sleep", before being led to a bedroom where Brown allegedly undressed and raped her. Brown is said to have contacted the woman the following day, telling her to take an emergency contraceptive. Newsbeat has also attempted to contact representatives of Diddy, but is yet to receive a response.where the alleged incident took place. According to the document, seen by the Newsbeat, the woman claims she was offered drinks by Brown after arriving, and later felt "a sudden, unexplained change in consciousness". It claims she became "disoriented, physically unstable, and started to fall in and out of sleep", before being led to a bedroom where Brown allegedly undressed and raped her. Brown is said to have contacted the woman the following day, telling her to take an emergency contraceptive. Newsbeat has also attempted to contact representatives of Diddy, but is yet to receive a response.where the alleged incident took place. According to the document, seen by the Newsbeat, the woman claims she was offered drinks by Brown after arriving, and later felt "a sudden, unexplained change in consciousness". It claims she became "disoriented, physically unstable, and started to fall in and out of sleep", before being led to a bedroom where Brown allegedly undressed and raped her. Brown is said to have contacted the woman the following day, telling her to take an emergency contraceptive. Newsbeat has also attempted to contact representatives of Diddy, but is yet to receive a response.disoriented, physically unstable, and started to fall in and out of sleep", before being led to a bedroom where Brown allegedly undressed and raped her. Brown is said to have contacted the woman the following day, telling her to take an emergency contraceptive. Newsbeat has also attempted to contact representatives of Diddy, but is yet to receive a response.disoriented, physically unstable, and started to fall in and out of sleep", before being led to a bedroom where Brown allegedly undressed and raped her. Brown is said to have contacted the woman the following day, telling her to take an emergency contraceptive. Newsbeat has also attempted to contact representatives of Diddy, but is yet to receive a response.

1-26-22 Playboy 'strongly supports' women accusing Hugh Hefner
Playboy has said it "strongly supports" women who recently came forward with "allegations of abhorrent actions" by the company's late founder Hugh Hefner.A new 10-part US docuseries accuses Hefner - who died in 2017 aged 91 - of coercing and drugging women into sex at the Playboy mansion and at nightclubs. Former girlfriends describe the iconic publisher as "like a vampire" who "sucked the life" out of young girls. The company is pledging to "actively listen and learn" from the women. "Today's Playboy is not Hugh Hefner's Playboy," read an open letter published over the weekend. "We trust and validate these women and their stories and we strongly support those individuals who have come forward to share their experiences." Touting its sex-positive brand and overwhelmingly female workforce, Playboy added it would "continue to confront any parts of our legacy that do not reflect our values today".Secrets of Playboy premiered on the A&E Network on 24 January. In it, veteran insiders and ex-girlfriends recount a "cult-like" atmosphere around the man known to fans as "Hef". "Women had been groomed and led to believe they were part of his family," said Miki Garcia, a former director of Playmate promotions, who claims she saw many Playmates overdose on drugs. Holly Madison, who dated Hefner for eight years and became his "special one", described the lifestyle as "a cycle of gross things" that led her to drink heavily and consider taking her life. Ms Madison moved into the mansion at age 21 but says Hefner "brainwashed" and controlled her to the point she was afraid to leave. "I watched girl after girl show up, fresh-faced, adorable and their beauty just washed away.We were nothing to him," said Sondra Theodore, a former model and actress who dated Hefner in the 1970s and 80s. She claimed the mansion hosted group sex events, fuelled by drugs, five nights a week.

1-25-22 Guatemala convicts ex-soldiers for raping indigenous women
Guatemala's highest court has sentenced five former paramilitaries to 30 years in prison for raping dozens of indigenous Mayan women during the country's civil war in the 1980s.The men were members of so-called Civil Self-Defence Patrols, armed groups formed and supported by the military. The 36 victims were aged 12-52 when the crimes happened, prosecutors said. "There were massacres. Many women were raped," said Antonina Vale, a survivor. "It's the pain we have in our hearts." Around 200,000 people were killed or disappeared in the 1960-1996 conflict. Most of them were members of indigenous groups, who were targeted by the army and right-wing paramilitaries, accused of supporting left-wing guerrillas. The three-week trial at the Supreme Court in the capital, Guatemala City, included testimony from survivors and relatives of the victims of the Achi indigenous group. The rapes, they said, happened around the village of Rabinal, north of the capital. The area,which was targeted heavily during the war, is the site of a mass grave with the bodies of more than 3,000 people. Judge Gervi Sical said the sentences had been handed down for crimes against humanity. The accused "disappeared" all the men from the village, and then raped, tied up and threatened the women, he was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. After being raped, they were urinated on. Speaking outside the courthouse, Ms Vale said she was pregnant when she was raped, and that the child had later died. "I asked the paramilitaries to spare me but they didn't listen to me," she said. "What happened to our lives and our bodies is not fair." Maxima Garcia, another survivor, said: "I was raped when I was seven months pregnant. I lost my boy...My mother was raped when she was eight months pregnant and they killed her. They left her hanging in the house." The five men heard the verdict via videoconference from the jail where they are being held.

1-25-22 Mexican journalist who said she feared for her life killed in Tijuana
Lourdes Maldonado López was shot Sunday night outside of her home in Tijuana, the third journalist to be killed in Mexico this month. An independent journalist, she made headlines in 2019 when she told Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference that she was in the middle of a labor dispute with her former employer, PSN, and feared for her life. At the time, PSN's owner, Jaime Bonilla Valdez, was running for governor of Baja California as part of the ruling Morena party, and Maldonado asked López Obrador for his "support, help, and labor justice." Last week, Maldonado won a lawsuit she filed against PSN for wrongful termination, and the company was ordered to pay her back wages. When asked about Maldonado's death on Monday, López Obrador called it "very unfortunate." He said it was too early in the investigation to know if her murder was connected to the labor dispute, and said the killings will only end "when we all move forward to purify public life so that materialism doesn't dominate, so ambition, ego, and hate are set aside." In 2020, more journalists were killed in Mexico than anywhere else in the world, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. At least four members of the media were the victims of targeted killings, the organization said, and a fifth was shot and killed after taking pictures of a crime scene. Mexico has an underfunded protection program for journalists, which is supposed to give them access to safe houses and bodyguard services. Maldonado was part of the program in 2021, but was still attacked multiple times, the Los Angeles Times reports. Prior to Maldonado's murder, photojournalist Margarito Martínez was shot and killed on Jan. 17 outside of his home in Tijuana. Earlier this month, reporter and editor José Luis Gamboa was stabbed to death in Veracruz state. Their murders are under investigation.

1-25-22 Brewdog chief James Watt accused of inappropriate behaviour
The chief executive of Scottish beer giant Brewdog has been accused of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power in the workplace by former staff. More than 15 ex-Brewdog workers have spoken out about CEO James Watt to the BBC's Disclosure programme. Former Brewdog USA workers said Mr Watt's behaviour made female bartenders feel "uncomfortable" and "powerless". Lawyers for Mr Watt said the allegations were false and he denied behaving inappropriately. Brewdog was founded in 2007 by Mr Watt - then just 24 - and his friend Martin Dickie and it has its headquarters in Ellon in the north east of Scotland. The company, which has more than 100 bars and employs more than 2,000 people worldwide, says it is worth about £2bn. In 2016, Brewdog opened its first bar in the US - in Columbus, Ohio - and it now has eight across three states. The BBC Scotland Disclosure team started investigating the company after almost 300 former and current Brewdog employees signed a letter last year accusing Mr Watt of presiding over a toxic culture of fear. The documentary The Truth about Brewdog features interviews with 12 former Brewdog USA staff who have alleged inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power in the workplace by Mr Watt. Katelynn Ising, who worked in DogTap, Brewdog's flagship bar and brewery in Canal Winchester, Ohio, said female staff would dress down when they knew Mr Watt would be in their bars. She said: "We would make a point to warn new girls - like, 'Hey, just so you know, James Watt's coming to town. "Just, kind of, leave after your shift, don't really hang around [and] don't always do your hair and makeup that day, like don't catch his attention.'" Katelynn said she witnessed Mr Watt take female customers on late night tours of the US brewery, next to the DogTap. "Sometimes there would be one woman, sometimes there would be a gaggle of women," she said. "They were always intoxicated, they were in their twenties usually. They were very pretty, and he would say he's taking them on a private tour of the brewery."

1-24-22 Kenya's 'hidden epidemic': Gender-based violence
When the Covid pandemic hit Kenya, cases of gender-based violence exploded. But a combination of fear, stigma and a lack of trust in the police mean the majority of cases are never reported. It has been described as Kenya’s "hidden epidemic". Africa Eye reporter Tom Odula investigates the deep-seated roots behind the violence, discovers the trauma behind the shocking statistics, and explores the police and government inaction that leaves survivors with little hope of justice.

1-23-22 The misogyny fueling America's mass shootings
One trait connects many American men who go on shooting sprees: a history of hating women.The motivations of these killers are often confused, complex, or simply not known. But researchers have found that many mass shooters, who are almost entirely men, are linked by a common thread: a history of misogyny, violence against female partners or family members, or sharing women-hating views online. A Bloomberg analysis of 749 mass shootings from 2014 to 2019 — incidents in which four or more people were shot and which weren't identified as gang-related, drug-related, or robberies — found that 60 percent of the attacks were either acts of domestic violence or committed by men with a record of domestic violence. Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub in 2016, beat and strangled his ex-wife during their marriage. Stephen Paddock, who killed 60 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas in 2017,was known to publicly dominate and bully his live-in girlfriend. And James Hodgkinson, who opened fire on a 2017 Republican congressional baseball practice, had been arrested a decade earlier for hitting and choking his foster daughter. "Most mass shooters have a history of domestic or family violence in their background," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "It's an important red flag." Researchers say many mass shooters are driven by a distorted view of masculinity, believing that being a "real man" requires aggression and domination. Some feel shame over men's diminished status in the economic and social order, which they take out on the women in their lives. "When it comes to male mass shooters,"said Hamline University criminology professor Jillian Peterson, many think that "the world owes me more than what I have." Others are loners who have failed to establish relationships with women and seethe with rage over that rejection. Robert Aaron Long, who went on a shooting spree at Atlanta-area massage parlors last March, said he felt tortured that he had sinned by paying for sex. He decided to remove the source of temptation by attacking three parlors and killing eight people, six of them Asian women. No — but the sheer number of mass shootings committed by abusers correlates with how widespread gun-related domestic violence is in America. In an average month in the U.S., more than 50 women are fatally shot by their partners. That figure alone doesn't reflect the full scale of the crisis.A 2018 University of Pennsylvania study found that some 4.5 million women have been threatened with a gun by an intimate partner and that nearly 1 million have been shot or shot at. "We really have to redouble our efforts in terms of preventing intimate-partner homicide," said James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, "especially in terms of guns." The Lautenberg Amendment, a 1996 amendment to an existing federal gun law, bans the possession of firearms by people convicted of certain domestic violence-related misdemeanors. Since its enactment, nearly 195,000 people have been stopped from buying guns; a 2017 study found that the amendment reduced gun murders of female intimate partners by 17 percent. But enforcement is patchy, and the law does not cover abuse by nonmarried partners without children — the "boyfriend loophole" — or alleged stalkers. There's also little to stop abusers from buying guns from private dealers online. Jody Lee Hunt of Westover, West Virginia, was officially barred from purchasing a gun, but he bought one on Facebook and used it to kill four people before turning it on himself. One of his victims, ex-girlfriend Sharon Kay Berkshire, had filed multiple restraining orders against him. "Red flag" laws in 19 states and the District of Columbia allow courts to remove firearms from people deemed "presently dangerous." And the 1994 Violence Against Women Act included a statute that barred anyone with a conviction or restraining order for domestic violence from owning guns. That law lapsed in 2019,and a revised version is facing opposition from some Republicans in the House and Senate as well as from the National Rifle Association, which says the tweaked legislation would close the "boyfriend loophole" in a way that is "too broad and ripe for abuse." Experts say it will be difficult with so many firearms in circulation. There are about 120 guns for every 100 Americans — no other country has more civilian guns than people — which partly explains why the U.S.'s gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other wealthy nations. For many men, gun ownership has become a way to reassert traditional masculine roles. "Being a provider is actually far more difficult than it was in my father's generation," said sociologist Michael Kimmel. "As the ability to be a provider has become more and more unstable, more and more threatened, men have been buying guns." Changing how we think about masculinity, said Watts, is essential to curbing mass shootings. "It's really toxic masculinity that's at the root of domestic violence and mass shootings — misogyny and easy access to guns."

1-22-22 Gabby Petito: Boyfriend of blogger 'responsible' for her murder
The boyfriend of killed blogger Gabby Petito "admitted responsibility" for her murder in a journal found with his body, according to the FBI. Brian Laundrie, 23, shot himself after Petito was found in September strangled in a Wyoming campground. The couple had been on a cross-country road trip. Laundrie's body was found in a Florida nature preserve near his parents' home on 20 October. The murder of Petito, 22, drew national media attention. "The investigation did not identify any other individuals other than Brian Laundrie directly involved in the tragic death of Gabby Petito," FBI Denver Division Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said in a statement on Friday. "The FBI's primary focus throughout the investigation was to bring justice to Gabby and her family." He said all "logical investigative steps have been concluded" in the case. In a statement, the Petito family thanked law enforcement for their investigation. They gave particular praise to the FBI's Victim Services Department, which they said helped the "entire family navigate through the worst moments of their lives". The couple had been documenting their travels on social media before Laundrie returned alone to his family home in North Port, Florida, on 1 September without Petito. She was reported missing by her mother on 11 September after she stopped responding to phone calls. Her body was discovered near Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park on 19 September. Laundrie's body was found in an area of the nature preserve that had previously been underwater, the FBI said. He was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, along with the journal, a revolver and a backpack. The FBI statement said that, on his journey back to Florida, Laundrie sent text messages between his and Petito's phones in an attempt "to deceive law enforcement by giving the impression Ms Petito was still alive". He also used her debit card without authorisation.

1-20-22 Robert Anderson: University of Michigan reaches sex abuse settlement
The University of Michigan has agreed to pay $490m (£360m) in damages to more than 1,000 mostly male former students who say they were sexually abused by sports doctor Robert Anderson.Lawyers announced the settlement after 15 months of negotiations over accusations dating back to the 1960s. One said he thought the settlement would bring "justice and healing". Anderson, who died in 2008, is said to have abused victims during routine medical examinations. A police investigation launched in 2018 said no charges could be filed because Anderson was dead and none of his alleged crimes fell within the state's six-year statute of limitations. In 2020, University of Michigan president Mark Schlissel apologised on behalf of the university to anyone harmed by the doctor. Last year, an independent report commissioned by the university found that over Anderson's career there, from 1966 to 2003, staff had missed many opportunities to stop him. Under the settlement, some 1,050 people will get a share of the $490m,with $30m set aside for any future accusers. "It has been a long and challenging journey and I believe this settlement will provide justice and healing for the many brave men and women who refused to be silenced," said the victims' lawyer, Parker Stinar. Many of the allegations against Anderson involved unnecessary rectal and testicular examinations. Former members of the university's famous American football team, the Wolverines, are among those who accused him of abuse. One of them, Gilvanni Johnson, told a news conference last year: "Because of my experience at Michigan, I did not trust doctors. I had trust issues, relationship issues and intimacy issues." In 2018, another college in the state, Michigan State University,agreed to pay $500m in a settlement with hundreds of women abused by disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who is in prison for his crimes.

1-15-22 US judge reassigned after reversing sex assault convictionAn Illinois judge who came under fire after overturning a man's sexual assault conviction has been removed from adjudicating criminal cases.
Last year, Adams County Judge Robert Adrian found Drew Clinton, 18, guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old. Mr Clinton faced a minimum of four years in prison, but this month Judge Adrian said the 148 days spent in jail by Clinton was "plenty of punishment". The judge has been assigned to civil cases, the Herald-Whig newspaper said. Judge Adrian's reversal during a January sentencing hearing drew immediate backlash from advocates for sexual assault survivors and the 16-year-old girl who reported the assault. "He made me seem like I fought for nothing and that I put my word out there for no reason," the girl told local station WGEM-TV. "I immediately had to leave the courtroom and go to the bathroom. I was crying."The teenager reported Mr Clinton sexually assaulted her after she became intoxicated at a party on 30 May, according to court documents. At trial, she testified she was unconscious and awoke to a pillow covering her face and Mr Clinton assaulting her. On 15 October, Mr Clinton was found guilty on one of three counts, of digitally penetrating the 16-year-old without consent. The charge carried a mandatory minimum sentence of four years. But in January of this year, Judge Adrian said the minimum sentence was "not just". "There is no way for what happened in this case that this teenager should go to the Department of Corrections," he said, according to court transcripts posted online by local media. "I will not do that." He said the court would "find that the People failed to prove their case"on the one charge, and reversed the guilty verdict to not guilty. The judge also noted Mr Clinton had only recently turned 18 prior to the incident and had no prior criminal record, and he also criticised the parents who provided alcohol to those at the party."This is what happens, he said, "when we have people, adults, having parties for teenagers, and they allow co-eds and female people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool".and they allow co-eds and female people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool".and they allow co-eds and female people to swim in their underwear in their swimming pool".

1-14-22 Franco Mulakkal: Kerala court clears bishop in nun's rapeAn Indian court has cleared a bishop accused of raping a nun between 2014 and 2016 in a case that had shocked one of the country's oldest Christian communities.
Franco Mulakkal, 54, was arrested from the southern state of Kerala in 2018. He had denied the allegations. The case sparked widespread protests after the nun alleged that the Catholic Church had ignored her complaints. The Vatican had temporarily relieved the bishop of his duties. On Friday, a trial court in Kottayam city of Kerala found him not guilty of the charges. "The prosecution failed to prove all the charges against the accused," said Kottayam Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) G Gopakumar. The nun's lawyers said they would challenge the verdict in the high court. But the bishop's legal team said it had "shattered the entire evidence" against him. "It is a hotly challenged case. It is bound to be taken to the high court. That's alright," Raman Pillai, who led the defence team for Mr Mulakkal,told BBC Hindi. "But the court said he was not guilty. Clearly, the evidence that was provided by the prosecution witnesses was discarded. This means the charge was false. There was no rape at all,'' he added. Mr Mulakkal was the bishop of a diocese in Jalandhar in the northern state of Punjab. His accuser belongs to the Missionaries of Jesus, a congregation in Kerala that is part of the Jalandhar diocese. She alleged that the bishop had raped her 13 times and the assaults happened when he visited the convent where she lived in the city of Kottayam, in Kerala. She had petitioned the Vatican and wrote an open letter to the Pope's representative in the Indian capital of Delhi in 2018 - which she claimed was her fourth letter to them. This led to unprecedented protests by nuns and activists who came out in support of the woman.Several other nuns who protested against the bishop had accused the church in Kerala as well as Vatican officials of turning a blind eye towards the rape allegations.

1-12-22 Greek sailing coach in rape trial over MeToo revelations
A Greek sailing coach has gone on trial in Athens accused of raping an 11-year-old girl, in a case that came to light when a gold medal-winning athlete spoke out about sexual abuse in sport.Coach Triantafyllos Apostolou appeared in court on Wednesday, almost 12 years after the alleged rape took place. The victim and her family were also in court, along with former Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou. Bekatorou's decision to highlight sexual abuse led to a MeToo campaign. Using the hashtag #metisofia - on Sofia's side - athletes went public with their experiences in December 2020, shattering a taboo over sexual violence. It was Bekatorou's stand that prompted the young woman to take legal action against her former coach. She was pictured walking to the court building hand in hand with members of her family. Triantafyllos Apostolou, 39, revealed his identity in an interview with Greek media in January 2021 shortly before being arrested.He told Protothema website that the girl had been older than 11 and that he had been keen to marry her until the case emerged. He has been held in pre-trial detention ever since. The young woman, now aged 21, told Greek TV on the eve of the trial that she had been raped and sexually and verbally abused from the age of nine. "It took me 10 years to understand that a child cannot be to blame," she told ANT1 TV. She hoped her decision to come forward would provide others with the same courage that she herself had gained from Sofia Bekatorou's initial move. "We have to break the silence, punish the abusers and bring to an end any stigma for victims of sexual abuse." Bekatorou spoke out during an online video conference, detailing how she had been subjected to "sexual harassment and abuse"in the hotel room of an unnamed Hellenic Sailing Federation (HSF) executive in 1998.

1-11-22 Italian raids after New Year sexual assaults in MilanItalian police have launched raids in the cities of Milan and Turin, after identifying 15 young men and three boys suspected of involvement in a series of sexual assaults on New Year's Eve.
Nine women have come forward to say they were attacked while celebrating in Milan's Piazza del Duomo. The allegations are reminiscent of the New Year's Eve attacks in the German city of Cologne six years ago. Italian police have used CCTV and amateur footage to identify suspects. In a statement, they said the young men and boys, aged 15 to 21, who were the targets of Tuesday's raids, had been identified as being allegedly involved in sexual assaults, robbery or aggravating wounding in Milan using footage and witness statements. Police and prosecutors said they were aware of three attacks during the evening in the northern city's central square and said those who took part were either foreigners or Italians of North-African origin. Investigators believe more than nine young women were attacked and are trying to trace other victims.In one incident a 19-year-old woman who had gone to celebrate the New Year with a friend was set upon by a pack of youths at around 01:30. While her friend managed to get away, the teenager was attacked for almost a minute before she was given help. Two young German students were pushed up against barriers and sexually assaulted and a girl was attacked separately in streets close to the piazza. One of the German women, aged 20, said that during the noise of fireworks and music they were attacked by dozens of people. "I realised they were touching me and we wanted to escape but there were too many of them," she told Ansa news agency. Her friend fell and suddenly she felt hands groping all over her, she said. Video has emerged of the attack showing the two young women trying to escape. Although police were on duty,the young German complained they did little to help and did not understand them when they tried to explain what had happened in English.

1-6-22 Guatemala soldiers face rape trial after 40 years The trial has begun in Guatemala of five former paramilitary soldiers accused of raping 36 indigenous Mayan women during the 1980s.
The abuse is alleged to have taken place over five years at the height of the civil war between the military government and left-wing guerrillas. Prosecutors say the victims' lives were shattered, and that one was only 12 years old when the abuse began. The five men accused of rape deny the charges. They are former members of Guatemala's Civil Self-Defence Patrols (PAC), local militias blamed for multiple atrocities during the 1960-1996 war. They joined the hearings through a video conference from the jail, where they will remain until a verdict is issued. Indigenous people were often targeted by the military government, which accused them of backing the rebels. The rapes are alleged to have happened around Rabinal, a small town in the department of Baja Verapaz to the north of the capital, Guatemala City.The area was targeted heavily during the war and is the site of a mass grave where the bodies of over 3,000 people lie. The identities of most of the women are being withheld for their own safety, according to their lawyer Lucia Xiloj. Only five of the 36 victims chose to attend the court hearing in person on the first day. Ms Xiloj said that many Mayan women "were raped after the (forced) disappearance of their husbands" by paramilitaries and soldiers. Blankets and flowers were placed outside the court as a gesture of solidarity with the women, Reuters reports. This is not the first trial of its kind to take place in Guatemala. In 2016, two ex-military members were sentenced to a combined 360 years in jail for the murder, rape and sexual enslavement of indigenous women. An estimated 200,000 people were either killed or disappeared during Guatemala's 36-year conflict.


43 Abuse of Women News Articles
for 2022

Abuse of Women News Articles for 2020