Saturday, August 2, 2014

‘5 Uncomfortable Truths About Rape on College Campuses.’

Today one of our members shared this article with me. I found it pretty eye opening in a few aspects so I thought I’d share. His points are powerful and though crude, they hammer the issue home in several ways.

Here’s the quick version of ‘5 Uncomfortable Truths About Rape on College Campuses.’

#5. Doing the Right Thing Will Hurt the Colleges
Colleges with higher reports of rape see a drop in enrollment, despite the fact that they may not actually be the worst places to be.”

#4. College Administrators Are Experts at Shutting Down Activism
"They keep tenured faculty in control using similar means: They treat them as personal equals, they encourage them to form committees, study problems, provide the administration with advisory reports, and by the time the administration has unambiguously ignored the faculty's advice, so much time has passed that the faculty has forgotten the problems or is just too tired to fight for the solution. It's even easier with students because they're gone in four years, and over the summers."

#3. Rape Prevention Training Is a Massive Undertaking
Studies have found that men will admit to rape if you don't describe it as rape. This doesn't mean that all men are rapists, or that men are evil or stupid or anything; it means that they're not educated about sex, what it means, and how to go about it. And we're going to stay that way if left to our own devices, because there's an inherent terror in discovering that something you thought was OK is actually hurting people, because no one wants to think of themselves as assholes. It'll take way more than a half-hour seminar to get over that kind of mental block, but gosh, I'd argue it's worth the time.”

#2. We Are Terrible at Thinking About Sex
Nothing I'm saying should be taken as an attempt to take pressure off of criminals. Rapists should be punished. I seriously can't stress that enough. But I'm not content to merely punish people after a crime is committed -- I want to prevent that crime from ever happening at all. And I think making people feel more comfortable with themselves, their urges, and their junk might be a good way to accomplish that.”

#1. This Isn't a "College" Problem
Besides, if you finish school and go into graduate school, you're still going to have to deal with rape. If you go join the Peace Corps, you're still going to have to deal with rape. Hell, if you Google "rape [your profession]," odds are you're going to get some hits that depress you. Everywhere is terrible. Everywhere.
What does this mean? I think these points are worth bringing to a discuss on how to help improve rape conversations in general, not just colleges.

#5 – Yes I would be leary of attending a place with a high crime rate, such as rape, but I might be more convinced if they had a high conviction rate to go with it.

#4 – After being in college myself, I can definitely say it is a fact colleges will wait for personal fuses to fizzle out.

#3 – One of my ex’s was a virgin and to be honest the first time we had sex it was awful. Not in that it sucked, but he did things that borderlined rape feelings and I was too scared of screwing up our relationship to tell him. I think if we increased education and understanding on sex and rape it could have helped prevent that.

#2 – Though this one is hard to serperate from point #3, I think it basically follows the lines of educating yourself better. Basically not just punish, but prevent by keeping it from happening to start with.

#1 – Rape IS everywhere, we shouldn’t just limit this to a college issue.

On a side note he made a very important point as to why no one reports rape:
And why is rape underreported? Because doing so changes the way other people see you. You become part of a national controversy. If your friends and family find out, they might start condescending to you by warning you off of certain movies or TV shows, assuming that you're suddenly a fragile piece of china that must be constantly protected. Reporting an assault isn't just one difficult conversation, it's thousands. And in every single one, there's the risk that that person won't believe you.”

That fear is one of the most important driving factors in preventing healing. Not only get justice and convict, but actually start to heal from a victim to a survivor.

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

An Important Message from Avenged Sevenfold

To all of our loyal fans, friends, followers and supporters.

Recently we heard about the tragic suicide of a 16 year old from the UK who was listening to music and watching videos of, among others, Avenged Sevenfold and an older project of some band members, Pinkly Smooth, in the hours prior to his death.  We want you all to know that we are devastated and heartbroken for his family, friends and community.  Their pain must be unimaginable and our condolences go out to them.  Experts in the field of suicide have assured us that there are always many things that go into a tragedy like this, and while music can play a powerful role in someone’s life, it does not cause something like this to happen, especially not alone.  Research shows that 90% of those who take their life have a brain illness, or a mental illness, going on at the time of their death.  This is something most people don’t want to talk about and that keeps them from getting the good help and treatments that are out there. 

The news of this young man’s death has shaken all of us in the band.  Fan or not, no one should have to feel such hopelessness. It has also made us more committed than ever to do something about it so that it doesn’t happen again.  If you’ve been among our faithful followers, you know that we are part of a huge event coming up on May 10th - the Rise Above Fest.  We couldn’t be more honored and happy to be part of this event in support of Seether's efforts to help raise awareness about the realities of suicide.  They have partnered with a great non-profit organization that is dedicated to suicide prevention - SAVE – Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, is one of the leading organizations of its kind in the world.  We have reached out to SAVE and will do our part to join their fight against the stigma of suicide and mental illnesses.  We want to make a difference and you can too. 

If you are in the Bangor, Maine part of the country on May 10th, come to the festival (  If you can’t be there, check out the online auction where you can find some autographed items that we have provided to help raise money for SAVE – your donation will go directly to helping prevent another tragedy leaving so many to question “why”.
If you want to learn more about suicide prevention, visit

On behalf of all of us in the band, our management, crew, and our families please know that you too can get through it.  Don’t ever give up!  Together, let’s make sure no one else dies this way.

- Avenged Sevenfold

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1 is 2 Many and the White House Task Force for Students

I could post a long article about this, but the video explains it all.

What is the video for?  President Barack Obama released new anti-sexual assault videos with celebrities such as Vice President Joe Biden, Daniel Craig, Benicio Del Toro, Steve Carell, Seth Meyers and DulĂ© Hill.
Vice President Biden introduced the PSA during the official release of "The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault". The main objective of the task force's report is devoted to increasing male activism and awareness surrounding issues of sexual assault. This video in particular is part of the 1 is 2 Many campaign.

The 1 is 2 Many campian is specifically trying to reducing violence against women specifically on teens, students, and young women ages 16-24. The Vice President pushed for the inclusion of vulnerable groups in the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and he remains committed to supporting all survivors.

Vice President Biden also joined President Obama when he created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, co-chaired by the Office of the Vice President and the Council of Women and Girls. The Task Force is releasing a new initiative, Not Alone, which provides resources to students, advocates, and universities. By targeting the importance of changing attitudes that lead to violence and educating the public on the realities of abuse, the Vice President is leading the way in an effort to stop this violence before it begins.
The upside to this video is it “It does emphasize the vital role men play in preventing sexual violence…The video clearly condemns victim blaming while emphasizing affirmative consent and bystander intervention.”

The major downside though is the video “utterly neglects male victims of sexual assault and violence — a sorely missed opportunity for meaningful inclusion of a group too often left out of these discussions.”

Overall though I am very excited the White House is making a visuable effort to do something, anything at all about sexual abuse.

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Reclaiming Rape and Men Stats

Can good come from a horrible crime? Yes, yes it can.

In a new article When Men Are Raped, by Hanna Rosin, the National Crime Victimization Survey discovered 38% of rape and sexual violence were against men. The only explanation officials could over was the “publicity surrounding former football coach Jerry Sandusky and the Penn State sex abuse scandal.
In 2010 the Centers for Disease Control invented a category of sexual violence called “being made to penetrate.” This definition includes victims who were forced to penetrate someone else with their own body parts, either by physical force or coercion, or when the victim was drunk or high or otherwise unable to consent. When those cases were taken into account, the rates of nonconsensual sexual contact basically equalized, with 1.270 million women and 1.267 million men claiming to be victims of sexual violence.
Millions guys. MILLIONS. Think on that a second. It’s not 5 people, 10 people in your local neighborhood, it’s M-I-L-L-I-O-N-S.

Let’s look at some more stats to blow your mind.
  • Recent analysis of BJS data, for example, turned up that 46 percent of male victims reported a female perpetrator.   
  • 2010 Chicago reported 86,767 cases of rape but used its own broader definition, so the FBI left out the Chicago stats. 
  • Of juveniles reporting staff sexual misconduct, 89 percent were boys reporting abuse by a female staff member. 
  • Inmates aren’t counted in the general statistics at all. In total, inmates reported an astronomical 900,000 incidents of sexual abuse.
  • Women were more likely to be abused by fellow female inmates, and men by guards, and many of those guards were female. 

900,000 in prisons alone? And it doesn’t even count towards the 1.267 million reported in survey by the CDC?
As Stemple sees it, feminism has fought long and hard to fight rape myths—that if a woman gets raped it’s somehow her fault, that she welcomed it in some way. But the same conversation needs to happen for men. By portraying sexual violence against men as aberrant, we prevent justice and compound the shame.
One of the most powerful points in the article though for both men and women was about the terminology of rape.
Feminists claimed the more legalistic term of sexual assault to put it squarely in the camp of violent crime. Bazelon argues in her story for reclaiming the term rape because of its harsh unflinching sound and its nonlegalistic shock value. But she also allows that rape does not help us grasp crimes outside our limited imagination, particularly crimes against men. She quotes a painful passage from screenwriter and novelist Rafael Yglesias, which is precisely the kind of crime Stemple worries is too foreign and uncomfortable to contemplate. 
I used to say, when some part of me was still ashamed of what had been done to me, that I was “molested” because the man who played skillfully with my 8-year-old penis, who put it in his mouth, who put his lips on mine and tried to push his tongue in as deep as it would go, did not anally rape me. … Instead of delineating what he had done, I chose “molestation” hoping that would convey what had happened to me. 

Of course it doesn’t. For listeners to appreciate and understand what I had endured, I needed to risk that they will gag or rush out of the room. I needed to be particular and clear as to the details so that when I say I was raped people will understand what I truly mean.
I think this can be very, very powerful. I know when I was first dealing with consuelors I would say I was touched, or molested and it filled me with shame and I would shy away from facing it. When I got to the point I could say rape, my attitude changed. I grew more angry and I could face it more unflinchingly. It finally helped me heal faster because I no longer was sugarcoating it for myself. Words can make all the difference to people, but mostly to one’s self.

It’s a very interesting article I total suggest you read the whole story here and broaden your mind:

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Girl's Gone Wild in the Red Light District. - Video

I could explain this, but it's more powerful if you watch it first.

Like the description said, This video was an awareness campaign created by Duval Guillaume Modem and produced by monodot in support of STOP THE TRAFFIK. (Visit to get involved.and the music was A-shja by Raveyards vs. DJ Uinkxxx.)

STOP THE TRAFFIK was started when Phil Lane worked at a day centre for vulnerable children in Mumbai, India.

“Phil was concerned about a 7 and 9 year old brother and sister who lived with their parents on Thane station, having attended the centre for a few months they suddenly stopped attending. Phil went to ask the father if the children were alright. Their father told Phil the two children had been sold to a man who offered them work for the equivalent of $20.
The children have never been seen since. Nobody knows for sure what happened to them. In that area of Mumbai children often disappear. They are kidnapped, sold and trafficked into sexual exploitation, forced labor, adoption and even child sacrifice.  Phil was deeply affected by what happened and knew he had to do something to prevent it happening to others. At the same time a number of UK organisations with a global reach wanted to work together to commemorate the 2007 Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Stories and passions from around the world merged together andSTOP THE TRAFFIK was born.”

It’s such a sad, yet touching story. It’s something small, that happens every day all over the world. Many of you will remember our past blog about Demi and Ashton’s DNA Foundation (Here - I'm so excited to see such new, creative, and powerful ways of reaching out and touching people. 

STOP THE TRAFFIK site is VERY informative, artistic, and  informational without being overwhelming. It even has real life stories you can read, or listen too. You can really feel the impact their campaign is having on the world and the hope real survivors have on the people who join.
Sophie - UK

"Two years ago everything changed. I was trafficked. I was fooled. I was deceived by a man who said that he loved me. The tragedy is that I believed him. Now I know that love is not shown by forcing me to work on the streets, beating me up, force feeding me and turning me into someone with no mind of my own. I had become like a frightened rabbit. I was terrified that he would kill me. Death too often felt like my only way to escape. 
 People are product. I was one of them. But I am a survivor. 
I have a new life but I am haunted by the faces of those who used me, those whom I did not choose, those for whom I was nothing more than a ten-minute thing. 
Please join STOP THE TRAFFIK and make a difference to people's lives... ... people like me."
 So what are their plans for the future? Just to keep reaching out.
 At the end of the two years momentum through the support of 1.5 million activists had been gained.  It was clear this was the beginning of something rather than the end. STOP THE TRAFFIK became an independent charity, and it's founder Steve Chalke became a United Nations Special Advisor on Community Action Against Trafficking.
 With your help STOP THE TRAFFIK will continue to grow and reach those at risk as well as inspire people to become voices against trafficking.


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Did you know? – Victim Restitution is in the Supreme Court?

Did you know if you were a victim of being forced to be in child porn, you can actually sue your abuser? The Violence Against Women Act provides that people whose images are used in child pornography can sue the viewers of the pictures and videos—the people who are convicted for possessing them. They can also sue the distributors and the producers. 

A woman, only known as Amy Unknown, is filing with the Supreme Court to make it easier for victims of child pornography to collect restitution from people who view their images on their computers.
It all started when Doyle Randall Paroline, 48, was arrested in 2009 after an employee at a computer company found sexually explicit images of minors on his computer.
“Of the 150-300 incriminating images found on Paroline's computer, just two were of Amy. Paroline pleaded guilty and received a 24-month prison sentence. Amy, now her early 20s and living in Pennsylvania, was a child when her uncle sexually abused her and widely circulated images of the abuse, according to court records.
 The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said it has found at least 35,000 images of Amy's abuse in more than 3,200 child pornography cases since 1998.
 In at least 174 cases, Amy has been awarded restitution in amounts ranging from $100 to more than $3.5 million.”

In Paroline’s case, he is appealing an order holding him responsible for the full amount of losses, nearly $3.4 million. This amount was calculated by a psychologist working for James Marsh, an attorney for Amy. Though this seems like a ridiculous sum, the money is intended to cover the cost of psychological care, lost income and attorneys' fees.
“Advocates for child pornography victims say that holding defendants liable for the entire amount of losses better reflects the ongoing harm that victims suffer each time someone views the images online.
 Last year, the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said in a 10-5 decision that victims do not have to show a link between the crime and their injuries.

The threat of a large financial judgment, coupled with a prison term, also might deter some people from looking at the images in the first place, the advocates say.
 'The threat that a person in the child pornography market may well bear the entire cost of the harm done to the victim, even if they are a ''minor player'', is likely to be a large deterrent, especially when the harm done typically runs into the millions for a victim's lifetime of care,' said Marci Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University. Hamilton wrote a brief in the case on behalf of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. 
The real question is whether a court must impose all of Amy's aggregate losses on each defendant. Regardless of the outcome of the court case, Congress could change the law. The U.S. Sentencing Commission recommended that lawmakers consider doing just that to eliminate confusion among federal judges about the right way to calculate restitution.”

However, the laws in that involve calculating restitution are not steady across the board. In another case involving Amy, The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco threw out a restitution order because it found there was not a sufficient link between a man convicted of possessing child pornography and the women.
Author Emily Bazelon said “I wrote about Amy and a second victim, who goes by Nicole, for the New York Times Magazine a year ago, and they both felt nervous about being the first to come forward and ask for restitution. It’s a hard role to play when your biggest fear is being exposed. But they’ve also taken increasing pride about paving the way for other victims to win compensation, especially to pay for counseling, which has helped both of them overcome their experiences of trauma. Both Amy and Nicole attended the argument on Wednesday. Afterward, Amy told me she was thrilled. And Nicole texted me to say, “I felt like the judges really grasped the issues and tried to hash them out.”
That’s what it’s really about, the money is secondary, but paving the way for healing is the most important part.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Rapex – The Anti-Rape Condom

Believe it or not a South African inventor has created a condom to help prevent rape. Yes you read that correctly, a condom.
"Nothing has ever been done to help a woman so that she does not get raped and I thought it was high time," Sonette Ehlers.
The “Rapex” is a device worn like a tampon, but made of latex like a real condom. When the rapist tries to enter the woman’s vagina he is held firmly in place by shafts of sharp barbs that latch onto the perpetrators penis and can only be removed from the man through surgery.
"He will obviously be too preoccupied at this stage…I promise you he is going to be too sore. He will go straight to hospital.” 
The condom is made of latex and this allows time for the victim to escape and help identify the perpetrators. It also reduces the chances of a woman falling pregnant or contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases from the attacker.

Elhers goal is to cut down one of the highest rates of sexual assault in the world.
“Police statistics show more than 50,000 rapes are reported every year, while experts say the real figure could be four times that as they say most rapes of acquaintances or children are never reported. South Africa has more people with HIV/AIDS than any other country, with one in nine of its 45 million population infected.”
So what’s the down side?
"If a victim is wearing such a device it may enrage the attacker further and possibly result in more harm being caused," said Sam Waterhouse, advocacy co-ordinator for Rape Crisis.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. All in all I’m just glad someone is doing something about rape, and it is still the woman’s choice if she wants to use this method. This however does not stop molestation, or other forms of abuse.
Elher’s did say that "this is not about vengeance ... but the deed, that is what I hate," she said.

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