Steubenville Verdict

PAVE Founder Angela Rose talks about the verdict in the Steubenville, OH rape case…and the CNN media coverage of when the verdict was read. Sign the Change.org petition – click here!

Watch the CNN Coverage:

Leave your comments here – we want to hear from you!

PAVE Founder on OWN

PAVE Founder Angela Rose on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) This Thursday, VDAY, 2/14, 10pmEST

Angela Rose

 

PAVE Founder, Angela Rose, will be on the Oprah Winfrey Network on Vday, Feb 14, 2013 at 10pmEST on the new show “I Got Away” as she shares her story of being kidnapped from a shopping mall, sexually assaulted and her journey to rise above the pain to found a national nonprofit PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment.

 

1 Billion Rising

On behalf of PAVE’s 50 chapters and affiliates….we RISE with Vday.org #1BillionRising
Important note: Although Angela’s story was a stranger assault, overwhelmingly sexual assault is committed by someone we know and trust. PAVE works to shatter the silence and end ALL sexual violence. WATCH ANGELA’S VIDEO BLOG ON RISING WITH VDAY

 

 

VAWA Action Alert!

UPDATE, Feb 4 –  THANK YOU…‘magic number’ of 60 bipartisan cosponsors of VAWA legislation reached! Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Friday that the Senate has enough votes to pass the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, with the Senate to begin consideration of the law this week. Thank your Senator! READ MORE

PAVE ACTION ALERT!

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), enacted in 1994, recognizes the insidious and pervasive nature of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and supports comprehensive, effective and cost saving responses to these crimes. Historically, VAWA has had bipartisan support! VAWA programs, administered by the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services, give law enforcement, prosecutors and judges the tools they need to hold offenders accountable and keep communities safe while supporting victims. VAWA must be swiftly reauthorized to ensure the continuation of these vital, lifesaving programs and laws.

THE SENATE WILL VOTE NEXT WEEK – WE NEED YOU!

Step one: Click here to find your state Senators

Step two: Click here to see if your Senators are in support of VAWA

Step three: If they are already a co-sponsor, please call to say thanks.

If you don’t see your Senator on the list of current co-sponsors, please call the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, ask for your Senator’s office. When they answer, say….

I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________. I urge Senator_____ to co-sponsor the S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the lifesaving Violence Against Women Act. Thank you and I look forward to hearing that the Senator is a co-sponsor.

Step four: Please leave a comment here when you have done this!

Step five: Forward this to your friends via FB/Twitter/Email

VAWA has improved the criminal justice response to violence against women by:

• holding rapists accountable for their crimes by strengthening federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and creating a federal “rape shield law,” which is intended to prevent offenders from using victims’ past sexual conduct against them during a rape trial;

• mandating that victims, no matter their income levels, are not forced to bear the expense of their own rape exams or for service of a protection order;

• keeping victims safe by requiring that a victim’s protection order will be recognized and enforced in all state, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions within the United States;

• increasing rates of prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of offenders by helping communities develop dedicated law enforcement and prosecution units and domestic violence dockets;

• ensuring that police respond to crisis calls and judges understand the realities of domestic and sexual violence by training law enforcement officers, prosecutors, victim advocates and judges; VAWA funds train over 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other personnel every year;

• providing additional tools for protecting women in Indian country by creating a new federal habitual offender crime and authorizing warrantless arrest authority for federal law enforcement officers who determine there is probable cause when responding to domestic violence cases

CLICK HERE to read more

Standing Up For What Is Right

I recently came across an article that bewildered my mind. It actually made me stop and reflect. It made me realize that predators are everywhere; they can even be in our own homes.

A woman was in a relationship with a man. They began having problems and she no longer wanted to be in the relationship; she ended it. He didn’t take it well and wouldn’t leave. Despite all her attempts he continued to affirm the relationship. Then when sex became an issue she declined and he forced it upon her anyway.

Big Mistake!

Simply because you are in a relationship with someone, or because you have had relations with them in the past does not in any way entitle you to do it again. If a person says no, even just once, that’s it! End of story.

This man was charged for rape and sentenced to jail time.

This is a great example of peoples sense of entitlement on those they are in a relationship with. A person’s body is their own temple to do as they want with, it is never at the disposal of another, even if it is ones spouse.

There were many people’s personal opinions brought in on this case too. Many people think that it shouldn’t be a big deal for them to still be intimate but when a person declines that simply means they don’t want to. Why should she do something that she doesn’t want to do, and furthermore why should people judge her for turning him in for it. She is not causing unnecessary problems, he did! It goes back to the ideas that we teach our children; we are in charge of our own actions and we will punished when we make the wrong choices.

Written by: Ashten Meadows

October 2012

Rihanna and Chris Brown Reunion?: Why Domestic Abuse Must Not Be Portrayed as Acceptable

The topic of choice this month for PAVE is Healthy Relationships. While February is almost over I want to continue the conversation considering recent news of Rihanna and Chris Brown collaborating on a remix, “Birthday Cake” and confirmation that they are “rekindling” their relationship after Rihanna was a victim of violent abuse in their previous relationship. While this “rekindling” is sure to get a lot of media coverage, I appreciate the feministing.com post going directly to the bigger issues involved that are more important than the celebrity couple reunion itself.

The post discussed how this would affect the conversation on domestic violence being that a reunion between the two celebrities would be a widely viewed, public affair. As mentioned in the post, this raises concern in part because it is not unlikely for victims to return to their abusers; but what kind of example does this set? Will people use this to cut off a real discussion about domestic violence, and the circumstances and norms that surround the issue because a female celebrity chose to restart a professional and/or personal relationship with her perpetrator?

I want to talk about why this happens. Why do victims of domestic violence return to their abuser? I am aware that their are circumstances that prevent victims from getting out of an abusive relationship, but that does not make the violence okay. I agree with the article that the main point is that even if Rihanna and Chris Brown get back together, domestic abuse is unacceptable with no exceptions. I just hope fans of Rihanna and Chris Brown don’t form the wrong impression about domestic abuse from this.

-Sarah

 

University Action Taken in Penn State Sexual Assault Scandal, But is it Enough?

Many of you may have received the PAVE Action Alert about the Penn State sexual assault scandal involving a former coach. Many more of you may have heard about the story recently in the news, but how many of us have responded with action to prevent and stop this violence from taking place and going unreported?

Jerry Sandusky, the former football defensive coordinator at Penn State, was charged with several counts of various offenses including sexual assault all involving young men. The Associated Press article, ‘Penn State Ex-Coach Charged in Sexual Abuse Case,’ reported the following:

Sandusky, who worked with at-risk children through his Second Mile organization, was charged with seven counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; eight counts of corruption of minors, eight counts of endangering the welfare of a child, seven counts of indecent assault and other offenses. A preliminary hearing for Sandusky is scheduled for Wednesday.

This article also reported that Tim Curley, the athletic director at Penn State , had lied in his testimony to knowing of Sandusky’s actions according to the grand jury report. Despite these allegations Curley is not being held liable along with other football officials accused of knowing about Sandusky’s assaults by the university. It seemed the university was continuing its Division I football as if nothing unsettling had happened. However, the growing criticism from this scandal did result in the firing of Joe Paterno, the head football coach at Penn State, and Penn State president Graham Spanier. Other than this though, the university has not any other taken action involving other football officials.

A troubling follow up story from the Associated Press reported that John Matko, an alumni of Penn State, received a negative reaction from his protest at the Penn State football game last Saturday. Another article did report that attendees of the football game ‘showed their symbolic support for victims of child abuse’ by buying shirts and donating money to child abuse prevention organizations.

I feel like the university took the least amount of action necessary to avoid an uproar from its students, employees, alumni, and the general public. If this is where the action stops in response to this violence then it is simply not enough. This is something we need to be talking about. Incidents such as these cannot be covered for their shock value and then forgotten when the media moves on to another story. We have to look at what was going on that would allow something like this to take place.

I want university officials along with the media to take responsibility to explore and talk about the issue of sexual violence; especially in that men and women, and boys and girls are at risk.

How can we move forward and turn this into an opportunity to raise awareness, promote bystander efforts, and talk about why there should be zero tolerance for perpetrators of sexual violence?

-Sarah

 

Edgy Website has Great Message But Owes Viewers More Content

The website israpefunny.com provides various responses to simply and directly send the same message: Rape is NOT funny.

As far as shock value goes, this website offers that, which at least captures the viewer’s attention for a moment. This however presents the opportunity to offer educational material, which is a vital component to prevention of sexual violence. The website tell us that sexual violence is absolutely not a humorous topic, but it does it in such a blunt way that I worry it may actually turn people away from further thinking about or discussing the topic. It has to invite us to further explore the reasons why sexual violence is not funny and why it is important that we take action of some kind.

The website does include ‘Resources list TBA,’ so hopefully those resources will be helpful and soon added. I would like to see a discussion forum offered here to at least create an environment for people to share their reactions to the website. What would you like to see added this website? Do you think it is appropriate in efforts to stop sexual violence?

 

-Sarah

Females Veterans, Victims of Sexual Assault During Service

http://blog.usnavyseals.com/2010/08/are-women-vets-getting-limited-access-to-health-care.html

An unsettling article recently published on the BBC News Magazine website overviews the various spheres of torment females who serve in the armed forces risk experiencing – including sexual assault.

Military sexual trauma, MST, includes sexual harassment and sexual assault. It is called ‘Rape by Rank’ because often perpetrators are victims’ colleagues, fellow soldier in arms. The suffering that is already a part of any soldiers time spent away from home and loved ones is worsened by complete betrayal within the unity and trust that is supposed to exist within any military unit.

This type of community goes past the reality that every woman and man is someone’s child or loved one. In this type of community every woman and man is a sister or brother. That is the idea that should develop when you train or work in an environment where trusting everyone around you with your life and trusting their life to you is a core part of military life. One victim shared in the article that she and fellow female soldiers would make sure they went to the showers together, which shows the heightened defensive environment created by MST.

Unfortunately this is not just an issue in the US military.  ‘Skype scandal reveals a decades-old rape culture in Australia’s military,’ is a recent post on Feministing about the Australian Defense Force’s response to cadets experiencing sexual assault perpetrated by fellow cadets.

According to the article, 14.5% of active members in the military are women and 15% (according to recorded reports) of female veterans experience military sexual assault. It talked about how these women deal with the same negative effects of warfare as men including PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I feel there has been a lot of focus on addressing this when soldiers return from deployment, and there should be just as much attention given to cases of Military sexual trauma. It is a terrible truth that this happens within the armed forces community, but it is even worse that military administration is not actively working against it.

I think it is going to take administrative action for structural change in the environment it creates for our military – but where does that start? What does it take to induce action by those in positions of power to create change?

- Sarah