Media Coverage of Sexual Violence in Brazil

Journalistic Coverage of Sexual Violence Against Children in Brazil

Excerpt:

IMPACT

  • News coverage on stories involving sexual abuse/exploitation of children was found to evolve 200% in 10 years (from 2,004 news stories in the year 2000 to 6,024 in the year 2009).
  • In 2009, 18% of stories in the Tim Lopes Journalistic Contest included references to legislation, as compared to other news sources sharing information on sexual violence in general (9.7%) or children’s rights in general (5.7%). [See Slide 20 for more data]. Also, there was found to be an impact of this contest on the journalistic culture – e.g., winning journalists “gain a much deeper understanding of the problem and commit to it even if [they] change outlets/jobs” and they “become focal points within their newsrooms.”
  • The Tim Lopes contest has also been found to have impacted public policies/the state system. For example, there was an improvement of ECA (Brazilian Bill of Children’s Rights) through Amendment 485 regarding child pornography on the internet.
  • Although sexual exploitation is difficult to measure, due to the specific nature of the problem (e.g., it is an illegal activity, and many victims prefer to remain silent) and based on the “agenda setting” approach, ANDI believes that the level of public awareness on sexual violence against children in Brazilian society has grown in recent years due to more qualified media coverage.
  • ANDI cites accomplishments such as the following: public awareness about the National Day to Combat Sexual Violence, May 18, has grown annually; President Lula made the issue a priority regarding his social policies; a congressional investigation panel on the issue was established; and there was a significant growth in the number of calls to the national hotline (4,494 in 2003, compared to 29,756 in 2009).

Twice victimized

I’m happy to see sexual assault getting more media attention these days, stemming from the Penn State scandal. I can only hope this will continue to snowball – to include family court cases, for example.

The New York Times ran this article and has a follow up next week on the care of victims:

The twice victimized of sexual assault

It is all too easy to see why. More often than not, women who bring charges of sexual assault are victims twice over, treated by the legal system and sometimes by the news media as lying until proved truthful.

“There is no other crime I can think of where the victim is more victimized,” said Rebecca Campbell, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University who for 20 years has been studying what happens legally and medically to women who are raped. “The victim is always on trial. Rape is treated very differently than other felonies.”

So, too, are the victims of lesser sexual assaults. In 1991, when Anita Hill, a lawyer and academic, told Congress that the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her repeatedly when she worked for him, Ms. Hill was vilified as a character assassin and liar acting on behalf of abortion-rights advocates.

Credibility became the issue, too, for Nafissatou Diallo, an immigrant chambermaid who accused the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, of forcing her to perform fellatio in a Manhattan hotel room. Prosecutors eventually dropped the case after concluding that Ms. Diallo had lied on her immigration form and about other matters, though not directly about the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn.

When four women, two of whom identified themselves publicly, said they had been sexually harassed by Herman Cain, the Republican presidential hopeful, they, too, were called liars, perhaps hired by his opponents.

Charges of sexual harassment often boil down to “she said-he said” with no tangible evidence of what really took place. But even when there is DNA evidence of a completed sexual act, as there was in the Strauss-Kahn case, the accused commonly claim that the sex was consensual, not a crime.

One in four women abused

One in four women suffer sexual violence: study

Adele Horin
August 3, 2011 – 12:17AM

 

ONE in four women have been victims of sexual or domestic violence, or have
been stalked, according to a study into mental illness that found the median age
for being raped was 13.

It also found serious mental disorders and suicide attempts are prevalent
among women who had experienced these forms of gender-based violence.

Susan Rees, the lead researcher, from the school of psychiatry at the
University of NSW, said the impact of gender violence on women’s mental health
had been underestimated.

”This is a public health problem of some magnitude,” Dr Rees said.

The study, by a team of 14 psychiatrists, psychologists and statisticians
from the University of NSW and University of Melbourne, is published today in
the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association.

It is based on a survey of 4451 women aged 16 to 85, drawn from the Bureau of
Statistics 2007 National Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey. The survey is
representative of eight million women.

Previously unpublished figures show 27 per cent of women have experienced at
least one form of gender-based violence: about 8 per cent have been raped, 15
per cent have experienced sexual assault that did not involve penetration, 10
per cent have been stalked, and almost 8 per cent have been badly beaten by a
spouse or partner.

However, what shocked the authors was the strong association between the
women’s experience and serious mental illness. It was especially noticeable
among women with exposure to two or more forms of gender violence.

For example, among women with no exposure to gender violence, 28 per cent had
a serious diagnosed mental illness in their lifetime. But among those exposed to
two types of gender violence, 69 per cent had a serious mental illness. Among
those with exposure to three or more types of violence, almost 90 per cent had
illnesses such as anxiety disorders, substance abuse, or post traumatic stress
disorder, and nearly 35 per cent had attempted suicide.

”The violence has a serious impact on women’s ability to function, to work,
to sustain relationships, ” she said.

Gender-based violence was more prevalent among women from poorer backgrounds,
and the first occurrence was early – a median age of 12 for sexual assault, 13
for rape, 22 for being stalked, and 22 for violence from a partner.

The executive officer of the NSW Rape Crisis Centre, Karen Willis, said with
counselling soon after the event and support from family and friends, women had
every chance of quick recovery.

”If women leave it for 20 years and blame themselves, or if others tell them
to ‘get over it’, it’s more difficult,” she said. ”It’s the same with domestic
violence. If women get away, that’s important for their safety. But it takes
more than a house to recover from the impact on their mental health.”

Dr Rees said women’s services needed adequate funding to deal with serious
psychiatric problems and public education was needed to alter attitudes that
sanctioned violence against women.

This story was found at:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/one-in-four-women-suffer-sexual-violence-study-20110802-1i9za.html

Rape is rape (now, can somebody please tell the judges)

This is really bad…The judge overturned a 2-year sentence for 6 men that gang-raped 12-year-old girls. Not only that, he said the men had “positive good character” for confessing.

British judges free child rapists, say 12-year-old wanted sex

In March, six British soccer players confessed to gang-raping two 12-year-old girls and were sentenced to two years behind bars. But last week, an Appeal Court overturned the sentence, and all of the men were freed.

The reasoning? “The girls wanted to have sex,” said Lord Justice Moses, who was among the deciding judges. “And  they had pretty miserable, fleeting sex in a freezing cold park.”

Rape is rape  –  sign the petition to the FBI here

For 82 years, the FBI has defined “forcible” rape as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.” This means that rapes using fingers or an object aren’t counted–as well as non-consensual anal and oral penetration. The rapes of men, boys and transgender people also fall outside the legal definition. What’s more, the emphasis on “forcible” means that other categories of rapes often aren’t counted, either: those of victims who were unconscious, unable to consent because of physical or mental disabilities, or those where drugs or alcohol were used to gain control over the victim.

 

Take that Roy Black…a voice for victims talks back regarding the “false allegations” hysteria

Perps 1 Victims 0

Until Susan Brownmiller wrote a rebuttal to Roy Black’s power-to-the-perps article (see post below for Black’s article) that is.

Accused rapists don’t need more protections

Roy Black says with bitterness that it’s easier today than it’s ever been to get a conviction. He should have said that it is hypothetically easier to get a conviction. Rape is still the most under-reported crime in the nation, and convictions for rape have not increased dramatically since rape shield laws were put into effect during the 1970s to level the courtroom playing field by limiting the scope of inquiry into a victim’s past sexual history. I am all for rape shield laws because there are too many people out there who still want a rape victim to be pure in the Santa Maria Goretti tradition. Eleven-year-old Maria Goretti (1890-1902) was canonized as a saint for gladly dying in her struggle to defend her virginity in a sexual assault. Santa Maria does not match the profile of a typical rape victim.

Sympathy for the accused

So many rape-related articles are upsetting – this one is down-right distressing in how pro-perp it is.

Why we should protect those accused of rape

Here’s my comment, please consider commenting yourself:

More sympathy for the accused than the abused

This is one of the most ridiculous perp-protecting rubish I’ve ever read.

1) It’s not the “alleged victim” (bias), it’s the accuser.

2) Victims are not always granted anonymity – many victims’ names have turned up in the press, where they are also bashed and blamed.

3)If you take away victims’ anonymity, other victims couldn’t come forward (ie, more protection for the perp-and that seems exactly what you’re seeking)

4) An “electronic nanny”? Gosh, you can’t even hide your misogyny.

5) The “suffering of rape defendents” – ohmygosh. Have you read, Is it worse to be a rapist or a racist (Hint – the word has a c in it). MOST RAPISTS GET AWAY WITH RAPE. Most cases are not reported. According to RAIN, only 6% of rapists WILL EVER SERVE TIME IN JAIL.

6) There’s a far greater stigma for men accused of rape than victims? Not only will the media bash and blame victims, the comment sections on rape articles are so atrocious and sexist, it’s stomach-turning.

7) Easier to charge and convict? Have you ever in talked to a rape victim? Have you talked to organizations that help men and women who’ve been raped? Have you done an iota of research?

This is simply rubish. Perp-protecting, entitled, stereotyping (of women as false accusers) rubbish that I’ve ever read.

AND

The media print more articles on false allegations (which often dont explain context), which skews the thinking that there’s a hysteria of women accusing men of rape. Most credible stats put false allegations at 8-10% and most credible organizations will explain things like a person recanting, police not believing a victim, etc.

If you look at the Innocence Project, false allegations are not listed as one of the leading reasons of wrongful imprisonment – but media bias would have the public perceive it as such.

Media use the term false allegation for women, but not for men. For men, terms depicting skill or talent (set up, framed, etc.) are used.

Media refrain from stating that men also make false allegations, and that, in family court, research (Bala &Schumann) find that men make more false allegations (neglect, unfit) than women.

But, then again, stereotypes have more branding power than mere facts, And, nobody is stopping writers like Roy Black from using stereotypes rather than facts.

https://mediamisses.wordpress.com

Furthermore

, if you look at the history of the Victims Rights Movement, you’ll see there are more deniers than liars. Deniers have been the backlash which tries to thwart progress. Denying abuse lets it go unimpeded and can result in further abuse and murder.

Look at judges like Judge Lemkau who called Katie Tagle a liar (transcript on Internet) -and you’ll see the results of this stereotype – the judge called her a liar, gave her husband custody of the infant, and 10 days later both were found dead. Look at articles on rape & domestic violence and see the perps background – often enough, rather than locking him up, he was permitted by a lax criminal justice system to continue to abuse people (Jaycee Duggard). Often enough, in domestic violence, the perp is the “nice guy” that kills wife and/or kids.

What we need is a society that helps victims press charges – not a society that helps protect perps.

There is not one of us immune from having charges pressed against us. What we can do, is keep the press from using bias and judgement and see to it that perps are punished so they don’t keep abusing.

Canadian Supreme Court rules consent cannot be given when unconscious (duh!)

It’s a sad state of affairs when you need a Supreme Court to tell you an unconscious person can’t give consent!

No consent in unconscious sex case: Supreme Court

A woman cannot give advance consent to sexual activity while unconscious, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday.

The decision restores the conviction of an Ottawa man who regularly practised consensual erotic asphyxiation with his longtime girlfriend.

The case goes back to a particular episode in 2007 when the woman, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, complained to police about what her partner did to her after she passed out. At trial, the man was found guilty of sexual assault but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

On Friday, in a 6-3 decision, the country’s top court restored the conviction. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said consent ends once someone is unconscious or asleep.

“If the complainant is unconscious during the sexual activity, she has no real way of knowing what happened and whether her partner exceeded the bounds of her consent,” the ruling said.

Here’s a dissenting viewpoint:

“The approach advocated by the Chief Justice would also result in the criminalization of a broad range of conduct that Parliament cannot have intended to capture in its definition of the offense of sexual assault. Notably, it would criminalize kissing or caressing a sleeping partner, however gently and affectionately.”

Sounds like they’re protecting male entitlement. I hardly doubt any rational woman would run to court to press charges against her partner for kissing or caressing her. And if a person is not suppose to be kissing, caressing, or anything else- well, it should be a human right to seek protection from somebody doing something against our will.