LaPrincipessa's picture

"If you talk, I'll kill you"

A very common trait of domestic violence is the threat by the abuser to inflict further physical harm in the event the victim talks about the abuse. This is part of the overall abuse cycle and is one of many reasons victims remain in abusive relationships, often times long after they have been physically assaulted.
Last week, Rihanna, who is a famous singer and was infamously beat up by her then boyfriend Chris Brown, spoke about the incident. She described the violence in detail and explained why she was photographed with her attacker after the abuse. She spoke candidly about her emotions and her feelings about her abuser. She revealed herself to be conflicted, insecure, devastated, strong and beautifully unashamed. All of which are normal reactions displayed by victims of domestic violence. To be brutalized by someone you so desperately love is very confusing and more damaging emotionally than many can imagine.
arvan's picture

Prison Guards Make Money Selling Rape in DRC

Former inmate describes how corrupt jail staff collude in sexual exploitation of female convicts.

By Heritier Maila in Lubumbashi (AR No 235, 5-Nov-09)

A former inmate of Kasapa central prison in Lubumbashi has claimed that rape and sexual abuse of female prisoners is widespread, leading to many women becoming pregnant and giving birth while in jail.

Masudi Sangwa, who spent nearly five years in Kasapa for embezzlement and assault, said that male inmates often pay prison guards to provide them a female prisoner with whom they can have sex. The women frequently do not have a say in the matter, he said.

Towards the end of his time there, Masudi was made head of his prison unit, a role that entailed taking care of other inmates and their belongings, and helping the guards to maintain discipline.

Sangwa says that this gave him a perspective on prison life not usually available to other inmates, and allowed him to see how corruption and poor prison management play a role in the sexual exploitation of female prisoners.

As a unit head, Sangwa explained that he was able to stay outside the prison buildings later than the other prisoners, who had to be returned to their cells by 5.30 pm.

“It is during these night hours that many things happen outside,” he said. “Unit heads meet with guards from 7 pm in the waiting room of the prison hospital, which is turned into a nightclub.  Lutuku (traditional alcohol) is widely served.”

arvan's picture

New Site Details Abuse of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

Yana Buhrer Tavanier is a freelance journalist from Sofia, Bulgaria.  She has been working on a project to detail the abuse of adults institutionalized in Bulgaria, Romania & Serbia.

She has set up a blog to help release the information in text and images called Dumping Grounds for People.  It is by far, the most powerful site I have seen this year.  Human beings stripped of identity, dignity, care and respect.  These are mothers, brothers, daughters and friends - abandoned to squalor, poison and disease until their bodies finally decay and fail.

Here is a preview from this video portion of this project. [trigger warning]


arvan's picture

Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) Condemn the Tabled Anti-Homosexuality Bill

[via IGLHRC]

As a network of human rights activists, working in the areas of sexual rights as well as other human rights issues, we write to urge you to oppose a repressive bill which was tabled in Parliament of Uganda on 14th October 2009.  This bill is a blow to the steady progress of democracy in Uganda. It proposes criminalization of advocacy and support for the rights of homosexual Ugandans.  It also prohibits any public discussion or expression of gay and lesbian lives and any organizing around sexual orientation.  In doing so, it violates the basic rights to freedom of
expression, conscience, association, and assembly, as well as internationally recognized protections against discrimination.  The proposed bill intention is to divide and discriminate against the Ugandan homosexual population, and exclude them from participation in public life, which goes against the inclusive spirit necessary for our economic as well as political development. Its spirit is profoundly undemocratic and un-African.

Over the recent months increased campaigns of violence have gone uncontrolled.  The violence directed at homosexual Ugandans has resulted in the unwarranted arrests of many people; there are eight ongoing cases in various courts all over Uganda of which four accused persons are unable to meet the harsh bail conditions set against them.  These acts of violence have now resulted in the deaths of several homosexual people, such as Brian Pande at Mbale Hospital as he awaited trial.  This bill aggravates stigma and hatred; and renders all promised protections enshrined in the constitution for all Ugandan citizens void.

arvan's picture

Sex for food in Nyeri slums

Girls as young as 10 are now trading their bodies for food as hunger and poverty ravage slums.

[Daily Nation] Nyeri may be considered the land of plenty, but in these times of famine, that label means nothing in Witemere slums, where girls trade their bodies for food.

The slum on the banks of River Chania is barely two kilometres from Muringato, which was recently in the news for all the wrong reasons - hungry villagers eating pig food to survive.

Now, residents of Witemere say hunger is driving their daughters, some as young as 10-14 years, out of school and straight into the arms of sex pests.

They say theirs is a forgotten village, where hunger is the order of the day. Amidst that misery, predators prowl the dusty lanes, seeking desperate girls who are only too willing to give their bodies in exchange for a few coins to buy food.

Mothers with nothing to feed their children actually tell their daughters to make the best of it.

arvan's picture

Proposed Ugandan Legislation Attacks Sexual Minorities and Their Defenders


IGLHRC expresses grave concern about ongoing detentions in Uganda based on charges of homosexuality, and calls for the dismissal of a bill that would severely curtail the rights of sexual minorities and their defenders.

Since March, a number of alarming instances of anti-LGBT persecution in the East African nation of Uganda have seriously eroded the country's already fragile commitment to tolerance and human rights.  Article 145a of the Penal Code Act of 1950 criminalizes "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature" – a charge used to prosecute, persecute and blackmail LGBT people with the threat of life imprisonment.  Members of this country's Parliament are now considering an even harsher law in the form of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, introduced last week by Ndorwa West MP David Bahati.

Olga Wolstenholme's picture

When is it OK to Reveal a Secret?


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  • LaPrincipessa's picture

    How Did We Get Here?

    With all the steps forward our society has taken, it is still fun and politically correct to laugh at someone that has been beaten, who has been publically humiliated, who is now subject to derision and late night humor. How did this happen? Why is this okay?

    Women are murdered and the press asks “what did she do, who were her friends?” Why is her death somehow her responsibility? How can she still be faulted? She’s not even here to defend herself, and the press treats the crime as if she could have somehow avoided it.

    This is what I fucking hate so much: the notion that we, as women, can somehow avoid being abused if we “do the right thing”. Go to the right school, don’t fuck around, have popular friends, come from an un-broken home. We should be able to look around and identify, at first sight, that our future high school boyfriend will someday grab our neck and choke us until we pass out, and avoid him at all costs. It is our responsibility to remain un-abused; it is not the abusers fault, because we should have known. And if we are slutty, bitchy, bi sexual, lesbian, wear tight clothing; well we are just asking for it, we deserve it.

    arvan's picture

    A senseless death!!

    This was posted at Stop Street Harassment!  It deserves as much attention as possible.  The cultural sense of entitlement and permission (via acceptance) for men to violently attack women, has got to stop.  It helps no one and dooms us all to the effects of ignorance and brutality.

    Last Friday night after a high school football game, Jazmine Thompson was in a car with three other female friends when Daniel Floyd Williams approached them, asked for sex, walked away, came back waving a gun and fired at the young women. Jazmine was killed. Her life is over. Daniel was charged with second-degree murder.

    This is ridiculous! I’m tired of reading about boys and men who think they are so entitled to women’s attention and bodies that they react with anger when the women reject them.

    Jazmine is not the first (nor surely the last) female to be killed in such a senseless way by a man. Gender-based violence like this is most often (but not always) perpetrated by a man against his former or current intimate partner, often when he feels rejected or as though he’s lost control over “his” woman. But, as this story shows, such violence happens between complete strangers, too.  Here are stories about four other women who, like Jazmine, were murdered by unknown men after rejecting them.

    We must all do our part to help end the idea that men can and should prove their manhood and masculinity through sexual conquests and that rejection by a woman justifies retaliation in the form of insults, physical abuse, and murder. This mindset and behavior is wrong and it must end.

    (thank you to reader Sym for the story tip)

    arvan's picture

    Senegal: Release the four men arrested in Darou Mousty for homosexuality

    The arrest, detention and conviction because of alleged homosexuality is contrary to the rights of freedom against discrimination, equality before the law and to privacy.
    The problem:

    On 19 June 2009, four men were arrested and detained by police in the town of Darou Mousty, located in the department of Kébémer in the region of Louga. These four men were arrested because of allegations of sexual acts "against nature". There are also indications that the police forced the men to reveal the names of other supposed "homosexual." The week of 10 August 2009, two of these men were convicted despite the fact that the only evidence was the reporting of city dwellers. A man was sentenced to two years in prison and the other a penalty of five years. A third accused, who has seventeen years, still awaits trial on 24 August 2009 in a court for minors. The status of the fourth is unknown.

    Senegal, according to Article 319 of the Penal Code, is one of few French-speaking countries that criminalize homosexuality. Last year, nine members of AID Senegal were arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison for 'indecent conduct and acts against nature "and" conspiracy ". The Court of Appeal in Dakar has quashed the sentences in April 2009.
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