'A new law on domestic violence, making it illegal for someone to exercise ‘coercive control’ over their partner, will be unveiled by the Government this week.
Theresa May[link added], the Home Secretary, is expected to announce new powers allowing the police to prosecute those who are guilty of psychological and emotional abuse.
It means for the first time men who control their partners through threats or by restricting their personal or financial freedom, could face prison in the same way as those who are violent towards them.
Campaigners have long called for a change in the law to put psychological exploitation on a par with physical violence, in the hope it will encourage more victims to come forward and report abuse in the home.
Under the terms of the Bill a person convicted of coercive control could face up to 14-years in prison and there will be no statutory time limit for the offences, meaning abuse dating back years can be taken into account.
When similar laws were introduced in the United States it led to a 50 per cent rise in the number of women coming forward to report domestic abuse.
Harry Fletcher, the director of Digital-Trust, who helped worked on details of the Bill[link added] said: “Any move to criminalise coercive control without time limits will be a major step forward. It will increase victims’ confidence in the system and lead to more successful prosecutions.”'
Article here. In order to jump the subscriber-only wall, go to Google and search on "Misogyny doesn't account for Julia Gillard’s missteps as PM" and click on the first search result item. Excerpt:
'Gillard’s[link added] period is unique because it involves gender. Her assertion of this is confronting: “Even if you are the single most powerful person in your country, if you are a woman, the images that are shadowed around you are of sex and rape.” This is Gillard’s perspective of Australia from high office. In the end Gillard’s proposition is that she faced more abuse than other prime ministers because she was the first woman. It sounds initially plausible yet it is nonsense. Gillard undoubtedly was subjected to sustained and grossly offensive sexist and misogynist attacks for which there is no excuse and no equivalent experience for a man.
The reality, however, is that the overwhelming majority of day-to-day criticism of Gillard arose from her policies and political actions, not because of her gender. They included her removal of Rudd, her carbon tax broken promise and the deals she did — some sleazy — to sustain her minority government. Gillard’s experience leads her to the accusation of sexism and misogyny in Australia’s culture and its power structures. She is explicit: the problem was not just in society’s margins. It came from the mainstream: the opposition, business and media. By laying this considered accusation, Gillard’s gender story becomes inextricably woven into her political story. The two parallel narratives run together and intersect.
'Read BuzzFeed’s account of what happened to men who went through these college disciplinary processes to see just how big this can be. One man lost his job after an anonymous caller notified them of his “convictions” -- which were for “non-consensual kissing.” It can go on your permanent record, making it hard to get into grad school -- you might possibly recover from a youthful bad grades, or plagiarism, but our society doesn’t offer much rehabilitation for sex offenders. You’ll probably lose credits, and for those attending selective schools, it seems likely to me that a man with such a notation on his record would have a hard time enrolling in another elite school.
When people say this is “no big deal,” how many of them would shrug off having this happen to them, on the basis of a hearing where the odds are stacked in favor of believing the accuser, and double standards are often rigorously applied? Which is to say: when two people who are equally drunk have sex, the girl can be presumed to be unable to consent—while the boy is held to be fully capable of determining her level of intoxication, and of making the informed decision not to have sex with someone too much the worse for wine. And this in the name of promoting equality between the genders.
I’m not belittling the crime of rape, or how traumatic and awful it is for the women it happens to. Rape is a terrible thing, which is why we try it in courts, and lock rapists away for a good long time. It’s also why we treat rapists like they are terrible people who may be admitted to normal society only after convincing repentance and rehabilitation.
'After scouring hospital records and doorknocking, police have identified the mother as a 20-year-old Quakers Hill woman. She has been taken to Blacktown police station and is being interviewed.
A group of passersby managed to lift the top of the drain and saw the baby lying at the bottom early on Sunday. ...
... He had his umbilical cord cut and clamped which Lagats said seemed to indicate the baby had been delivered in a hospital, or at least received medical attention before being abandoned.
He said police were concerned for the mother’s welfare.
The baby’s abandonment has spurred fresh calls for emergency hatches to be rolled out nationally at hospitals.
“We are really worried about primarily his welfare and mum’s. We would want mum to come forward. We can give her the help and support she needs. She must be feeling distressed. If the parents come forward, we will be able to work with them to find out what support, what they help need and be able to assess where we go from here,” she said.
“Often when this sort of thing happens, people are in a place of desperation. There has been cases where mothers have had postnatal depression or those issues or are very young and don’t know where to go to for help.”
When the possibility of emergency hatches at hospitals was raised, Charet said there was support for struggling parents already available.
“I think people are scared if they come forward, there may be consequences. You can go to a hospital, they will support you,” she said.
Baby abandonment is currently treated as a criminal offence, with parents liable for prosecution.
Polley wants baby safe havens established across the country in places such as fire stations, police stations and hospitals.
'Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania has settled a lawsuit brought by a student accused of sexual assault, admitting the school acted unfairly in charging the student.
In April 2011, a student identified as John Doe shared a kiss and at a later date “consensual physical encounters” with another student identified as Jane Doe, according to the lawsuit filed earlier this year. On May 1, 2011, Jane came to John’s dorm room and initiated consensual sex. The lawsuit alleges Jane admitted she initiated the encounter.
But 19 months later, Jane reported the kiss and initial physical encounters to Swarthmore, saying she had been coerced. After a two-month investigation, the school closed the matter without bringing charges against John.
A few months later, in April 2013, two other students, according to the lawsuit, filed complaints with the Department of Education. These complaints had nothing to do with John Doe.
Within a month, John alleges, the school re-opened the case, fast-tracked a hearing and found him guilty of sexual misconduct for an incident that happened two years earlier and had already been investigated and closed. John appealed.
In early 2014, John filed a lawsuit against Swarthmore alleging multiple violations of its own policies and denying him due process.
Last week, John and Swarthmore settled the lawsuit and introduced a joint motion to dismiss. Swarthmore admitted there were “sufficient questions about the fairness of the hearing,” which warranted a reversal of the university’s decision against John.'
Article here. Finally! Preach on, sister! Excerpt:
'Ayaan Hirsi Ali[link added], a harsh critic of Islam’s treatment of women, said Wednesday that modern American feminism is focused on “trivial bullshit” and needs to be reclaimed.
Speaking at the Independent Women’s Forum Women of Valor dinner, where she received an award for courage, Hirsi Ali reminded her audience of how far feminism has strayed from its original purpose.
“I want you to remember that once upon a time, feminists fought for the access — basic right — access of girls to education,” she said.
[She] told the story of a fight between her mother and father when she was about 11 years old. Her mother wanted to take her and her sister out of school because education would lead them to rebel against their family and “bring shame upon us.” Her father responded by saying, “If you take my girls out of school, I am going to curse you and you are going to burn in hell.”
She spoke of growing up in Somalia, where women aren’t allowed to leave the house without asking permission from a male guardian and need to be accompanied by a male guardian.
Feminists in this country and in the West fought against that and won the battle,” she added.
“What we are now doing with the victory, and I agree with you if you condemn that and I condemn whole-heartedly the trivial bullshit it is to go after a man who makes a scientific breakthrough and all that we as women — organized women — do is to fret about his shirt?” ... “We must reclaim and retake feminism from our fellow idiotic women.”
...Ali said ... feminism needs to fight the real war on women: Radical Islam and other parts of the world where women don’t even have the right to an education or to leave their home without a male guardian.'
'Joe Sorge opened the Divorce Corp. Family Law Reform Conference with a call for less fighting because less fighting is good for everyone. Ned Holstein, Founder and Chair, National Parents Organization, and Joe Sorge, Director, Divorce Corps, ended the two-day conference with the call for action.
With his usual flair for presenting complex data in a form all can grasp and understand, Joe Sorge quickly made the case for how home and work life in the United States have changed dramatically yet our family laws and our family law courts and child support guidelines have remained stuck in the past. Modern family roles and structures have evolved, yet the laws have not.
A highlight of the conference was Malin Bergstrom, PhD, a developmental psychologist with the Division of Reproductive Health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. Bergstrom and her colleagues have completed a study of the well-being of every (176,000) 12-15-year-old child in Sweden in order to ascertain the effects of family structure on the children. Children in intact families perform better on a wide variety of measures of physical health, mental health, and educational outcomes than do the children of divorce. Children of divorce whose parents share their care equally do better on all those measures than do the children of single parents.'
'There are a number of very strange aspects to this case. The lower court judge Hon. Jeffrey Dana Gillen never appointed a Guardian ad Litem to advocate for the best interests of the child and testimony by a child mental health professional was not allowed during trial. The lower court also placed a gag order on Hironimus preventing her from speaking about the case to the media or publicly raising funds for an appeal. She was also ordered not to tell her son that she opposes the procedure in any way, and for visitation to be with the father for two days prior to, and twelve days following, the procedure.
Perhaps most disturbing is the age of the child. Circumcision beyond infancy is a more complicated procedure with an arguably greater risk of surgical complications. The boy will need need to be put under general anesthesia and intubated to facilitate ventilation of his lungs. At this age he will also be aware that his foreskin has been removed and will probably remember the event—including the court-mandated prolonged separation from his mother during this traumatic time.
UPDATE: Chase's mother has been granted a 10-day extension to submit her notice of intent to appeal. She has until December 1st to file this notice, but still seeks an appellate attorney in the proceedings. Those who would like to help can donate funds to go towards her appeal at SavingChase.Org.'
'Some students have voiced opposition to the nature of the debate between visiting speakers Jessica Valenti and Wendy McElroy, whom Janus Forum fellows director Dana Schwartz ’15 said were chosen as representatives of conflicting viewpoints on campus sexual assault and rape culture.
Their opposition sparked the staging of two additional events — at the same time as the debate, a faculty member will present research on rape culture in the Building for Environmental Research and Teaching, and BWell Health Promotion will host a “safe space” for emotional support in Salomon.
Students who may feel attacked by the viewpoints expressed at the forum or feel the speakers will dismiss their experiences can find a safe space and separate discussion held at the same time in Salomon 203. This “BWell Safe Space” will have sexual assault peer educators, women peer counselors and staff from BWell on hand to provide support.
A separate event titled “Research on Rape Culture” with Lindsay Orchowski, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior, will also take place in BERT 130 during the Janus debate. The Facebook event for these alternative options was created Thursday.'
'On Monday morning, in a suite behind a neighbourhood drugstore and across from a city park, Toronto’s first dedicated “men’s centre” will open its doors to the public — and to fresh scrutiny from feminists wary of its motives. The Canadian Centre for Men and Families, run by the Canadian Association for Equality, often dismissed by critics as a “men’s rights group,” will focus on men’s “health and well-being,” by way of counselling, support groups and workshops. “Ultimately,” director Justin Trottier wrote in a press release, “Our aim is to catalyze a fundamental change in society’s attitude towards boys and men.” It’s interesting timing considering the fallout from the Jian Ghomeshi scandal, casting attention toward how men treat women. But another hope for the centre, Mr. Trottier told the National Post‘s Sarah Boesveld, is that its existence will help sap the venom from a pernicious gender war:'
'Since 1980, the prevalence of incarceration in the U.S. has risen to an extraordinary level. U.S. mass incarceration is widely recognized to be a major public problem. While domestic violence policies have scarcely been discussed in that context, a harshly punitive regime ofdomestic violence emergency law developed in conjunction with mass incarceration. State actions under domestic violence emergency law now account for a majority of justice system actions addressing interpersonal violence. Domestic violence polices are central to the development of mass incarceration in the U.S. from about 1980.
Beginning about 1976, U.S. states rapidly enacted laws specifying civil processes for issuing domestic violence restraining orders. Civil petitioning for a domestic violence restraining order has developed into filing a pre-printed form that is perfunctorily judged ex parte. Restraining orders have also become a common condition for bail and for a plea bargain following a criminal charge of domestic violence. ... About 1.2 million initial domestic violence restraining orders are issued per year. Violations of a restraining order can be nothing more than the otherwise ordinary act of making a non-harassing telephone call. Most states have made violating a restraining order a criminal offense. Restraining orders are highly effective instruments for criminalization and incarceration.'
'National Parents Organization just released its 2014 Shared Parenting Report Card. It is the first national study to provide a comprehensive ranking of the states on their child custody statutes, assessing them primarily on the degree to which they promote shared parenting after divorce or separation.
“Despite what you might believe, shared parenting is not the norm in instances of divorce and separation. In fact, family courts award sole custody, usually to the mother, in over 80 percent of child custody cases,” said Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S., Founder and Chair, National Parents Organization. “Our report highlights that many states are not only discouraging shared parenting, but they are also depriving children of what they benefit from most — ample time with both of their parents — while also enabling a system that fosters parental inequality.”
This study was motivated by the tremendous impact our nation’s family courts have on children whose parents are divorced or separated, and also by recent consensus statements by leading child development research organizations that confirm children thrive with shared parenting following separation or divorce. National Parents Organization 2014 Shared Parenting Report Card assigns each state a grade, A through F, to indicate the best and worst states for shared parenting — a flexible arrangement in which children enjoy the benefit of having both parents fully engaged in their lives after separation or divorce.'
'Dr Zoossmann-Diskin, who is also founder of the Israeli association, Ben Shalem, adds: “Actually, some forms of female circumcision including the most common one, the sunna, which entails cutting the clitoral prepuce, are less severe than the widely spread form of male circumcision.” However, in many societies, male genitals are not protected and are treated as if they don’t belong to the child but to the parents and their community.
Dr Zoosmann-Diskin states that “we, the children born to Jewish and Muslim parents, have exactly the same rights as children born to Christian parents. If our parents refuse to understand this simple basic principle of human rights, then Europe has to intervene and protect us within its borders.” It could do this by granting asylum to those who are escaping circumcision.
And yet, the World Health Organisation recently took the view that circumcision could help decrease the risk of HIV infection Dr Zoossmann-Diskin believes this is just an ideological position backed “by improper cultural (USA) and religious motives”. He continues: “You don’t fight a disease by amputating healthy organs, even in cases, in which this amputation assures a great reduction in risk like in breast cancer.” Further evidence of the shaky health grounds behind the WHO’s position is that while the WHO recommends circumcision for men, it doesn’t do so for women, “despite the fact that the corresponding female tissue (the clitoral prepuce and labia minora) contain the same cells that facilitate the entry of the HIV virus”.
'The final barriers to women joining front-line combat units — infantry, armor, artillery and special operations — will fall over the next 12 months under Pentagon plans to erase gender restrictions.
In all, more than 300,000 positions will open to women by Jan. 1, 2016, unless the services justify exemptions to keep some combat roles male only. Restrictions on women in combat have been vanishing since Jan. 24, 2013, when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rescinded the rule barring women from "direct ground combat."
The services have opened 71,000 jobs previously closed to women since Panetta's announcement, Pentagon data show. For example, the Navy notified Congress in July that it planned to open more than 16,000 jobs aboard submarines to women.
"We're on track," said Juliet Beyler, the Pentagon's director of officer and enlisted personnel management. "All of them are going to meet the deadlines they have set. We don't foresee any problems."
"We want to maximize all our abilities and all our talent from all our people in this country," Hagel said. "It's the right thing to do.
"And so I compliment everybody who is engaged in this effort. I know it is not easy. I know we are dealing with cultural issues, we're dealing with standards. We're not going to lower standards."'
'The full-time gender pay gap may have closed for younger women but it widens dramatically for women in their 40s and 50s," says TUC secretary Frances O'Grady.
"Far too many women still find they have to take a step down to access flexible or reduced hours once they become mothers, and their earnings never recover even when they return to full-time work."
Some occupations are more unequal than others, with the biggest gender pay gap showing up in skilled trades such as electrician, florist or chef. Next come process, plant and machine operatives, followed by managers, directors and senior officials.
The most equal pay is to be found amongst sales and customer service staff, administrative and secretarial and the caring and leisure industries.'
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