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'Around 14,000 Police Scotland officers are to receive specialist training in preparation for a new domestic abuse crime coming into force in Scotland, which is believed to be unique in law internationally.

The training will help officers spot seemingly innocuous actions which are in fact part of a cycle of psychological abuse or coercive control.

Although an offence of coercive control was introduced in England in 2015, the Scottish legislation takes a unique approach which has been hailed as offering “victimless prosecution”. It reflects a growing understanding that domestic abuse is often a course of behaviour that extends over a period of time and includes not only physical violence.

The domestic abuse bill, which reaches its final stage through Holyrood early next year, will create a specific offence which will cover not only physical domestic abuse but other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour that cannot easily be prosecuted using the existing criminal law.

It allows the police and courts to pursue someone on a “course of conduct” offence – that is a single offence where physical, psychological and coercive behaviour can be prosecuted at once. This course of conduct offence includes a “reasonable person test”. For example, would a reasonable person consider that limiting a woman’s access to her bank account or prescribing her meal times amounted to controlling behaviour?'

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'For the first time, more women than men enrolled in U.S. medical schools in 2017, according to data from The Association of American Medical Colleges. The AAMC says 50.7 percent of first-year medical students are women this year.

“This year’s matriculating class demonstrates that medicine is an increasingly attractive career for women and that medical schools are creating an inclusive environment,” Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., AAMC president and CEO said in a statement. “While we have much more work to do to attain broader diversity among our students, faculty, and leadership, this is a notable milestone.”

The association says the number of female medical students has grown by 9.6 percent since 2015. In that same time, the percentage of male students has declined by 2.3 percent, the AAMC says.'

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'When Celeste Kidd was a graduate student of neuroscience at the University of Rochester she says a professor supervising her made her life unbearable by stalking her, making demeaning comments about her weight and talking about sex.

Ten years on and now a professor of neuroscience at the university, Kidd is taking legal action. She has filed a federal lawsuit against the school alleging that it mishandled its sexual harassment investigation into the professor's actions and then retaliated against her and her colleagues for reporting the misconduct.

"We are trying to bring transparency to a system that is corrupt," Kidd told The Associated Press.

Academia — like Hollywood, the media and Congress — is facing its own #MeToo movement over allegations of sexual misconduct. Brett Sokolow, who heads an association of sexual harassment investigators on campuses, estimates that the number of reported complaints has risen by about 10 percent since the accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein surfaced in early October, spurring more women to speak out against harassment in various fields. The increase is mostly from women complaining of harassment by faculty members who are their superiors.

But the Trump administration has viewed the issue of sexual harassment on campus in a different light. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has scrapped Obama-era regulations on investigating sexual assault, arguing that they were skewed in favor of the accuser. New instructions allow universities to require higher standards of evidence when handling such complaints.

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'A father has said he found his teenage son having sex in the back of a car with a teacher from his Texas school.

Police in Bay City, 80 miles south-west of Houston, have charged the teacher, Rachel Gonzales, 44, with online solicitation and having an improper relationship with the 13-year-old boy.

During the investigation, police inspected the boy’s mobile phone and found texts from Ms Gonazalez indicating the pair had an inappropriate relationship prior to the alleged incident on 14 December, police said.

At the request of the District Attorney, the Bay City Independent School District, where Ms Gonzalez is a teacher, have turned over the case to the local police.

She was taken to the Matagorda County jail on 22 December but is now out on bond.'

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Article here. Excerpt:

'Movements collapse when they become more interested in collecting heads than advancing their cause. Unfortunately, the very worthy #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and abuse might have just reached that point.

Last week, #MeToo took down Pulitzer Prize-winner Stephen Henderson, the editorial page editor of the liberal Detroit Free Press (or Freep as it is called locally). Henderson was fired for "inappropriate behavior"—even though no women actively complained about it—that allegedly violated the newspaper's "zero tolerance policy." But if this standard—both too vague and too strict—is going to be religiously enforced on workplace interactions in the post-Harvey Weinstein era, few men—or, women, for that matter —will ever feel safe in their jobs.

Henderson is something of an icon in Michigan, where I live. He is a prolific writer and a popular media personality. I first became acquainted with him when I was a scribe at the Detroit News conservative editorial board in the mid-1990s and he on the liberal Freep board that he later headed. He also hosts Detroit Today for WDET, a local NPR affiliate, where he occasionally invites me to spar over ObamaCare and charter schools (on which we vehemently disagree) and discuss immigration reform and President Trump's draconian law-and-order agenda (on which we largely agree).
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All of this suggests that the climate of censoriousness that #MeToo has generated spooked the Freep so much that it wanted to take no chances. But there is something quasi-totalitarian when a company starts going after employees for victimless behavior that has been retroactively branded as inappropriate. It might also end up targeting women who engage in "sexually themed" conversations—replacing the fear of sexual harassment with that of HR inquisitions.

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'At first The Miniaturist (BBC1) promised to reimagine Daphne du Maurier’s mad nightmare of a masterpiece, Rebecca — in which a young bride finds herself trapped in a Gothic mansion, with a distant husband and a cruel tyrant of a housekeeper controlling her every step.

No such luck. By the end of this two-part costume drama, set in Olde Amsterdam, it was revealed as yet another man-hating slab of tedious feminist propaganda.

Every woman was noble, resourceful and self-sacrificing, while the male characters were a bunch of spineless creeps.
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Romola Garai as Marin, Johannes’s strong-minded sister who had turned her back on marriage to look after her feeble brother’s business, had the best role. At first she seemed cruel but then — gasp — was revealed to be noble, resourceful and self-sacrificing.

Of course she was: she’s a woman. So, too, was the ‘miniaturist’, an elusive and ghostly figure in a cloak.

At last she spoke, and proved herself noble, resource... oh, you know the rest.'

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Article here.

'Iliza Shlesinger’s [link added] girls-only show has been described as a “war on men” by a man suing the comedian.

George St. George, a 21-year-old California man, claims he was told that he and a friend would only be allowed in the back row of Shlesinger’s Nov. 13 “Girls Night in with Iliza — No Boys Allowed” show “because of their sex, he said in a lawsuit acquired by the Hollywood Reporter.

After getting dinner, St. George, who claims he is the victim of sex discrimination, said the two went back to the venue and were then turned away.

The lawsuit compares the move to “the Montgomery City Lines bus company in Montgomery, Alabama circa 1955.”

Shlesinger’s show “repudiated hundreds of years of women's struggles to be viewed as being equal to men and is typical of old-fashioned sexism that might also advise a young woman that her best chance for a happy life is to ace her home economics class and learn how to make a queso dip from Velveeta to catch a good man,” St. George’s lawyer, Alfred Rava, wrote in the suit.

Shlesinger, the 2008 winner of “Last Comic Standing,” currently hosts her own late-night talk show, “Truth & Iliza,” on Freeform.

Reps for the comedian did not immediately return a request for comment.'

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'Rape complainants must not automatically be believed by Police a former High Court judge said last night - following the collapse of three high profile cases.

He slammed the crisis and said that police forces shouldn't train their officers to presume that suspects are guilty. 

Ex-High Court judge, Sir Richard Henrique's comments reflected the collapse of several rape cases where it was found that police had failed to investigate properly. Which included police withholding evidence from defence lawyers. 

This was seen in the cases of Liam Allan, Samuel Armstrong and Isaac Itiary.

In two cases text messages revealed the men's innocence. In Mr Allan's case messages showed that the complainant had told friends she had enjoyed having sex with him.  

Similarly messages revealed that Isaac Itiary, who had been charged with statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl, did not know her age as in the messages she had claimed she was 19.'

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'A male senior executive at a multi-national engineering firm in Singapore was falsely accused of sexual harassment by a female employee. The executive allegedly responded by pressuring her to quit and later sued her for damages related to the incident.

The executive won the civil suit, therefore the woman was liable for compensation and the man’s court fees. When the woman refused to pay the fees, she was held in contempt of court for failing to comply with the court order connected to the payment and was subsequently jailed.

The story is the man’s firsthand account of his brush with an overzealous feminist employee and first appeared on the popular sub-reddit r/MGTOW. The executive, going by the username moonraiser, removed his original post for fear of repercussions but has since re-posted it in a follow-up post that elaborates on the story.'

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'A woman who photographed herself setting fire to a display outside the flagship Roshen chocolate store of President Petro Poroshenko has been arrested by police in Ukraine.

In a statement on Facebook, authorities in the Vinnytsia region of the country said a 25-year-old woman who has been named by other activists as Alisa Vinogradova was arrested in Kiev for hooliganism. If convicted, she could face between three and seven years in prison.
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The self-described “sextremist” protest group Femen posted images on Facebook of Vinogradova setting a decorative tram in front of the shop on fire.

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'A topless activist from the feminist group Femen tried to snatch the statue of the baby Jesus from the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square on Monday but was stopped by police as she grabbed it.

A Reuters photographer said the woman jumped over guard rails and rushed onto the larger-than-life Nativity scene shouting "God is woman". She had the same slogan painted on her bare back.

A Vatican gendarme stopped her from taking the statue and she was detained. The incident happened about two hours before Pope Francis delivered his Christmas message to some 50,000 people in the square.

The group's website identified her as Alisa Vinogradova and called her a "sextremist". It says the goal of the group, which was founded in Ukraine, is "complete victory over patriarchy".'

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'An Indiana hospital system says a nurse is no longer an employee after she was tied to a message on Twitter claiming white women are raising sons “with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star.”

Officials at Indiana University Health said over the weekend they were investigating “several troubling posts on social media” that appeared to be made by a recently hired employee identified in news reports as Taiyesha Baker. IU Health spokesman Jason Fechner confirmed Monday that the nurse no longer works at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis but he would not say whether she was fired, citing company policies.

The controversial tweet, which the Indianapolis Star reported was posted on an account named “Night Nurse,” said: “Every white woman raises a detriment to society when they raise a son. Someone with the HIGHEST propensity to be a terrorist, rapist, racist, killer, and domestic violence all star. Historically every son you had should be sacrificed to the wolves B‑‑‑‑.”'

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Article here. Jump the paywall by Googling the first paragraph. Excerpt:

'These days, no industry, no workplace, no pocket of American life seems to be immune from the long reach of sexual harassment. From Capitol Hill to Hollywood, higher education to hotel housekeeping, women -- and men -- are coming forward to tell their stories.

But certain industries seem to be popping up with particular frequency: Media. Venture capital and finance. Entertainment. And if there's one thing these industries and others have in common, it's an organizational culture that rewards stars and bestows power not just on the chief executive or president at the top of an official hierarchy, but to those who are star performers on screen, behind the scenes or when it comes to the bottom line.

"I believe industries that have a paradigm of absolute power brokering at the top may be more susceptible to these issues," said Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, founder of The BoardList, which manages a directory of female board members. "My sense is that industries that have king-making environments can breed this kind of behavior."'

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'The every-other-weekend dad, born from two generations of soaring divorce rates,was once a conventional part of American culture. In recent years, more couples have been agreeing to parent after divorce as they did in marriage: collaboratively.

Now lawmakers are accelerating this trend toward co-parenting, with legislatures in more than 20 states this year considering bills that would encourage shared parenting or make it a legal presumption — even when parents disagree.

Kentucky this year passed a law to make joint physical custody and equal parenting time standard for temporary orders while a divorce is being finalized. Florida's legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill last year to presume equal time for child custody plans, but it was vetoed by the governor. And in Michigan, lawmakers are considering a bill that would make equal parenting time the starting point for custody decisions.'

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Article here. If necessary, jump the paywall by Googling the first paragraph. Excerpt:

'Matt Damon gave an interview to ABC News last week in which he offered the following observation: “There’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”
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Minnie Driver, Damon’s co-star in “Good Will Hunting,” thought so. “There is no hierarchy of abuse — that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if a woman has a penis exposed to her that she didn’t want or ask for,” she told The Guardian. “You cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other.”

Kirsten Gillibrand agrees: “I think when we start having to talk about the differences between sexual assault and sexual harassment and unwanted groping, you are having the wrong conversation,” the Democratic senator from New York said at a news conference when asked about calling on Senator Al Franken to resign. “You need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is O.K. None of it is acceptable.”
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All societies make necessary moral distinctions between high crimes and misdemeanors, mortal and lesser sins. A murderer is worse than a thief. A drug dealer is worse than a user. And so on. Gillibrand, Driver and others want to blur such distinctions, on the theory that we need a zero-tolerance approach. That may sound admirable, but it’s legally unworkable and, in many cases, simply unjust.

It’s also destructive, above all to the credibility of the #MeToo movement. Social movements rarely succeed if they violate our gut sense of decency and moral proportion. Insofar as #MeToo has made an example of a Harvey Weinstein or a Matt Lauer, most Americans — including, I’d bet, most men — have been on its side."

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