Anything worth talking about, is worth blogging about

Archive for the ‘Violence against Women’ Category

Canadian sexual assault victims have little confidence in the justice system

In today’s Province there was a report on the results of a survey of victims of sexual assault. The demographically–diverse survey interviewed 207 people. The results are very consistent with what activists have been saying for years.

Among the results:

  • Two thirds of both male and female victims of sexual assault had no confidence in the justice system, ranging from actually filing a complaint on forward.
  • A majority of people did not report either sexual assault or sexual abuse to authorities. Reasons given include fear of victim–blaming and a fear of not being taken seriously.

The results were released late last month. I searched for it on the Department of Justice’s website, but couldn’t find it.

Anyway, the implications of this survey are clear. We need to restore confidence in the justice system.


The rot within

Lurking at a comment thread at Dispatches, comments there eventually led to me finding the following information (unless otherwise noted, my emphasis in all cases):

[TW:Sexual abuse, rape, child abuse]

From theologian Kathryn Riss:

“Traditional” Sex Role Hierarchy Is Associated with Domestic Violence and Incest

Studies of highly religious homes in which abuse and incest take place show that father perpetuators [sic] rigidly uphold “old fashioned” values, emphasize the subordination of women, and isolate the family unit. They often blame their sexual sin on their daughter/victims. The mothers, fearing conflict with the husband and censure by the religious community, often ignore the incest. Dependent on the fathers economically and emotionally, such wives avoid confronting their abusive husbands, thus allowing the incest to continue. Thus, the imbalance and inequality of “traditional” marriages can be dangerous.

To quote some experts: “Helfer and Kempe (1968) in their book ‘The Battered Child’ report that the assault rate on children of parents who subscribe to the belief of male dominance is 136 percent higher than for couples not committed to male dominance.”

From American Atheist Magazine:

Fundamentalism also increases the likelihood of sexual abuse according to many studies. According to a 1988 study appearing in Corrective and Social Psychiatry and Journal of Behavior Technology Methods and Therapy there are three family characteristics that pose high risk for sexual abuse. These are commonly seen in fundamentalist families. First, there’s the patriarchal family structure; second, a view that all sex is sinful, which actually confuses the distinction people generally make between healthy and unacceptable sexual behavior. And third, sexual activity becomes a family secret.


What’s noteworthy, explains Jackie J. Hudson, the author of Characteristics of the Incestuous Family, is that while sexual abuse is generally higher among stepfathers in the general population, the rate of incest is so high in fundamentalist homes that sexual abuse by biological fathers is more common than that by stepfathers.


The devil of the complementarian movement is the feminist, and by complementarian standards, any woman who does not accept a subordinate position to males is a feminist.


Complementarians are everywhere, not just in church. Throughout society, they influence and affect the lives of those around them. In politics, complementarian officials cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of women. In the workplace, both male and female employees feel the brunt of complementarian, anti-woman, sentiment.


Domestic abuse and violence is a much more frequent occurrence among professing Christians than is commonly believed. It has become a popular conference and discussion topic within the evangelical community. Some family counselors, such as, Barrington H. Brennen, assert that complementarian teaching is directly responsible for accelerating abusive and violent behavior in husbands.

To put it bluntly, complementarianism is really hierarchicalism.

And from an study available online:

Gender role attitudes have been extensively studied in the empirical literature (Bryant, 2003; McGovern & Meyers, 2002). Positive relationships have been found between traditional sex role attitudes and negative attitudes toward women and the acceptance of rape myths. For example, in a landmark study, Burt (1980) reported that individuals who had more stereotypical gender role attitudes were more likely than those with egalitarian attitudes to endorse rape myths. This finding was replicated by Mayerson and Taylor (1987), who reported that individuals with stereotypical gender role attitudes were more accepting of rape myths and the use of physical and sexual violence than those with egalitarian attitudes. Similarly, Finn (1986) reported that for the 300 college students in his study, those who endorsed the most traditional gender role attitudes were more likely to endorse the use of force in marriage. Willis, Hallinan, and Melby (1996) found that individuals who espoused stereotypical gender role attitudes were more likely to blame the victim and less likely to see the seriousness in domestic violence scenarios. More recently, traditional gender role attitudes in a sample of adolescents were also associated with less perceived seriousness of scenarios depicting interpersonal aggression (Hilton, Harris, & Rice, 2003).


[Compared to previous studies], other [studies] have found that Judeo-Christian beliefs are consistent with male dominance. For example, Jeffords (1984) argued that these beliefs contribute to a patriarchal system that assigns women a subordinate role to men. He investigated relationships among gender role attitudes, religious orthodoxy, and beliefs about forced marital intercourse and found that those who held traditional gender role attitudes and those who reported religious orthodoxy were more likely to endorse the use of forced marital intercourse than those with egalitarian gender role attitudes or those who did not report religious orthodoxy. He also reported that traditional gender role attitudes were positively associated with the religious variables in his study.

And this is on top of the meta–study I posted about months ago.

To put it very explicitly, (conservative) religion harms women and children. And isn’t it obvious that in order to advance women’s rights, conservative religion and social conservatism must die and the sooner the better.

Most disturbing thing I’ve read this month

[TW: Rape, kidnapping, suicide]

This is seriously disturbing (via):

Bride kidnapping, or “bridenapping”, happens in at least 17 countries around the world, from China to Mexico to Russia to southern Africa. In each of these lands, there are communities where it is routine for young women and girls to be plucked from their families, raped and forced into marriage. Few continents are not blighted by the practice, yet there is little awareness of these crimes, and few police investigations. The lack of reporting means there are no global statistics, but inquiries over many weeks by The Independent on Sunday have found anecdotal evidence that bridenapping is increasing. Something that belongs more to the Middle Ages is growing in the 21st century.


[In Kyrgyzstan], [d]espite bridenapping being a criminal offence carrying a maximum three-year jail term, very few cases are brought, and most of those who are prosecuted get away with a negligible fine…

“Little awareness” and “few police investigations”. Yet again legal systems are failing women. And the kidnapped women are often subject to rape and abuse, as indicated in the linked article. In Rwanda, kidnapped women are basically forced to marry their kidnapper, as they are raped and beaten, and then held hostage by their kidnapper, which results in them being seen as too “tainted” to be able to marry anyone else. (more…)

No co-pay birth control coming

The US Department of Health and Human Services has announced that several of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine. Therefore, health insurance companies will now have to cover birth control, testing for some sexually transmitted diseases, breast pumps, counseling for domestic violence, without deductibles or copays.

For reasons I have mentioned before, this is excellent news.

Coverage of contraception recommended

The health care reform law passed last year required coverage of preventative care, and a report by the Institutes of Medicine has been released, and recommends covering birth control without copays or deductibles. From the Washington Post:

Virtually all health insurance plans could soon be required to offer female patients free coverage of prescription birth control, breast-pump rentals, counseling for domestic violence, and annual wellness exams and HIV tests as a result of recommendations released Tuesday by an independent advisory panel of health experts.

This is excellent news. Birth control should be covered by health insurance. And no one should be allowed to prevent women from accessing it, not pharmacists who refuse to do their jobs, and not parents abusing their children by denying them something they have the right to use.

Besides contraception, the recommendation to cover interpersonal violence counseling, breast pump rentals, screening for cancer and STDs, and wellness exams is also really good news.

And to what should be no one’s surprise, anti–choicers are freaking out. When will the people learn that the abortion debate is not really about abortion, but rather about controlling female sexuality.

Via RH Reality Check and Echidne.

Malta votes to enter the 20th century

In a referendum, Malta has voted to legalize divorce. From CBC News:

Malta, a tiny, staunchly Catholic Mediterranean island, has voted in favour of legalizing divorce, according to the results of a referendum.


Sunday’s final results of the polling the day before showed that 52.67 per cent of people voted in favour of divorce, according to the Times of Malta.

Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, who had campaigned against divorce, said parliament would respect the will of the people in the nonbinding referendum and work on legislation to legalize divorce….

This is an excellent move, and it should be no–fault divorce that is legalized. In a civilized society we do not force people to remain together if they do not want to. It should be no–fault divorce It should be emphasized that no–fault divorce has no long–term effect on the divorce rate (cite). From the previous it is clear that it is utterly ridiculous to argue that no–fault divorce threatens marriage. In addition, no–fault divorce reduces female suicide by 20%, likely reduces the number of women killed by their spouses, and reduces domestic violence against both men and women by up to a third (cite). With this information in mind, it is clear that anyone who would rather that people commit suicide and be murdered than get divorced clearly has seriously fucked up priorities.

Fundie, Xtian, and misogynist wife–beater

This article (trigger warning: domestic violence) from the Daily Mail speaks for itself about why fundamentalism is bad and harmful to women.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: