Discipline and Punishment: The Rise of American Prisons and The Curtailment of Women’s Reproductive Rights

The US is the world’s largest jailer, with just 5% of the world population, and 25% of the world’s prison population. The rate of women being incarcerated is nearly twice the number of men. Between 2000-2009, the female prison population jumped 21.6%, while the number of men in prisons jumped 15.3%. Looking at the growing number of prisons and in-mates we are called to think critically about the role of prisons in our society and their impact.

Prisons and the criminal justice system render women’s reproductive rights expendable and mark a contentious relationship between women and the state. Currently, at least 38 states have fetal homicide laws criminalizing acts that cause the death of an unborn fetus. In an article published in the American Journal for Public Health, Lynn Paltrow, a lawyer, who founded the nonprofit National Advocates for Pregnant Women in 2001, argues that fetal homicide laws are frequently used to target women who use drugs and alcohol in general and low-income women whose lifestyles rightly or wrongly could be construed to cause harm to their unborn child.

Jane Crow laws, as Paltrow calls them, are cropping up in several states across the country. In Mississippi, 24 year-old Rennie Gibbs, is facing life in prison because her newborn daughter never breathed. In 2006, when Gibbs was 16, she prematurely gave birth to a stillborn daughter, born with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. The baby’s autopsy showed traces of cocaine, and Gibbs was charged with depraved murder “willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously” causing the death.

Recently in South Carolina, a 39-year-old mother, Stephanie Green, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing her 6-week-old daughter by breastfeeding while taking narcotics. An autopsy report of the 46-day-old baby revealed the baby died of respiratory failure and toxic levels of morphine and Klonopin in her blood.

Both of these cases reflect persistent problems in how our nation regards women’s reproductive rights and The War On Drugs. There has been a proliferation of complicated abortion laws restricting how women may have abortions. During the 2013 state legislative sessions, lawmakers introduced more than 300 abortion restriction laws. These laws increased scrutiny and policing of women. Women can even face criminal charges for resorting to illegal abortions. But the larger part of the growing number of incarcerated women is related to the American War On Drugs. During the crack epidemic of the 1980s, prosecutors began targeting pregnant women who used drugs during pregnancy. Women of color and low wealth women – some of the most vulnerable women – were subject to coercive and punitive state actions.

But The War On Drugs masks the multiple risk factors that increase the likelihood of women coming into contact with the criminal justice system and offers few if any alternative solutions. 85-90 percent of women in prisons have had a history of violence prior to their incarceration. These include domestic violence, rape, and child abuse.  And besides violence, racial disparities play a role, too. Girls and women of color who are victims of abuse are more likely to be labeled offenders, while white girls and women, who have been abused have a better chance of being seen as victims and are more often referred for mental health care. Disparities also exist for gender non-conforming girls. They are up to three times more likely than their heterosexual peers to receive harsher punishments.

In addition to abuse, as much as 80 percent of women prisoners suffer from substance addiction and mental health issues. Both Gibbs and Greene’s cases reflect this statistic. Yet, instead of providing women with rehabilitative care measures that support healthy integration back to society, they are criminalized, and punished with prison terms.

Prisons and the criminal justice system at large have a range of specific consequences for women’s reproductive health. From a public health perspective, the implications of criminalizing pregnant women and new mothers are huge. If women are afraid of potential prosecution, they will be less likely to seek pre and post-natal care. The consequences can lead to increases in infant deaths, premature and stillbirths.

Women’s incarceration also has negative effects for their other children. Children with an incarcerated parent are at heightened risk to serve prison terms themselves. Two out of every three incarcerated women has had an incarcerated family member. And 65 percent of incarcerated women report having a minor child at home, and of those women 77 percent report they are the primary care givers.

Women are increasingly caught up in the criminal justice system and punitive sentencing for non-violent crimes. We need new community-based solutions that do not focus on a single, alternative system of punishment to play the role of prisons. As a society we need to call into question our analyses of crime to the exclusion of examining it’s relationship to larger gender based, socio-economic and cultural structures of power and oppression. Finally, we need to reassess the value of health and healing for the purpose of promoting healthy and productive lives.

 

TED Talk – Incarcerated Women and Reproductive Health Care

 

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Empowering women and girls beyond 2015

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There is a growing agreement that economic development and achievement of millennium goals requires empowering women and girls while protecting against the violations of their rights.  During its 58th session last month, the UN affiliated Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) renewed its commitment to address all forms of discrimination of women and to strive for gender equality, rights to education, employment, involvement in all levels of decision making, access to healthcare and other basic needs including adequate nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation and housing.

In the same effort, the UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka restated the urgent needs to take steps to address these burdens throughout the world. Women and girls living in developing countries, particularly in Sub Saharan Africa, represent the large percentage and suffer blatant human rights violations daily. While in developed countries, women fight to reduce the gender wage gap and improve equal access to healthcare, many of those living in developing countries are struggling and suffering due to a lack of policies and legal authorities to protect them. Some of them are genitally mutilated, beaten, stoned, raped or coerced to have sex by intimate partner, and other are forced to early marriage and denied their basic rights as basic as voting, seeking health care or attending school. 

It is encouraging that many African countries are moving toward eliminating or at least reducing violence against women. Examples include implementing country wide action plans to prevent violence against women and girls in Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe; improving the tracking of violence towards women or expansion of child girls protection centers in Swaziland and Kenya, and enacting laws against female genital mutilation in Senegal. 

Sadly, it is hard to say the same for some countries such as Mali where, due to the recent turmoil and the refusal of the government to legislate the new family law, women’s rights are still largely disregarded. Domestic violence, excision and forced marriage are largely perpetrated in Mali and the new law would reinforce women’s rights and provide them protection and safety, in particular legal support to turn to when needed. We also need to stop blaming the victims of acts of gender based violence whether physical or emotional. It is time to change these social norms that are preventing women and girls from seeking legal recourse to address injustices committed against them.

The current political situation of the country is not helping: Women represent less than 10 percent of the newly elected national assembly and patriarchal society that creates those barriers for maintaining women rights in which we live reflect some of the difficulties faced by activists and organizations working to protect women and girls’ rights in Africa. 

The best way to empower women and girls is to protect their rights and give them the tools and skills required to achieve gender equality: education. Education of girls and women is one of the first steps to attaining these goals. Society must give them the opportunity to attend and remain in school for better social and economic outcomes that will benefit both men and women.

 

For more on CSW visit: http://www.unwomen.org/

Your Daddy is Your Boyfriend

If you dare: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2014/03/daughters-pledge-to-preserve-their-virginity-at-purity-balls/

Religion and women’s health have had a longstanding violent and bloody battle (I heard those crazy feminists were coming out of the woodwork trying to kill all men). Unfortunately, this debate has infiltrated governments, organizations, and communities globally. It is a conflict that has recently reappeared in the United States because of the Affordable Care Act, political arguments over the states’ abortion rules and most recently the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case. While each religion has the authority to determine their stance on women’s health issues (where is the debate on men’s health?) and practice what they believe, controversy arises when those beliefs are unwanted and imposed on others.

There is a fragile line between religion and women’s health. Tackling such a subject is typically a lose-lose situation. However, within the past few weeks the media has highlighted a contagious phenomenon—“purity balls”(the name ironically sounds explicit). These “balls” are father-daughter ceremonies and dances where pre-teen, typically eleven and twelve year old girls, pledge their virginity to her father, and he in return will guard it for her until she is married. The father featured in the Nightline clip states repeatedly “your father is your boyfriend”. These “events” are a plague across America, occurring in 48 states in the name of Christianity. While the daughter is taking part of the act as a sign of her religion, wanted or unwanted, it is imposing on her development as an adolescent, individual, and girl.

A List: Why Purity Balls are Destructive, Degrading and Disgusting

1. Being twelve years old is hard. Being a twelve year old girl is harder. You are telling her that her only worth is the state of her hymen at marriage. The only thing of importance about this beautiful growing intellectual human being is her virginity. She may excel in schools, sports, theater or music but it does not matter because the only thing she should be proud of is her virginity.

2. Where are the sons? Are they pledging virginity to the mothers? He is free to engage in sex before marriage? Essentially your daughter can marry a man who has had multiple sexual partners yet that is okay? This is not only a double standard and teaches your daughter that she can be used by her father and husband. (The married young male in the video was not a virgin).

3. At an age where development of self-esteem is all too important, young girls are marginalized because of their biological sex and therefore something they cannot control!

4. Even if a woman chooses to remain a virgin until marriage, you are telling her that is she not strong enough to protect it herself—that she is not capable of being independent or safeguarding her OWN BODY. It belongs to someone else.

5. Claiming “your father is your boyfriend” not only gives off an incestuous tone, it teaches her that she must always be with a man of some sort and that she can’t ever stand on her own two feet without a man there to catch her.

6. Why are twelve year olds pledging their virginity but still wearing makeup and fancy hairstyles? This is contradictory because the point of wearing make up is to make oneself more attractive.

7. Research shows that taking a virginity pledge actually less likely to use a condom when they break the pledge or get an STI screening, which increases the risk for contracting an STI.

Everyone wants to protect and lookout for children, especially their parents. Teaching girls about healthy relationships, self-esteem, and self worth can enable a girl to become her own advocate for her body and personal decisions.

When to change the standard of care: Taking a second look at mammogram recommendations

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To say that the issue of breast cancer has become pervasive in our day-to-day lives would probably be a gross understatement — in fact, the concept of breast cancer awareness may be headed towards becoming a moot point. Walking down the street on any given day, we are likely to see individuals of all backgrounds sporting pink ribbons, pink t-shirts, pink grocery bags….maybe even a pink handgun. For women, the message that “early detection saves lives” is drilled into our brains decades before we will ever receive our first truly invasive cancer screening. What has resulted from all of this attention, though, has been a complicated landscape for women, who have been faced with the difficult task of teasing out the best decisions for their own personal health amidst a frenzy of prevention recommendations, most notably that of encouraging every woman over 40 to receive mammograms on an annual basis.

Recently, the tables have turned on what was once considered the gold standard in breast cancer screening. Guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in 2009 recommended that women delay their first mammogram until after turning 50, and that they should be screened every two years rather than the previous norm of annual screenings. These new screening recommendations have only just recently been brought into the limelight — after 5 years of virtually unnoticed existence — in conjunction with the recent media attention surrounding a new study that suggests the benefits of yearly screenings may not outweigh the potential risks involved, which include false positive test results, over-diagnosis, and even relatively large numbers of unnecessary tissue biopsies. This information may put a strain on physician-patient relationships and trust, since it appears that many doctors had previously been downplaying the potential negatives of mammograms to their female clients.

The JAMA article is not the first time that robust research has shown mammograms to be much less reliable than women have been lead to believe. Earlier this year, The British Medical Journal released a study demonstrating that screening with mammograms between the ages of 40-59 offered no significant protection against breast cancer mortality, and rather led to over-diagnosing of the disease. Yet, in spite of all this evidence suggesting that using mammograms to screen for breast cancer — particularly at younger ages — may be not only ineffective but also detrimental to women’s health, confusion around best practice routines by doctors and even more so for patients remains rampant. Even The American Cancer Society continues to recommend annual mammograms for all women over age 40. As is so often the case, women are left to pick up the pieces and try to solve the puzzle of what is best for their health on their own — a difficult task for a highly scientifically-educated woman, no less a woman whose medical knowledge is limited and is struggling to simply make ends meet.

With such a vast change in information that we have about screening with mammograms, what are doctors’ responsibilities to their patients, and how can we provide the best care to the most women possible? Unfortunately for medical professionals — but as with most good medical practice — it seems that there is no single solution for everyone. The best strategies for breast cancer screening should ideally be tailored to the individual needs of the patient. In light of these recent findings, it is possible that our society will continue to push towards increased genetic screening for breast cancer risk, which would help identify the specific individuals who would most benefit from routine mammograms. Hopefully, increased conversation around what qualifies as best practice for breast cancer screening will empower women to take greater interest in and control over their own health care decisions, switching the norm from patients being told what to do by physicians to a conversation between doctor and patient.

Move over, NuvaRing! There’s a new ring on the block…

Contraceptive use for women may never be the same again thanks for Northwestern University’s new innovation. Patrick Kiser at the Department of Biomedical Research at Northwestern University has created the first ever form of birth control that not only protects against pregnancy, but STD’s and- wait for it…. HIV! The ring is made of flexible plastic much like the popular, NuvaRing but delivers a combination of the contraceptive (levonorgestrel), and anti-retro virals (tenofovir) directly to the cervix which utilizes a smaller dose than pills that prevent transmission of viral std’s such as HIV and Herpes Simplex Virus. The ring is easy to insert and is effective for up to 3 months at a time at which time a new ring would need to be inserted.

According to the World Health Organization, 35 million people around the world live with HIV, and 222 million women would like to delay or stop childbearing but are not using any method of contraception. The possibilities that this new ring provides is innovative in itself. Now, couples who have one HIV or HSV infected partner can have a normal sex life without the fear of transmitting the virus to their partner. And what’s more, anyone who wants to protect themselves from the viral STDs such as HIV can now have a peace of mind that they are protected. The rings are being manufactured now, and the device soon will undergo its first test in women.

To get more info, go to http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140305191421.htm

 

CHOICE Matters, But it Does Not Lead to Promiscuity

BCIn 2007 The Contraceptive CHOICE Project was launched in St. Louis. Nearly 10,000 women enrolled over four years and were offered the contraceptive method of their choice…absolutely free. When it was free, women were more likely to choose the more effective Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) methods, such as the IUD or Implant. Younger women also sought these methods more frequently than what is typically seen in the general population. Unfortunately, critics of the study believe that having CHOICE will lead to more promiscuity among females.

A recent study in Obstetrics and Gynecology found that the number of women having sex with more than one male partner actually declined 6 months after study initiation. Nearly 3/4 of the women in the study reported no change in the number of male sexual partners. However, pro-life activist Walter Hoye finds that the 16% of women who increased their number of sexual partners is particularly disturbing, especially since many of these young girls and women were virgins at the start of the study.

The suggestion that offering free contraception to girls and women encourages promiscuity is severely misleading and an attack on women’s sexual freedom. Offering women accessible and affordable contraception is imperative. If women do not have these options, the threat of unintended pregnancy is real. For the women who had been virgins at the start of the study, it is not clear if they were in monogamous relationships or not. Even so, if they were planning on becoming sexually active it was responsible of them to choose to protect themselves from pregnancy.

Having birth control on hand does not need to indicate you are having sex or have to be having sex, but for those women who might want to have sex ensuring that they are protected is smart and proactive. Only half of those women who were virgins upon study enrollment became sexually active over the course of the study. That means the other half was still not having sex. But if they choose to at some point, the free birth control option allows them to take ownership and be protected.

Today with the Affordable Care Act, free contraception is a reality for millions of American women. It is more important than ever to show that free birth control does not make women promiscuous. Removing barriers and giving women a contraceptive choice allows women to take an active role in their reproductive health and make informed decisions about their bodies. Women should not be misrepresented or condemned for these choices.

Using Positive Opinion Leaders to Successfully Move Global Communities

Using Positive Opinion Leaders to Successfully Move Global Communities
Towards a Better Tomorrow
From 1999 to 2000 project PRISM, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was implemented in the country of Guinea by the Management Sciences for Health (MSH). With high HIV/AIDS rates, low life expectancy and high child mortality rates, project PRISM aimed to respond to Guinea’s health needs. Project PRISMS objectives included, “to increase the use of Family planning and maternal health services and decrease the spread of STD’s/HIV/Aids through appropriate prevention practices” (Blake et al 2002).

This project represents an innovative global initiative to contribute to the common goals of assuring the health and well-being for every individual. What makes it so innovative?

The John Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, acknowledge the important roles religious leaders play as “community gate keepers and sources of information” (JHU/CCP-PRISM).Guinea’s population consists majority of follows the Islamic religion. Recognizing the significance of religious leaders in the country of Guinea, project PRISM essentially supported community gate keepers in guinea in increasing their knowledge on modern methods of Family Planning. This initiative lead to addressing the misconception that Islam forbids forms of modern forms of Family Planning within the communities of Guinea and resulted in increases in positive family planning behaviors.

JHU expresses, “Putting family planning within the context of Islamic religion enabled religious leaders to identify with the concept and helped to enlist their support in the promotion of family planning.”

How much of the interventions today integrate religious positive opinion leaders? If we know that using religious leaders to support the integration of positive health behaviors has proved to be successful in reaching many communities, especially in rural population areas, why do we not see more interventions today that use POL’s such as religious leaders?
Initiatives such as project PRISIM could be so impactful to reach great change needed globally today. Yet it is not a hot tool on the market.

What can we do to make interventions innovative, as well as culturally and religiously competent?

 

References

Final results of JSI-implemented USAID/ Focus Region Health Project Disseminated. John
Snow Inc. JSI research and Training Institute, Inc.  February 2014. http://www.jsi.com/JSIInternet/PressRoom/newsitem/display.cfm?newsArea=what%27s%5Enew&txtGeoArea=INTL&id=1197&thisSection=PressRoom
Blake, M. and Babalola, S. “Impact of a Male Motivation Campaign on Family Planning
Ideation and Practice in Guinea,” Field Report No. 13. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs, April 2002.
https://www.jhuccp.org/sites/default/files/Impact%20of%20a%20Male%20Motiv%20Campaign-Guinea.pdf

 

THE HOOK-UP TRUCK

hookup truck

Now there is a new initiative for safer sex known as the hookup truck, am not exactly sure how I feel about this venture. The founder, Emerson states that this initiative is a “modern dating solution for safe sexual adventuring”. She also stated in the post that “getting busy in the back of a truck appeals to a wide variety of people”. This business since its inception in December has had lots of requests from a great variety of people, from single moms and people with roommates who have no privacy, to business people in the financial district who need the truck on their lunch break, and of course, the more kinky folks who are into the adventuring of it, says Emerson. In a time where women are highly sexualized and there is a rising rape culture, am not sure if this initiative is more of a negative than a positive impact. It almost seems like it promotes the continued sexualization of women and also propagation of prostitution, sex trafficking and rape. I would like to know what safeguards they have to protect women from falling victims to sexual violence. The truck provides: Private, secured room; Temperature control; Complimentary birth control and STD preventatives and Camera ready option. How do these measures promote safer sex when the birth control and STD preventatives are COMPLIMENTARY, Yes accessibility is provided but who is to say that these preventative measures are even utilized. Its like going into a hotel room that has complimentary wine and the guest does not drink alcohol. Who monitors what goes on in these trucks, and how is the company sure that the sex adventures do not get out of hand. The ‘hookup truck’ states that the clients have to be over 21 years of age but in this age where fake IDs are easily accessible and also young girls look older than their age what guarantee is there that young girls will not be exploited through this service. Its been stated that the typical rape victim is a 16- to 24-year-old woman and the rapist is usually a 25- to 44-year-old man, this can easily fall into the clientele of the ‘hook-up truck’. Alcohol is a factor in over one out of three rapes and in these trucks where private parties are hosted, who monitors these parties? This initiative has a lot of questions to answer. “Rates range from $75 for 30 minutes in the parked truck to $2,500 for a 5-hour party rental package including host staff and a cleaning crew”. This seems to be just another sex selling market in this society where the tag phrase ‘sex sells’ seems to be the justification for sex exploits. There might be grey areas but can a claim still be laid that a hook-up truck and prostitution may not be too far off. There is also the provision of video cameras to further perpetrate sexual acts; who gets these videos, who sees these videos and who governs how these videos get distributed. Its one thing to have a sexual encounter taped and also to have it shared, to a victim of sexual violence, these videos can be a means of re-victimization of these victims all over again. If a woman is raped in these trucks, such an establishment helps fuel the tagging of victims as liars. Sexual assault can happen between married couples, at parties, parks or anywhere and it doesn’t have to be with the use of force/violence so how much more in a ‘hookup truck’ of this sort.

Sources:

Take Pregnancy Test Before You Drink at a Bar

Alaskan Senator Pete Kelly is on a war to eradicate on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) in Alaska by providing free state funded pregnancy tests in bars and restaurants. Despite the disagreement among doctors of the amount of alcohol consumption that is associated with FASD, Senator Kelly proposes that women should take pregnancy tests before drinking at a bar or restaurant. In addition to spending millions on a media campaign using communications such as Youtube, social networks, television and radio, and free pregnancy tests should be distributed in Alaskan bars and restaurants to fight the war against FASM. When questioned by a Anchorage Daily News report about the pregnancy tests aspect of his proposed strategy, this is what the senator had to say:

They can test to see if they’re pregnant. Under the assumption that if you know you’re pregnant, you won’t drink. That is true for much of the population.

According to this logic, all sexually active women of reproductive age should take pregnancy test before any consumption of alcohol. Is that practical and necessary? If the concern is to protect a possible zygote or embryo, wouldn’t that mean that women should take pregnancy tests before any dangerous activity, such as horseback riding, boxing, bicycling, roller-coasters, surfing, hiking, high altitude mountain climbing? Senator Kelly’s assumption women who learn that they are pregnant will abstain from drinking alcohol. However, most women do not suspect or learned that they are pregnant until 4-6 weeks into their pregnancy. Even if a woman decides to abstain from alcohol after learning of her pregnancy, she may have consumed alcohol during the first 4-6 weeks.

It also appears that the Senator believes he is creating a convenience for women by affording them the opportunity to take a free pregnancy test when surrounded by the temptation of alcohol at bars or restaurants. Again, once she learns that she is pregnant then she will make the “responsible decision” to not drink alcohol:

You grab one. Literally, you can go into the bathroom at the bar and test. So if you’re drinking, you’re out at the big birthday celebration and you’re like, ‘Gee, I wonder if I …?’ You should be able to go in the bathroom and there’s that plastic, Plexiglas bowl in there and that’s part of the public relations campaign too. You’re going to have some kind of card on there with a message.

When asked about putting the same effort in birth control (i.e. free birth control in bars and restaurants) he answers:

No. Because the thinking is a little opposite. This assumes that if you know (you are pregnant) you’ll act responsibly. Birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly. I’m not going to tell them what to do. Or help them do it. That’s their business. But if we have a pregnancy because someone just doesn’t know, that’s probably a way we can help

Apparently using birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies irresponsible. Yet, no method of intervention, aside from awareness, has been established to prevent drinking. When the reporter attempts to reason that birth control is a responsible act, Kelly responds accordingly:

Maybe, maybe not. That’s about a level of social engineering that we don’t want to get into. All we want to do is make sure people are informed. They’ll make the right decision.

It is clear from that statement that the Republican senator is uncomfortable with the topic of contraception. Yet he is comfortable with distributing pregnancy tests in bars and restaurants. In the end we have to ask Senator Kelly how pregnancy tests will eradicate FASD? What about women who binge drink or suffer from alcoholism?

We’re hesitant to say, ‘Use birth control as your protection against fetal alcohol syndrome.’ Because, again as I say, binge drinking is a problem. If you think you could take birth control and then binge drink and hope not to produce a fetal affect baby or a fetal alcohol syndrome baby, that you may be very wrong. Sometimes these things don’t work. Sometimes people forget. Sometimes they administer birth control improperly and you might produce a fetal alcohol syndrome baby. That would be irresponsible of us until we get better information on that to say, ‘Well, maybe that is a good idea.’

Not surprisingly, the senator has received major backlash.

Male Rape Victims: Nothing to Joke About

I came across “Why rape is sincerely hilarious” as I was reading another blog earlier in the week. In the video, a rape survivor “jokes” about how rape is depicted in popular media when the victim is male. “When it happens to a female, rape is horrible, he says.” “When it happens to a male, rape is hilarious.” He goes on to list a few popular movies that have at least one mention of rape where a male is the victim. As he says, these scenes are usually played for laughs. And they’re all too common. As the survivor rattled off his list of “funny” episodes of rapes, I thought of several others. I’ve seen this trope on sitcoms, dramas, on television and in movies alike. Think about it. If you watch television or movies, you’ve probably seen this in action. The survivor then described how others viewed his own attack. His message is one that is also far too commonly heard: young men can’t be raped. At least not by older women. I immediately recalled Mary Kay Letourneau and Meghan Eagan and even thought of a scene in one of my favorite shows where an underage boy is raped by a (female) teacher AND it’s depicted as a funny episode. Real life responses to these situations are confusing and infuriating. “Where were these teachers when I was in school” is a phrase that I’ve heard countless times. These depictions and comments invalidate the experiences of male rape survivors, contributing to the culture of shame, denial, and disbelief that is associated with them.

It’s time to change how we view and show rape, period. If we’re going to depict rape in any form, then we should take care to show the truth about it. It’s no laughing matter.

See the video…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ikd0ZYQoDko

Resources for male rape survivors…
https://1in6.org
http://www.malesurvivor.org
http://www.experienceproject.com/groups/Know-Men-Can-Be-Rape-Victims-Too/385985
http://www.pandys.org/malesurvivors.html