The house where the Philippines’ forgotten ‘comfort women’ were held

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Hundreds of thousands of women and girls across Asia were raped and forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War Two. Some have been offered a direct apology and compensation from the Japanese government – but not in the Philippines. The last survivors there want their suffering to finally be acknowledged.

This article contains graphic details which some readers may find disturbing.

“At night there are evil spirits – my mother and brother used to see the ghost of an old woman.” With this warning the caretaker unlocks the gates to the Red House.

“After the war, no one wanted to live here,” he says. “They were too scared.”

Today the majestic blood-red villa is crumbling, but memories of the atrocities committed inside it haven’t faded.

Click here to read the article at BBC World.

Control and Fear: What Mass Killings and Domestic Violence Have in Common

One of the first things we learned about Omar Mateen, the gunman in the nightclub massacre in Orlando, Fla., was that his ex-wife said he had beaten her severely until she left him in 2009.

If it sounds familiar that a gunman in a mass shooting would have a history of domestic violence, it should.

In February, Cedric Ford shot 17 people at his Kansas workplace, killing three, only 90 minutes after being served with a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend, who said he had abused her. And Man Haron Monis, who carried out a 17-hour siege at a cafe in Sydney, Australia, in 2014, in which two people were killed and four were wounded, had terrorized his ex-wife. He had threatened to harm her if she left him, and was eventually charged with organizing her brutal murder.

Click here to read the article at the New York Times.

Webinar: Sexually Explicit Media and Communication: Selected Research Findings and Practice Implications

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Jeff R. Temple, PhD is an Associate Professor, Licensed Psychologist, and Director of Behavioral Health and Research in the department of Ob/Gyn at the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Emily F. Rothman, ScD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health with secondary appointments at the BU School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine.


Dr. Temple will discuss sexting (a combination of the words sex and texting), the practice of electronically sending sexually explicit images or messages from one person to another. Sexting has received an abundance of attention in the popular press. Much of this attention has been limited to (1) legal cases in which teens who create, send, receive, store, and/or disseminate nude pictures of themselves or another teen face criminal charges including child pornography, and (2) cases in which teens are harassed and bullied as a result of the nude picture being distributed beyond the intended audience. Although media reports often cite various examples of sexting leading to bullying, cyberbullying, and even suicide, we understand very little about the public health importance of sexting. Using data from his ongoing longitudinal study of adolescent health, Dr. Temple will examine the prevalence of sexting behaviors as well as their relation to dating, sex, risky sex, and psychosocial health.

The webinar has passed, but if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can obtain pdf copies of the slides and relevant articles — all great resources!

Click here to find our more about the webinar.

“An Unbelievable Story of Rape”

An 18-year-old said she was attacked at knifepoint. Then she said she made it up. That’s where our story begins.

December 16, 2015

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No one came to court with her that day, except her public defender.

She was 18 years old, charged with a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.

Rarely do misdemeanors draw notice. Her case was one of 4,859 filed in 2008 in Lynnwood Municipal Court, a place where the judge says the goal is “to correct behavior — to make Lynnwood a better, safer, healthier place to live, work, shop and visit.”

But her misdemeanor had made the news, and made her an object of curiosity or, worse, scorn. It had cost her the newfound independence she was savoring after a life in foster homes. It had cost her sense of worth. Each ring of the phone seemed to announce another friendship, lost.

Click here to read this award winning article at The Marshall Project.

BYU students investigated by school after reporting rape

PROVO, Utah (AP) — Madeline MacDonald says she was an 18-year-old freshman at Brigham Young University when she was sexually assaulted by a man she met on an online dating site.

She reported the crime to the school’s Title IX office. That same day, she says, BYU’s honor code office received a copy of the report, triggering an investigation into whether MacDonald had violated the Mormon school’s strict code of behavior, which bans premarital sex and drinking, among other things.

Now MacDonald is among many students and others, including a Utah prosecutor, who are questioning BYU’s practice of investigating accusers, saying it could discourage women from reporting sexual violence and hinder criminal cases.

Click here to read the article at Post Register.

Young survivors of alleged sexual violence by peacekeepers in Central African Republic say they’ve received little help

By KRISTA LARSON, Associated Press

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Just 16 years old, she cried and pleaded with them to let her go, telling them she was menstruating in hopes it would dissuade them. Then three men gang-raped her one by one. As she trembled on the ground afterward in fear, they laughed and ate the bananas on her plate. Then they shouted at her to leave.

The attack she alleges happened that day did not kill her, but the torment and stigma that followed just might, she says. A few of her peers saw what happened and it wasn’t long before the taunts began, unspeakably cruel even when coming from the mouths of children. They still call her “Miss Sangaris,” a reference to the name of the French peacekeeping mission that implies she is the soldiers’ girlfriend.

Click here to read the article at US News & World Report.


Using a Trauma-Informed Approach: What Domestic Violence Court Professionals Need to Know


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What does a “trauma-informed approach” mean for domestic violence court professionals? More than just a buzzword, taking a trauma-informed approach often requires a deep shift in how we think about our work, as well as a new set of practical skills. Watch this webinar from July 24, 2015 and learn more from The National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health.

Click here to watch the video at Center for Court Innovation.

Jessica Knoll Reveals the Rape Behind Her Novel, ‘Luckiest Girl Alive’



On Tuesday, Ms. Knoll published a raw and chilling essay describing how the gang rape depicted in her novel was drawn from her own experience in high school, when she was sexually assaulted by three boys at a party, and then tormented by classmates who labeled her a slut.

“I was so conditioned to not talk about it that it didn’t even occur to me to be forthcoming,” Ms. Knoll said during a recent interview at her publisher’s office in Midtown Manhattan. “I want to make people feel like they can talk about it, like they don’t have to be ashamed of it.”

Click here to read the article at New York Times.

South Sudan lets fighters rape women as payment

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South Sudan lets fighters rape women as payment, the UN rights office said Friday, describing the country as “one of the most horrendous human rights situations in the world.”

“The assessment team received information that the armed militias… who carry out attacks together with the SPLA (South Sudanese army) commit violations under an agreement of ‘do what you can and take what you can,'” the rights office said in a new report.

“Most of the youth therefore also raided cattle, stole personal property, raped and abducted women and girls as a form of payment,” the report added.

In a report, the UN human rights office painted a harrowing picture of civilians suspected of supporting the opposition, including children, being burned alive, suffocated in shipping containers, hanged from trees and cut to pieces.

Click here to read the article at Global Post

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This Booklet is written for sexual violence (SA) and domestic violence (DV) victim services organizations to provide a basic understanding of policies and practices that promote nondiscrimination and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals. DV and SA organizations provide vitally important services to individuals who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking. Engaging in a process to ensure that your entire organization
embraces nondiscrimination and inclusion promotes an environment of safety, acceptance, respect, compassion, empowerment, and individuality of all.

Click here to download a pdf copy of the booklet.

“Faces of Human Trafficking” Video Series

The series is intended to be used for outreach and education efforts of service providers, law enforcement, prosecutors, and others in the community. The series includes information about sex and labor trafficking, multidisciplinary approaches to serving victims of human trafficking, effective victim services, victims’ legal needs, and voices of survivors.

Accompanying the video series is a discussion guide, four OVC Fact Sheets, and four posters that can be used to augment trainings and generate discussion. Download the complete Discussion Guide or the sections associated with each video below.

The Fact Sheets provide an introduction to human trafficking, information on the legal needs and rights of victims of human trafficking in the United States, information on the special considerations and needs of youth victims, and promising practices for building effective collaborations to address human trafficking.

The posters are designed to target specific audiences—service providers and allied professionals, law enforcement, the general public, and victims/survivors. Download the posters from the gallery on the right and customize them with information about your organization, training opportunities, or local service providers.