ayjay + abuse   3

How Did Larry Nassar Deceive So Many for So Long?
It has by the fall of 2018 become commonplace to describe the 499 known victims of Larry Nassar as “breaking their silence,” though in fact they were never, as a group, particularly silent. Over the course of at least 20 years of consistent abuse, women and girls reported to every proximate authority. They told their parents. They told gymnastics coaches, running coaches, softball coaches. They told Michigan State University police and Meridian Township police. They told physicians and psychologists. They told university administrators. They told, repeatedly, USA Gymnastics. They told one another. Athletes were interviewed, reports were written up, charges recommended. The story of Larry Nassar is not a story of silence. The story of Larry Nassar is that of an edifice of trust so resilient, so impermeable to common sense, that it endured for decades against the allegations of so many women.
8 weeks ago by ayjay
Brett Kavanaugh and the Problem With #BelieveSurvivors - The Atlantic
Hamill also described to me the undermining effects of unreliable procedures. “There is not a feeling of fundamental fairness in college settings a lot of the time,” she said, “and so then the results often feel illegitimate or not credible.” She added that she welcomed the voices of women in society at large telling their stories, but urged that we should not repeat the mistakes made under Title IX. “You have to have integrity to a process that allows people to bring their claims forward but also allows for the accused to meaningfully defend themselves.”

This should have been the lesson that emerged from the resignation from the U.S. Senate of the Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota. Last year, Franken was publicly accused by several women of grabbing them while being photographed together. He welcomed the Senate Ethics Committee inquiry that was underway, saying he was confident it would clear him. But last December, after another woman came forward, Gillibrand became the first senator to announce that Franken should quit immediately, declaring that she believed the women. Other Democratic senators quickly joined the call, and Franken soon resigned. His departure, though, has continued to leave many Democrats uneasy about both its abruptness and the unresolved questions about the allegations.

We don’t even have to imagine the dangers of a system based on automatic belief—Britain recently experienced a national scandal over such policies. After widespread adoption of a rule that law enforcement must believe reports of sexual violation, police failed to properly investigate claims and ignored exculpatory evidence. Dozens of prosecutions collapsed as a result, and the head of an organization of people abused in childhood urged that the police return to a neutral stance. Biased investigations and prosecutions, he said, create miscarriages of justice that undermine the credibility of all accusers.

The legitimacy and credibility of our institutions are rapidly eroding. It is a difficult and brave thing for victims of sexual violence to step forward and exercise their rights to seek justice. When they do, we should make sure our system honors justice’s most basic principles.
politics  sexism  abuse 
october 2018 by ayjay
What to Expect When a Woman Accuses a Man in Power | by Kate Maltby | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
What I can’t shake from my mind, either, was the gale of Damian Green’s anger. There was fury in his first threat to sue me. (Understandable, one might say, if he were a man who had been falsely accused.) Then in his public repudiation, two months after his sacking, of the apology the prime minister had demanded he give me. (Hurtful, but some might still sympathize with him.) And then the Mail on Sunday obtained text messages—presumably, as even a fellow Conservative MP said, from “Green’s allies”—that were altered to create the false impression that I had been pursuing him. (Inexcusable.) Much ink has been spilt about the path to rehabilitation for the men tarred by #MeToo. This much I know: that forgiveness comes only after repentance.

With Green, as with so many of these men, it was the campaign of intimidation, not the initial encounter, that requires the apology. It was that forgery of text messages, not the foolish pass of an old man, which leaves me scared to this day of his possible retribution in the future. Fools make mistakes; but abusers lash out. More than one senior journalist has since remarked to me that Green was so well known for more egregious sexual pestering than I had encountered that his conduct toward me had likely been too trivial by his own standards to make much mark in his memory. I suspect that’s true. Predators play numbers games, cornering a teenage girl here, propositioning an insecure employee there, knowing that eventually they’ll hit upon vulnerable prey. When one woman’s memories come back to challenge them, demanding they account for an incident they’d barely registered at the time, they explode with fear and internalized denial.
sexism  power  abuse 
october 2018 by ayjay

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