Marissa Alexander is a mother of three, a Black woman, and a survivor of abuse. She is currently sitting in a Florida prison for firing a warning shot into the wall of her house to dissuade her abusive husband from attacking her. Last month, an appeals court overturned her conviction, ruling that the jury received flawed instructions on self-defense.
Marissa Alexander’s case illustrates how abuse survivors are often criminalized and further abused by the legal system.
There are far more questions than answers surrounding the case of the three kidnapped women in Cleveland who finally escaped their captors this week after up to a decade of imprisonment. Many details about their ordeal will certainly come to light in the coming weeks. But one question that should be at the forefront is why police didn't find the missing women years ago.
Part of the answer is that Cleveland police held a dangerous assumption: that two of the victims, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight, were missing because they had each run away. Tragically, this assumption led law enforcement to take their cases less seriously.
One of the most resented stereotypes about BDSM is that the only person who would willingly consent to it must be "a damaged victim choosing submission as a way of healing from or processing past trauma." But what exactly is the objection to people who practice BDSM as therapy? I had a look at the kink-flavored movie A Dangerous Method to find out...
I have spent a lot of time thinking about the silliness of "True Love Waits"-style campaigns, but it never really occurred to me to think about how a child who has been raped might experience these shaming "abstinence-only" discourses. That is to say, this would be particularly cruel, painful, and potentially traumatic for such a child.
Potentially even worse than teen purity rallies, I think, are the "purity balls."
Consider the opening line of this local news video: "Would you pledge your virginity to your father?"