Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the tag “Rape”

“What’s on America’s Mind” Wednesday 7:00PM

 

Radio RED 104.9 FM

Tonight’s discussion includes:

Fireworks at the MID, who leaked MID’s confidential memo and why? Van Groningen Chastised by Board, alleged  Brown Act Violations, the need for roll call voting, and they’re finally replacing Tim O’Laughlin MID’s Million dollar man, Recalling five heroic men here in Modesto, Modesto’s home owners who kill cats,  SalidaMAC meeting last night and the low hanging fruit, Mitt Romney’s only endorsement for another candidate was Richard Mourdock GOP candidate for U.S.Senate who says no abortions for rape victims because God intended for it to happen.

This and more Wednesday night from 7:00 until 8:30 PM

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To hear us live or later from our archives http://www.blogtalkradio.com/centralvalleyhornet/2012/10/25/whats-on-americas-mind-with-emerson-drake

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Rapists Have Visitation and Custody Rights??

By Gaetana Drake

We’ve all heard the recent comment by Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri) who believes that women don’t get pregnant as a result of rape, because “the female body has a way of shutting down that function.”  In case you needed more proof that that statement is incredibly ignorant, consider this – 31 states allow rapists to sue for visitation and custody rights concerning the child they fathered during a rape!

Can you imagine the terror a woman feels while she is being raped?  If she goes to the hospital for a rape exam, she is violated again.  The actual collection of evidence (swabs from every orifice) and a close inspection of her body for bruising and other injuries, takes several hours.  During this exam a law enforcement officer is in the exam room to observe the collection of evidence.  Imagine how humiliating this is.  Then there is the stigma attached to being raped.  I grew up during a time when it was believed that “good girls don’t get raped”, or “she was asking for it, look at the clothes she was wearing.”  And after the exam, she has to wait to see if she became pregnant.  Many hospitals won’t provide her with the emergency contraception pill, due to their “religious” beliefs, and the official party platform of the GOP states that there will be no exception for abortions due to rape or incest.

So after going through all that, imagine this victim finding out that she is, in fact, pregnant.  Now comes the turmoil every woman faces when she has an unwanted pregnancy.  Do I abort?  Do I have the child of my rapist?  Many women choose to continue the pregnancy to term and keep the child.  Now….she finds out that her rapist can take her to court to win custody and/or visitation rights!

After going through such a horrible experience, but rising above it and deciding to raise her child, she can now be tethered to her rapist for the next 18 years, until the child is an adult.  He will come to her house to pick up the child.  He will come to her house to drop the child off.  He will be involved in holiday and school activities.  He will be a constant presence in her life that reminds her of the worst thing that ever happened to her.  It must be like being raped over and over for 18 years.

We all know that rape isn’t about sex.  It’s about power and control.  After fathering a child through rape, the rapist is now able to exert power and control over his victim for another 18 years. 

Who in their right mind can possibly believe that it is healthy for a child to spend time with a rapist?  I can only believe that some of these “rights” for rapists were decided by the same kind of men who have no compassion for rape victims, like many of the Republican elected officials.

It’s estimated that 54% of rapes in this country go unreported.  Now I understand why.  Studies have shown that women who live in the states listed below, often choose not to press charges against their rapist, in order to avoid the possibility of the man suing for custody or visition:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, maryland, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Can you believe that in America, rapists have such rights?

Republicans Are Showing Their True Colors

By Gaetana Drake

We’ve all heard the outrageous comments by Representative Todd Akin (R-Missouri), claiming that women don’t get pregnant as a result of a legitimate rape because “the female body has a way of shutting down that function.”  First of all, I wonder what a “legitimate” rape is….it seems to exclude statutory rape and incest.  Did Mr. Akin skip science and health ed class?  Here are some other ridiculous comments by republicans:

Representative Steve King (R) has not spoken out against Mr. Akin because he seems to agree with him.  He recently told an Iowa reporter that “I’ve never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest”.  A 1996 review by the Guttmacher Institute found that “at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.”  That would be the statutory rape that Mr. King doesn’t believe causes pregnancies.

Federal Judge James Leon Holmes, a Bush appointee, said in an article published circa 1997: “Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

Dr. Richard Dobbins, who works in the emergency department at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Kenton, Ohio told the Columbus Dispatch in 2006, “I think that life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm and egg line up”.  Dobbins also questioned the need for emergency contraception in rape cases, saying that most women “are not fertile during assault or do not become pregnant because the trauma prompts a hormonal response that prevents ovulation.”   I wonder….do rapists only rape women who are not in their “fertile period”?

In 1995, Republican Henry Aldridge told the House Appropriations Committee:  “The facts show that people who are raped – who are truly raped – the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant”.

Representative Stephen Freind, (R-Delaware County) said “the odds that a woman who is raped will get pregnant are ‘one in millions and millions’.  The reason, he said, “is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to ‘secrete a certain secretion’ that tends to kill sperm.”

 

Texas oilman Clayton Williams once ran against Ann Richards for Governor of Texas.  During the campaign he said “Rape is like the weather, if it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”

Idaho Senator Chuck Winder (R) has made this unusual comment. “I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that the physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape.”  Apparently in his mind, it’s part of “normal relations in a marriage” for a husband to rape his wife.

The GOP has finalized it’s  party platform for this election.  It includes NO exception for federal funding for abortions for victims of rape or incest.  They are finally being honest enough to tell us that their goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade.  Mitt Romney has said he would sign a “personhood amendment” which would effectively ban the birth control pill and the IUD.  These are the most commonly used and most effective forms of birth control.

Paul Ryan along with Todd Akin (women can shut down that function) co-sponsored a nation-wide personhood amendment that tried to outline the differences in types of rape.  Statutory rape, incest and forcible rape are all different categories in their minds.  Forcible rape is the only kind where they would allow the woman to have an abortion.  The wording in their proposal also required a woman to be able to “prove the rape was against her will.”  Will America soon be like Pakistan where it isn’t rape unless it’s witnessed by four other men?

Women still earn .77 to every 1.00 a man earns for doing the same job.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are against the Fair Pay Act.  Imagine what women’s earnings will be if they are forced to give birth every year or two….how can a woman hold down a job when she is constantly bearing children?  I know, I know…the simple answer is “don’t have sex.”  How many relationships will survive that?  Sex is a natural part of being a human being.

If the Romney/Ryan ticket wins in November, it won’t be long before women are forced out of their jobs by constant child-bearing, and they and their children live in severe poverty.  Oh yeah..don’t forget..they would like to eliminate federal funding to help low-income women and children, too.

Many of these men claim that it is immoral of us to force conscientious taxpayers to fund abortions in these cases.  They have no concern about conscientious taxpayers who object to war but are forced to pay for it.

Is this really the kind of America we want?

Do You Still Believe There’s No War On Women?

By Gaetana Drake

Here is a list of what the Republican party has done or is trying to do nation-wide and/or in Republican-led states:

Requiring a trans-vaginal probe (unpaid by insurance because it’s not medically required) prior to an abortion.  One male politician had the audacity to say if a woman didn’t want to watch, she could “just close her eyes.”

Passing “Personhood Amendments” which would effectively ban the pill and IUDs (the most effective and commonly used forms of birth control.)

Refusing to let women testify to the all-male congressional panel on birth control.

Wanting to change the Affordable Care Act to allow any employer to suddenly decide he has a “moral” objection to birth control and deny coverage.

Requiring three visits to a doctor prior to an abortion.

Failing to renew the Violence Against Women Act, because it now includes protections for lesbians, illegal immigrants and mail-order brides.

Censoring elected female representatives for daring to say “vagina” while men are passing legislation that controls our vaginas.

Making comments that there’s no need for insurance to cover birth control because it isn’t expensive.  To use the pill for 30 years (the amount of time the average American woman spends trying to prevent pregnancy) can cost $67,000.

Requiring physicians to lie to their pregnant patients about the effects of abortion, saying that it causes a higher rate of suicide (no study has ever shown that) and that having an abortion can cause cancer.  The truth is that carrying a pregnancy to term while you’re still a young woman tends to prevent cancer, but that does not equate to “having an abortion may cause cancer.”

Re-defining “rape” to “forcible” rape in a proposed bill that would deny any federal funding of abortions for rape victims.  Date rape, statutory rape, rape in a case where a woman is under the influence and unable to give consent….no longer considered rape in their minds.

And now, one of the most outrageous of all statements a politician has ever made – Congressman Todd Akin (R-Missouri) said, while discussion abortions in the case of rape – “what I understand from doctors I’ve talked to is that it’s rare for a woman to get pregnant as a result of rape – because the female body has a way of shutting down that process to avoid getting pregnant”. 

RAINN (Rape, abuse, incest national network) reports that 1 in 15 rape victims will become pregnant.)  There are an estimated 400,000 rapes (including the 54% that go unreported) annually.  That would mean that approximately 27,000 pregnancies as a result of rape every year.

I guess those 27,000 women and girls forgot to “shut down” that function.

So, I ask again….do you still believe there’s no war on women?

And The War Goes On….

By EOM Staff

 

With all the discussion about the “war on women”, it’s very disheartening to realize that our military is waging its own war on women.  Following are the stories about Stephanie Schroeder, Anna Moore, Panayiota Bertzikis and Jenny McClendon.  Four American women who chose to serve their country and how they were treated after reporting sexual assaults against them.

 

Stephanie Schroeder was 21 when she joined the Marine Corp shortly after 9/11.  In April, 2002, a fellow marine followed her into a bathroom.  He then attacked and raped her.  She did the right thing….she reported it.

 

Anna Moore joined the Army after 9/11 and was planning to make a career of military service.  She became a patriot missile battery operator inGermany.  She was alone in her barracks when a non-commissioned officer tried to rape her.  She did the right thing…she reported it.

 

Jenny McClendon served as a sonar operator on a Navy destroyer.  She was working the midnight to 2:00 a.m. watch when a superior raped her.  She did the right thing….she reported it.

 

Panayiota Bertzikis was serving in the Coast Guard in 2006, when she was punched in the face and raped by a shipmate during an off-duty hike.  She did the right thing….she reported it.

 

This is what happened to these brave women who reported sexual assaults:

 

Stephanie Schroeder was told “don’t come bitching to me because you had sex and changed your mind.”

 

Anna Moore was told “forget about it.  It never happened.”  The reporting forms she filled out were torn up.

 

Panayiota Bertzikis was ordered to clean out an attic with her attacker and “work out your differences.”

 

And Jenny McClendon?  Well, she was diagnosed with “personality disorder” and discharged from service.  So was Stephanie Schroeder.  So was Anna Moore.  So was Panayiota Bertzikis.  Four American women who wanted nothing more than to serve their country, were thrown away and treated dishonorably after reporting a sexual assault.

 

These women were all strong enough physically, emotionally and mentally to make it through basic training.  They all reportedly performed their jobs well.  They were punished (as women often are) for being victims of sexual assaults.

 

There were 3,191 military sexual assaults reported in 2011.  But, just like in the civilian world, most attacks go unreported.  The Pentagon estimates that there were actually over 19,000 attacks against women in the military last year.

 

A victim of rape is often diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  Now imagine being strong enough to report the attack, then being punished in the form of a psychiatric diagnosis and being discharged from service.  The feeling of betrayal by your comrades, your commanding officers and your country must be overwhelming.

 

Anna Moore said “it felt like a punch in the gut.  I couldn’t trust my chain of command to ever back me up.”

 

Jenny McClendon said “I remember thinking this is absurd, this is ridiculous.  How could I be emotionally unstable?  I’m very clear of mind, especially considering what happened.  It was a ludicrous diagnosis.  I was good enough to suit up and show up and serve, but I wasn’t good enough after the fact”.

 

Panatioya Bertzikis said “I am the victim of this crime, then I report it and I felt like I was the one on trial – I was the one who did something wrong.  He got a free pass and I was the one fighting to stay in.”

 

For civilians who are raped, there are options.  Identifying and pressing charges against your attacker.  Going to court.  Going to the media.  If you are raped in the military and your command doesn’t deal with it, there is nothing else for you to do.

 

Dr. Liza H Gold is a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine.  She explains that it’s a rule of thumb among psychiatrists not to diagnose someone with a personality disorder in the middle of a traumatic experience like a divorce, litigation or the aftermath of a sexual assault.  The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines a personality disorder as a long-standing, inflexible pattern of maladaptive behavior and coping, beginning in early adolescence or early adulthood.  People with personality disorders tend to get fired from jobs, get in trouble with the law or at school and are unable to maintain relationships, none of which were true with these women.

 

Anu Bhagwati is a former company commander in the Marines and now serves as Executive Director of Service Women’s Action Network, a veterans advocacy group.  She says she sees a pattern of the military using psychiatric diagnoses to get rid of women who report sexual assaults.  She says it makes no sense medically for people to be diagnosed all of a sudden after being sexually assaulted as an adult in the military to say, for a psychiatrist to say “no, you’ve had this all along”.  She said that “these women have clearly been able to function.  They made it through basic training, through all the follow-up training, are deployed overseas in war and they’ve done fine there.  But after reporting sexual assaults, it seems very suspicious that the military would suddenly stamp them with a pre-existing condition that bars them from serving any longer”.

 

CNN recently interviewed women in all branches of the armed forces who tell similar stories.  After reporting sexual assaults, their commanders were dismissive of the allegations, and they were shortly thereafter diagnosed with a personality disorder and discharged from service.

 

Both in the military and in civilian life, rapes are seldom reported because of the way rape victims are treated.  They are greeted with suspicion, people accuse them of lying or even say “they were asking for it”.  We can’t help victims of rape until we take away the stigma attached to it.  It is not shameful to be the victim of rape.  The shame belongs on the rapist. When will the woman stopped being blamed for the man’s crime?

 

Many people object to women serving in the military, using the argument that if they are captured they may be raped.  It seems like our female service members have more to fear from the man serving next to them than they do from our enemies.

 

Yes, there is a war on women.  Even against the women who risk their lives to serve and protect.

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