News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye over the past week:

  • With all the public debate over gun control, an important reminder of how abusers use guns in less talked about ways.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists just released new guidelines for doctors to address rape and sexual abuse, including how to help patients who have experienced birth control sabotage.
  • Usually, the media coverage of domestic violence and sexual assault looks at an individual incident, without putting it into a bigger social context. This article does the opposite, exploring the “pattern of violence against women that’s broad and deep and horrific and incessantly overlooked.”

 

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye over the past week:

  • Author Alisa Valdes talks of how the man who inspired her to write a “love letter of a book about him,” turned out to be abusive—and the hurtful way those involved in publishing and promoting her book are responding.
  • Three King County (WA) Sheriff’s detectives filed a lawsuit against the county, claiming years of sexual harassment by two sergeants in (of all places) the Special Assault Unit. Among the many disturbing accusations: “[Sergeant] Provenzo allegedly told one of the female detectives ‘not to fully investigate rape or sexual-assault cases that occurred on the Muckleshoot Indian reservation, because rape happens on the reservations “all the time,”’ the lawsuit alleges.”
  • Having information and access to finances is crucial for survivors of abuse and—let’s be real—for every single one of us. Here’s a great place to get started on financial and estate planning for whatever your future might hold.
  • Four indigenous women in Canada sparked a global movement for Native sovereignty, called Idle No More. Thousands of people have participated in flash mobs, protests, and prayer gatherings all across Canada and the U.S. Some are calling for Congress to pass the Violence Against Women Act with protections for Native women.

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye over the past couple of weeks:

  • Brent Musburger’s comments about Katherine Webb have gotten more attention than the college football championship game itself. Short view:  Really, Brent? Has nothing changed? Long view: Things have changed. People noticed and reacted.

Emergency Contraception is the breakfast rush conversation

Eggs, toast, and a side of emergency contraception. Not exactly like that but pretty close. My girls and I were listening to a morning radio story about a pharmacist who refused to sell EC to a man whose condom broke while having sex with his girlfriend (who happened to be a law student). The pharmacist said “I can’t sell it to men. Who knows what they could be doing with it?” The law student girlfriend told the pharmacist that her boyfriend waspharmacist allowed to purchase EC under the law—actually, any male or female 17 or older can purchase it without a prescription.

My girls were confused. “Isn’t that the pill you take right after sex if you don’t want to get pregnant?” (How do they know about this??) My exterior demeanor was calm but my insides were sweaty. Try giving clear and simple information in 5 minutes while flipping eggs over easy. The girls asked why the pharmacist would not give the boyfriend medicine that was legal? I explained that some people think that taking emergency contraception was like having an abortion.

The truth is that the  EC pill slows down ovulation and prevents the egg and sperm from fertilizing. If you wait too long to take it and fertilization happens, it can’t undo the pregnancy and it won’t hurt the person taking it.

After my mini-medical lecture, it turned out what the girls really wanted to know was, why was I so upset about the pharmacist’s response? I tell them (with just a little passion) that I want them to have control over their bodies and be able to make their own decisions without any additional barriers—like a pharmacist who won’t follow the law. I say that I want them to have accurate information (which I hope they will share with their friends).

“Yeah,” they say, “I bet that boyfriend felt weird.” Okay, don’t forget your lunch bag, give me a kiss. Hustle, you’re gonna be late to school.

2012 in review

Happy New Year! Do you love stats? Interested in who is reading Can You Relate? WordPress prepared a short report that sums up 2012. Thanks to all of our readers for joining the conversation!

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 64,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

  • Victoria’s Secret Loves Consent! Well, not really. This seriously sophisticated prank has filled the social media world with conversations about rape culture and what the alternative could look like.
  • When asked by Matt Lower what she “learned” from having a revealing photograph posted of her, Anne Hathaway’s answer was that she was “sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants.”
  • In political news, the House is delaying the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because of a provision that offers protections to Native women.
  • A dating advice list out this week that actually makes some good points (as opposed to making your skin crawl).

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

  • Activist groups across Asia are working to prevent violence against women by changing the notion of what it means to be a man.
  • A video on YouTube in which a woman says her father raped and abused her for years is sparking much conversation about if it’s ok to out your rapist. “Rape remains woefully under-reported and shamefully stigmatized. Narrating our own histories…is what initially brought sexual assault out of the shadows. Continuing to speak the truth is what keeps the light on.”
  • Ojibwe author Louise Erdrich won the National Book Award for The Round House, a novel about a 13-year-old boy investigating his mother’s rape on a North Dakota reservation. She said “this is a book about a huge case of injustice ongoing on reservations,” and accepted the award in recognition of “the grace and endurance of Native women.”

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

  • A new video game was just released to help teens learn about healthy relationships. The Real Robots of Robot High “helps middle school students better understand social systems and the dynamics that lead to healthy and not-so-healthy relationships.
  • Hard to ignore the fact that domestic violence has dominated the Sports news this week, from the WNBA to an international soccer star, as well as Washington State locals Hope Solo and Jerramy Stevens. These are painful reminders of how prevalent domestic violence is and the reality that all sorts of people out there are abusing their partners.
  • Did you know that the rate of unplanned pregnancies in the U.S. has not changed in 20 years? This week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said that women should be able to buy birth control pills over-the-counter, without a prescription. “Increasing women’s access to birth control in this way could reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancies.”
  • Kevin Clash just resigned as Elmo in light of sexual abuse allegations. Naturally, the public reaction has been to hope it’s not true. But what does it mean for victims and the likelihood that they will come forward when our first reaction is to hope they are lying?

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

  • Hurricane Sandy’s impact has been devastating in so many ways. Survivors of abuse are facing even fewer options for staying safe and financially independent.
  • A new study on women who sought an abortion found that those denied abortions were more than twice as likely to be a victim of domestic violence as those who were able to abort. This “wasn’t because the turnaways were more likely to get into abusive relationships,” but that “getting abortions allowed women to get out of such relationships more easily.”
  • The director general of the BBC resigned after airing a report that “wrongly implicated a politician in child sex-abuse scandals.” This following last month’s decision to run a series of tributes to BBC host Jimmy Savile—a man accused of sexually abusing hundreds of children. (Trigger Warning)