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Civil Rights & Abortion Discuss Reporting Sexual Assault Is Difficult, but a New Technology May Help at the Political Forums; One of the key factors driving the growing scandal surrounding Bill Cosby is shared awareness of the numerous rape allegations ...

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Old 12-04-2014, 09:27 PM
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Post Reporting Sexual Assault Is Difficult, but a New Technology May Help

One of the key factors driving the growing scandal surrounding Bill Cosby is shared awareness of the numerous rape allegations against him, which has prompted media companies and his beloved Temple University to distance themselves from him while encouraging new accusers to come forward.

A Rolling Stone article has had a similarly galvanizing effect at the University of Virginia by reporting a pattern of sexual assaults on campus. The attention it drew to the issue prompted Teresa A. Sullivan, the university’s president, to suspend all fraternity activities until January.

Most accounts of sexual assault never reach this level of awareness, however. Few are even reported. One reason is that reporting systems on college campuses and in the criminal justice system are widely regarded as unfriendly to victims. In particular, even though research suggests that many rapists engage in repeated attacks, survivors of sexual assault are rarely aware of other victims or able to come forward together.

Callisto, an online sexual assault reporting system under development by a nonprofit called Sexual Health Innovations, aims to change this and provide better options for victims of sexual assault on college campuses.

The project builds on the idea of “information escrows” proposed by Ian Ayres and Cait Unkovic in a 2012 Michigan Law Review article. Mr. Ayres, an economist at Yale’s law school, and Ms. Unkovic, a graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley, suggest that reporting of misbehavior that is difficult or costly for victims to disclose might be increased if people had the option to report that information to a third party who would make the disclosure only if others also reported misconduct by the same individual.

Jessica Ladd, Sexual Health Innovations’ executive director, is applying this idea in Callisto. In an email, she notes that “survivors are often willing to share about our experiences — you just need to give us a compelling reason and a safe way to do so.” In particular, she said: “This sharing doesn’t have to happen publicly, as the Cosby and UVA cases did. Survivors should not have to out themselves to the entire world in order to get justice or to find out if they are the only one” who was attacked by a particular person. Knowing about other victims, she said, is often a major factor in the decision to report an assault or not.

Ms. Ladd describes Callisto as meeting the need for reporting systems that “keep the survivor in control of their own data and their own choices.” According to the organization, it will allow users to create time-stamped reports that are saved in the system, which is not accessible to administrators or law enforcement. Users may choose to submit a report to campus authorities immediately or store the information and return to it later once they have made a choice about whether to report. Most notably, users are provided with the option to automatically submit their report if another student reports being attacked by the same person, creating shared awareness of a possible serial perpetrator who might otherwise not be identified to campus authorities.

The Rolling Stone article, for instance, describes a first-year University of Virginia student who reported being sexually assaulted and was “shaken to discover two other women with stories of assault by the same man” – key evidence that she reportedly submitted to his disciplinary hearing. (Disturbingly, her suspected attacker received only a one-year suspension after being found guilty; the university has apparently not expelled a student for sexual assault in recent years.) This case is an exception, however. More “pattern evidence” like this could be brought forward if improved shared reporting options were provided to victims.

Of course, not all such reports will be made. As Ms. Ladd notes, the project is intended to help victims make “the reporting (or not reporting) choice that is right for them.”

It will also be important to provide protections against false allegations and due process for people who are accused under any reporting system — a concern in many higher education settings and in the criminal justice system as well.

Finally, the project is just beginning. A recent crowdfunding campaign raised more than $25,000, but Ms. Ladd has said $1 million will be required to finance Callisto’s development and a planned pilot campaign on three campuses during the 2015-2016 academic year.

While Ms. Ladd acknowledges that Callisto is only “a piece of the solution to a very large problem,” it could be an important first step in changing sexual assault reporting on college campuses. For victims, there can be strength in numbers.

If implemented right, this would be a huge aid for justice.
Obviously accusations would need to be investigated by the police / campus before acting upon them. The integrity of "privacy" would also need to be strictly enforced.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:45 AM
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Military academies sexual assault rates on the rise...

Sex assault reports up at Navy, Army academies
March 15, 2017 | WASHINGTON (AP) — Reports of sexual assaults increased at two of the three military academies last year and an anonymous survey suggests sexual misconduct rose across the board at the schools, The Associated Press has learned.
The new data underscore the challenge in stemming bad behavior by young people at the military college campuses, despite a slew of programs designed to prevent assaults, help victims and encourage them to come forward. The difficulties in some ways mirror those the larger military is struggling with amid revelations about Marines and other service members sharing nude photos on websites. Assault reports rose at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, while dropping at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. The Air Force decline was sharp, going to 32 last year from 49 in 2015, contributing to an overall decrease in the overall number of reported assaults at the academies. The total reported cases fell to 86 from 91 in 2015, according to details obtained by The Associated Press.

Pentagon and military officials believe more people are reporting sexual assaults, which they see as a positive trend because it suggests students have more confidence in the system and greater willingness to seek help. But the anonymous survey results suggest more assaults and crime occurring. They showed more than 12 percent of women and nearly 2 percent of men saying they experienced unwanted sexual contact. In that survey, the largest increases in sexual misconduct were also at the Navy and Army academies. A vast majority of students said they didn't file a report on the assault because they didn't consider it serious enough. Many women said they took steps to avoid the perpetrator, while more than a third of the men said they confronted the person.

Senior defense officials expressed disappointment. They were particularly concerned that more men and women said they experienced unwanted sexual contact. The rate two years ago was about 8 percent of women and 1 percent of men. "This is almost a new population of folks every four years and that makes it a little bit more difficult for the messages to build up and gather momentum," said Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the Pentagon's sexual assault prevention office. Officials struggled to identify a reason. They said some blame may fall on student leaders and how much they are willing to emphasize and enforce sexual assault prevention programs among peers. "Unless the students have a bit of accountability on their own, unless they take the charge themselves, (senior) leadership can really only take them so far," said Elizabeth Van Winkle, who is currently the assistant defense secretary for readiness. "If the students aren't taking the charge themselves, you won't make as much headway in this population."

APNewsBreak: Sex assault reports up at Navy, Army academies]MORE
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Marine Commandant Is Asked If Nude Photo Scandal Stems From Male Resentment at Females in the Ranks
March 15, 2017 - In December 2015, then-Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that all combat roles in all military branches would be open to women who could meet the standards. "No exceptions," he said.
But the U.S. Marine Corps resisted, pointing to a study that said adding women to all-male units would undermine unit cohesion and combat effectiveness. Secretary Carter brushed aside those concerns, saying he was confident that the addition of women "can be implemented in a way that will enhance combat effectiveness, not detract from combat effectiveness." This week, at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.C.) asked Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller if the Marines' nude photo-sharing scandal may be "an outgrowth” of male resentment at the integration of women into the service branch dubbed the “few, the proud and the brave.”

General, you and the sergeant major have both made it very clear that you have been disgusted with this (nude photo sharing) activity. I believe you when you say that you want this ended. At the same time, I’m just wondering when you first heard about this and you’re working your way through it, did it come to mind that this may very well be an outgrowth of the discrimination that we've seen in terms of men who may very well have thought that we just simply don't think this is the place for women in the military?"

Neller responded:

Senator, we talked about that, and I'm sure there are going to be people that have that particular view. But ok, but I don't see how that gets you from that particular view to where you have to take a picture of somebody, post it online, and then mock, haze, harass, degrade or even potentially assault them online. I mean, that's -- you know, whether that's their motivation or not, I don't know. Whether, it's -- you know, I've heard it descried as dark humor of veterans. That's a cop out. But we also know that there are marines that are participating in this who have never been shot at in their lives. So they are just trying to get credibility. I don't know. It doesn't matter what their motivation is, to me. It's behavior. And whatever made them think they were going to do this or watch it and not report it, that's what we've got to get after.

Sen. Rounds asked Neller, “The reality is, we can't go to war without women any more, can we?” “No, Senator, we can't,” Neller responded. Rounds noted that some 500 hundred individuals ave participated in the nude photo sharing and lewd commenting, which continues to this day. When the first “Marines United” private Facebook site was taken offline, another one popped up to replace it. The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is looking into possible violations of law.


Last edited by waltky; 03-16-2017 at 12:58 AM..
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:00 AM
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Question Re: Reporting Sexual Assault Is Difficult, but a New Technology May Help

'How Much More' Do Females Need to Do to Be Accepted?...

Marine Commandant Asks Men in the Corps: 'How Much More' Do Females Need to Do to Be Accepted?
March 14, 2017 | Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, vowed to remove the "stain" placed on his unit by active-duty Marines, veterans and civilian personnel who shared nude images of female service members – and posted derogatory or obscene comments -- on web pages and in Facebook groups such as Marines United.
Neller, in his opening statement, said he wanted to address both female and male Marines directly: "I know I'm asking a lot of you right now," he told female Marines, past and present: But I ask you to trust the leadership of the Marine Corps to take action and correct this problem. I ask you to trust me personally as your commandant, and when I say I'm outraged that many of you haven't been given the same respect when you earned the title Marine. I know you aren't asking to be labeled as victims. For anyone's pity, I know you would find that as insulting as the recent behavior and comments on social media. I know what you do for our Corps -- for our team -- and what you've contributed, to include the past 16 years of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know when you earn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, you wear it as proudly as the Marines you are.

Neller continued with a message to the men currently serving in the Marine Corps and to those who no longer wear the uniform: You're still Marines. I need you to ask yourselves, how much more do the females of our Corps have to do to be accepted? Was it enough when Major Megan McClung was killed by an IED in Ramadi? Or when Captain Jennifer Harris was killed when her helicopter was shot down while she was flying blood from Baghdad to Fallujah surgical? (He named three other female Marines killed at enemy hands.) What is it going to take, for you to accept these Marines as Marines? Neller said he's committed to making things right, and he asked all Marines to come forward to "get rid of this perversion to our culture." Anyone found taking part in the nude photo sharing scandal is liable to be subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, he said.

'Lame answer'

A furious Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who has made sexual assault in the military one of her priority issues, erupted at Neller, telling him that his call for things to be different "rings hollow." "Who has been held accountable?" she demanded. "Have you actually investigated and found guilty anybody? If we can't crack Facebook, how are we supposed to be able to confront Russian aggression and cyber hacking throughout our military?" Her voice shaking, Gillibrand said it's a "serious problem when we have members of our military denigrating female Marines who will give their lives to this country in the way they have, with a non-response from leadership." She called Neller's testimony unsatisfactory: "And I would like to know what you intend to do to the commanders who are responsible for good order and discipline!"

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‘Manterruption’ – A Form of ‘Violence Against Women,’ Now Tracked by Your Smartphone
March 13, 2017 -- A new app, Woman Interrupted, listens to conversations and tracks how often men interrupt – “manterrupt” – women, a behavior that app developer BETC São Paulo refers to as “one of the types of violence against women” and “a sexist behavior.”
“At first glance, it may seem a small problem,” BETC São Paulo Co-CEO Gal Barradas said, “but reflects deeper issues of gender inequality at work and in society. The application is a way to show that, in fact, the disruption is real and alarming.” “We want men to ask, am I doing it without realizing it?” continued Barradas. “After all, what good is having more women in a meeting room if no one listens to what they have to say?”

The app analyses users’ conversations, identifying male and female speakers and noting when a female user is “manterrupted,” and when a male user “manterrupts” a female. BETC São Paulo claims that “no conversations are recorded or stored: everything goes from voice to data, automatically.” Still an early version, the application will eventually “present an overview of the data collected around the world” to determine in which locales women endure the most “manterruptions” and at what times “manterruption” most often occurs.

App user Henry Hobson reviewed the product, calling it “an excellent way” for women to track the “numerous times” men interrupt them. “I am a man,” Hobson wrote, “but believe the feminists in the world like myself need to stand up and help them. That is why I went to the women’s march in Washington DC…to protest for women’s rights around the world.” “One day,” Hobson concluded, “I hope to be a woman.”

?Manterruption? ? A Form of ?Violence Against Women,? Now Tracked by Your Smartphone
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Old 03-18-2017, 07:58 AM
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Default Re: Reporting Sexual Assault Is Difficult, but a New Technology May Help

Originally Posted by foundit66 View Post

If implemented right, this would be a huge aid for justice.
Obviously accusations would need to be investigated by the police / campus before acting upon them. The integrity of "privacy" would also need to be strictly enforced.
The Rolling Stone article was bogus and is an example of why we need to be very careful when making sexual accusations.

As I skim the rest of the article. Apparently the crux of it is the use not of new technology but the greater use of the tried and true pile on technique. This time using some sort of a non biased (??) arbitrator.

I'll pass.
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