My TEDx Talk and You!

Log In on May 20th! Help make the world a safer place!

My TEDx Talk is just around the corner!

“When ‘Yes’ Means ‘No’; The truth about ‘Consent'” will air live from Ursuline Academy in Wilmington DE, on Sunday, May 20th. As I write, I have no idea what time I’m scheduled. And I’m not likely to be able to post again ’til after my talk, because I’ll be away.

You can get updated information by logging onto TEDx and signing up for news and updates which will fill you in on scheduling and all pertinent information.

As most of you who follow me or read this blog are aware, I’ve long advocated for laws to change the legal landscape on the derisive and covert acts of sexual assault that many of us experienced at the hands of narcissists or other sexual predators. My talk will lay the groundwork for a law that we can pass to end the madness!

I hope you’ll watch and call your legislators to insist they pass the law I’m proposing. If you miss the live streaming on Sunday, you can log onto TEDx Youth at Ursuline Academy at any time on or after May 20th to see and support this effort. Your comments and support would be greatly appreciated!

Together, we can make our voices heard. Call your legislators! Tell them to pass the language you hear into law to make the world a safer place for everyone!

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My deepest gratitude goes out to the staff of NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Hillary Barr and Esther Muller of Charles Rutenberg NYC (Realty), and the folks at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center for their feedback and support!

Joyce Interviewed About Cosby for BizTalkRadio

 

On May 4th, nationally syndicated Kevin Price departed from his business focused 17 years of excellence as the host of “The Price of Business” to speak about a topic he wants everyone to know about… the Bill Cosby trial and what changed.

He and I discussed how the second trial, the one that finally wiped the smug smirk off the comedian’s aging face; differed from the first and what this means going forward. 

Here’s the link.

Validation at Last! Cosby convicted!

Sex Offender Bill Cosby leaving the courtroom with Defender, Tom Mesereau

Who’s laughing now!!!

For Cosby’s countless victims, and I say “countless” because I’m sure there were far more who didn’t reveal their personal stories for a myriad of reasons, recovery just took a giant step forward! 

Defilement makes you feel dirty all the way to the core of your being. Our reproductive organs are a primal part of our very existence. For sexual predators, that connection to our inner self is incidental to their interest in playing out their deviant sex acts on our bodies.

Defilement makes the victim feel violated, isolated and invisible. Validation makes us feel accepted once again. Justice provides that validation. Every victim of defilement deserves justice, no matter what device or manipulation was used to violate them, whether by force, duress, or deception.

Hopefully, Cosby’s conviction will serve as an awakening to law enforcement that “acquaintance rapes,” which they’ve long turned a deaf ear to, are every bit as devastating to the victim as being raped by a stranger. In fact, the reality that someone you trust can be so utterly cruel adds an entire dimension to your pain.

Far from an isolated incident

Councilman Donovan Richards, Chair of the Public Safety Committee, takes NYPD to task on ignoring rape victims

Two weeks ago, I testified to a joint committee of NYC’s City Council who were addressing the New York Police Dept. (NYPD,) over their systemic lack of responsiveness to acquaintance rapes. Councilman Donovan Richards, Chairman of the Public Safety Committee said,

“It’s no wonder that victims don’t report more often. And it seems that NYPD is just fine with victims of sex crimes being ignored.”

The stories told by victims were inspiring, but only two lower level police employees remained to hear them. ALL the top brass, including Chief Monahan, had left the building. “Seriously??” C’mon!!

So what’s next for Cosby?

Certainly not a comeback for his comedy career, unless it’s entertaining other inmates!

Prosecutor Kevin Steele asked Judge Steven O’Neill to revoke the million dollar bail that keeps Cosby free. But Judge O’Neill sent him home under house arrest to his Cheltenham, PA, sprawling estate. The maximum penalty for his offenses is 30 years behind bars, but his attorney, Tom Mesereau has pledged to file an appeal.

DA Steele laid legal groundwork to admit the testimony of additional victims, beyond Andrea Constand, who Cosby assaulted. Although Steele had asked for nineteen victims, O’Neill agreed to five. Mesereau will likely say their testimony was prejudicial. Steele will respond that the state has the right to establish a pattern of conduct when similar methods of operation exist. Using the DOCTRINE OF CHANCES, is allowed in evidence. It’s role is to demonstrate that the accused is unlikely to be innocent when their criminal behavior is consistent time and time again.

Another issue the defense is likely to raise is that the judge’s wife is an advocate for sexual assault victims at the University of Pennsylvania. Having a spouse with a view consistent with the findings of the court; however, does not automatically rule out the judge.

Their may be additional rulings made by the judge that the defense will seize on.

Absurdities in this case

I find it astonishing that Cosby insisted he had the consent of a gay woman. How on earth did he possibly feel anyone could believe she willingly agreed?

In his civil deposition, he admitted he didn’t know if he had Constand’s consent. Pennsylvania’s legislators need to seriously address the fact that its penal code fails to clearly define what consent is….. Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement! #FGKIA.  This fact is what made it impossible to lock up Cosby the first time around, and it was necessary to torment additional accusers by subjecting them to “slut shaming” in order to get Cosby put away.

And now….

Sentencing must take place within ninety days.  Because he’s legally blind, and an advanced age, options for incarceration could include a minimum security prison or even an institution for assisted living.

Cosby claimed he’s not a flight risk because he doesn’t own a private plane…. as if he doesn’t have the money to purchase that service. While the saga for Cosby is ongoing, at least the victims have the satisfaction that their tireless, painful efforts were finally rewarded and that they’ve inspired drastically needed change!

 

 

 

Delaware- “Non-Consent,” but not “Consent,” Muddies Their Laws

In the state of Delaware, their penal code defines what “consent” is not- but fails to correctly define what consent actually is, #FGKIA– Freely Given Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement.  Without the proper definition of “consent,” some forms of sexual assault, particularly by deception regarding either the action itself, or the actor, may escape prosecution. Continue reading Delaware- “Non-Consent,” but not “Consent,” Muddies Their Laws

Finding Closure After Exploitation – Lauren’s Story- Part 3

 

Here’s where we left off from Part 2 in Lauren’s struggle for justice against a man who misused her romantic brain chemistry to con her for sex and money….

The man that scammed me has a flashy web presence that appears impressive to the untrained or trusting eye, but actually reveals the profile of a typical con man. To a trusting person, he would seem to have a clean record with no criminal history.

I got nowhere with the police!

It is nearly impossible to pursue this as a crime, so I filed a civil suit; first as a pro se case, and then I obtained a lawyer. The legal complaint was for “Fraud, Breach of Contract, and Unjust Enrichment.”

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________

Going through the legal process deeply affected me. First of all, it was a gamble pursuing this as it could result in more good money lost if I did not collect. In addition, there’s the risk of retaliation from the scammer. That part was quite unsettling and I lost my sense of safety in this world.

I crossed paths with a dark individual who exploited my kindness and my compassionate heart. I clearly showed that I cared more about people than about money or material things as I was willing to help someone I loved. I helped him financially because I feared he would die of an untreated heart condition without medical care. I was also concerned about his financial situation and that he would be overwhelmed to the point of suicide.

I felt strongly about holding the scammer accountable and was quite troubled that there was an element of organized crime to this. I never wanted to look back on my life and regret not going after him. What he did was so wrong. I also wanted to prevent others from getting scammed by him.

I wished that someone before me had legally pursued justice. If they had, maybe this wouldn’t have happened to me. And, I was determined to get my money back!

Seeking justice inspired a sea change

I had a good case against him and I knew it. The risk was worth it.  I had him backed into a corner now.

Instead of my initial feelings of violation and shame that haunted me for many months, once I began taking action, I felt strong, and that I could continue to feel empowered, no matter the outcome.

In June of 2017, my case was settled through mediation and I received a financial settlement for the amount of money he conned from me! I was not compensated for legal costs, however, which were substantial. His scam cost me in many other ways which the courts failed to recognize, particularly, my emotional well-being.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­It was exciting knowing that I was making him squirm. When the settlement agreement came through, I felt on top of the world. I felt euphoric. In the days that followed, I discovered a new sense of power and confidence. The entire experience transformed me into a stronger and more confident woman.

A sense of peacefulness and satisfaction are other emotions that come to mind. I also have knowledge about a dark side of humanity and have seen the workings of the “con man” world. Knowledge is quite empowering.

Justice can come in many forms. I obtained some measure of justice. My personal journey transformed me from feeling defeated to feeling validated and vindicated. The restitution of money is also very powerful. For me, it is a symbol of good overcoming evil and I feel really happy when I make those monthly settlement check deposits into my bank account!

What goes around, comes around, and it did in my case!

Justice helped restore my sense of self.

I now know that my caring does not make me a “gullible” person. It does not make me a “stupid” person. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am a good person. The person who scammed me is the bad person. He is calculating and evil. My experience gave me insight into the warning signs of dangerous individuals like him.

It is a very personal decision to proceed with a legal case in a situation like mine. It’s extremely stressful, and there is no guarantee of any good outcome. For me, it was absolutely the right decision. I do not suffer from any ongoing depression effects from this experience; in fact, just the opposite.

I had the option of just chalking it up to a bad experience in life for which I paid very expensive tuition, but going through the justice system allowed me to fully process what happened and to move on in a very positive way. I must give credit to Joyce Short, the author of this site, for her insights and encouragement throughout my journey.

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I’m pleased to report that Lauren has indeed moved on and has a deeply fulfilling life. She recently enjoyed a wonderful trip to Europe and has made significant additional changes. For anyone who is struggling with the aftermath of a romance scam, I truly encourage you to use whatever legal measures are available to restore your power, and to fight for new laws that will help shut down the rape mentality that makes these crimes possible. 

 

 

 

Why it’s tough for sexual assault victims to admit they were sexually assaulted

Can #FGKIA shut down rape mentality?

Society tends to fault the victim in sexual assault cases:

  • “They were where they shouldn’t be.”
  • “They dressed inappropriately.”
  • “They didn’t fight the offender off.”

When we think about the word “rape,” often the image of being dragged into a dark alley by a stranger, and violently overwhelmed, comes to mind. And for some, nothing less constitutes a sexual assault. Continue reading Why it’s tough for sexual assault victims to admit they were sexually assaulted

Finding Closure After Exploitation- Lauren’s Story – Part 2

If you missed Lauren’s first installment, you can find it here. This true story demonstrates the value of being able to seek justice…..

Finding Closure After Exploitation

Finding Closure After Exploitation-

Part 2

Several months later, in 2014, he came to visit me in Florida, and I was astounded when he made a plea for $65,000 to help with a series of desperate situations. When I told him I did not have the money, he asked me to get it from my retirement funds. Continue reading Finding Closure After Exploitation- Lauren’s Story – Part 2

Finding Closure After Exploitation- Lauren’s Story- Part 1

 

I’m often asked why having the ability to seek justice is so important for victims of sexual fraud. I’ve seen that the pursuit of justice, regardless of the outcome, can bring a sense of closure and empowerment that turns victims into survivors. Continue reading Finding Closure After Exploitation- Lauren’s Story- Part 1

Sex Trafficking Bill- You can help..TODAY!

A federal bill to stop “Sex Trafficking” comes up for a vote on the House floor today! You can help by contacting your federal legislators to insist they enact this important bill into law!

Kids aged 12 to 16 are typically the targets of traffickers, but anyone can be lured or abducted into this sordid cycle of violence, drug abuse and defilement.

Here’s all you need to say when you call…..

I’m your constituent and I request you pass the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) today! And please be sure to pass the Mini Walters Amendment that holds internet companies responsible when third parties post information that enables sex trafficking on their sites!

Sexual Battery by Ruse in Virginia

A state with a brain!

 

Virginia’s Penal Code addresses rape by fraud in a clear manner. Using “ruse” to undermine a victim’s consent is considered Sexual Battery, a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Crimes like the one committed by Donald Ward in Indiana, should qualify as Sexual Battery by Ruse in Virginia. Ward crept into the bed of a sleeping co-ed at Purdue University and engaged her in sex. The victim was asleep in her boyfriend’s bed and believed Ward was him.

Virginia’s treatment of sexual assaults is sensible. Their penal code divides misconduct by forcible and aggravated cases and lessor crimes. Initial violent convictions result in felony charges, but repeat misdemeanor offenses will raise the level of the charge to a felony.

Most sexual battery offenses, whether violent or not, will result in mandatory registration on the sex offender list.

Additionally, Virginia will prosecute offenders who transmit Aids, HIV, Hepatitis B or Syphillis.

If you’ve been sexually assaulted through a ruse in Virginia, please notify me at StopRomanceScams@ymail.com.

Code of Virginia § 18.2-67.4 – Sexual battery

18.2-67.4. Sexual battery.

A. An accused is guilty of sexual battery if he sexually abuses, as definedin 18.2-67.10, (i) the complaining witness against the will of the complaining witness, by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse.

B. Sexual battery is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

What is Rape Mentality and How Can We Stop It?

Until #MeToo, rape mentality was far more widespread than society recognized. The fact that so many celebrities, politicians, successful businessmen and more were recently exposed for abhorrent sexual acts, shows how well-hidden rape mentality has been. Even the President of the United States thinks that forcing his wife into sex is acceptable behavior – a recognition that Continue reading What is Rape Mentality and How Can We Stop It?

Scathing Rape by Fraud Loss in Indiana!

Is #DonaldWard guilty of #RapeByFraud?

Lafayette IN- Donald Grant Ward,  was found “not guilty” of rape by fraud by an Indiana court on Tuesday, Feb 6, 2018. Ward, a Purdue student, was accused of stealing into the victim’s bed, under the cover of darkness, and pretending to be her lover. He was not acquitted on the merits of the accusation, but rather on whether, in Indiana, his conduct constituted a crime. The verdict clearly demonstrates that Indiana’s rape laws need fixing!  Continue reading Scathing Rape by Fraud Loss in Indiana!

#KISS Away Sexual Assault! #FGKIA

Ever heard the term “Keep It Simple, Stupid?” I don’t think any of you are stupid…. it’s just a metaphor. But applying the #KISS theory to sexual assault laws could save countless victims!

Our laws on sexual assault are not only stupid and ridiculous, but they’re the reason rape mentality exists! The solution isn’t rocket science… it’s simple! Here’s what the laws for sexual assault should Continue reading #KISS Away Sexual Assault! #FGKIA

Olympic Doc shines glaring light on #SexualAssaultByFraud!

Convicted Sex Crime Offender, Larry Nassar

I truly hate being an “I told you so,” And nothing could make me dislike this role more than knowing that 156 unfortunate girls suffered a horribly defiling crime – one that I’ve been jumping up and down to stop for the past 5+ years!

Yesterday, Dr. Lawrence Nassar, former USA Gymnastics team doctor, was sentenced to a 175 year prison term after 156 of his sexual assault victims stepped forward. He’d molested them by using Continue reading Olympic Doc shines glaring light on #SexualAssaultByFraud!

Hear Us ROAR! #WomensMarch2018 #MeToo #TimesUp and #FGKIA!

NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and I

Amid shouts of “Hey-hey, ho-ho, Donald Trump has gotta go!” and “Trump is not my President, You’re fired White House resident!” throngs of women, men and children wound our way through the streets of midtown Manhattan yesterday. The sea of hopeful faces marched forward in solidarity with hope for renewed political integrity and equality for all mankind.

While I try to refrain from comparing anyone’s pain to the harm experienced by others, recent political impacts have helped me recognize how struggling through injustice with no possible relief makes people feel invisible. Hearing hate speech and seeing sexual dysfunction from institutions we relied on as the source of decency, cuts deeply into our collective self esteem. It was uplifting to travel together, surrounded by those who embraced morality and humanity,  even if only for four hours.

The sight of the Trump Hotel inspired my sense of irony as I invited my favorite New York State Assembly Member, Rebecca Seawright, to join me in holding up my poster:  CONSENT = #FGKIA, Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement. I pray we can see these words indelibly inscribed into the penal code of NY and every state before we march again in 2019!

You can help by calling your legislators to demand that they make it happen! #FGKIA can be the solution for #MeToo, #TimesUp and the gross confusion over sexual assault and sexual harassment that enables sexual predators like Weinstein, Cosby, Moore and Trump to go unpunished. It can end the invisibility that sex crimes create in a world blinded by ignorance!

Call your legislator and say, #FGKIA – Sign it into law today!

 

 

Today! Joyce Speaks on City College of NY’s- WHCR – @ 5 PM EST

Another Perspective WHCR 90.3 FM

Be sure to listen as Joyce speaks with Henry Porcher, this evening’s host, of Another Perspective, about #MeToo, #TimesUp and #FGKIA!

5 to 6 PM on Friday, January 19th

Listeners are welcome to call-in and voice their opinions and questions at 212-650-6903. 

This broadcast will be live-video-streamed at WHCR.org for viewers around the world. And listeners can tune in to 90.3 FM.

Here’s your opportunity to speak up and show your support for #FGKIA law! I’m counting on you!

 

Colorado’s Rape Laws- Updated, but antiquated!

Colorado revised their statutes on sex crimes in 2016. In doing so, they recognized certain, but not all, rape by fraud crimes.

Their laws make a critical distinction between sex crimes with or without penetration. The former is “sexual assault.” The later is “sexual contact.” The degree of the crime determines the ultimate Continue reading Colorado’s Rape Laws- Updated, but antiquated!

Is NYPD’s Midtown North Precinct Complicit in a Sex Crime?

To people who understand the meaning of consent, it seems that last night, the police at the Midtown North Precinct in Manhattan, lead by Commanding Officer Peter J. Venice, aided and abetted a sex criminal.

Commanding Officer Peter J. Venice

The victim, I’ll call her Jennifer, read her complaint from a prepared statement because she was nervous and upset. The female desk officer,  Officer Balslov, read her statement and said: “I’m not following you. I can’t do anything with this,” as she tried to hand the paper back to Jennifer.  “You’re just angry because you found out he was married.”

Balslov certainly got that part right…. the victim is plenty angry and has every right to be!

The denial of his marriage by the offender, Bill, made every bit of sex they engaged in a sexual affront – sexual misconduct – against her!

His lie about his marital status, a lie he perpetuated over several months, deprived her of her right to make an informed decision about her body. Instead he undermined her free will by falsifying information that was critical to her, and engaged her in adulteress sex. The thought that he misused her reproductive organs this way is appalling to her.

A serial offender

Bill’s done this before….. multiple times. He leads women into thinking he’s marrying them. In fact he goes down to the courthouse with them to obtain a marriage license. Then he leaves them “standing at the alter.” One woman he did this to committed suicide.

Not only did he express his intentions to spend his life with Jennifer, he conducted unprotected sex with her on the belief that he wanted to start a family with her.

Enter Sergeant Alicia

“But you had a relationship with this man,” argued Sergeant Alicia, Balslav’s superior officer.

“No, I never had a relationship with THAT man. The man I had a relationship with was single, not him!”  said Jennifer.

Relationships not only don’t matter, they make the harm even more deplorable!

Sergeant Alicia should know that sex crimes take place whether the victim knows the assailant or not. It’s the reason that the rape exemption for married couples bit the dust in NYC many years ago. And the federal government followed suit in recognizing that a spouse could be raped.  Commander Venice should properly inform his officers that violence between strangers is not the only way to commit a sex crime. And when that offense is committed over and over again, the pain of discovery can be overwhelming.

An ignorant legal department weighs in

Sergeant Alicia excused himself to call the “legal department.” When he returned he said, “They said you don’t have a crime; but you can hire a lawyer and file a civil complaint.”

The job of our legal system is to provide relief in the form of justice for people who are wronged. Jennifer is not after money. Money won’t help her restore the dignity he stole from her. That’s what criminal actions are for. That, and the protection it provides for society.

Jennifer wants to make sure that no one else Bill meets ends up committing suicide as a result of getting swept into his deranged concept of entertainment.

“Did he hold you down and make you do it?” asked Alicia.

Sergeant Alicia was confused about what the term “sexual misconduct” means, and what “consent” means. Sexual misconduct, in NY State, is charged when the parties “engage in” sex without consent. It’s a Class A Misdemeanor. “Engaging in” does not mean that violence is present, despite Alicia’s denials and statements to the contrary. And his concept that anyone can “consent” to “engage in” sex when their brain is deliberately blindfolded by the offender is pure balderdash!

Could this be the case that opens society’s eyes to the real meaning of CONSENT? 

I sure hope it is. Stay tuned!

You can help by reading Combating Romance Scams, Why Lying to Get Laid Is a Crime! and calling your legislators to demand #FGKIA law.

 

 

 

 

#TimesUp and The Importance of #FGKIA!

Consent = Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement! #FGKIA

Will #TimesUp, the new sexual harassment awareness effort by prominent women of stature, ignite the fire that eradicates sexual assault? If they do the following, they will!!

Standardize CONSENT PROVISIONS in penal codes

across the US and beyond!

#MeToo exposed the problem of sexual assault and harassment. Now we need to go the next step and secure the solution!

Why is correctly defining and standardizing “consent” so important? Continue reading #TimesUp and The Importance of #FGKIA!

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