Category Archives: Changing Laws!

Weinstein and the “Silence Breakers” – Remarkable Contrast in Character

Weinstein “Silence Breaker” Louise Godbold and I at the start of jury selection

January 6, 2020- In open court, Harvey Weinstein trudged along slowly aided by strong arms at each side while he leaned on his brushed aluminum walker. His bearing seemed pathetically staged to curry sympathy from Judge James B. Burke, and on-lookers. His countenance, weary and beaten, bore no resemblance to someone who, just months ago, controlled the careers of Hollywood stars and the fate of multi-million dollar productions.

“Silence Breakers” Paula Williams and Lauren Savan await their turns at the podium

Across the street from the Manhattan courthouse at 100 Centre Street, eight  beautiful, brave women, who identified themselves as “silence breakers,” gathered in support of the effort to bring Weinstein to justice; Ellen Barkin, Rosanna Arquette, Louise Godbold, Dominque Huett, Sara Ann Masse, Rose McGowan, Lauren Sivan, and Paula Williams.

Articulately, and energetically, they presented their personal statements to the clamoring media.  Several times, the presentation had to be stopped to provide breathing room as the reporters converged on top of each other to get their best view. At one point, I found myself swallowed into the melee with two large, eager, camera wielding press vying for my space-  creating a moment’s scary sense of being besieged by paparazzi.

Rose McGowan, Actor and Weinstein “Silence Breaker”

Rose McGowan cleared all doubt about why survivors need to speak out….

She remarked: “Living in silence is a death threat to your soul!”

Also today, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced that Weinstein is being charged with four counts of rape and sexual battery. No matter the result of the New York case, he’ll face further legal consequences for his defiling actions.

Predatory Sexual Assault in New York….

The crimes Weinstein’s charged with rely on the fact that he engaged in sexual conduct without securing consent. Yet, like in most states across the US, New York’s laws fail to define consent. Instead, they rely on the bizarre notion that defining “without consent” is the same as defining “consent.” Clearly, it is not. And when applying a “without consent” litmus test to a crime, only those specific behaviors that the state identifies as “without consent” matter.

The application of law is based on the ancient Roman concept- Nulla pena sine legue – which means, if the law does not specifically state a prohibition, the behavior is not a crime.

Sexual Assault laws are a Swiss cheese umbrella

The methods a person can use to engage in sex crimes are infinite. Selecting a handful of those methods as “prohibited” behavior fails to protect society. Society can only be protected if the concept of “consent” is clear in order for all nonconsensual sex to be recognized as criminal behavior.

Why do we have this bizarre way to address sexual assault?   

Simply put, women, the principle targets of sexual assault, have been considered “less than” throughout the ages. And the gravity of causing them defilement by devious, coercive or violent actions has been seen as trivial by our lawmakers, who, for the most part, have been men.

Rape mentality is embed in our justice system which, for generations, has decidedly determined that only certain ways of conducting sexual assault, not every way of conducting sexual assault, are punishable.

Commonsense dictates that if someone does not consent, no one has the right to impose themselves; just like failure to secure consent results in criminal charges when the offender takes a victim’s property.  But as our laws exist, consent is not actually the benchmark to determine whether or not sexual conduct is legal. Instead, a narrowly stated concept of certain prohibited “without consent” behaviors determines if a crime took place. In Weinstein’s case, although the statutes say that he should have elicited consent from his targets, they fail to define what consent actually is.

Because only conducting sexual contact under certain circumstances of non-consent makes unsecured consent a crime in New York, it remains unclear whether the prosecutor or the defense will make the stronger argument under our absurdly antiquated system.

Overhauling sexual assault laws

If the defense prevails, it proves one and only one thing….. not that Harvey Weinstein is anything but the immoral scumbag we recognize him to be, and that he violated scores of women, but that our laws have failed to protect us against scumbags for centuries, enabling society to develop a callous rape mentality.  And our lawmakers need to protect us and our future generations from defiling sexual conduct.

The right to engage in sexual contact without consent must stop. And it will only stop when our laws state exactly what consent is – free given, knowledgeable, and informed agreement, #FGKIA, just like we recognize it in every code and law dealing with any other “nonsexual” conduct.

Insist that your lawmakers #CodifyConsent in order to protect the residents of your state or jurisdiction.

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Your #Consent is Critical!
http://bit.ly/yourconsent

“This is the primer for defining consent!” Hon. Sally Siegrist, Indiana State Representative.

Get your copy today! 

“Your Consent for Kids” Cartoon Is Coming!

Your Consent for Kids is coming!

Want an easy way to talk with your kids about “consent?” This engaging cartoon explains consent in terms every child can readily understand. Don’t worry, it’s not about sex! It’s about the simple things kids encounter everyday. It’s perfect for kids aged 6 through 12.

Consent Awareness Network is releasing this video, completely free, in order to grow a generation of consent-aware adults! Kids are our future! Continue reading “Your Consent for Kids” Cartoon Is Coming!

Tiny steps don’t fix huge gaps in NY’s sex crime laws!

Rape laws are a Swiss cheese umbrella!
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pictured in this file photo.
NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo
When will Cyrus Vance get behind #FGKIA as the solution for Sexual Assault?
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.

Most readers have heard me speak about the “Swiss cheese umbrella” of sex crime laws. Today, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his intent to plug up the legal loophole in “voluntary vs. involuntary” drinking or drugs in sex crimes. He did so at the urging of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. who not only promoted change to this particular loophole, but also admitted that our entire system needs an overhaul. But in his final thoughts, he’s relegated that overhaul to the back burner. Continue reading Tiny steps don’t fix huge gaps in NY’s sex crime laws!

The Worst Interview Ever!

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I’m not going to mention his name. Doing so would simply ignite further acrimony. I care not to memorialize his person, but rather, to point out an all too common defect in his “shock jock” character.

“What’s this business about ‘Carnal Abuse by Deceit,'” he asked me… “Doesn’t a woman have a responsibility to protect her vagina?” Continue reading The Worst Interview Ever!

How to Prevent Your #MeToo Truth from Drowning You

Burdened by helplessness, hopelessness and defilement, scores of #MeToo sufferers exposed offenders who destroyed their lives. Their efforts were aimed at restoring their self-worth and protecting others.  But they were hit with the ultimate wallop…… an offender who manipulates the justice system to drown them in a whirlpool of defamation and cyber-stalking charges, destroying the little bit of equilibrium they have left. Continue reading How to Prevent Your #MeToo Truth from Drowning You

Alaska Law Maker Tackles CONSENT #IWillCodifyConsent

Alaska State Representative Geran Tarr

It’s little wonder that Alaska State Representative Geran Tarr is focused on defining CONSENT for her state’s Penal Code. Alaska has the highest ratio of rape from coast to coast; close to 3 times the national average!

On October 10th, Rep. Tarr hosted an open conversation on CONSENT which included representatives from STAR, the Consent Continue reading Alaska Law Maker Tackles CONSENT #IWillCodifyConsent

#CodifyConsent to Conquer #SexualAssault!

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Elect candidates who pledge: #IWillCodifyConsent!

Codifying CONSENT into law is the critical key to conquering  sexual assault! Yet no US state or territory actually defines the noun, CONSENT in its laws. How can we know what the verb “to consent” means without knowing what the noun, “consent,” actually means?

……..We can’t!

 

No law can list all the many ways a crime can take place. Telling us some non-permitted sexual behaviors fails to convey the wide range Continue reading #CodifyConsent to Conquer #SexualAssault!

Consent Provisions and Definitions

The following are recently recommended provisions on CONSENT-

Yet the only one that is actual penal code is the statute from Missouri that’s a provision, without a definition.

Definitions state the meaning of a word.

Provisions state conduct which uses the word that’s been defined.

Definitions and provisions must work in synch in order for penal code to make sense. Continue reading Consent Provisions and Definitions

ConsentAwareness.net Defines #Consent for #ATIXA!

Joyce Short, Founder & Nina Lucas, PA Outreach Ambassador for the Consent Awareness Network , at national ATIXA Conference

Joyce Short powerfully enlightened the ATIXA audience by demonstrating that penal code on sexual assault is a “Swiss cheese umbrella full of legal loopholes.” ATIXA is the Association for Title IX Administrators from schools around the US. Ms. Short addressed them at their national conference on October 1 in Philadelphia. Attendees included Title IX Administrators, attorneys, and creators of products and services geared toward protecting students. Continue reading ConsentAwareness.net Defines #Consent for #ATIXA!

ABA’s “Consent” Desperately Needs an Overhaul!

#MeToo #TimesUp We need to change the laws on #Consent!

The American Bar Association (ABA) recently attempted to provide recommended wording for “consent” in order to get the states and territories across the US on the same page. You’d think I’d be jumping for joy, but unfortunately, I’m not. And the reason is not because their attempt failed, but because their attempt so woefully missed the mark!

Here’s the definition that was indefinitely postponed (thank the Good Lord!) this past August: Continue reading ABA’s “Consent” Desperately Needs an Overhaul!

Cuomo & #TimesUp Extend Limitations on Rape Cases

Governor Andrew Cuomo signing statute of limitations extension into law

September 18, NY- Flanked by a jubilant Mira Sorvino and Julianne Moore of #TimesUp, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo signed extensions to the statute of limitations for reporting rape crimes throughout NY State. First degree rape victims have no statute of limitations. Second and third degree rape victims will have 20 and 10 years respectively.

Mira Sorvino made a heartfelt statement thanking the Governor but overlooking the most obvious and transformative change that’s still needed to actually conquer sexual assault….. enacting the correct definition for #Consent into the laws of New York: “Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA!” Continue reading Cuomo & #TimesUp Extend Limitations on Rape Cases

FREE Divorce! How some insidious people do it!

#FreeDivorce! Wouldn’t it be great if we could simply get divorced by signing the judge’s name to our divorce decree? What a tumultuous burden would be lifted off our shoulders!

No more haggling about custody issues or child support….. Who gets the dog, the car, the beach house? Say nothing about the outrageous legal bill! But instead, couples tear each other apart through weeks, Continue reading FREE Divorce! How some insidious people do it!

#Epstein Victims Voice Their Pain

Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself in jail while awaiting trial on federal sex-trafficking charges. 
Per today’s NY Times article…It was unusually thoughtful for the judge to give Epstein’s victims the opportunity to voice their truth, however, doing so is nothing like the opportunity to face the horrible man who defiled them. But at least, they were able to publicly voice their pain.

Continue reading #Epstein Victims Voice Their Pain

5 Fatherly ways to Protect kids from Sexual Assault – for #FathersDay and Forever!

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More and more, we’re seeing men take responsibility for preventing sexual assault. The ItsOnUs campaign focuses on men stepping in when they see potential or actual danger. And no one, neither mother nor father, wants their child harmed by a sexual predator.

The average age for a sex trafficked girl is 13. And boys are also sex traffic targets. Parents need to combat the dangers long before their Continue reading 5 Fatherly ways to Protect kids from Sexual Assault – for #FathersDay and Forever!

“Without consent” laws do not define “consent”

In the US, states often attempt to define the word “consent” by what it’s not instead of what it is. And our system of justice ironically changes “consent” depending on what you’re consenting to.

Regardless what antiquated, inaccurate penal code tells you, whether consent is applied to cyber security, theft, medical treatment, research experiments, sexual assault, etc., consent is always the same….. #FGKIA, Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement.

It’s high time our legislators get it right! Continue reading “Without consent” laws do not define “consent”

Carnal Abuse by Deceit – How a Predator’s Lies Became Rape

#CAD or #CarnalAbuse #ElvisPressley #ZoeMincheff

He was the man of her dreams…. a tall, dark, outrageously handsome, charismatic, intelligent nightmare!

Back in the early 1970’s, there was no literature or common knowledge about covert psychopaths. No one warned that sexual predators would and could underhandedly con you without giving off the slightest glimmer of suspicion. The fact that they have no Continue reading Carnal Abuse by Deceit – How a Predator’s Lies Became Rape

Hay Festival- What a difference a year makes for #MeToo!

#JoBrand Comedian comments on #FGKIA #MeToo
Jo Brand – Comedian

In contrast to last year’s Hay Festival… the annual literature and arts festival conducted each year in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, comedian Jo Brand gave rousing support to the #MeToo movement. As reported by The Guardian, she stated: “I feel it is something we need to keep pushing at. It was going in the right direction until certain people said, ‘Oh they’ve had their say, can they not be quiet now?’” She blamed most of Continue reading Hay Festival- What a difference a year makes for #MeToo!

Steve Humanick Is Back in Court

Steve Humanick of Stone Harbor, NJ

April 18, 2019- Doylestown, PA- Steve Humanick of Stone Harbor, NJ, faced two accusers yesterday in open court. One victim is currently seeking a restraining order against him to protect herself and her family. The other previously received a settlement in a civil action against him, and testified under oath that Humanick had raped her. Continue reading Steve Humanick Is Back in Court