Tonight’s broadcast of Nightline, (12:35 AM, Tuesday morning on ABC) is scheduled to cover the new bill that is soon to be submitted in Indiana on Rape by Impersonation. It features Joyce Short, Sally Siegrist, the State Representative who championed the legislative change, and Abigail Finney, the victim in the Donald Grant Ward case that Ms. Short discusses in her TEDx Talk,When YES Means NO – The Truth About Consent.
Barring that no major news event prevents this episode from airing, you can live tweet Ms. Short @jm_short using hashtag #FGKIA for Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, the meaning of CONSENT!
NYAToday Media – News for Young Advocates Today – has teamed up with ConsentAwareness.net to make #FGKIA, the meaning of CONSENT, crystal clear to the younger generation. Growing a generation of “consent savvy” kids is crucial for conquering sexual assault in our future! This kid-friendly “ConsenUal Campaign” speaks volumes in a colorful, entertaining format that’s perfect for young minds, and their families.
The information is available in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French, with more to come.
Manchester, UK- Looks pretty innocuous, right? But this convicted sexual predator is guilty of assaulting two women through an elaborate scam. In one case he violently forced her. In another, he used a blindfold to trick her. His means of contact? Plenty of Fish which ranks highest on my list of e-dating sites for sex crime offenders.
Devereux’s hoax combined aspects of other convicted scammers, Mario Antoine in the US and Gayle Newland in the UK . Note to Devereux… not a good idea to copycat people who got caught!
Devereux hooked his targets by assuming the name “Dean,” posting an attractive profile, and grooming them to desire him over several months. Then he proceeded to convince them to have sex with his terminally ill friend “Rob” before meeting him. He also threatened to post intimate photos of one of the women on the internet.
Sexual Offense Prosecutor, Martin McRobb, explained Devereux’s method:
“Devereux worked on the emotions of these women over a long period of time, enticing them with a persuasive but utterly fake persona until they were desperate to meet him.”
“The decision making on this case was complex as on the face of it the women had consented to have sexual relations.” But, “this was not true consent as in the case of one victim she would not have submitted to sexual activity had she not been the victim of blackmail.”
McRobb’s understanding is on target in most aspects, but his terminology is flawed. He should watch my TEDxTalk! If we could straighten out society’s understanding, and enact the actual meaning of consent in our laws, his error would be visible to both McRobb and society.
“As on the face of it, the women had consented” is an oxymoron. Consent is freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement. “Agreement on the face of it,” is “assent,” not “consent.” They are both forms of agreement. But consent, not assent, is required for sex.
McRobb should have stated: “On the face of it, the women had agreed, but agreeing on the face of it is assent, not consent. Consent is required in sexual conduct. The victim did not consent.”
In the instance where a victim was threatened, such as by threatening to disclose intimate photos, that victim would be “acquiescing,” agreeing under duress. Agreeing under duress is not “freely giving agreement,” therefore, it is not consent.
Kudos to Prosecutor McRobb for successfully locking up a sexual predator. He was absolutely correct when he said:
“The effects upon Devereux’s victims are life-long and catastrophic. Their self-confidence and desire to find a meaningful relationship may never return.”
David Mack deserves an award for his outstanding article on Rape by Fraud in today’s BuzzFeed!
In The Wrong Man, he captures the horrific sexual deception committed by Purdue University student, Donald “Grant” Ward, explains the suffering of his victim, Abigail Finney, and enlightens us about the legal confusion that mires the understanding of society, legislators and law enforcement alike over sexual assault. Continue reading BuzzFeed Zooms-In on Rape by Fraud!→
I’ve researched sexual assault laws across the country and back again. As a survivor, the author of 3 books on the subject and a TEDx Talk presenter, I can tell you, emphatically that we have so much sexual assault in our nation because our lawmakers are principally male!
Century after century, men have created the laws that kept us “LESS THAN!” We need to change this dynamic, and we need to do it NOW!
Seventy-six percent of the states and territories of the United States fail to define CONSENT in their laws.
I have fought to change this for the past 10 years. Today, a legislator in NY and another in Indiana, if re-elected, have pledged to adopt new laws on sexual assault in their states. They are Asm. Rebecca Seawright, a Democrat in NY City, NY, and Representative Sally Siegrist, a Republican in West Lafayette, Indiana. If you live in either location, and want to see a change in the prosecution of sex crimes, vote these ladies back into office!
As an advocate, I’ve spoken to men and women on both sides of the aisle. The single most common male-legislator resistance I receive to rightly defining consent in our laws is that our courts would be overwhelmed with sexual assault cases. Every time I hear this absurdity it blows my mind! Without realizing it, what they are saying is that they know how frequently sex crimes defile victims, but they are okay doing nothing about it!
Let’s all pull together to stop this nonsense!
Get women into positions of power that can shut down the volume of sex crimes for this generation and every generation to come! #Vote4Women!
Watch and share this TEDxTalk! Show it to your next powerful, female legislator!
None of the states or territories of the US properly define “consent” in their laws. 76% of the states and territories of the US have NO provisions for consent in their penal code. 24% have provisions that poorly define consent and only make prosecution possible in a small amount of cases. Here are the three largest obstructions that keep lawmakers from adopting correct consent laws, right out of their own mouths: Continue reading 3 Roadblocks that Prevent Prosecution for Sexual Assault→
It’s become pretty obvious why we have so much sexual assault in the US. It’s because our law makers enable it! We need to overcome this hurdle.
Since the beginning of time, consent was, is, and always will be the same…… freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement…… even though, throughout the US, our laws fail to define consent properly. Failing to “define consent properly” contributes to rape.
Ridiculous excuses that prevent our laws from protecting us abound. Opposition stems from the ignorance of people with rape mentalities and law makers who want their votes, whether they have a rape mentality or not. All the road blocks come down to the same thing……
“If we recognize what consent actually is….. too many people will go to jail.”
But if a person defiles another person, a harm that can forever impact their entire journey through life, shouldn’t there be prohibitions and penalties against doing so? And doesn’t that victim deserve justice?
Laws change morality!
Generation after generation believed that enslaving another man, woman or child was acceptable behavior. People were barbarically ripped from their families and transported by ship to our shores to be marketed for sale in plain sight. It took changing our laws to stop that grotesque cannibalization of humanity.
Until we stop tolerating the omission of fact in our laws and in our minds, that no one has the right to touch another human being without their freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement, sexual assault will continue unabated in the US. It’s that simple.
We can whine and complain.
We can create all the hashtags social media can absorb.
We can parade all the high profile offenders we can locate in the press.
The only thing that will stop sexual assault is a law that clearly states what consent is: freely given, knowledgeable and informed agreement. #FGKIA!
Was Saturday’s US Open match a clear case of misogyny? Can we infer that the official, Carlos Ramos, acted out of contempt for women?
For those who are unaware of the circumstance, the short story is that Serena Williams was given three successive and progressive penalties, which arguably could have made a difference in the outcome of the match. The unfortunate result is that the actions of Continue reading #Serena and #Consent→
July 25, 2018- NYC- A major milestone to define CONSENT took place today! Subsequent to my TEDx Talk, “When YES Means NO, the Truth About Consent,” two legislators, Indiana State Representative, Sally Siegrist (R) and NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright (D) pledged their bipartisan support to establish a clear definition for consent in the laws of their respectively red and blue states. This meeting of the minds shows that no matter what your politics, we can all unite against sexual assault!
Rep. Siegrist, who successfully fought for legislation to curb human trafficking in Indiana in last year’s legislative session, is determined to conquer sexual assault for her state. Here’s the link to her newsletter. Together with Assembly Member Seawright, a long time champion for women’s rights and the former Chair of the Board of the Feminist Press, they make a powerful pair!
Clearly defining consent will enable the police, prosecutors, judges and jurors to hold sexual predators accountable under the law and prevent the confusion between what constitutes “bad sex” or an actual sexual assault.
“Confusion over what consent actually is makes it difficult for society to comprehend. Our laws don’t tell us the definition. They only tell us what “consent” is not. We need laws to express the real meaning of consent…. Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA,” says Short.
Both Indiana and NY will have legislative efforts to drive the issue of consent forward, and YOU can help! If you’ve been the victim of a sexual assault in either Indiana or NY and would like to speak out at a legislative hearing on this issue, please complete the totally private form below.
Also, if you are interested in helping to get other states to focus on this issue, please complete the form that follows.
In her very first question for our radio interview, Kaity Kline, Public Affairs Director for Rowan Radio On Demand, 89.7 WGLS FM, wanted to know; Why is it sexual assault even when the victim doesn’t expressly say “no” – like in the case of accused sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein?
On May 30th, at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye Wales, an annual literature and arts festival, Germaine Greer made some devastatingly damaging claims about rape including that rape is just ”bad sex” and calling for lower penalties for sexual assault. Greer is an author and academic born in Australia and residing in the UK.
Her comments not only fly in the face of #MeToo and #TimesUp, but also my TEDxYouth@UrsulineAcademy talk (#TEDxUA and #TEDxUrsulineAcademy) that’s soon to be released.
“Most rapes don’t involve any injury whatsoever,” she said. “Centuries of writing and thinking about rape — as inflicted by men on women — have got us nowhere.” Rape, she said, should be viewed as a “lazy, careless and insensitive” act.
“Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal rights, he is raping her,” she said. “It will never end up in a court of law.” She added, “Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime — and some rapes are — think about it as nonconsensual, that is, bad sex.”
She said the penalty should be 200 hours of community service: “If we are going to say trust us, believe us, if we do say that our accusation should stand as evidence, then we have to reduce the tariff for rape.” (In England, the maximum sentence for rape can be life in prison.)
At one point, Ms. Greer said the punishment could be an “r” tattooed to the rapist’s hand, arm or cheek.
While Greer is correct that not all sexual assaults are violent rapes, she fails to recognize the destruction of a victim’s self worth in all sexual assaults. So while not all sexual assaults are violent, and therefore punishable as an “aggravated” crime, they should still be punished, and a tatoo doesn’t cut it!
Every human being deserves the right to freely give knowledgeable and informed agreement #FGKIA every time they engage in sexual conduct. Without that willingness to engage, – whether undermined by force, duress or ripped from them by deception – they are being assaulted, not seduced. Force, otherwise known as violence, is only one of several ways a victim is deprived of consent (#FGKIA.) But all nonconsensual sex harms the victim. And everyone engaging in sex is entitled to consent to both the action itself and the actor.
How do we fix rape?
Our laws must reflect the proper definition of consent…. #FGKIA! in order to properly deal with sexual assaults of all kinds. Properly defining consent as freely given knowledgeable and informed agreement, #FGKIA, is the solution….. not decriminalizing this egregious and life altering crime!
A handcuffed Harvey Weinstein made his way into court today in lower Manhattan charged with rape and a criminal sex act. Whether he gets locked away or not will depend largely on whether Cy Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, makes the case for applying the Continue reading Harvey Weinstein clearly lacked “consent!”→
“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!
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!
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.
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.
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?→
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!→