Tag Archives: #Rape

Battling the Enemy Within – Military Sexual Assault

Soldiers should not need to battle their own colleagues to prevent sexual trauma!

It’s heartbreaking when women who risk their lives to defend our nation become victims of sexual assault by those with whom they serve….  and even their senior officers!  One such survivor, Teresa Crossman, intends to change that! Continue reading Battling the Enemy Within – Military Sexual Assault

“Consent” Interview- Tracy Malone Interviews Consent Crusader, Joyce Short

Available now on YouTube! 

Just in time for Sexual Violence Prevention Month!

I had the recent pleasure of interviewing with Tracy Malone, the creator of Narcissist Abuse Support  which provides meaningful information on recovery, as well as support, for hundreds of abuse sufferers.

Tracy Malone, Coach, Organizer, YouTube Guru on Recovery for Narcissist Abuse

Our discussion ran the gamut between the actual definition for “consent” to the concrete steps people can take to make the world a safer place.

I think you’ll find it enlightening!

Sexual Assault will not stop ’til we #CodifyConsent!

Our laws are failing us!

Provisions and definitions make up all of our penal codes.

  • Definitions explain the terms that are used.
  • Provisions tell us about illegal behavior, but they only make sense if their words are well-defined.

The problem…..

NO STATE OR TERRITORY DEFINES CONSENT IN OUR SEXUAL ASSAULT LAWS!

The end result is a set of provisions that are out of sync with what CONSENT actually is! And sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein say:

“It’s just – I’m confused- and men are confused about all these issues!”

Take the #CodifyConsent Challenge!

We need to elect lawmakers who can and will tackle sexual assault! Shortly, we’ll decide who will govern our states, territories and this nation. They’ll be creating new laws over the next few years. Continue reading Sexual Assault will not stop ’til we #CodifyConsent!

#SAAM Day of Action Challenge

Today is a very special day. Today, we wear the color teal because it’s the day we devote to taking action to prevent sexual assault. And even though we’ve all been put on pause, there is still much we can do to bring the scourge of sexual assault to its knees!

Today is the 19th Day of Action for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Even though we’re sheltering in place, or perhaps because Continue reading #SAAM Day of Action Challenge

What an Unmasked Trump Teaches Us About Consent

By his refusal to wear a mask, Trump is flaunting morality. If wearing a mask were required by law, he’d have to comply. Instead he can flaunt moral reasoning and science to maintain his outward appearance because, let’s face it….  the only reason he’s not wearing a mask is because he doesn’t like how he’d look. To Trump, personal vanity trumps concern for his fellow man.

A true leader would understand the moral imperative behind his wearing that mask, not only to protect those around him, but to set an example for the world.

When you insist that your children wear a mask, and they say, “But the President doesn’t wear one, why should I?” there is only one answer you can give them; “Because he just doesn’t give a damn about who he harms. We do.”

Trump and Consent

Trump’s example reveals why we so desperately need to #CodifyConsent in our laws. There are people who walk among us that will only abide by decency and morality when laws establish accountability. They will skirt around penal codes that fail to cast a wide and incontrovertible net. They will rape, assault, and even murder if they are not reigned-in by established law.

Our sexual assault laws are fraught with legal loopholes that immoral people slip through. For background on a few, read the posts on Donald Ward, Kim McMorries, Roger Hardy, Justin Schneider and more.

The vast expanse of the legal loopholes in sexual assault laws can only be plugged up by codifying consent into law.

The Pandemic’s Interference

COVID-19 has paused the train that is moving the bill we’ve been working on in PA down the tracks. But we have wonderful legislators who have pledged to go forward as quickly as humanly possible.

Meanwhile- here’s a little song to hum while we wait – to the tune of:

“You’re so Vain”

by Carly Simon and revised by moi……

 

You walked up to the platform,

Like all those times you’d  done so before.

And you stumbled over all your printed text,

While you pointed out your ratings that soar.

 

You had one eye on the camera,

As you shift and avoid press with ease.

And half the world, when they listen, they get sucked-in

‘Til your bald spot’s revealed by the breeze.

 

You’re so vain,

You won’t wear a mask ‘cuz it’s not cool.

You’re so vain,

The safety of others, not for this fool.

This fool,

This fool!

 

Oh… Pandemics are not a “real big threat,”

North Korea is not our foe.

And we all should be dying in a painful death,

So the wealthy can keep all their dough.

 

But, how will they actually spend it, once you’ve destroyed our democracy,

We had our choices but they’ve all been dismantled,

All been dismantled, cuz,

 

You’re so vain,

You won’t wear a mask ‘cuz it’s not cool.

You’re so vain,

The safety of others, not for this fool.

This fool,

This fool!

 

Yes…

 

You’re so vain,

You won’t wear a mask ‘cuz it’s not cool.

You’re so vain,

The safety of others, not for this fool.

This fool,

This fool!

Feel free to record your version of this song on YouTube. And don’t forget to post it here!

Happy Sunday! (Due to sheltering in place, I  actually had to look at my phone to make sure I had the day right!)  I hope everyone reading this, and also those who don’t, are safe, healthy, and secure!

And, before I forget, only 2 more days before “Your Consent-The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault” is free for everyone until 4/12. Share this information with your friends. Get your copy. Call your legislators, and demand change! #CodifyConsent

Your Consent - The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault
Free from 4/7 to 4/12 http://bit.ly/YourconsentE

 

 

 

Do You Have 30 Minutes to Cure Sexual Assault?

#CodifyConsent! Help cure #SexualAssault by spreading the word!

In honor of #SAAM…. It’s FREE! Thirty minutes is all it takes to read Your Consent – The Key to Conquering Sexual Assault. It is changing the laws on Sexual Assault and Rape! Can you take 30 minutes to be part of this transformational cure?

In order to lock up offenders, we need new laws that #CodifyConsent! Without the definition for consent in our laws, we’re unable to guide behavior and hold sexual predators accountable. Can you help us make this change? Continue reading Do You Have 30 Minutes to Cure Sexual Assault?

#SAAM Starts Today!

#CAN Celebrates #SAAM
Teal is the official color for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

For many people- Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) begins today. But for those who have been sexually assaulted, #SAAM is an everyday occurrence. While we all find ways to put the past behind us, and make the most of our lives, the defilement of rape is character changing. It lives within us forever.

For the team of CAN’s Consent Outreach Ambassadors, who devote Continue reading #SAAM Starts Today!

What can COVID-19 teach us about CONSENT?

‘Terrified’ Healthcare Workers Fear Lack of Protection Against COVID-19

Many of us will soon be thanking God for our ability to check into a hospital. We’ll be counting on the help of courageous, medical front-liners, who put themselves at risk to heal us from COVID-19.

As we approach the reception desk for intake, we won’t give a second thought to signing the CONSENT form that hospitals require. We’ll happily jot down our signature and scribble our initials where required. Some of us won’t even bother reading the form. Even less will contemplate the horrific travesty and social injustice Continue reading What can COVID-19 teach us about CONSENT?

The Tale of the RAM and the WORM

#TheRamAndTheWorm #Worm

A ram sat on a rock looking forlorn. His eyes searched the parched earth that had yielded very little vegetation as he murmured, “Woe is me!”

“What’s wrong?” asked the little worm  who lived in a nearby tunnel.

“It’s going to be mating season soon and there are no ewes here. What’s a ram to do?” he asked.

The little worm looked up at the sky and saw a rain cloud rolling over the nearby hills. “I know,” she said. “You’re in luck!” Then she disappeared into the parched earth. Continue reading The Tale of the RAM and the WORM

Weinstein Judge Comments on Consent- Ouch!


Judge James Burke charged Harvey Weinstein’s jury today.

Shortly after deliberations began, the jurors sent a number of questions to the judge. Their list included, “What’s the legal definition for consent?”

The Cosby jurors asked the same question of Judge Steven O’Neill. He responded, “You’re reasonable people; use your common sense.”

So what did Burke say?

…………………….   “Use your common sense,”

Because neither NY nor PA define consent in their laws, the judges’  responses were typical. And Weinstein’s lead attorney, Donna Rotunno, didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this question was coming.

She attempted a preemptive strike in her summation. She told the jury to “use their common sense,” to persuade them that doing so would be cause for acquittal when and if Judge Burke responded the same way.

The Consent Awareness Network (CAN) is fighting to define consent in our laws so that a clear definition guides jurors, guides society’s behavior, and holds sexual predators accountable. Leaving “consent” up to the “common sense” of sexual predators will never conquer sexual assault!

We got lucky in the Cosby case!

The foreperson for the jury, Cheryl Carmel, was a cyber security expert. She was very familiar with the definition for consent in General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is international law and defines consent.

The GDPR definition is the same as the definition I introduced in my TEDx Talk: “Freely Given, Knowledgeable and Informed Agreement, #FGKIA.” Coincidentally, GDPR went into effect in May of 2018. My TEDx Talk was presented in May of 2018.

We need to pray that Weinstein’s jury has researched the meaning of consent.

They could find the consent provision in Model Penal Code,  or the definitions in Nuremberg Code, GDPR, and my TEDx Talk. Without the actual definition for consent, a jury’s ability to convict is seriously hampered.

Forcing or coercing a victim is not consent because consent must be freely given, knowledgeable and informed. The use of force, threat, (such as negatively impacting a person’s career or livelihood), and trickery, are absolutely not consent.

Without clearly stating the definition for consent in our laws, locking up sexual predators is a crap-shoot. Some juries will be aware. Some will not. Let’s hope this jury is aware.

But don’t despair if they’re not aware……

I’m crossing every finger and toe…. and sending countless prayers up to the heavens….. that Weinstein gets convicted. But without a clear definition for consent and defense council insisting that he had consent…. he may not. And we need to be prepared.

In NY, coercion is a crime in and of itself. If this case ends with a hung jury, the prosecutor’s next attempt should additionally indict Weinstein for coercion. Coercion for sexual contact is a Class E Felony.  and it is specific that coercion includes making someone fearful about their career or income. The sentence for Class E Felonies is 2 to 5 years. If there are multiple victims, the sentences do not have to run concurrently. The statute of limitations is 5 years. However, if he is acquitted, double jeopardy would apply unless new complainants step forward with cases that occurred within the past five years.

The unthinkable is likely

Unfortunately, even though I’m totally convinced that Weinstein did everything he was accused of, I don’t think the case presented by the ADA, without a clear definition for consent, is strong enough to convict him. For that reason, I’m hoping that at least there will be a hung jury, which would give the ADA an opportunity to enlighten the next jury about coercion and acquiescence and bring coercion charges against him.

Important considerations for the jury

Some of the current Weinstein jurors could understand consent while others may not. Some could grasp that a victim who suffered the grotesque humiliation of defilement would not want to add the added loss of their career to their suffering by going public or reporting the incident to the police. After the fact, coming forward against a man who their industry revered, and risk being blackballed, would be an imposing obstacle.

Weinstein picked most of his victims because of their career interests. He knew how much they could lose by accusing him of his hideous deeds. They might never have worked in their craft again. They would not only have suffered the harm of defilement, but the exponential loss of their dreams.

Society and sexual assault victims deserve better!

A not guilty verdict would not be a testament to his innocence. Rather, it would be a testament to society’s confusion about consent. If he’s convicted, it’s because at least this jury got it right. But what about the next one?


 

God and the Jury Take Over the Weinstein Case

Accused rapist Harvey Weinstein flanked by his attorneys

Just before 1 PM today, Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi had the last word on locking up accused rapist and sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein. Her three hour summation was an effort to focus the jury on the important facts. She painted a picture of Weinstein as a sexual predator, not a victim of the #MeToo movement, as Donna Rotunno, his lead attorney, had claimed.

Rotunno’s summation, which took place Thursday, accused the prosecutor of creating a fictional universe in which women were stripped of “common sense, autonomy and responsibility.” She totally ignored the impacts of coercion and force.

Ironically, as my “court buddy” Adjunct Law Professor Jim Petzke of John Jay College of Criminal Justice pointed out, her summation plagiarized Atticus Finch’s closing from “To Kill a Mockingbird,” while she reamed Illuzzi for creating “theater.”

As Rotunno marched down the corridor toward the courtroom this Image result for atticus finch photosmorning, the press strained to get her comments.

“How do you think it went?” one shouted.

It went great,” she responded.

“Yeah, great if you’re Atticus Finch,” I quipped.

She laughed.

Public rebuttal

Attorney Donna Rotunno

In the press conference that followed today’s hearing, Rotunno took another run at casting Weinstein’s sexual conduct as “consensual.” She based her entire argument on what happened after, not during, his sexual contact.

 

Previously, Illuzzi had produced compelling testimony from highly regarded forensic psychologist Dr. Barbara Zif. She pointed out common rape myths about how people behave when they’ve been raped. She included that it was common for victims to  continue relationships with the accused.  Let’s hope the jury was listening!

The jury will receive their marching orders from Judge James Burke on Tuesday morning after the long, holiday weekend. For sure, the jury will ask what consent means. His response could make or break this case.

Illuzzi mentioned Weinstein’s use of “trickery” in her closing.  She claimed the victims were tricked by “luring.” Luring is neither a fraud in the factum nor a fraud in the inducement. It’s not a “fraud in fact” that would make sexual contact a crime. Luring his victims got him, or them, through the door. Coercing vitiated their consent.

Coercion is a crime. And Weinstein continuously used coercion to induce sexual contact. Coercion is the threat of harm. In fact, threatening someone regarding their career is considered a crime in New York, even without sexual contact. It’s a class A misdemeanor.

Coercing someone for sex is a Class E Felony punishable by 2-5 years of incarceration. Yet the prosecutor did not identify coercion as the weapon that Weinstein used to demand sex. Nor did she prosecute for the crime of 2nd degree coercion.

Consent Accountability Ryhme

I was honored to be a speaker at this year’s Women’s March NYC, and was overwhelmed by the audience support for the Consent Accountability Rhyme.

Anyone, at any age, can learn and understand what “consent” means. This poem makes the definition for consent crystal clear. It is part of the Your Consent for Kids YouTube cartoon that every parent should watch with their children to grow a Consent Aware generation! As well, sex education classes can include it in their programs. It’s free!

We’ve had Generation X, Y and Z. Let’s create Generation “Consent Aware” for our developing kids!

Consent Accountability Rhyme

 

The words, “You Can,” mean “I consent.”

You say so with your voice.

But it’s not consent when you’re forced, or tricked,

Or scared into your choice!

CONSENT means “Freely Given,”

When you know the facts and agree.

So don’t force or trick, or try to scare,

When you want consent from me!

Watch the Your Consent for Kids cartoon and share it with everyone you know!

 

The Worst Interview Ever!

Image result for radio photo

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

#CodifyConsent to Conquer #SexualAssault!

Image result for election photos

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!

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