Weekly Media Update

Local News

Port Allen, Louisiana

Police raided two Port Allen massage parlors on Monday morning, all in an attempt to shut down what may be a sex trafficking ring. Read more here.

STAR

Did you know that you can shop online and earn money for STAR? It’s easy – just one click from our Louisiana Gives page to the over 200 online shopping sites can help earn money for STAR! Click here.

National News

Steubenville, Ohio

steubenville

Four more school officials have been indicted in connection with the investigation into the rape of a 16-year-old girl at a party last year in the Steubenville high school rape case. See more here.

Alabama

courtney andrews

Courtney Andrews was raped twice by her neighbor when she was 14, yet her rapist received a light sentence, prompting Andrews to go public.

Andrews explains why she felt the need to go public: “I just felt like if it happened with me, then it probably happens with other people,” she said. “If no one has really stood up and said anything about it, then maybe no one ever will if I don’t. So I felt like it would be an injustice to other people if I didn’t… I knew I just had to do what I had to do.”

Click here for more.

International

Ecuador

Gay ‘cure clinics’ in Ecuador use rape and torture as corrective measures in an attempt to turn them straight, an act of ‘social cleansing’.

The government has reported “therapies” ranging from electric shock treatment to submersion in ice-cold water. There is also use of psychological torture.  One lesbian whose own family arranged for her abduction after finding out she was gay, said that the clinic “told me I was bad, I was hurting my family, I was being manipulated by my girlfriend, that God made woman for men.”

Paula Ziritti, 24, who escaped after two years in one such facility, told of three months when she was shackled in handcuffs while guards threw water and urine on her. She also described numerous accounts of physical and sexual abuse.

Thankfully many of the  clinics are being shut down by the government. See here and here for more.

Syria

Rape is often used as a weapon of war. Women in Syria have been raped in detention, used as human shields during military operations and kidnapped to pressure and humiliate family members, a new report said on Monday.

Syria’s brutal war “created a context ripe for violence against women, including sexual violence.” Read here for more.

Educational

“Sons”

Terisa Siagatonu and Rudy Francisco performing for Hollywood’s Da Poetry Lounge during semifinals at the 2013 National Poetry Slam, speaking out about rape culture.

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About Catherine Thurmond

I am a Master of Liberal Arts student minoring in Women's and Gender Studies at LSU. During the Fall 2014 semester, I will begin to write her thesis on queer oppression through a philosophical Marxist feminist lens. My academic interests include second wave feminism, queer theory, queer Marxist feminism, feminist philosophy, Simone de Beauvoir, and Monique Wittig. I have been politically active since 2010, fighting for an end to oppression under capitalism. I was involved in Occupy NOLA, bringing in members of The Kasama Project, a national communist project in the United States. I was also active in student organizations at Southeastern Louisiana University where I organized many speaker events for activists such as Jordan Flaherty, Richard Becker, The Beehive Design Collective, Jed Brandt and Eric Ribellarsi, and Malik Rahim. More recently, I began volunteering for STAR, Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response, in 2013 as a hospital advocate where I supported sexual assault survivors. I later joined the Louisiana Delta Service Corps, often described as the Domestic Peace Corps, where I interviewed to be placed at STAR as their Outreach Coordinator. I am also the founder of a Feminist Consciousness Raising Group in Baton Rouge which uses feminist theory to discuss personal experiences under patriarchal oppression. Check it out here for more info about the group: http://brfeminist.wix.com/consciousnessraising

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