Weekly Media Update

Local News

Baton Rouge

Man arrested for sexual battery after 3-Year-old tests positive for STD.  See here and here for more.

STAR’s Executive Director, Racheal Hebert, quoted on issue of women’s inequality in Louisiana

Louisiana has been ranked 9th among states in the rate of women murdered by men.  Women in Louisiana fare worst among all states in matters relating to economic security, leadership and health.  

The overwhelming majority of these homicides stem from domestic violence.  “What we are seeing is that women in abusive relationships have trouble leaving when they are reliant on their partner for their basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter,” said Racheal Hebert, executive director of the Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response Center in Baton Rouge.

“Unless these women have strong, supportive family systems or a local shelter to turn to, they typically choose to stay in these relationships in order to survive.” See here for full article.

National News

Follow-up: Etsy rape T-Shirts pulled


Activists rallied on Wednesday to have a series of highly offensive T-shirts pulled from the lineup of items available at Etsy, the crafts clearinghouse website. According to the RH Reality Check blog, Etsy bowed to user demand that sale of the shirts be stopped.  See here.

LGBTQ+ reported to have double the rate of sexual assault and rape


In a recent study, more than 42 percent of students who identified as being LGBT reported being forced to have sex against their will, more than double the rate of heterosexual students…

Whether because of fears of being “outed,” concerns about physical retaliation or the perceived humiliation of reporting an attack, LGBT sexual assaults have not been accurately documented…

The myths that “lesbians just need a good man, and gay men wanted it” represent the same kind of problem that heterosexual women face when people blame them for drinking too much before they are raped.  Click here for more.


5 ways to build a community free from sexual violence

How to start building a community free from sexual violence. See more here.

1. Promote healthy sexuality. Healthy sexuality is not only the absence of sexual violence or coercion, but the active presence of self-determination and the ability to choose when, how, whether and with whom to make sexual and reproductive choices.

2. Promote a culture that values consent. Consent is not just “no means no.” (Although that’s certainly a pretty basic place to start.) Consent means asking for a yes, ensuring that the person you are choosing to engage in sex with is willing, able and wants to say yes.

3. Interrupt comments and behaviors that marginalize other people. If someone says something that’s sexist, it is our responsibility to speak up. Silence and complacency allow for continuing attitudes and beliefs that contribute to sexual violence.

4. Talk to young men and women. Have frank, honest discussions about what respect and communication in any interaction and any relationship ought to look like.

5. Refute people who blame the survivor for their own assault. Be vigilant in placing responsibility on the person choosing to assault. Always.

Author: 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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