The Sexy Rapist

Former Saints player Darren Sharper was arrested in January following an investigation into two charges of rape. More women have now come forward with similar allegations. Many people watching coverage of Sharper’s arrest and of the allegations are left scratching their heads, no doubt because one of the most persistent myths about rape and sexual… Read More

12/19/13 Weekly Media Update

Local News Baton Rouge The East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies issued an additional warrant last week to a teen accused of standing watch outside a high school bathroom while another boy raped a teen girl. After the incident, the victim says the three walked out of the stall and other boys began grabbing her… Read More

Child sexual abuse victims need our support, not blame

Written by Racheal Hebert, LMSW Executive Director at STAR According to local news sources, last week five men and one woman were arrested in connection to the multiple rapes of a 12-year-old girl in Port Allen, LA.  WBRZ reported that Ivy Martin, a registered sex offender, began raping the young girl after a period of grooming, where… Read More

Why Denim Day?

Today is Denim Day! Around the world, staff in sexual assault centers and supporting businesses and organizations are taking the opportunity to donate money to support sexual assault services and wear jeans to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault in our communities. What’s the story behind Denim Day? The Italian Supreme Court overturned… Read More

(Rape) Culture of Entitlement

“Rape is not a recreational activity.” -Mike Dewine, Ohio Attorney General Pundits and many others regularly go on about the corrosive effects of a culture of entitlement on society. Mostly, those accused of displaying this sense of entitlement are those who live in poverty and receive public assistance. Meanwhile, many other forms of entitlement go… Read More

The Miniskirt Myth

Did you know miniskirts cause rape? It is being reported that Swaziland has criminalized the wearing of “miniskirts, low-rise jeans and midriff-bearing tops” in a supposed effort to reduce rape. Police in Swaziland, the last absolute  monarchy in Africa and an incredibly conservative nation, have resurrected an  archaic colonial criminal act from 1889 to stop… Read More

Prevention via Promotion

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community When I was a classroom teacher, it took me a while to learn to focus more attention on students’ positive rather… Read More

Why should I care about violence against women?

Recently I presented information about sexual violence to a group of college university professionals. Per my usual Sexual Violence 101 lecture, I gave information about the scope and prevalence of sexual assault, risk and protective factors for victims and offenders, and the physical/psychological/economic consequences of experiencing a rape. When I began to discuss rape culture,… Read More

We Will Not Surrender Our Freedom to Travel: Gender-based Terror and Tempting Fate

Last Friday, a male acquaintance of mine made the following comments on a Facebook thread in response to this article about Brandon Lavergne’s signed statement detailing the murder of Mickey Shunick:  Just don’t go places alone in the middle of the night!… If my wife or one of my female friends told me they were… Read More

How Gender Violence Affects Me, You, and Everyone We Know

“Americans like to boast that we’re ‘the freest country on earth,’ and yet half the population doesn’t even feel free enough to go for a walk at night.” -Jackson Katz, author of The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help When I recently learned about the open position of… Read More