Category: The Fem Column

The Feminist Faction of The Fifth Column.

Mass rapes to mass protests: violence against women in 2016

Impunity for violence against women remains a massive problem. Donald Trump hasn’t helped.

From historic convictions to impunity for gang rapes, 2016 has been a year of highs and lows when it comes to efforts to stem violence against women.

The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10) are a time to take stock of progress and failings in combatting this pervasive human rights abuse.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) reached its first conviction for sexual violence. It found a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, guilty of rape, murder, and pillage in neighbouring Central African Republic. Bemba was found guilty under the concept of “command responsibility,” in which civilian and military superiors can be held criminally liable for crimes committed by troops under their control.

When a Man Kills a Woman

Across everything that divides societies, we share in common that men’s violence against women is normalised, tolerated, justified – and hidden in plain sight.

Since 25 November last year, at least 118 women and girls in the UK aged over 13 have been killed by men, or a man has been the primary suspect.

An average of one woman dead at the hands of a man every 3 days.

I’ve been recording women’s names and details of how they were killed since January 2012 when Counting Dead Women was launched.

Today we commemorate 653 women.

Since I gave you a phone it’s not rape

As evidence of UN peacekeepers’ sexual violence against Black African women and girls grows, media reporting and research reinterprets this as ‘transactional sex’, through the logic of colonialism.

A few months ago, the campaign #predatorypeacekeepers started on social media. It followed a report from a Canadian AIDS charity accusing UN and French troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) of sexually abusing at least 98 girls. The damning report alleged that three girls had been tied up and forced to have sex with a dog, that one of the victims subsequently died and that many of the abuses were orchestrated by a French General. Since publication, more victims have come forward. Many spoke of degrading sexual acts including soldiers urinating on the victim’s body or in her mouth.

15-year-old girl raped and murdered: What saying no can mean

Charles Rae covers a rape and murder in South Huston, Texas. Graphic content.

15 year old Karen Perez was found dead Monday night, May 30th, her body half naked and “stuffed in a cabinet” reports ABC13. Her boyfriend had threatened to kill her earlier that day if she didn’t skip school with him. The perpetrator, whose name is being withheld, is facing murder charges.

As this story has unfolded, prosecutors have told the media that the boyfriend’s phone captured Perez’s final moments alive. ABC13 reported that the audio reveled the boyfriend was raping her, and she can be heard telling him she didn’t want to have sex with him. He began choking her. Her last words recorded in the audio were, “I don’t want to die.” The boy was turned in by his father.

When we hear tragedies like this, as a society, what do we reflect on? When there’s another school shooting society talks about gun control (however dichotomous) and mental health (however misguidedly), about safety in schools and security measures. When there’s another police shooting the racism and cover-ups are debated widely on Twitter and Facebook. Why is violence against women talked about as isolated incidents when 1 in 4 women will be the victims of domestic abuse?

The Path That Took Me

Kitchener, Ontario (TFC) – There was one night I stayed at his mother’s house, early on in our relationship. We had had a little to drink and I wanted to have sex; this would have been my first time experiencing…