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Sexual Violence

16 Days: From Peaceful Homes to a Peaceful World

16 Days: From Peaceful Homes to a Peaceful World

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“From Peaceful Homes to a Peaceful World” is the theme of 16 Days. Take a moment to reflect on where we would be if the vibrant, curious girls of the world had been able to develop and grow as God intended. Imagine the things they could have accomplished had they been spared their suffering. Celebrate the amazing things we have accomplished, despite it all.

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Pray Without Ceasing...For the Girls

Pray Without Ceasing...For the Girls

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Perhaps this is all we can do now. The story of the kidnapping of hundreds of Christian and Muslim school girls in Nigeria by the extremist group Boko Haram has outraged the entire world. And the misuse of Islam by Boko Haram leaders to justify their actions, claiming they are being directed by Allah, only magnifies the outrage. Boko Haram using the name of Islam in this way is like the Ku Klux Klan or Fred Phelps using Christianity to propel their actions of hate and violence.

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"The Invisible War" Goes On

"The Invisible War" Goes On

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The invisible war of sexual assault of female and male military personnel by their fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines continues even as the U.S. Senate holds hearings and presses for substantive changes in the way cases of sexual assault are handled. The Academy Award nominated documentary tells the story of survivors of rape and of an institution long on rhetoric and short on change.

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Accidental?

Accidental?

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The recent song, “Accidental Racist,” by Brad Paisley and LL Cool J got me thinking about how one accidentally oppresses other people. As a white woman raised in the South, I’ve heard the angst expressed before. I just don’t buy it. Yet it inspired me to write another version.

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Ethically Challenged Part 2: Youth Ministers Take Note

Ethically Challenged Part 2: Youth Ministers Take Note

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As I have continued to ponder and worry about the Steubenville, Ohio, rape case which I blogged about last week, I came across a two very interesting pieces. First is an open letter from Melissa Harris-Perry to the survivor of the Steubenville rape: “Dear Steubenville Survivor, I Believe You.” It is written from one survivor to another in appreciation for the courage of the young woman in coming forward in spite of knowing the response she would get. Please listen to it.

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The Ethically Challenged in Steubenville and Beyond

The Ethically Challenged in Steubenville and Beyond

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The fact that two teenage football players raped an intoxicated teenager is bad enough. They have now been convicted of their crimes. But the additional fact that other teens not only watched and did not intervene to help the victim but also took photos which they then broadcast with social media is even more disturbing.

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Put Your Activism To Work Right Now

Put Your Activism To Work Right Now

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The New York Times is right on this one. If politicians are serious about fixing the perception that they don’t understand or care about women, they would do well to move quickly to pass the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) immediately.

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Knowing the Mind of God

Knowing the Mind of God

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In the midst of the campaign, Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock was asked if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape and incest. He responded negatively with this explanation: “I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something the God intended to happen.” Apparently, Richard Mourdock knows the mind of God.

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Fifty Shades of Depressing

Fifty Shades of Depressing

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First, a confession: I have not read Fifty Shades of Grey nor do I intend to. When I choose a novel to read, I pay attention to reviews or suggestions of my friends. The thought of spending time reading second rate prose about dominant-submissive heterosexual sex just doesn't seem very appealing. Life is too short.

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Weary Beyond Words

Weary Beyond Words

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“Legitimate rape” has now been added to the lexicon of sexual assault thanks to Representative Todd Akin, candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri. One wonders about the definition of this new term; perhaps its synonym “real rape” and its opposite is “illegitimate rape.” It’s a mystery to me.

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Dear Pope: About Sr. Margaret . . .

Dear Pope: About Sr. Margaret . . .

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I am just writing to thank you for denouncing Sr. Margaret Farley’s excellent book, “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics.” This is the best PR any author could possibly get and, as a result, the book has soared to the Best Seller list at Amazon overnight. I realize that God works in strange and mysterious ways, but this is too good.

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“The Wedding Season . . . for Some”

“The Wedding Season . . . for Some”

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So it is the season of marriage and my partner and I delighted in attending our niece’s wedding in Baltimore last weekend. It was a three day party bringing together family and friends in celebration of their love for each other, their hope for the future, and their commitment to journey together, come what may.

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Beyond Belief

Beyond Belief

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International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 and has been observed each year since as a day to recognize women’s achievements as well as to lift up the issues of gender inequality such as violence against women that continue to plague the human race and diminish the lives of women and men.

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Rape is Rape is Rape . . .

Rape is Rape is Rape . . .

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The U.S. Department of Justice has updated its definition of rape. Now we can name more clearly what victims of rape have known for centuries.

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16 Days is Not Long Enough

16 Days is Not Long Enough

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This time last year I was on my way to Capetown, South Africa, to visit my friend, Elizabeth Petersen and the South African Faith and Family Institute (SAFFI). This was my first trip to this massive continent and, like so many people, I immediately fell in love with South Africa.

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The Church of College Football

The Church of College Football

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A former defensive coordinator for the Penn State football team, Jerry Sandusky (a priest in the Church of College Football), has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of boys over a 15 year period.

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“Corrective Rape”?  No, Hate Crime

“Corrective Rape”? No, Hate Crime

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“Corrective rape.” When I first heard this term, I stopped dead in my tracks. Having thought that I had heard it all when it came to violence against women, here was yet another perverse variation of rationale for sexual assault.

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“Nothing New Here”

“Nothing New Here”

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The only real news in the case of the charge of sexual assault against a powerful French politician is that the victim came forward and filed a complaint. The outcome is classic and predictable.

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"Do Not Make Any Statements . . ."

"Do Not Make Any Statements . . ."

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This is the advice given by many insurance companies to clients who are churches or religious organizations when faced with a disclosure of abuse by one of their leaders. Frankly, it is advice that will very likely lead to lawsuits brought by survivors of abuse and to significant settlements paid out by insurers.

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Who Needs to Confess? And What?

Who Needs to Confess? And What?

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Actress Ashley Judd recently disclosed that she was sexually abused as a child; American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi recently disclosed that she was sexually abused as a child; Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts recently disclosed that he was sexually abused as a child. When each made a public disclosure, the media described these disclosures as “confessions.”

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