Tag: sexual violence

94 per cent of Native American women say they have been raped or coerced into sex | The Independent

A report found 94 per cent of Native American women living in Seattle say they have been raped or coerced into sex at least once in their lifetime. The damning new report – from the Urban Indian Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – is believed to be one of the first to examine the experience of native women living in an urban environment instead of on reservations.
— Read on www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/native-american-women-seattle-raped-coerced-sex-a8511646.html

Supernatural: Beat The Devil…Beat Your Demons

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Introduction

It’s been a LONG while since this episode aired, but after watching this past Thursday’s episode, had just HAD to get back into writing it again! Due to sooo much happening this past year, I almost forgot about this post.

Season 13 was filled with a lot of surprises and familiar faces. Relationships and hookups we didn’t see coming as shown below…

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Gabriel (Richard Speight, Jr) and Rowena (Ruth Connell) look like they’re having some sort of hanky panky.
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Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padelecki) are looking confused, yet looking reluctant to NOT figure out what’s happening between the archangel and the witch.

And yet the few earlier scenes, have made a lot of sex joke references. But for me what was funny was how the episode was mentioning the jokes without really trying to mention it.

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Referring to Gabriel’s grace to a man with erectile dysfunction disorder. So horrible!

Now To The Real Issue…

All jokes aside, for me, the episode was a tough episode. The thing was both Rowena and Gabriel have been hurt by Lucifer, however in order to help save and bring back Jack and Sam and Dean’s mom from Apocalypse World, they had to face their demon. Like, literally and figuratively had to face them, which was well the Devil himself. They had no choice. I mean well, Gabriel wasn’t able to produce any more grace (see my previous posts: Supernatural: Coming Back From The Darkness Within and Supernatural: Unfinished Business: Gabriel Strikes Back), so Team Freewill had to go to the next best source: Lucifer.

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Rowena and Gabriel trapping Lucifer

Speak of The Devil…

I couldn’t imagine trying to trap my assaulter. I mean…just thinking about filing a police report against him scares me. It’s not so much of the process that scares me, but having to see his face again. Having to see my innocence and vulnerability taken away…again. Now some of you may be thinking, it’s selfish of me not to report him, forget about the other women who may be hurt by him or why now and not three years ago? When you’re sexually assaulted, your assaulter doesn’t just take advantage of your body, but your mind too. Your self esteem is shot. You have to grapple with the thought about how could you have not seen this coming and/or what did you do or say or wear, that made them think it was okay to hurt you??? I mean speaking for myself, because until the time I was 28, I thought sex could have only been done vaginally. I never thought there were other ways and byways sex could have been done. I wasn’t sexually active and so interested about as most people were growing up.

Sam, Castiel, Rowena, and Gabriel have been violated by Lucifer…. Sam (who was originally supposed to be his vessel) was tortured by Lucifer, when he was stuck with him in “Lucifer’s Cage”. Next was Gabriel who we thought was killed by Lucifer (he later went into hiding in Monte Carlo). Then we have Castiel who was tricked by Lucifer, so he could have access to his body. And lastly, we have Rowena who was tragically killed by Lucifer. He has physically and mentally abused them, but fortunately the four of them have gained back some resilience.

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With a few ingredients and Pint (or pints?) of Lucifer’s grace, it powers the portal to take the boys to Apocalypse world)

So anyway, without Lucifer knowing Sam, Dean, Cas, and Gabriel were going to an alternate universe to save Jack (Lucifer wants his son back), the boys went on while  leaving Rowena alone with him. For a sec, I was kinda worried about that, because she’s in the room with the same guy who abused—no, killed her the first time. I can’t imagine how much strength she must have had (even with her full power restored. See post: Supernatural: Life After Assault)

Fight-Flight-Freeze

Lucifer: I’m just trying to have a good time with you like last time. Remember that? When I surprised you at your hotel room? Oh. I mean, I even wanted you to put up a fight. I wanted a little bit of a tussle, but [sighs] you froze. You choked. So I choked ya. What was that like, burning to death? You know, I can’t get that smell out of my nose, that…ashy reek of burnt up ginger! [Laughs]

We’ve all heard at some point this question, “Why don’t victims leave their abusers when they are being physically or sexually abused?” Apart from my own personal experience, it’s biology or called “fight-flight-freeze mechanism”. We’ve all heard about “fight or flight”, but when this situation occurs it’s not that simple. According the Psychology Today article, “Why Women Freeze During Sexual Assault” by Dr. Devon MacDermott, your body…your brain…is just focused on surviving the threat. The parts of the brain that responsible for example, reason and abstract thought, sensing your own body and mind, planning, and speech production is temporarily shut down. Using a less threatening example, recall a time you are giving a speech to large group of people. You may feel upset, unable to speak, or unable to speak articulately (MacDermott, 2018). That is a “fight-flight-freeze mechanism.”

On a biological level, your brain is trying to keep you alive, by redirecting energy into different parts of your body and brain (MacDermott, 2018). For example, the brain may be the blood flow and nutrients to the “safety parts” of your body or brain, instead of the “thinking parts”. Your input of from your five senses and your emotions and the output to your body get more attention than your abstract thought and problem solving (MacDermott, 2018).

According to the article, the most common mental symptoms of freeze are:

  • Your thoughts get cloudy or your mind goes blank
  • You feel panicky but without a sense of direction
  • You feel hopeless or trapped
  • You have a strong desire to get out of the situation or make something stop but you don’t know how
  • You feel that any action you take might make the situation worse and it seems better to do nothing

I’ve felt bullet points 2-5.

While  in terms surviving the wild, this mechanism of “fight or flight”  has been useful in avoiding attacks, unfortunately in terms of physical or sexual assault, it’s not. Also other forms of trauma are most like to build the “fight-flight-freeze” mechanism into your body like, body shaming, manipulation, frequent invalidation, or had repeated feelings of powerlessness over your body’s safety, sexual consent, or boundary violations (MacDermott, 2018).

Devil’s Advocate

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Rowena: You want to get inside my heat, twist the knife? Two can play that game.  Do you know what your grace is making possible right now? The heartfelt family reunion of Sam, Dean, Cass, Mary, and your very own son Jack. That’s right. Your wee boy’s over there, and he’ll be so glad to see his three fathers. Of course, as far as he’s concerned, they are his father. And you? You’re nothing to him. Or me. Or anyone now. Nothing.

I know sometimes if feels it’s best to taunt your assaulter or stand up to them, but you know what I’ve learned? Don’t. Just don’t. Speaking for myself, it’s not because I feel weak, it’s just I’m trying to protect myself from being taking advantaged of again.  I feel he’s already penetrated my mind, so he knows how to lure me back into his life by either giving or saying something I like or by trying to have me respond to something I clearly don’t like. I’m all for defending my honor and all, but defending my honor is also by leaving my ego where he is and walking or possibly running as far as I can from him. I can always regrow my ego, but entertaining him….hell no.

I use to have him as my instagram buddy (again at the time I had him as an IG buddy, I had no idea this whole time he was assaulting me). He sent me a direct message asking me how I was doing. As much as I wanted to respond to that, because I do to people I’m familiar with, I just felt I’d be stepping into a rabbit hole I just got myself out of. Innocent question, not-so-innocent guy. A couple minutes later, he wrote, “So I guess that’s a no.” And you know what? That’s fine. He answered his own question, but regardless, I wasn’t going to entertain him anymore. I already entertained him with my naivety about sex, I’m not giving him any more of me. F*ck that.

So if you want to face your assaulter, make sure you take your crew with you, because if not, they might screw with your head again. Never be alone whether in person or via social media. And you always…let me repeat…always remember you have a right not to talk or even be around your assaulter. Period. Protecting your physical, emotional, and/or mental well-being, should always come first.

Crocodile Tears

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Lucifer: Aw, Red, you shouldn’t have made me mad. Step into my office. You know…you and Gabe, kicked me when I was down. I didn’t have any fight. I didn’t have anything to live for. But you, you, you gave me something to fight for again. My boy. So for that, that I’m gonna be quick.

I can’t believe how Red—I mean Rowena, must have felt in those first few seconds that she was in Lucifer’s clutches. I mean, first of all he was back in his clutches again and two I’m sure those seconds felt like minutes.

Lucifer tried to make Rowena (and Gabe) look like THEY were the bad guys. Making them feel as if he was the one being kicked around (although he’s stronger than the both of them; Gabe is out of grace). He ignored the fact that he had hurt SO many people in his wake, that one person does him wrong or one thing goes wrong, he feels victimized.

Whether the assaulter is male or female this is one tactic these use: emotional abuse. So what is emotional abuse? Well emotional abuse is:

“any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish the sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth.”

(Tracy, 2016)

But remember…the whole point of emotional abuse is to discredit, isolate, and silence the victim (Gordon, 2018). They achieve this by:

  • Displaying unrealistic expectations
  • Invalidate you
  • Creating chaos
  • Using emotional blackmail
  • Acting superior and entitled
  • Isolating and controlling you
  • This form of abuse is by far the hardest one to identify. My guess is because when it comes some you know and/or love or from a respected person, THESE relationships makes it hardest to identify. For Rowena, at one point she respected Lucifer BECAUSE he was powerful…and she didn’t want killed by him. Now, because she respects him (in a way) because she knows he’s powerful enough to be killed by him again. Usually the last reason is why assault victims are more likely to feel hopeless or helpless by their assaulter because they don’t want to be put through the pain again. You’ll do ANYTHING to not be put through that pain again or to experience more pain.
  • Beat The Devil

  • After realizing what she had done

    Rowena: [Grunts] Defendatur!

    Rowena’s spell propells Lucifer into the portal

    Rowena: Bullocks

    Now unintentionally by Rowena (although perhaps antagonized by Lucifer) she used a spell that blasted them him into the portal where the boys were. Oopsies.

    But can I point out something here…I loved the same of Rowena’s spell, “Defendatur”. While it’s quite an obvious name to give a defensive spell, I wish I had a spell like that could work in the real life. While we don’t have spells to cast off villainous folk, there are ways we can defend ourselves from would be assaulter. Here are some of my suggestions:

    • Kick ’em where it hurts. Sounds violent, but whether your assaulter is a male or female or even a family member, fight. You deserve the right to protect and fight for yourself. When I was Ubering, I carried my pepper spray, but sadly I didn’t use it. Why? I was afraid of hurting the passenger. While I never though a man would dare put his hand on my thigh. I NEVER thought I’d have see someone be in pain. And I get it…it’s in my nature to be nurturing and caring, but there are times I have to be willing to fight and protect myself. Besides there’s a law that protects people for defending themselves right?
    • Take martial arts classes. There are all types: Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, Muai Tai, as well as just basic self defense practices. Take em’. It’s fun! Myself I’ve done Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do.
    • Weapons. Carry a stun gun or pepper spray or gel.
  • Conclusion

  • Listen… whether you are a man or woman who has been abused, you deserve a right to be okay. You deserve a right to be safe. You deserve a right to fight and protect yourself. You deserve a right to be happy and be in a safe environment. I don’t care how long ago the abuse happened, whether you remembered or not, whether you were naive or not or a child or not, you deserve all those things I mentioned okay? Live your life and be happy.
  • References

  • Gordon, S. (2018). How To Identify and Cope With Emotional Abuse. Retrieved from, https://www.verywellmind.com/identify-and-cope-with-emotional-abuse-4156673
  • MacDermott, D. (2018). Why Woman Freeze During Sexual Assault. Retrieved from, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/modern-trauma/201805/why-women-freeze-during-sexual-assault

  • Tracy, N. (2018). Emotional Abuse: Definitions, Signs, Symptoms, Examples. Retrieved from, https://www.healthyplace.com/abuse/emotional-psychological-abuse/emotional-abuse-definitions-signs-symptoms-examples
  • GLOW (Part 1 of 3)

    ****Warning Discloser: Spoilers and sexual assault references***

    The Cast of GLOW

    I love “Glow”! Not just because it’s a nod to the times, but because of the cast and it’s great storytelling. Set in the mid 80s, Ruth Wilder, played by Allison Brie, is an up and coming actress trying her hardest to score her first big gig. Well…one thing led to another and she became a female wrestler.

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    Ruth

     

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    Zoya the Destroya

    Believe it or not wrestling was a big deal back then. Even though  wrestling was fake, they drew big crowds on and off the small screen. Heck, GLOW is based off the actual GLOW TV Show which aired those days. And even when I watched the show  (you can  watch the documentary off the show on Netflix, it’s great), these women were amazing and crazy! There was NOTHING like that those days where women wrestled. So the show was very groundbreaking.

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    Source: Inverse

    If you grew up in the 80s or watched 80s films, women weren’t given a lot of roles as they are now. They didn’t have a lot lead roles, they seemed to play only as secretaries or mothers, they needed to be “pretty” and of course…they needed to have a man and be a damsel in distress. Women weren’t given a lot of personality…but GLOW gave the women to be more on television. They could engage in wresting for crying out loud! Yeah, some of those of course led to major injury, but these women were no longer restricted by gender norms.

    Being that we’re now in the ME TOO era, this film really served as a reminder of what women went through to become famous. Unfortunately, it wasn’t due just hard work alone, but due to sleezy men who wanted to take advantage of women who wanted be actors.

    If you look at the picture above, you can tell that Ruth was a rather dreamy and naive actress.  For starters, she wasn’t from California (I believe she’s originally from the mid west) and two, she has just such a big passion for acting. So big in fact, the director of GLOW (and soon to be love interest), Sam Sylvia, played by Marc Maron, didn’t take her seriously at first when he was putting together the cast. But thank goodness, to her passion, Sam kept her and she did very well portraying her Russian alter-ego, Zoya the Destroya.

    The show, especially her character was so well liked by Tom Grant (Paul Fitzgerald), the President of K-DTV of North Hollywood, that he asked Glen Klitnick (Andrew Friedman), he could invite her to his pad. Unknowingly to Ruth, she was nothing more as some sort of “gift” to Tom Grant, once Glen left the room.

    Even though Tom asked Ruth how to wrestle, it was really just an excuse to fondle her breast for example. Looking at her face, she was extremely uncomfortable, while looking at his face he was enjoying himself. Just seeing how he grabbing her and trying to put his face between her breast. Reminded me of what happened with me.

    Although I told him I just wanted to make out, he thought it okay to pull down my shirt and fondle my breasts while at. I had never really known what making out at the time, only that I thought it should involved was kissing. But I didn’t even know I could decide what constituted as making out and assumed everyone knew it involved kissing.

    I felt for Ruth when she escaped Glen’s house and how humiliated and confused she must have felt. Like a “why me”??? or a “I should have known better”? Unfortunately, the following day she kind of regretted running away, when it was found that  “Glow” was scheduled to be air 2 AM in the morning.

    Damn…

    While some how Ruth’s character annoyed me, because she was naive, but I guess she annoyed me because she reminded me of myself. I felt like Ruth, I put myself in that situation and I get upset everyday, that why did I not see that coming. Sometimes I forget the world does not have the same heart I do and will try to hide its true face. However neither me and Ruth didn’t deserve to be treated the way we did. But as you can imagine for Ruth, her dreams were reliant on someone who had the power to embolden her career, but instead it was to embolden their own ego. Then because Tom Grant didn’t get what he wanted, he punished her, which  in turn punished her fellow actresses. So not ONLY does Ruth have to deal with assault, but have to take the blame for the cancellation of her show.

    Unfortunately this is what happens to assault victims…their assaulter with use some sort of means of abuse . There are many forms of abuse…according to the “Physical Violence Sexual” wheel by The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

     

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    I feel that Tom Grant in the episode, used economic abuse, his male privilege, and emotional abuse to take control and get back at Ruth. This may be a fictional show, but the abuse that women underwent especially during those times in Hollywood IS real.

     

     

     

     

     

    Kavanaugh Krisis: The Fight For Women’s Rights and Health

    Kavanaugh Krisis: The Fight For Women’s Rights and Health

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    Source: Heavy

    This is all over the news right now, but how a Palo Alto University Psychology Professor by the name of Christine Blasey Ford revealed how Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her over 30 years at high school party.  Now that Kavanaugh is close to becoming a Supreme Court Judge, her story comes out. Every is having mixed views about this sudden move made by the Democrats. This chick included.

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    Professor Blasey Ford as a young girl. (Source: Heavy)

    Okay…..this is why I have mixed views…

    1. Why now? Look, this because of me being a sexual assault survivor myself, I don’t like how it’s being used as a trump card (no pun intended). It’s just tacky. I mean, this guy has been in the committee hearing since September 4th. Why now? This should have been out at the 3rd day of the committee at the least. This is
    2. Whether Professor Blasey Ford story is keeps Kavanaugh from becoming Supreme Court Nominee or not, will there be protection for her? I mean, it could be damaging especially if he is elected, because what if she is further traumatized and then she is till harassed??? But even if he doesn’t get elected, she may still harassment. And I can’t imagine for family and young children. Will the Democratic party and the FBI protect her and her family??? I would HATE for her to be traumatized all over again. Speaking from experience, being re-traumatized is the worst.

    But no lie, Kavanaugh CANNOT be a Supreme Court Judge. PERIOD. For starters, we already have sexual assaulter/rapist as a President of the United States. Do we need a sexual assaulter/rapist as a Supreme Court Judge??? Hell to freakin’ no! A sexual assaulter/rapist who ironically is for Roe V Wade. I mean like what the f*ck. And I especially don’t want an old white guy tell me what or not what to do with my body. Besides Black women unfortunately are often not heard especially when it comes to reproductive health. I mean, in regards to pregnancy, 3 out of 4 Black Women are more likely to die from birth complication and that has only doubled since 1987 (Ellis, Richards, & Roecker, 2018). Why IS that??? I hope one day to have a child and I am scared sh*tless of what this guy will do when he comes a Supreme Court Judge.

    But yes, that we have use this poor woman in order to keep Kavanaugh from becoming a Supreme Court Judge is just wrong! I mean, what more do you need to prove to show that his nomination is really to keep to Trump from becoming impeached, but his nomination is under the guise of tearing down Roe V Wade. Check out the list of Trump’s shameless comments, thoughts and responses:

    “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me-consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”

    “If Ivanka were’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” *gags*

    “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?”

    “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?”

    A tape of Trump’s appearance on The Wendy Williams Show from 2013, show host Wendy Williams asked Trump and his daughter what she and her dad common.

    Ivanka: Either real estate or golf

    Trump: Well, I was going to say sex, but I can’t relate that to her.

    ***What the f**k??? Again?!?!***

    ” You could see there was blood coming out of her eye. Blood coming out of her where ever.” –Referring to Megyn Kelly “on” menstruation the day after the first Republican debate of the Presidential Campaign.

    “Fox viewers give low marks to bimbo Megyn Kelly will consider other programs!”

    “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next President? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not suppose to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”–Referring to Carly Fiorina former head of Hewlett-Packard and Trump Republican rival.

    “I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and f**k her. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily…I moved on her like a b**ch, but I couldn’t get there.” Trump on a unnamed women to Billy Bush who was a host for Access Hollywood.

    “I’m going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”  A 1992 appearance on Entertainment Tonight showed Trump watching a group of young girls going up the escalator in Trump Tower. He was 46 at the time.

    Source from: The Telegraph

    You have ANY IDEA how hard it was to copy down those quotes??? Holy crap it made me sick to my stomach. Yet… that’s not as sicking that despite of all the self-incriminating sexist and pedophiliac and incest comments Trump has said, he was STILL elected to president and yet for some stupid reason people think he’s “pro-life”??? It’s like the old verbiage goes “Show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are.” I don’t know how “good” of a friend Kavanaugh is with Trump, but I know any of those politicians who support Trump and deny the crap, he has said and done, HAS to have some pretty damning things about themselves too.

    Kavanaugh is already denying the assault he did upon Professor Blasey Ford, so I hope this is worth it. But let me tell you, regardless whether that man becomes a Supreme Court Judge or not. She has my esteemed respect. To be willing to not come out into this public years after it happen and use her story in order to attempt to stop him from being a Supreme Court Judge to stop him from ending Roe V. Wade, is a freakin’ hero! I mean, she could lose everything if this guy wins! Godforbid he uses his position to somehow ruin her and her family’s life. I really hope the FBI and the Democratic party have something in place to help and protect her and all she hold dear. Her life is also a great way to know you can still have a family too in spite of such a tragic event. Lastly, what really, makes it great is that thankfully she has been attending therapy and her therapist has had all the notes, to prove she has been taking care of her mental health all these years so people can know that this isn’t something she made up.

    I really, really, really hope this works, if this does work, it’s a win for her (finally having her story told), it’s a win for people who have been sexually assaulted (giving us more courage) and it’s DEFINITELY a win for women’s health and rights.

    Reference:

    Ellis, R., Richards, J. & Roecker, M. (2018, January 17).Maternal Health Statistics Staggering for Black Women. Retrieved from: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/maternal-health-statistics-staggering-black-women-n838166

    Readings:

    A Former Sex-Crimes Prosecutor Analyzed Ford’s Allegations Against Kavanaugh. Here’s Her Take

    Christine Blasey Ford Feared An Avalanche of Attacks If She Went Public About Kavanaugh, Friends Say

    Sexual Violence

    Most people, even I myself before I went through it, think that rape can ONLY happen when it’s force upon. Well, the thing is…it’s not the ONLY way. And sometimes that the scary part, because you DON’T always know. I’m sure you’re asking, “Ezi, whataya’ mean you don’t always know? It’s “obvious”.” Unfortuantely, because assaulters have done it many time and they have met many people, they have mastered the behavior of people—just in horrible way. They’ve studied them to the most finite detail. Even the smartest person can be taken advantage of and just like in the animal kingdom, there’s always going to be someone bigger than you, faster than you, and smarter than you more than you’d care to admit. So, if I were you don’t give victims such a hard time. It can happen to anyone, even YOU.

    In the mini-infograph below, it shows how sexual violence can occur in addition to the physical act itself. Hopefully you’ll understand, there’s no “right” way for sexual violence to occur.