Virginity Testing: Women as Guardians of Virtue and Honor

Show me a culture that does not understand or teach consent and I’ll show you many cultures that absolve men of accountability, murder women in the name of honor, violate young girls, and exacerbate trauma. Across borders and state lines, cultures and languages, a common, shared experience of being a woman is violation of consent.  … Continue reading Virginity Testing: Women as Guardians of Virtue and Honor

Soldiers & Survivors in the Military Injustice System

Every year, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) of the United States Department of Defense (DOD) publishes a report on sexual assault within the military. During my summer internship with the nonprofit Protect Our Defenders, I searched through the report for relevant statistics (including the statistic showing that while the estimated prevalence rate … Continue reading Soldiers & Survivors in the Military Injustice System

Rape Laws: Protection or Impunity?

Globally, there are gaps in the legal system that not only fail to give women the justice they deserve, but also to protect them from violence. Women around the world lack physical security largely due to the impunity enjoyed by those who perpetrate violence against them. According to the WomanStats Project’s 2014 scaling of women’s … Continue reading Rape Laws: Protection or Impunity?

“The Chosen Ones”: Reflecting about Sexual Violence and Human Trafficking Through Movies

The first scene of the movie “The Chosen Ones” directed by David Pablos shows Ulises and Sofía, a young teenage couple, kissing. Don’t be fooled, however: this is not a love story. As the story progresses, we learn Ulises has been pushed by his family to lure young, beautiful women into the prostitution ring the … Continue reading “The Chosen Ones”: Reflecting about Sexual Violence and Human Trafficking Through Movies

Camptowns and Prostitution: Why Men Shouldn’t Need a Sexual Release

The mayor of Osaka, Japan threatened in December 2017 to cut ties with Osaka’s sister city of San Francisco, California. Why? Because of one statue depicting three comfort women.[1],[2] The term “comfort women” refers to the women—South Korean, Chinese, Filipino and others—enslaved and raped by the Japanese army around the time of second world war. … Continue reading Camptowns and Prostitution: Why Men Shouldn’t Need a Sexual Release

Rohingya Women: Victims, Survivors, and Fighters

The Rohingya, an ethnic and religious minority in Burma (also referred to as Myanmar), have become victims of government-sponsored genocide. Starting last August, the decades-long repression turned into what the U.N. has deemed as an ethnic cleansing. Burmese military are entering the Rakhine state, the region occupied by the Rohingya, setting fire to the local … Continue reading Rohingya Women: Victims, Survivors, and Fighters