Sexual violence is a global pandemic. One in three women experiences sexual or physical violence – most likely from their intimate partner, according to a report from the World Health Organization. There is an urgent need to increase sensitization regarding sexual violence and the awareness of consent and sexual violence amongst persons at large. In this series, we examine sexual violence and related issues that have come up in the news, on a weekly basis, published every Saturday. This is an attempt to improve awareness regarding incidents of sexual violence and related matters, so that we, as a society can take steps towards collective action to reduce its incidence. It is an effort to ensure that we acknowledge the rampant sexual violence that exists, lest we forget.
This issue looks at news from 13th to 19th May 2018.
1) A 34-year old step-father found guilty for attempted child molestation and confinement
Robert D. Coleman, a 34-year old, was found guilty of attempting child molestation and confinement of his step-daughters, by a panel of 12 members at the Madison County Circuit Court. The next hearing has been scheduled for June 12, till then he will be held behind bars without bond. Four other accusations were applied by the victims, for which the jury did not deem the convict guilty.
2) Thirty four bishops offered resignations in the wake of child sex scandal and cover-up.
Thirty one serving bishops and three retiring bishops from Chile signed a resignation letter in light of the child sex abuse scandals. The mass resignation appears to be an acknowledgement that the Chilean church is accepting responsibility for wrongdoing. While Pope Francis had earlier dismissed the allegations, he has now apologized — both for his remarks and for the church’s inaction more generally — and has met with survivors of Karadima’s abuse.
3) Victims’ protection at stake: Mumbai Court and Jain Committee protect the accused instead
Two male caretakers of a hostel of Jain Mandir were accused of sexually assaulting two minors residing in the same hostel. However, when they were arrested following the accusations, the members of Jain management committee threatened the two victims to remain mum and moreover, filed an Anticipatory Bail Application (ABA), following which the accused were provided an interim bail by Bombay High Court.
4) University of Saskatchewan punishes volleyball coach for supporting sexual assault assailant
Brian Gavlas, Huskies volleyball coach of the University of Saskatchewan, was fired by the university on the account of recruiting a sexual assault assailant, who was currently on bail and bore charges of sexual assault. As per the coach’s account, being in such a position, he stated that, people like him had to give opportunity for growth and improvement to the teenagers.
5) Sexual assault convict’s imprisonment decision being reviewed by High Court judge
Christopher Davidson, a 21 year old, former student of Dalhousie University, was found guilty of sexual assault and unlawful confinement of a fellow female student in the campus dormitory in 2015. The victim reported entering the room willfully, but indulgence into sexual intercourse without her consent. The Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge Glen McDougall reserved his decision following the victim’s statement and the lawyer’s factual presentations.
This article was first published on Safecity, as a part of the blogging team by Vrishti Kapoor