All Articles Tagged "rape"

Seattle Man Wakes Up To Female Neighbor Raping Him

September 14th, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Woman accused of raping man while he slept.

IMG SRC: Seattle Police Department

Last year a Seattle man woke up from his sleep to he find his 240-pound female neighbor on top of him, raping him. While historically it’s been difficult for men to prove sexual violation at the hands of a woman, DNA evidence recently discovered backing up that claim.

According to The Smoking Gun, the alleged aggressor, 28-year-old Chantae Gilman, was identified after DNA evidence ran from the victim’s sexual assault kit revealed her identity. Chantae allegedly broke into the victim’s apartment and forced herself on top of the man. The victim demanded Gilman to get off of him but she repeatedly refused, allegedly pinning his hands over his head. The man was eventually able to free himself from up under the victim.

The victim told police he believed Chantae Gilman was a frequent drug user.

Gilman states that she has no memory of the incident and has been drug free for the past two months. The mother of four, who is also currently 31 weeks pregnant, has struggled with drug/drinking problems for some time. She also told police she is mentally ill.

Gilman has been charged with second-degree rape.

Columbia Student Carries Around Mattress As Long As She Attends The Same School As Her Rapist

September 4th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Columbia Student Carries Around Mattress As Long As She Attends The Same School As Her Rapist

Source: YouTube

At this point, rape on college campuses is a well-documented problem. And though we’re more cognizant of the issue, it doesn’t mean that universities and even police departments are doing their due diligence in investigating and prosecuting rape cases.

Unfortunately, one Columbia University student knows this all too well.

Emma Sulkowicz reported her rape to the university. But when they failed to take action she filed a police report against her alleged rapist, fellow Columbia student, Jean-Paul Nungesser.

According to the police report Sulkowicz had consensual sex with Nungesser twice before the alleged attack. Two years ago, on August 27, Sulkowicz said the two started to have consensual sex again when things turned violent.

On the report Sulkowicz said Nungesser hit her across the face, choked her and pushed her knees to her chest, leaning on them to keep them up. He then held Sulkowicz’s wrists as he penetrated her anally.

Sulkowicz told him to stop but he did not. She struggled with him but he kept going. And then stopped suddenly without ejaculating.

Initially, Sulkowicz didn’t file a complaint through the university because she was embarrassed and ashamed of what had happened.

Sulkowicz told the Columbia Daily Spectator, “When it first happened, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t even tell my parents…I didn’t even want to talk to my best friend.”

But then she learned that there were two other women who claimed that Nungesser had assaulted them as well.

That’s when she went to the university.

“I realized that if I didn’t report him he’d continue to attack women on this campus. I had to do it for those other women.”

The university ultimately told her that they were not responsible. The same decision was given to the other two women who reported their incidents.

Sulkowicz took her story to the police and unfortunately, their response wasn’t much better.

Sulkowicz said, “There’s a reason survivors choose not to go to the police, and that’s because they’re treated as criminals. The rapists are innocent until proven guilty but survivors are guilty until proven innocent, at least in the eyes of the police.”

When she filed the report the officer kept emphasizing the fact that they had had consensual sex before. The officer kept asking what Nungesser was wearing that night and was surprised when Sulkowicz couldn’t remember specific details which occurred more than a year and a half ago.

When she was done speaking to the officer, he told her friend, “Of all of these cases, 90 percent are bullshit, so I don’t believe your friend for a second.”

Needless to say the investigation didn’t go far.

But Sulkowicz, a visual arts major, decided not to stop speaking about her experience. Instead, she turned it into her senior art project.

It’s a performance art piece called “Carry That Weight” Sulkowicz carries around her dorm mattress wherever she goes for as long as she’s attending the same school as her rapist.

See what she had to say about the piece and what she hopes people take from it in the video below.

“People Who Have Really Been Raped REMEMBER!!!”: CeeLo Says It Isn’t Rape If The Alleged Victim Is Unconscious

September 2nd, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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CeeLo Green

Source: WENN

We told you late last week that singer CeeLo Green struck a plea deal in a case where a woman he was seeing accused him of rape back in 2012. If you’ll recall, the woman said Green took her to a restaurant in Cali and after she had a drink, she didn’t remember anything after that. She woke up without her clothing on with Green, and left his side immediately to report the situation to authorities. She also did a pretext call where the LAPD recorded a conversation she had with the singer, where he apologized for giving her ecstasy. However, Green denied allegations of sexual assault, and his lawyer argued that they had consensual sex that night.

The charge of rape was dropped because of a lack of evidence, but Green struck that plea deal for giving the unnamed woman ecstasy (a drug charge). He admitted to “voluntary sharing” and was given three years probation, as well as 360 hours of community service and was ordered to attend 52 Narcotics Anonymous meetings with a therapist.

After all that, you would think Green would do better, but alas, he put his foot in his mouth just this past weekend by choosing to discuss the case on Twitter.

According to BuzzFeed, Green put out a series of Tweets that he’s now regretting. Here’s what he had to say in an attempt to define rape…

“If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously.”

“People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”

He also went on to say, “When someone brakes[sic] on a home there is broken glass where is your plausible proof that anyone was raped.”

Someone accused Green of admitting to the crime because he took the plea deal, but he said he wasn’t admitting guilt.

After going back and forth with Twitter users, Green realized he made a big mistake and decided to apologize.

“Let me 1st praise god for exoneration fairness & freedom! Secondly I sincerely apologize for my comments being taken so far out of context.”

“I only intended on a healthy exchange to help heal those who love me from the pain I had already caused from this. Please forgive me as it…was your support that got me thru this to begin with. I’d never condone the harm of any women. Thank you.”

Green ended up deleting his Twitter account, probably at the behest of his PR team who is somewhere currently trying to pick up the pieces from this catastrophe…



Teen Found Guilty In Steubenville Rape Case Returns To Football Field

August 15th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

We all remember the Steubenville rape case that dominated news cycles two years ago. The case, involving two Ohio high school football players, raping a 16 year old girl fueled discussions everywhere as people either argued that the boys, Ma’Lik Richmond and Trent Mays, were being punished too severely or not nearly enough.

Richmond was sentenced to one year in juvenile detention and Mays, who used his phone to take pictures of the naked, underaged girl was sentenced to two.

But recently, according to the Associated Press, Richmond, having served his time not only was allowed to enter high school again but he donned a school uniform and got right back on the field. He participated in a scrimmage game.

Richmond, who is now 18, is still classified as a Tier II sex offender and will have to register as such, every six months, for the next twenty years. But unlike adult sex offenders, his name won’t be included in publicly accessible websites and based on the trajectory of his rehabilitation he can request to have the classification removed.

Richmond’s football coach, Reno Saccoccia, said Ma’lik returned to school in January and was ineligible to participate in any school activities for the rest of the year. Saccoccia said, it was a horrible crime but he completed everything the judicial system asked of him. He continued, “We don’t deal in death sentences for juvenile activity, and I just feel that he’s earned a second chance.”

The Ohio High School Athletic Association, Tim Stried, says it’s up to each school to determine whether or not a student can participate in sports. Obviously, Steubenville has made their decision.

Richmond’s lawyer, Walter Madison wrote, “Band, debate, and sports teams reinforce critical lessons meant to guide one throughout life.”

What do you think, should Richmond have been punished more severely? Or do you believe since he was a juvenile at the time, he should be allowed to return to his football team?

I’m just saying I know people who have done less and have been completely removed from a school district…

Jada Pinkett-Smith Supports #JusticeForJada, Says Her Own Niece Was Given A Date Rape Drug

July 22nd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Recently on her Facebook page, Jada Pinkett-Smith showed her solidarity in the #JusticeForJada campaign by posting the young Jada’s picture and a link to her story with the caption:

This could be you, me or any woman or girl that we know. What do we plan to do about this ugly epidemic? #justiceforjada

We’ve reported earlier that Jada is the 16-year-old Texas girl who came forward, speaking to the media after pictures of her assault were broadcast all over the internet and even became an ugly hashtag.

But in a recent interview with Us Weekly, she explained that her passion about this particular campaign is more personal than we originally thought.

Pinkett- Smith told the publication that her own niece could have suffered the same terrible fate as Jada.

“If you saw what I put on Facebook, you also saw that this could happen to any woman that we know and the unfortunate part is that my niece was given a date-rape drug that weekend. Thank God — she’s 20 — so thank God that nothing happened, because she was with some responsible guys that took care of her, and with three of her friends. She said, ‘Oh my God I can’t feel my…’ she was losing consciousness. Thank God the people she was with put her in a room, closed the door, and she didn’t come to for three and a half hours.”

Jada said that instead of shielding Willow from this terrible and nearly tragic incident, she decided to be open and honest about it.

“I’m not a conventional parent, which I take a lot of pride in. The first thing I had my niece do was sit down with my daughter and a couple of her friends and tell her about that experience. I don’t just sit with Willow and go, ‘Hey, this is what Mommy thinks.’ Let me just bring in a little reality to validate what Mommy’s been talking to you about.

What I do with Willow is I give her the opportunity to be empowered by having herself first because when you allow a person to be an individual and you allow a person to have power within and have confidence on who they are, you’ll never have to look into the eyes of a man and question whether it’s a yes or a no. She’s gonna be very clear: No. She’s gonna be very clear: Yes. And she’s gonna be in a position to be able to determine how to protect herself. Know when you’re in danger. Should you be a girl that goes into a room with four men drinking. Should you? Even if you think you know them? Is this about wanting to be the cool girl or is this about wanting to set a standard for yourself?”

Pinkett-Smith said the rape and sexual assault that plagues women and girls is indicative of a larger treatment around the way in which women are treated and mistreated in this country.

“There is an epidemic going on out here in regards to the treatment of women.” 



Women Speak Out: The Truth Behind Marital Rape

July 18th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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By , From YourTango

This is a trigger warning. The following article may cause severe distress to the victims of sexual assault.

Cynthia’s Story
Cynthia’s marital rape nightmare began around 1996.

For the first year of her marriage Cynthia of New Hampshire had no problems with her husband. He was prone to angry fits, but nothing seemed overly outside the norm. When the two had an argument in their second year of marriage her ex-husband hit her, and Cynthia left.


Initially, her ex-husband was extremely apologetic. He sent her flowers, promised never to do such a thing again, etc. Upon returning home he began petitioning Cynthia for sex. Still hurt over the incident, Cynthia refused despite continuously more aggressive requests from her ex.


“When I forcefully told him no, he just knocked me down from the edge of the bed where we were sitting, held me down to the floor, and forcefully had sex with me, even though I was crying telling him to get off and stop,” said Cynthia. “He did say, ‘You are my wife, you can’t say no’. He truly believed that. At the time I didn’t think it was ‘rape’, I was married, I loved him, but it made me feel hurt, angry, disrespected and sad. He actually thought it was so funny that I was so mad and locked myself in the bathroom to shower and cry after.”


Months of regular married life would pass between the couple, to be followed by a cycle of arguments used as an excuse to rape Cynthia. Having been abducted and raped at gunpoint at the age of 16 by a stranger, she still had a hard time equating her rape at the hands of her husband to what she considered ‘real rape’. Eventually, she came to terms with the assault against her and left.


“It is so undermining to self-worth to have so someone who is supposed to love and cherish you, invade your body,” said Cynthia. “Being in a normal loving, respectful relationship now, makes me wish I could have known then, not to waste another minute.”

Read more about marital rape at

“There’s No Point In Hiding:” Houston Teen Speaks Out After Her Rape Goes Viral

July 10th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Houston Teen Speaks Out After Her Rape Goes Viral


High schoolers dream of being invited to house parties, but none of them ever expects to become a victim of assault while partying with their peers. Unfortunately, that was the case for one Houston teen named Jada who was allegedly raped while attending a house party last month. According to the 16-year-old, the invitation to the gathering was impromptu and once she got to the house, she was offered a drink by the host which she believes was spiked because she was said to have passed out after drinking it.

As a result, Jada didn’t know she was sexually assaulted at the party until she saw naked pictures of herself on social media. According to The Root there were “photos that included images of her fully clothed on a bed passed out and then lying naked on the floor, still passed out.” Jada said she was raped that night and her peers have shared photographic evidence via their cell phones and social media. Because of this, Jada decided to release her story to Houston’s local news channel KHOU. In their exclusive interview, Jada told the outlet:”Everybody knows. And everybody’s texting me are you OK? You’re going to be OK, and I was like alright.”

Although KHOU’s policy is not to identify rape victims,  Jada bravely said during her on-camera interview: “There’s no point in hiding. Everybody has already seen my face and my body, but that’s not what I am and who I am.”

Houston police are currently investigating Jada’s case, as well as her alleged rapist, Innel Yahia, who has made several disrespectful statements on his Twitter page. Surprisingly — or sadly — teen girls have offered him support against Jada’s allegations.

Though we certainly want to allow Innel Yahia to maintain his innocence until proven guilty, we hope Jada receives the primary support in this case, and more importantly,  the justice she deserves. Check out her full interview below.

Should You Have To Sign A Contract Of Consent Before Sex?

July 1st, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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A new bill working its way through the California legislation will likely revolutionize the way college campuses and students consent to sexual activity. But are the proposed changes the kind of changes needed?

The bill is called SB-967, and it was introduced by California Democratic state Sens. Kevin De Leon and Hannah-Beth Jackson, as well as coauthored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal. And according to the language, the bill seeks to amend the student safety section of the state’s Education Code, to require college students in particular to provide “affirmative consent” prior to engaging in any sexual activity, including kissing.

According to various published reports, the bill, which has already passed the state senate and is working its way through the state Assembly, would also require California colleges and universities receiving state funds for financial aid to create and implement policies and standards to not only address affirmative consent, but also for those institutions to “implement comprehensive prevention and outreach programs addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.”

As many supporters of the legislations have noted, this bill does away with the often murky blurred lines of consent, which results from tough to prove cases of sexual assault like date rape and when the victim is intoxicated or passed out. Now alleged offenders would have to prove that consent in the affirmative was given prior to engaging in sex, as opposed to the old way, which relied on alleged victims of sexual assault, having to prove that they said no.

However the response to the bill has been a pretty mixed bag. As Emma Woolf writes in her piece for The Daily Beast, entitled Does California’s College Rape Bill Go Too Far In Regulating Sex?, the bill has its problems, particularly how -as it is currently written – a consenting couple would have to seek permission for each sexual act, prior to it actually occurring. And by definition, that would make every single sexual act in the state of California rape in the pretext. More specifically she notes:

But what about regular physical intimacy between regular (non-criminal) students? Are we in danger, in the rush to legislate, of ruining the moment? When I was a teenager, the stages of physical intimacy were called bases: so you might go to first base, second base, third base, or “all the way.” (I don’t remember any young men checking in between bases…)

Comedians love to satirise this kind of law: “May I touch your left breast?’ “You may touch my left breast’; “May I touch your right breast?’ etc. Comedy aside, the conviction rate for rape and other sexual crimes is scandalously low, and this bill seems unlikely to right that wrong. The tragic fact is that rape can and does happen within marriages: once again, SB 967 does nothing to address that.

But in a response to those criticisms, Martha Kemper of the reproduction rights and sexual health website, Reality Check, points out in her piece, Is Affirmative Consent the Answer to Sexual Assault on College Campuses?, that kind of thinking belittles the act of consent and the paranoia of those who are being overly sensitive. Instead, Kemper writes about the law’s potential to address rape culture as a whole:

But communication is still important. Young men have been taught by our society that their role in relationships is to want sex badly, and women’s is to reluctantly give it to them. Many have never really been taught what is and isn’t consent—except, perhaps, “no means no.” That does not excuse any man who rapes, but it is a problem. Fostering a culture of affirmative consent among both parties could prevent at least some men from raping.”

That is an important point to note considering the US Department of Education is currently investigating 55 colleges and universities for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases. Personally, I feel like this law is potentially some game-changing stuff here. In addition to getting folks to think in new ways about how we communicate sexually including consent. It looks like it will begin to hold education institutions more accountable. But I do worry about the implication and those pesky grey areas. Like how can expressed consent, particularly the verbal kind, be proven when the people involved are disputing the claim? And whose word will matter more? If the we currently treat sexual assault victims in the legal justice system is any indication, potential victims of sexual assault might run into some of the same institutional barriers and biases, particularly the discrediting women through slut-shaming, they had before.



“It Was Just Totally Stupid” Spike Lee Talks Rape Scene In “She’s Gotta Have It”

May 15th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

Source: 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks

Hollywood loves to paint Spike Lee as the angry, black man director. But in this interview with Deadline, he proves to be quite introspective. He spoke about everything from fighting the studios to make Malcolm X to racist film critics who believed and wrote about their theories that Do The Right Thing would incite race riots in theaters across the country. But one of the most poignant moments of the interview,came at the very end when the interviewer asked him about his regrets.

Initially Lee said he didn’t have any and then he retracted his statement.

Lee: My wife has told me on occasion that I can be my own worst enemy, and she is a smart lady. But I don’t really have any regrets. Check that. You know what my biggest regret is?


LEE: The rape scene in “She’s Gotta Have It.” If I was able to have any do-overs, that would be it. It was just totally…stupid. I was immature. It made light of rape, and that’s the one thing I would take back. I was immature and I hate that I did not view rape as the vile act that it is. I can promise you, there will be nothing like that in She’s Gotta Have It, the TV show, that’s for sure

If you recall the in the film, Nola Darling, the protagonist, is dating and sleeping with three men. Though she’s open and honest about the predicament, it presents a bit of a problem with her beaus.

One night one of the boyfriends, Jamie comes over. Now, Jamie has told Nola all along that he’s not a fan of the arrangement. Instead of breaking up with her, he comes over to her apartment with the intent to seduce her. He ends up raping her.

The scene has left many audience members and critics feeling everything from uneasy to outraged for decades now, considering it was Lee’s first film. Many felt like Lee was sending the message that since Nola was sleeping with three men simultaneously that she was loose and somehow deserved this type of treatment.

I’m happy to know that after 30 years and a lot more maturity, Lee sees the error in his ways. And don’t think I say this as a rationalization. We can all agree he was wrong. The thing is though, the topic of rape is just now, like within the last three years, making its way to mainstream, public discussions. Today, there is still a lot of ignorance about what constitutes rape, so I can imagine that the climate thirty years ago was far worse. Either way, it’s good that Lee acknowledged this so future audiences and future filmmakers don’t look at this movie and think the type of message he sent back then was ok.

What do you think about Spike Lee’s comments to Deadline? Were you bothered by the rape scene in She’s Gotta Have It?


You Know Michael Sam But Not Sasha Menu Courey. Were Her Rape & Death Ignored?

February 13th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: University of Missouri Athletic Department

Source: University of Missouri Athletic Department

When you tell people you work for a black women’s website, they love to share the stories they think you should cover. Some of them are terrible and would never work and some of them fit perfectly in line with what we are trying to do here. This was the case last month when my sister’s friend Brittany sent me a link about Sasha Menu Courey. Sasha was a woman of color, a swimmer who attended the same college as I did: the University of Missouri. We affectionately call the school Mizzou. Sasha and I were on the campus at the same time; but to the best of my knowledge I never got to meet her. I’ll always remember Mizzou fondly. As the place where I met some of my best friends, learned about myself and learned the skills I would need to survive at my job and in the world. I love Mizzou.  But for Sasha the experience was different. Though her journals and testimony from close friends seem to suggest that Sasha loved our school, something happened to her during her time there that perhaps changed the rest of her life.

Sasha, a Toronto native, was raped while she was a student at Mizzou. And presumably the aftermath of the rape and other subsequent events led her to take her own life 16 months later. She was 20 years old. It was tragic. And what made a terrible situation that much worse is that though several university officials knew about the rape, evidence suggests that the University, my university, didn’t report or investigate.  I read the story and naturally was immediately saddened that this had happened first to Sasha and then secondly that nothing had been done to address it. This was a terrible story that had largely been underreported and it pained me…for about 20 minutes. And then like Mizzou, I forgot about her.

Two weeks later, the story of Micheal Sam, the gay NFL prospect came out and Mizzou was being celebrated in the media for “producing” a star athlete and also providing an environment where a black, gay man felt comfortable to come and live “out.” I knew our campus was pretty progressive when it came to LGBTQ issues, especially since Missouri can be quite conservative and has a long history of being flat out racist. But that’s a story for another day. The notoriety and praise that the university was receiving because of Sam’s announcement felt a little one sided. And I couldn’t really put my finger on why. And then I remembered Sasha. ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” conducted a six month investigation into Sasha’s story, interviewing school officials, medical professionals and consulting Sasha’s own journals to obtain the information you’ll read in this story.

And in an effort to tell her story, to hold my beloved university accountable and maybe inspire someone in her situation to step forward, I’m passing it on to you.

Sasha Menu Courey was a sprinter and relay specialist on the university’s swim team from 2009-2011. A Toronto native, she had been recruited by Mizzou and several other schools to compete. She was given a near-full scholarship. Before Sasha had come to Mizzou, at the age of 16 she had attempted suicide after a breakup with a high school boyfriend. She took several Tylenol before calling the ambulance. The incident was written off as teenage angst and she stopped counseling shortly afterward.  Once she got to Mizzou, she was a straight A student and was named Student Athlete of the Week during her sophomore year.

Then in February of 2010, after a night of drinking Menu Courey went back to Gil Moye, a male friend’s apartment where the two had consensual sex. Afterward Menu Courey believed she was raped by another man. She described the incident to a rape counselor. Here is her word for word account of the incident obtained from her school records.

“[We] were falling asleep & then i heard the [door] open & some other guy walked in & locked the door & i couldnt really see who it was & i never saw a face the whole time…. but i remember just sitting upright in bed at the sound of someone walking in. & i just remember feeling really scared thinking that the two guys had planned this or something. so my first thought was figure out who this other person was in case so that if i needed the informaton i would have it later… the guy told me his name & then he pulled down his pants & put on a condom & just knew i was screwed …”

Menu Courey went on to describe the assault in detail, mentioning that she tried to reach a friend and former boyfriend on the phone during the assault:

“… I started to panick & as i still on the phone trying to reach one of them tears start going down & the guy just lift up my dress & next thing i knew he inserts from behind. by that point tears were falling more but i wasnt loud & didnt anything. and then i just snapped and kind pushed him away & yelled no! and then he just left.