El falso Síndrome de Alienación Parental “está dejando a niños y niñas sin madre”

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Madrid, 14 noviembre 2011. Desde el Movimiento Grito en Silencio y Custodia en Positivo, denuncian que la custodia compartida impuesta, sin acuerdo de la madre y el padre, perjudica gravemente el desarrollo emocional de los y las menores. Por otro lado, manifiestan que la aplicación del inexistente del Síndrome de Alienación Parental, “está dejando a niños y niñas sin madre para ponerlos en manos de maltratadores y pederastas”.

“Inseguridad, ansiedad, sensación de abandono, depresión, entre otros, son los síntomas, que padecen los niños y niñas debido a la imposición de la custodia compartida por vía judicial. Todos los informes que han tenido como sujetos de estudio a niños y niñas que padecen o han padecido esta medida, llegan a estos mismos síntomas”, destacan.

Por este motivo reseñan que muchas madres están perdiendo a sus hijos e hijas, “a favor del padre maltratador, abusador y negligente. Inclusive hay niños y niñas recluidos en Centros de Menores, por rechazar estar en compañía del padre”, precisan.

En este sentido, ponen de manifiesto que en el año 2002, se aprobó en Francia una Ley relativa a la relaciones familiares tras la separación o divorcio en la que, entre otras cosas, se implantaba la custodia compartida como norma general y sin ningún tipo de criterio o restricción a respetar de cara a su imposición por vía judicial, es decir, sin ninguna red de seguridad que velase por el bienestar emocional de la o él menor ante una medida tan complicada de sobrellevar en la práctica.

Las consecuencias negativas de esta ley en los y las menores, no se hicieron esperar, lo que provocó el levantamiento del colectivo de psiquiatras y psicólogos, “puesto que de pronto veían sus consultas llenas de niños y niñas afectadas negativamente por la aplicación arbitraria de esta medida”. Con el objetivo de aportar datos concretos, realizaron un estudio clínico analizando las consecuencias en, concretamente, 150 niños y niñas afectadas.

Este estudio clínico desarrollado el año 2004, motivó la introducción en la ley francesa de una serie de criterios restrictivos orientados a salvaguardar el correcto desarrollo emocional de los y las menores, tales como: “la obligatoriedad de respetar el principio de progresividad en función de la edad del menor, supervisión periódica de su correcto desarrollo en la práctica, inviabilidad en aquellos casos en que existan antecedentes probados de violencia de género o la puesta en marcha de un mecanismo que permita en todo momento escuchar la voluntad de los y las menores”.

CEDAW
Por otro lado, también ponen como ejemplo a las Asociaciones de mujeres italianas reunidas en la Plataforma “Lavori in Corsa” quienes presentaron en la sesión plenaria de Naciones Unidas en julio de 2011 un Informe Sombra contra el gobierno italiano ante la Comisión del CEDAW, donde introdujeron en la parte de la violencia contra las mujeres (en el marco de la familia y el litigio en las separaciones de pareja), el tema del supuesto “sap”.

La Comisión se mostró muy preocupada por este tema y, en una recomendación al gobierno italiano, le indicó de modo explícito que controlara y tomara medidas para que en los juzgados no se utilicen teorías acientíficas y para que revise las políticas de Custodia Compartida impuesta en casos de divorcio contencioso y su carácter perjudicial para los y las niñas y sus madres.

También el informe de la CEDAW (ONU) al Gobierno italiano le advierte y le recomienda que “este Comité se ha percatado de que el Act No. 54/2006 introdujo la custodia (física) alterna como medida preferente en los casos de separación o divorcio. No obstante, este Comité está preocupado por la falta de estudios acerca de los efectos sobre de este cambio legal, especialmente en el marco de la investigación comparativa que señale los efectos negativos en los niños (especialmente niños pequeños) de la custodia compartida impuesta.

Más allá aún, la CEDAW está muy preocupada por los informes de sospecha basados en quejas por abusos a niños y niñas en casos de custodia, fundamentados en la dudosa teoría del “síndrome de alineación parental”.

En este punto, el documento dice que “este comité hace un llamamiento al partido gobernante para que evalúe este cambio legal en el área de la custodia de niños basándose en estudios científicos, con el fin de establecer debidamente sus efectos a largo plazo en mujeres y niños, teniendo en cuenta la experiencia acumulada en otros países en esta materia”.

Felons finding it easy to regain gun rights

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From a story in the New York Times:

Under federal law, people with felony convictions forfeit their right to bear arms. Yet every year, thousands of felons across the country have those rights reinstated, often with little or no review. In several states, they include people convicted of violent crimes, including first-degree murder and manslaughter, an examination by The New York Times has found.

Since 1995, more than 3,300 felons and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors have regained their gun rights in the (Washington State) — 430 in 2010 alone — according to the analysis of data provided by the state police and the court system. Of that number, more than 400 — about 13 percent — have subsequently committed new crimes, the analysis found. More than 200 committed felonies, including murder, assault in the first and second degree, child rape and drive-by shooting.

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IACHR hearing on Violence Against Native Women

International Commission Holds Historic Hearing on Violence Against Native Women in the U.S.– U.S. Officials and Native Advocates Agree Violence Must End

WASHINGTON, D.C.— During an historic hearing dedicated to their missing and murdered Native sisters throughout the Americas, Native women and tribal advocates resorted to an international human rights body to raise global awareness on the epidemic of violence against Native women in the United States. Representatives of the United States appearing at the hearing admitted that the level of violence against Native women is “an assault on the national conscience.”

“The right to be safe and live free from violence is a fundamental human right that many take for granted—but not Native women in the United States,” said Jana Walker, Director of the Safe Women, Strong Nations project at the Indian Law Resource Center. “Through this unprecedented hearing—the first of its kind—the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has made it clear that others in the world are now focusing on this crisis too.”

The October 25, 2011, thematic hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,an autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (OAS) created by countries to protect human rights in the Americas, was the first ever to focus specifically on violence against Native women in the United States. The Commission, located in Washington, D.C., took testimony during an hour-long hearing from representatives of the Indian Law Resource Center, National Congress of American Indians Task Force on Violence Against Women, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Clan Star, Inc., and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc.

A Human Rights Crisis
The epidemic of violence against Native women in the United States is a human rights crisis that Indian country has been aware of for far too long. “It was imperative for this panel to make clear to the Commission how systemic legal barriers in U.S. law and chronic lack of enforcement is allowing rapists and batterers to commit crimes against Native women without fear of punishment whatsoever,” noted Juana Majel Dixon, First Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians and Co-Chair of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women.

According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, 1 out of 3 Native women will be raped in her lifetime and 3 out of 5 will be physically assaulted, while their offenders escape prosecution under the color of discriminatory United States law. In this human rights crisis, Native women are murdered at rates 10 times the national average, and subjected to domestic violence and assault at staggering rates — rates 2½ times higher than any other group in the United States.

These distressing statistics are linked to systemic barriers imposed by United States law—barriers that prevent Indian nations from effectively safeguarding their citizens and adequately responding to crimes. Unlike local communities or state governments, Indian nations and Alaska Native villages are legally prohibited from prosecuting non-Indians. Furthermore, federal law has greatly restricted the sentencing authority of tribal courts for offenders committing acts of sexual and domestic violence that occur within tribal lands and communities. In effect, United States law condones violence in Indian country and Alaska Native villages, where 88% of the violent crimes against Native women are committed by non-Indian perpetrators. Very few of these Native women have access to meaningful justice and ever see their assailants prosecuted. According to a recent United States Government Accountability Office study, U.S. attorneys failed to prosecute 52% of all violent criminal cases, including 67% of sexual abuse cases and 46% of assault cases occurring on Indian lands.

“In most non-Indian communities in the United States, county or city governments have, by and large, unquestionable authority to investigate and prosecute both misdemeanor and felony crimes committed against women,” testifiedDorma Sahneyah, Vice Chairperson for the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center and Executive Director of the Hopi Tewa Women’s Coalition to End Abuse. “United Stateslaw has left Tribal governments with inadequate legal authority to protect its citizens, allowing perpetrators to prey on Native women with impunity.”

Lisa Brunner, Executive Director of the Sacred Spirits First Nation Coalition, described the devastating impacts of Public Law 280 on the safety of Native women and tribal justice systems. “Many young Native girls and their mothers are forced to plan for a rape and how they will respond,” testified Brunner. She described one pre-rape decision by a 14-year-old girl and her mother to not report the event when it happens for fear that nothing would be done and it would cause problems for their family. “When the issue within Native communities becomes a matter of preparing your daughter to be raped, the United States has failed in its federal trust responsibilities to our tribes.”

Recommendations to Improve Safety for Native Women in the U.S.
The Native women and tribal advocates concluded by urging the Commission to issue strong recommendations to the United States with respect to its obligations to Native women under international human rights law. Terri Henry, Co-Chair of the National Congress of American Indians Task Force on Violence Against Native Women and a Tribal Council Representative for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, detailed the following recommendations targeted at the United States:

■enact legislation that contains the Department of Justice’s legislative proposal to restore criminal authority of Indian Nations to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators on dating and domestic violence;
■fully fund and implement the Tribal Law and Order Act, particularly as to bolstering capacity to exercise enhanced sentencing authority, ensuring federal prosecutors share information on declamations of Indian country cases, and providing training and cooperation among the tribal state and federal agencies;
■launch a national initiative and consultation within Indian nations to examine and implement reforms to increase the safety of Native women living within tribal lands under concurrent tribal, state, and jurisdictional authority of Public Law 280;
■increase federal technical and financial support to Indian nations to enhance their responses to violence against Native women;
■create a grant program to provide sufficient federal support to non-profit government Native women’s organizations to provide effective services including shelters, transitional housing, and rape crisis centers;
■incorporate tribal specific provisions in sex trafficking legislation, ensure Native women are prioritized in research on sex trafficking, and provide adequate resources and training for justice officials on how to respond to sex trafficking of Native women;
■develop a national protocol and reporting system for handling and monitoring cases of murdered and missing Native women; and
■create a forum for dialogue collaborating and cooperating among tribal, federal, and state courts on the issue of violence against Native women.

Henry also urged the Commission to conduct site visits to Indian nations throughout the United States to further investigate these ongoing human rights violations against Native women and its implications for U.S. international human rights obligations. Additionally, Henry asked the Commission to issue a special report or country report on how the United States, in consultation and collaboration with tribes, could better protect the human rights of Native women. The panel of advocates also urged the Commission to include information related to this hearing in its press release on the 143rd Ordinary Period of Sessions and in its Annual Report to the Organization of American States General Assembly.

Representatives of the United States appearing at the hearing acknowledged that much more needs to be done to protect Native women. Virginia Davis, U.S. Department of Justice, explained that, for many reasons, the current legal structure for prosecuting crimes of violence against women in Indian country is just not working. The Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior are recommending legislation and refinement to existing laws to better protect Native women, and both Departments support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and proposed amendments. Jodi Gillette, U.S. Department of the Interior, echoed Ms. Davis’ comments, adding that the goal is to move towards a system that will eliminate the devastating problem of violence against Native women.

Taking Action—Next Steps
The Violence Against Women Act is up for reauthorization in the U.S. Congress and, since the thematic hearing, on October 31, 2011, Chairman Daniel Akaka of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs introduced S.1793, the Stand Against Violence and Empower Native Women (SAVE Native Women) Act. Given the epidemic of violence against Native women, it is crucial that the United States do something quickly to restore safety and justice for Native women and to strengthen Native nations and communities.


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Team uses individual intervention plan for the highest-risk cases

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When Dorothy Cotter of Amesbury was killed by her husband in 2002, Suzanne Dubus took it personally.

Cotter had been a client of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Newburyport, where Dubus was executive director. With the center’s help, Cotter, 35, had done everything right to protect herself: She got her husband out of the house with a restraining order and, along with her two daughters, trained in self-protection. But William Cotter pushed his way into the house, shot her in the back, and then killed himself.

Dubus and the staff were devastated. “We knew she was in such great danger and nothing we could do could change it,’’ Dubus said. “I either needed to make a decision to leave, or figure out how to keep it from happening again.’’

Dubus chose the latter, and her success has resonated across the country. Tomorrow she will be among 15 “Champions of Change’’ honored at the White House.

In 2005, Dubus – herself once a victim of domestic violence – and her staff launched the Greater Newburyport High Risk Response team. It brings together representatives from the crisis center, law enforcement, probation, hospitals, and batterers’ intervention groups to screen the most dangerous cases.

Before the team was formed, Amesbury, where Cotter was killed, had eight domestic-violence deaths in a 10-year period. Since then, there have been no such homicides. The response team serves nine communities on the North Shore and meets monthly.

The team gets two or three new cases a month and continually monitors about 30 others. “I think if we could do this in every community in the country, it would be a different place for women,’’ said Dubus, 53, who is now the chief executive of the crisis center.

The success has spawned similar programs in far-flung places. Her staff has trained high-risk response teams in 14 other communities in Massachusetts, as well as others around the country, and more than 3,000 criminal justice professionals and advocates.

“It isn’t rocket science,’’ she said. “It’s about relationships and communication.’’

Still, in the field of domestic violence, there has long been a history of poor relationships and limited communication among organizations and individuals trying to protect women. “When Dorothy was murdered we all pointed fingers at each other,’’ Dubus said.

Kelly Dunne, then assistant director at the crisis center, discovered some pertinent research at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, a national specialist on domestic violence, had documented 20 lethal risk factors in domestic violence cases. The top five: the partner has tried to strangle the woman; has threatened to kill her; has extreme, possessive jealousy; has access to weapons; and has forced sex upon her.

With this research in mind, the response team then formed an individual intervention plan for the highest-risk cases.

The team also used a list of protective factors against homicides that includes GPS ankle monitoring of offenders, pretrial detention, wellness and safety checks of victims by police, victims’ reliance on domestic violence organizations, and rapid information exchange and response in such cases.

In Dorothy Cotter’s case, her husband had attempted to strangle her with a phone wire and threatened to kill her if she ever left.

Although various agencies had been involved, including courts, police, and advocates, they were not working together.

“We were all doing our job well, but not together,’’ Dubus said. “We were creating gaps for offenders to drop through.’’

After studying Campbell’s research, Dunne, now the center’s chief operating officer, pitched the idea of the team to the various agencies. On April 1, 2005, the team began taking on cases.

“I believe to the bottom of my toes that we have saved lives,’’ said Dubus, who is taking Dunne with her to the White House because “without her, this model would not have been created.’’ After the award ceremony, Dubus will participate in a panel discussion with the other honorees.

Before she was an advocate for battered women, Dubus was in an abusive relationship. She has hearing loss in one ear because her former husband broke her eardrum. Though they dated for two years before marriage, Dubus says she overlooked some warning signs. “I was young and inexperienced,’’ she said.

On their honeymoon in St. Martin, he hit her for the first time.

“All of a sudden, his hands were around my throat and he began to bash my head against the wall, over and over and over. I kept screaming and he kept squeezing tighter until I dropped,’’ she recalled.

Afterward, he was apologetic. But it happened twice more, and the following Christmas, when her family gathered at their grandparents’ house, Dubus told her two brothers about it.

“They confronted him and told him if he ever touched me again he would have to deal with them,’’ said Dubus, whose younger brother is the writer Andre Dubus III. His recent memoir, “Townie,’’ chronicles the violence and crime he experienced growing up in the Merrimack Valley after his father, a writer, left the family.

After Suzanne Dubus was gang-raped in Boston at age 18, her brother’s anger flared and he became obsessed with handguns and revenge. So when her brothers confronted her abusive husband that Christmas, she says, her husband stopped the physical violence – but the emotional abuse got worse.

It took her five years to leave the marriage.

Dubus shares the stories with other women so they know she understands.

“I’m really grateful that I had that knowledge, that experience,’’ she said. “It brought me to where I am.’’

Casa de Esperanza Named National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

October 2011 – The Federal Administration on Children, Youth, and Families – Family and Youth Services Bureau a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, announced that Casa de Esperanza will receive the Family Violence Prevention and Services Discretionary Grant that designates the organization a National Culturally Specific Special Issue Resource Center whose focus will be Latin@ communities.

As a resource center, Casa de Esperanza will become a member of a nationwide network that provides training and technical assistance which supports family violence, domestic violence, and dating violence intervention and prevention efforts across the country. This is the first time that Casa de Esperanza has received the grant, and it provides an opportunity to promote and foster safe and healthy Latin@ families and communities across the country.

“Casa de Esperanza has been working with Latina survivors of domestic violence for nearly 30 years, and our work has included connecting and mobilizing Latinas, Latin@ communities, and allies since 1999. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring to the fore the lived realities of Latin@ communities while collaborating with other national leaders in the field,” commented Amy Sánchez, Chief Executive for External Relations of Casa de Esperanza.

The work falls under a division of Casa de Esperanza called the National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities, and is led by three nationally-recognized Latin@s, each with over 20 years experience in the field: Rosie Hidalgo, JD, Julia Perilla, PhD, and Juan Carlos Areán. The National Latin@ Network addresses four primary issues: (1) increasing access for Latinas experiencing domestic violence; (2) producing culturally relevant tools for advocates and practitioners; (3) conducting culturally relevant research that explores the context in which Latin@ families experience violence; and (4) interjecting the lived realities of Latin@s into policy efforts to better support Latin@ families.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are 50.5 million Latinos living in the United States, comprising 16.3% of the total population. Research indicates that less than 3 in 10 Latinas has heard of a domestic violence protection order and most do not know about local domestic violence agencies.1 Moreover, still too often today, Latinas across the nation are denied access to supportive services. Those that do receive support often meet with programs’ lack of understanding of cultural issues and
realities.

As the National Latino Resource Center, Casa de Esperanza is well positioned to share its wealth of knowledge and experience with Latin@ organizations; local, state, and national domestic violence coalitions; government entities; programs in rural, urban, suburban areas, native communities and in the territories; as well as with policy makers and academia. The organization will maintain its community engagement and direct service initiatives located in the Twin Cities, which include a shelter, 24-hour Spanish/English bilingual crisis line, and two community-based Resource and Information Centers among other prevention and intervention activities.

Domestic Violence Cases In Topeka To Be Prosecuted Once Again

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A monthlong dispute in Topeka, Kansas over who is financially responsible for handling domestic violence cases, which resulted in 18 suspects being released from jail, was resolved Wednesday when the local district attorney’s office announced that it would resume prosecuting the cases.

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced on September 8 that since his budget had been cut by 10 percent, his office no longer had the means to prosecute any misdemeanors, including domestic violence cases. He began shuffling those cases over to the city of Topeka, which also claimed that it couldn’t afford to handle the cases. The City Council responded by voting to repeal the local law that makes domestic violence a crime.

Following significant pressure from local domestic violence workers and the media, the Shawnee County District Attorney reluctantly announced that he has decided to resume prosecuting the cases as a result of the city’s “unfortunate” decision to decriminalize the offense.

“My office now retains sole authority to prosecute domestic battery misdemeanors and will take on this responsibility so as to better protect and serve our community,” Taylor said in a statement. “We will do so with less staff, less resources, and severe constraints on our ability to effectively seek justice.”

Eighteen domestic violence suspects were released from a Topeka prison as a result of the month-long game of chicken that played out between city officials and Taylor’s office. Suspects who were arrested and brought into jail for battery were released without being charged. The Topeka police department confirmed that one suspect was brought into jail for domestic abuse, released without consequence, and then immediately picked up again for committing the same crime.

“We have an entire county and city who could care less about domestic violence and are more interested in blame or games,” Kari Ann Rinker, the state coordinator for Kansas NOW, told HuffPost. “Now we have dangerous multiple offenders that are failing to receive any adequate punishment or repercussion for their actions, and in fact, being picked up for the crime is angering them more, so they’re showing up at the doorstep of people they have harmed to do it again.”

Advocates against domestic violence said the spat was less about budget concerns and more about misplaced priorities. There is currently an item in the Shawnee County budget, for example, that doles out $200,000 for golf course irrigation, which is close to the entire amount that the district attorney is requesting to be able to continue to prosecute misdemeanors.

“Any time budgets get cut, you have to look around and say, what are our priorities here?” said Joyce Grover, executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. “The fact that someone decided that domestic violence prosecution is not a priority is really concerning.”

Women bloggers call for stop to threats of rape

Women bloggers call for a stop to ‘hateful’ trolling by misogynist men

Anonymous trolls regularly threaten female writers with rape

Source – Vanessa Thorpe and Richard Rogers The Observer, Saturday 5 November 2011

Crude insults, aggressive threats and unstinting ridicule: it’s business as usual in the world of website news commentary – at least for the women who regularly contribute to the national debate.

The frequency of the violent online invective – or “trolling” – levelled at female commentators and columnists is now causing some of the best known names in journalism to hesitate before publishing their opinions. As a result, women writers across the political spectrum are joining to call for a stop to the largely anonymous name-calling.

The columnist Laurie Penny, who writes for the Guardian, New Statesman and Independent, has decided to reveal the amount of abuse she receives in an effort to persuade online discussion forums to police threatening comments more effectively.

“I believe the time for silence is over,” Penny wrote on Friday, detailing a series of anonymous attacks on her appearance, her past and her family. The writer sees this new epidemic of misogynist abuse as tapping an old vein in British public life. Irrelevant personal attacks on women writers and thinkers go back at least to the late 18th century, she says. “The implication that a woman must be sexually appealing to be taken seriously as a thinker did not start with the internet: it’s a charge that has been used to shame and dismiss women’s ideas since long before Mary Wollstonecraft was called “a hyena in petticoats”. The net, however, makes it easier for boys in lonely bedrooms to become bullies.”

The cause has been taken up by New Statesman writer Helen Lewis-Hasteley, who invited other women to share their experience. “I wanted to have several writers addressing the issue at the same time because these threats are frightening but they are also embarrassing,” she told the Observer. “I know many people will say that every commentator on the internet gets abuse, but what really came through to me when I was looking at this was the modus operandi of the attackers, which was to use the rape threat.”

Caroline Farrow, a blogger for Catholic Voices, points out she has nothing in common with writers such as Laurie Penny except her gender, but is subject to the same violent abuse. The wife of a vicar and “quite orthodox”, Farrow decided to write under her own name and photograph to take responsibility for her views. “But the downside is that for some men this seems to make you a legitimate sexual target. I get at least five sexually threatening emails a day.” One of the least obscene recent messages read: “You’re gonna scream when you get yours. Fucking slag. Butter wouldn’t fucking melt, and you’ll cry rape when you get what you’ve asked for. Bitch.”

Linda Grant, who wrote a regular column for the Guardian in the late 1990s, has stopped writing online because of the unpleasant reaction. “I have given it up as a dead loss. In the past, the worst letters were filtered out before they reached me and crucially they were not anonymous,” said Grant.

“What struck me forcibly about the new online world were the violence of three kinds of attitude: islamophobia, antisemitism, and misogyny. And it was the misogyny that surprised me the most. British national newspapers have done little, if anything, to protect their women writers from violent hate-speech.”

The author and feminist writer Natasha Walter has also been deterred. “It’s one of the reasons why I’m less happy to do as much journalism as I used to, because I do feel really uncomfortable with the tone of the debate,” she said. “Under the cloak of anonymity people feel they can express anything, but I didn’t realise there were so many people reading my journalism who felt so strongly and personally antagonistic towards feminism and female writers.”

Lanre Bakare, who monitors the comments on the Guardian’s Comment is Free website, said he was constantly looking out for attacks on female commentators on any subject. “It can be on European finance and there will still be some snide anti-woman remarks, but there are certain subjects, like abortion or domestic violence, which bring out trolls and then it becomes really unpleasant. Of course, if anyone is found making threats of sexual violence they are banned from the site instantly.”

Lewis-Hasteley has also been surprised by some of the reaction to the growing campaign to protect women writers from this verbal abuse. “Someone asked me if I didn’t realise that I wasn’t really going to be raped. But the threat of sexual violence is an attack in itself, and some commentators have their Facebook pages searched, and their home addresses tracked. It’s a real feeling of being hunted by these people.”

Susie Orbach, a psychotherapist, psychoanalyst and writer, said: “The threat of sexual violence is a violence itself, it’s a complete violation and it’s meant to shut the people up. It’s hateful and it raises the question, what do these men, or the people who are doing this, find so threatening? Is it that they feel attacked in their own masculinity and therefore sexuality in this violent form becomes the way that they establish a means to cover up their fragility by bringing their own vulnerability onto these women?

“If you set women up as sexual objects which society has, no matter what we are doing, that makes women into objects rather than human beings and what you create is a situation in which women who then stand up and make arguments about things, terrify these men who have no access to real women and so they beat them up in the terms in which they’ve been offered by society, which has nothing to do with the content of what they are saying. Women are supposed to be sexual objects, we’re still not supposed to be thinking, feeling, complex human beings. It is due to the continual representation of women as just beauties, the attempt to reduce women to a surface on which we project sexuality. So we’re not real people.

“The deeper question is the disenfranchisement of men who find themselves in such depraved circumstances that all they can do is expel the fury that’s inside of them on to women. The reaction these men are having shows they are very, very threatened by something and that threat is to their masculinity.

“With sexual violence, what the victim is receiving is the self-hatred of the individual who is expressing that pain and upset that is inside of them in a very explosive manner. Rape is different to the threat of rape but nevertheless it’s a very, very serious and threatening experience.”

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