It’s been a big month for domestic violence and sexual assault coverage—starting with that unhinged George F. Will piece in The Washington Post. We’re here to catch you up on some essential reading that will inform, enlighten (and in the case of Will’s piece, probably enrage).
Here’s how it went:
The Washington Post published two columns this month that addressed SA in a—how do we put this politely?—peculiar way. Actually, scratch that: They were out of touch and rightly caused a cascade of backlash.
1. In light of the Obama administration’s Title IX efforts, columnist George F. Will argued that sexual assault victimhood is now a “coveted status” among women on college campuses.
2. For a cogent response to his ridiculous piece, read Salon’s takedown by Katie McDonough. Or just visit Project Unbreakable. (For what it’s worth, Will stood by his opinions.)
3. Not long after, the Post published a piece suggesting that a good way for women to protect themselves against domestic violence is to get married.
4. Luckily, the Atlantic, The New York Times, and others promptly questioned the authors’ use of statistics and called this ridiculous. The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence also has a powerful response.
5. In Virginia, James Madison University punished three frat brothers for sexually assaulting a woman by expelling them—after graduation. Students started a petition protesting the bizarre punishment, and who better than Jon Stewart to mock them?
6. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat offered a more sympathetic but short-sighted take on campus rape, suggesting that the “beer and circus” culture on college campuses is to blame, especially for wealthy students.
7. Soccer star Hope Solo apologized to fans following a domestic violence incident at her home.
8. Meanwhile, even Disney is being leveraged to join the fight to increase domestic abuse awareness. The “Princest Diaries” poster series shows iconic Disney princesses forced to kiss their fathers.
9. This week’s Sunday New York Times editorial addressing the massive backlog of inspected rape kits is worth a read, if only for this alarming statistic: The number of kits awaiting analysis and entry of DNA profiles—crucial to identify perpetrators—is well over 100,000.
10. And finally, on a progressive note, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, restricting those under temporary restraining order from purchasing or possessing a firearm and extending the protections granted domestic violence victims to victims abused by dating partners.