WXXI AM News

sexual assault

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that extends the statute of limitations for cases of rape and other sexual assaults.

The new law extends the statute of limitations for the following crimes:

When it comes to sex, "affirmative consent" is the standard taught on college campuses and in countless articles written for both the classroom and public consumption. But critics have recently intensified their claims that it's not working. The Washington Post's Megan McArdle writes that affirmative consent ignores human beings' basic ability to read cues from a sexual partner, and it creates an impossible standard to meet, particularly for someone who might be accused of crossing legal lines.

Our guests discuss our expectations for sex, safety, and affirmative consent. In studio:

  • Allison O'Malley, chief executive officer of RESOLVE
  • Lauren Berger, education and outreach specialist at RESTORE

What is the definition of rape? The question after a handful of cases where judges showed bias toward young, privileged men accused of raping young women. In one case, the judge decided that a 16-year-old boy accused of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party would not be tried as an adult because he came from a good family; the judge said that traditional rape is defined, in part, as two or more males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, manhandling a person into a secluded area. The ruling caused backlash and the eventual resignation of the judge.

What are the dangers of powerful people in the criminal justice system misunderstanding rape and sexual assault, and victims' trauma? Our guests discuss that question, and we hear the story of a local woman who has been personally affected by that concern. In studio:

We discuss the documentary, “Roll Red Roll.” The film explores rape culture, toxic masculinity, and online bullying following the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio in 2012. Two star members of the local high school football team were found guilty of the crime. Their convictions came after many critics blamed their school for trying to protect the popular team and its members.

This hour, we discuss the forces that lead to teenage sexual assault, victim blaming, and how to help survivors. We also talk about if and how the Steubenville case would have been handled differently in the era of #MeToo. This conversation is a preview of an upcoming screening of the film and a panel discussion at MCC. In studio:

  • Allison O’Malley, CEO of RESOLVE
  • Christine Plumeri, professor of sociology at MCC, and program coordinator for MCC’s Mentors in Violence Prevention Program
  • Lauren Berger, training coordinator at RESTORE
  • Jack Brennick, co-founder of RESOLVE’s Stand Up Guys program

The sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have led to renewed conversations about the #MeToo movement. President Trump recently tweeted his belief that any person who is sexually assaulted will immediately report it to authorities. That led to the hashtag #WhyIDidntReport, with women across the country sharing why they chose not to talk to authorities when they were sexually assaulted or raped.

This hour, we hear from local survivors who are sharing their stories. In studio:

  • Ilhan Ali, intersectional feminist, standup comedian, and proud immigrant
  • Rachel Pazda, medical secretary and Navy veteran
  • Meaghan de Chateauvieux, CEO for Willow Domestic Violence Center

In her book, “I Married a Sociopath,” writer and epidemiologist Sabrina Brown details decades of physical, verbal, and financial abuse by her ex-husband. Brown began blogging about being a domestic violence survivor in 2012 as a way to spark conversations about intimate partner violence, which often isn’t reported or acknowledged.

Brown is in Rochester as the keynote speaker for RESTORE Sexual Assault Service’s first-ever regional conference, but first, she joins us on Connections to share her story and to discuss how to help victims of domestic violence. Our guests:

  • Sabrina Brown, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Kentucky, and author of “I Married a Sociopath”
  • Lauren Berger, outreach and education specialist for RESTORE

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned just hours after the New Yorker published a piece containing allegations of physical and sexual abuse. It's a #MeToo case that further shakes the public trust in elected leaders. After all, Schneiderman has consistently praised women for coming forward, and vowed to be an ally in the movement.

Our guests discuss it:

The Black Cinema Series at The Little Theatre continues this month with the documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor. Oprah recently mentioned Taylor’s name during her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, saying Taylor never got justice after she was raped by six white men. Taylor’s case – and others like hers – helped spark the civil rights movement.

We discuss Taylor’s legacy, race relations in 2018, and issues surrounding sexual assault. In studio:

  • Kevin Hicks, journalist and vice president for print for the RABJ
  • Allison O'Malley, chief executive officer of RESOLVE
  • Moiet James, development administrative assistant for WXXI, co-coordinator for the Black Cinema Series, and member of the RABJ
  • Ericka Wilson, producer for WHEC-TV, co-coordinator for the Black Cinema Series, and member of the RABJ

Why are women occasionally abused on movie sets, ostensibly for the sake of genuine art? The question was raised this past weekend, when Uma Thurman told the New York Times about abuses she has suffered. She says director Quentin Tarantino spit in her face and choked her with a chain on the set of Kill Bill.

Maria Schneider famously felt "a little raped" during filming for Last Tango in Paris when she was not warned about a scene in which her character was assaulted. Director Bernardo Bertolucci later said he "wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress."

But men rarely suffer such abuses. We discuss the double standard, and we discuss what lines should never be crossed for the sake of art. Our guests:

Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari is dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. Those allegations have set off a debate about consent and communication during sexual interaction. Many women have said that the Ansari story offers an instructive parallel to their own experiences with men.

Our panel debates the lessons. Our guests:

  • Nicole Trabold, Ph.D., LMSW, National Research Service Award Fellow at the University of Rochester School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry
  • Allison O’Malley, chief executive officer of RESOLVE
  • Jenna Weintraub, sexuality educator
  • Lauren Berger, education and outreach specialist at RESTORE

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