2 Charged in Papua New Guinea "Witch" Killing

Trigger/Content Warning: Torture, Misogyny, and a Disturbing Image

Papua New Guinea police have charged two people with the grisly killing of a woman who was tortured and burned alive in front of hundreds of people, including young children, after being accused of witchcraft.

Janet Ware and Andrew Watea were charged with murder over the slaying of Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old mother who was stripped, tortured with a hot iron rod, doused in gasoline and set alight on a pile of car tires and trash by a mob earlier this month.

Many less-advanced cultures still blame women for mysterious deaths or illnesses, and Leniata was accused of causing the death of a young boy through sorcery.

Via Jezebel.

Dartmouth Greek Leadership Council Votes to Reform Sexual Assault Policy

The new policy removes investigation of sexual assault reports from the purview of the individual fraternities and sororities, hopefully eliminating potential conflicts of interest, such as when a fraternity president has a personal relationship with an accused person. The policy also mandates two training sessions about sexual assault prevention for all members of Greek organizations and codifies disciplinary measures for members and organizations sanctioned by the Committee on Standards.

Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority president Hannah Decker ’13, who was present at the vote, said the policy indicates that being part of the Greek community is a privilege and that membership requires certain standards, but will not fully address the issue of sexual assault on campus.

“The policy only addresses people who have been adjudicated through the COS process, and sexual assault is under-reported on campus, and so the policy doesn’t address sexual assault that is unreported,” Decker said.

[Panhellenic Council President Sarah] Wildes said the policy does not address under-reported cases, but hopes that it will encourage students to report incidents to COS for adjudication by the College and GLC-mandated sanctions. Additionally, she hopes the policy will decrease current levels of sexual assault by holding students accountable.

Sounds like they’re headed in the right direction.

Via Jezebel.

"I Refuse to Be Terrified Into Submission"

An Irish Catholic priest is planning to defy the Vatican by continuing to proclaim his support for allowing female priests:

The Rev. Tony Flannery, 66, who was suspended by the Vatican last year, said he was told by the Vatican that he would be allowed to return to ministry only if he agreed to write, sign and publish a statement agreeing, among other things, that women should never be ordained as priests.

He’ll probably lose his priesthood and be excommunicated, so this is a pretty bold move.

Via Jezebel.

Assistant Dean of Students Pressured to Under-Report Sexual Assaults

Andy Thomason and Caitlin McCabe at the University of North Carolina’s Daily Tar Heel report on a complaint lodged by Melinda Manning, former Assistant Dean of Students at the University, alleging that the University Counsel’s office told her the number of sexual assault cases in her report for 2010 was “too high” then lowered the total by three cases without her knowledge before submitting it to the Department of Education.

Manning also claims that she was passed over for promotion by the university’s Vice Chancellor Winston Crisp because of her gender:

In 2010, when Crisp was promoted from dean of students to vice chancellor for student affairs, Manning met with Crisp to ask him about applying for the vacant dean of students position.

“Vice Chancellor Crisp told her that he would ‘never hire her because she had a young child at home’ and what that could mean,” according to the complaint, which cites the action as a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender.

According to Manning, the man eventually hired for the position, Jonathan Sauls, behaved in an aggressive and retaliatory manner to her throughout the remainder of her time at the university.

On separate occasions, Sauls reprimanded Manning for reaching out to Chancellor Holden Thorp and the Office for Civil Rights regarding UNC’s handling of sexual assault, the complaint states.

“She was told by Dean Sauls that she should ‘never contact the Office for Civil Rights again,’” the complaint says.

The complaint also states Sauls told Manning she would suffer consequences for writing to Thorp. Though at the time Sauls did not specify what the consequences would be, the complaint says he later rated her as “needs improvement” in her annual review and told her that others had suggested he fire her.

How many colleges and universities that receive federal funds will have to under-report sexual assaults and abuse or intimidate the survivors of those assaults before the Department of Education threatens to pull their funding if they don’t shape up?

Via Jezebel.

"Women of the Gridiron"

The Lingerie Football League is exchanging the lingerie for regular athletic gear and rebranding to remove all the sexiness, including the name. Mitchell S. Mortaza, Founder and Chairman of the newly-retitled Legends Football League, explains:

This is the next step in the maturation of our now global sport. While the Lingerie Football League name has drawn great media attention allowing us to showcase the sport to millions, we have now reached a crossroad of gaining credibilty as a sport or continuing to be viewed as a gimmick.

This seems like a good thing, since it indicates that people may actually want to watch women play football, even if they’re wearing real clothes. Hopefully the gamble pays off, because—as silly and sexist as its beginnings were—the LFL could eventually open doors for aspiring female athletes.

Via Jezebel.

Street Harasser Responds to Rejection With Stabbing

The 33-year-old victim was walking down the street when a stranger approached her and propositioned her, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.

When she rejected him, the man became very upset and slashed the victim in the face and stabbed her in the arm, Esparza said.

Didn’t she realize she was supposed to feel flattered by the attention?

Via Jezebel.

Kenya Hospital Imprisons New Mothers With No Money

Two mothers who live in a mud-wall and tin-roof slum a short walk from the maternity hospital, which is affiliated with the Nairobi City Council, told The Associated Press that Pumwani [Hospital] wouldn’t let them leave after delivering their babies. The bills the mothers couldn’t afford were $60 and $160. Guards would beat mothers with sticks who tried to leave without paying, one of the women said.

Margaret Anyoso, the woman who owed $160, typically earns $5 or less a day. You don’t have to believe in universal health care to see how wrong this is. We abolished debtor’s prisons for a reason.

Via Jezebel.

"The Act of the Rapist Is Made Easy"

Women in Swaziland risk arrest if they wear mini-skirts or tops which expose part of their stomach, a police spokeswoman has said.

Wendy Hleta said police would enforce an 1889 law which bans “immoral” dressing if they receive a complaint.

She also said women in the deeply conservative kingdom make it easier for rapists by wearing mini-skirts.

As outrageous as that sounds, this next part is my favorite:

Women who wear “skimpy clothes” also draw unnecessary attention to themselves, Ms Hleta said.

“I have read from the social networks that men and even other women have a tendency of ‘undressing people with their eyes’. That becomes easier when the clothes are hugging or are more revealing,” Ms Hleta is quoted as saying.

I’m not even sure where to start with this. The phrase “undressing her with his eyes” has been around at least as long as I have, so quoting it as some kind of hip new trend sounds out of touch, to put it mildly. Also, it seems incredibly inappropriate for a police department to base its policies on anecdotal evidence scraped from social networks.

Could women spur some change in Swaziland by taking to “the social networks” in outspoken opposition to rape culture?

Via Jezebel.

College Students Who Study Abroad Found to Be at Greater Risk of Sexual Assault

Results showed that women who had studied abroad were four times as likely as women who had not studied abroad to have been victims or unwanted sexual contact. Women who studied abroad were found to be three times as likely to be victims of an attempted sexual assault and five times as likely to have been raped.

Essentially, it sounds like a confluence of factors related to living in a strange country make women more vulnerable to assault and less able to cope with or report it. Support networks can be vital in these situations.

Via Jezebel.