A survey seeking those who are 18 years, and older, to answer a survey about sexual victimization they have experienced. The survey is also seeking male participants. See the link below. This is 100% anonymous.
Guest Post by: Jan Stanners
In January of 2011 a Toronto police constable speaking on public safely at York University’s Osgood Law School stated that if women wanted to avoid being sexually assaulted they should stop dressing like ‘sluts’. While the Slutwalk movement has tackled the offensiveness of this statement and the concept of victim blaming I was more stunned by the fact that a police officer felt it was acceptable to stand up on a campus in 2011 and make such a statement. Does he really believe that? Is he the exception or the rule?
My incredulity is a function of my experience in life. First, I find it terribly difficult to be critical of the police for I value the service they provide us with poor pay and risk to personal safety. I also had the privilege of teaching a number of amazing students about diversity and the justice system. Most of the students intended to have careers in the area of criminal justice, and their motivation was very similar to that of students in Social Work, Education, and Nursing: they wanted to make the world a better place for all people. (Of course they also informed me that once in a while there’s a student who “just wants a gun”).I remember how thoughtful they were about the way the relationships between men and women could be messed up by socialization into the ‘real man’ role. Having this exposure to future police officers makes it hard to accept that all police officers think the way the aforementioned constable does.
So…I am left with the question of where the Toronto police constable got the idea that how a woman dresses or behaves is a causal factor in whether she is sexually harassed or assaulted.
When I took logic in university I learned that a bad conclusion is often the result of a bad premise. The constable’s statement seems to indicate a premise that ‘once a male is sexually aroused he cannot control himself’. I had heard this same idea expressed more crudely as (pardon the language) “A stiff prick has no conscience”. This made me wonder how prevalent such a belief is in our society.
About a year ago I was introduced to the concept of the WTF? Moment. So I’ll start by asking my female readers a question I used to ask my students “Why is it that when a man is unfaithful his woman blames the other woman?” Feeling that WTF? When you blame another woman for ‘stealing’ your man you have just said your man can’t help himself given her ‘slut’ temptation. So you agree with that premise.
Dr. Phil often insinuates that we as women need to not to ‘let ourselves go’ as our beloved may be tempted by other younger, more attractive women. So an authority (?) like him also believes that if a man is unfaithful it is because he couldn’t help himself…she was too tempting. So he agrees with that premise.WTF?
When basketballer Tony Parker’s marriage fell apart amid speculations of infidelity the public was incredulous: why would he cheat on a hot woman like Eva Longoria? WTF? In reality society in general understands when a man cheats with an attractive woman but doesn’t get it when the other woman is less attractive than his former partner (Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles). So society believes the premise.
When teaching about vicitmization I used Cohen and Felson’s Routine Activities theory which looked at the requirements for a criminal victimization to take place: an attractive target, a motivated offender, and a lack of guardianship. When I asked for an example of target my students, who were often mostly female, would say it was a woman who gets raped because she is dressed like a slut. WTF? So young females believe the premise.
Other examples of this belief have lead to honour killings even here in Canada…women are held responsible for not doing anything to arouse the beast. Rapists are either not convicted or given reduced sentences because the woman was dressed a certain way or drunk or flirting.
Given these examples I can only consider that the constable’s response reflects general societal beliefs about men. And men should be pissed about being viewed that way.
Now let’s go back to that premise about arousal and lack of control. Men should be offended by that because it portrays them as morally inferior and driven only by ‘the little head’. When I look back at my students and the men I have known in my life I just cannot believe they would think or act that way.
Is there any evidence that men really lose control and become automatons when they glimpse an enticing female? The descriptions often describe the men as unable to reason or stop themselves…temporarily insane?? WTF?
It the premise were true, we would see men, inflamed with lust, throw down attractive women on the ground, strip them and rape them, no matter where or when. WTF? I spent a lot of years on a post-secondary campus where there were many beautiful young women walking around in clothing that bared cleavage and pierced navels…never saw anybody get attacked. WTF? So is there something wrong with those men…or is there something wrong about the premise?
There are many situations where healthy males are exposed to temptation but they just don’t act according to the premise. Haven’t read a lot of reports of men rushing the stage at a strip club and assaulting the near-naked performers, or grabbing bikini clad women at the beach. Many performers appear on the Red Carpet in dresses that expose a lot of smooth skin….no assaults. WTF? Problem with the premise?
There is a need to question that premise. Is it ‘temporary insanity’ when the supposedly ‘insane’ man has the presence of mind to assault only women who are walking alone at night or are in their apartments WHERE NO ONE CAN SEE THEM? WTF? Weapons such as knives and immobilizing drugs are often used: THEY JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE THEM ALONG WHEN THEY WENT CRAZY? WTF? The nonsense just goes on and on.
I throw down the gauntlet to the police and other officials of the criminal justice system to start treating sexual assault survivors as victims of a violent crime. Stop acting as if you really believe that premise. Because if you do then we have to worry about you acting that way: after all the majority of you are males. I wish someone had shouted out “Is that what you would do?” when the Toronto constable make that statement.
Is it wrong to think that way about men? YES!! There is too much evidence that the vast majority of men would NEVER assault a woman. There is evidence that sexual assault is planned and executed to avoid detection…that particular male is not insane, he’s a violent offender. It doesn’t matter if he is her date, her teacher, her customer or her husband: he’s a violent offender! Treat him like a criminal, not her. Make us believe that you are performing your stated function: To Protect and Serve.
LAWRENCE E. COHEN AND MARCUS FELSON. University of Illinois, Urbana. American Sociological Review 1979, Vol. 44 (August):588-608
Before posting some important information for women in the city of Calgary. I just wanted to say that I hope to be back to regular posts again soon. Had some unexpected health issues arise in December and am just finally starting to Catch up with school.
In the mean time please check out this news story I found on CBC.ca… buried on CBC.ca. Police suspect the above individual of being responsible for 5 sexual assaults in the SW area of Calgary. The description given to police was: white, 45- to 50-years-old, clean-shaven, tanned and had shoulder-length dark-grey hair. He had a thin build.He was wearing a dark jacket, blue sweat pants and black toque.
Finally! A campaign that focuses on the perpetrator instead of the victim. In November of 2010 Edmonton launched the first Don’t be that Guy Campaign. Now Calgary is following in their footsteps and is launching it here. This week you’ll start to notice some in your face posters, such as the one to the left, on CTrains, buses, in nightclub, and in the universities. The posters are mostly targeting men, and will appear in nightclub and university washrooms, as well as other high traffic sites around town.
The DBTGC is being launched by the ‘Sexual Assault Voices of Calgary’. An organization that seeks to change societal thinking: “We are looking at societal change here, it’s important to remember this is not just a police initiative, this involves so many different organizations” says detective Paul Wyatt of the Calgary Police Service’s Sex Crimes Unit. The partners he is refering to includes: Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services, Alberta Health Service, Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse, Calgary Police Service, Calgary Sexual Health Centre, Canadian Red Cross, Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network and HomeFront.
The in your face campaign is aimed at Men, 18-24, in order to not only take the onus off the victim but bring men into the conversation about sexual assault. The message that this campaign is trying to get across is clear: “if someone is incapacitated by alcohol or drugs they cannot give consent, and sex without consent is sexual assault.” Police Chief Rick Hanson hopes to push the message home as well “You can no longer hide behind the mistaken belief that it’s okay to use drugs or alcohol,as an excuse, or think because a woman did not give you a ‘no’ answer, that it means ‘yes’.”
On every poster the message ” Sex Without Consent = Sexual assault” appears at the bottom. The SAV website also pushes the message that if you have sex without consent, it’s sexual assault:
” sexual assault is any form of sexual activity forced on someone else without that person’s consent. Force can be physical, or through the use of threats, bullying, manipulation, alcohol/drugs or harassment. Any unwanted sexual activity–including kissing, touching, groping, flashing, oral sex, intercourse, photographing, etc.–under ANY circumstances is sexual assault.”
The website includes a section that talks about what consent is and what consent is not. For example, it reads: “Consent is simple. Just ask.” and in contrast to that reads: “Consent is not obtained if the person changes her/his mind. And a person can change his or her mind at ANY time.”
The campaign is meant to change the minds of men, reminding them that the fight against sexual assault involves them as well, and if they see it they too need to step up and say something. “This is a multi-scale approach, not only do we want to get the message out there that it’s never the victims fault, you weren’t in the wrong place, you weren’t drinking too much, you weren’t dressed the wrong way. But we want to target those men to tell them that this behaviour is not acceptable. We also want to target the men who are with them. Those who can stand up to their friends and remind them if you do this you are going to go to jail” says Wyatt. Reminding us that this is a community effort. If we see something we need to stand up against it, and once and for all shake this idea that somehow a women brought on her assault because she was wearing a short skirt and high heels.
We put the onus on the victim too much in our community today, sending the message to perpetrators that it is OK, as a result causing more damage to the victim. As a victim of assault I know that we begin to internalize these feelings. You start to feel that maybe it really is your fault, maybe if you hadn’t had that one extra drink, or worn that short skirt, or walked down that dark street alone, or in my case rollerbladed down that dark pathway, it wouldn’t have happened to us. But it does happen to us. “As a community, it is important for us to stand together and say this type of behaviour is not acceptable and the consequences are too great.” says Laurie Blahitka, of Alberta Health Services.
Not only is this a message about consent, consequences, and victim blaming, it’s also a way to bring men into the conversation. It’s about making men part of the solution too. This is so important because if we remain divided, we’ll never win. As a victim, and an advocate I am so glad to see that people are finally starting to realize it’s going to take the cooperation of all kinds of organizations and people to start changing the minds of society.
I will leave you with a great quote from the SAVCalgary website :
If we keep thinking about the sexual abuses and sexual assaults committed by men as a ‘women’s issue’, we’re not going to do much about truly preventing that violence. The women you care about–and your kids–should live and grow up in a society where male violence against women is not acceptable. Not legally, not morally, not socially.
Friday afternoon corrections Canada confirmed that Clifford Olson
died in a Quebec hospital.
On September 21, 2011 it was reported that Olson was dying of an unnamed type of cancer and didn’t have long to live.
Olson had earned the label as Canada’s most notorious and ruthless serial killer in the 80s. He terrorized BC residents in 1980 killing at least 11 young people between the ages of 9 and 18 often raping and strangling them. In August of 1981 Olson plea bargained with the RCMP and in exchange for the government paying his family $100,000 ($10,000 per victim) he not only confessed to the murders he would lead RCMP to the bodies. This plea bargain would prove unpopular with the Canadian public. Once convicted Olson earned himself a dangerous offender label, making it unlikely he would ever be released from prison.
In 1997, Olson would apply for parole under Canada’s Faint Hope Clause which, in short, states that an offender who has served at least 15 years may apply for parole. Once an inmate has served 25 years they are also eligible for parole and Olson exercised his right to do so in July of 2006, once again he was denied parole. He would make one last attempt in November of 2010 (in Canada an inmate is allowed to apply for parole every two years after the initial 25 years).
Back in March of 2010 Olson would find himself once again back in the spotlight as it was revealed to Canadians that he was recieving a monthly cheque from the government in the amount of $1,169.47 for old age security. Bill C-31 would be put forth to disallow prisoners to be able to get old age security as a result. As a side note It was reported that in September of 2010 Olson sent one of his cheques to a reporter and asked them to pass it along to Stephen Harpers campaign for reelection.
I don’t rejoice in the death of anyone, that said this is a man that the world won’t miss.
Three-year-old Kienan Hebert is still missing tonight after he went missing from his home Wednesday morning. Police suspect Randall Hopley, 46 of kidnapping the boy. Hopley has an intense criminal record that includes breaking and entering, and sexual assault and was just released from jail last week.
Today the RCMP have asked people in BC to start searching their vacant properties for any sign of forced entry. “See if there’s anything suspicious, any sign of break-ins, anything stolen,” RCMP told reporters . They are also asking business to review survelliance tape for any sign of either Kienan or Hopley “We ask that you review them. If you see something, and you believe you have images of the suspect or the vehicle, please contact police.”
CTV reported today that volunteers were searching the woods by the families home for any sign of him today but have turned up nothing.
Kienan was last seen Tuesday Sept 6 when his parents tucked him in for the night in their home. Police are asking the public to watch for a brown 1987 Toyota Camry with B.C. licence plate 098 RAL. Hopley is white, 5-foot-10, 147 lbs., brown hair and hazel eyes. Please call 911 if you see the car, or either Kienan, or the suspect.
Update September 10, 2011: Amber Alert Extended to Alberta on a limited basis. Pictures will be displayed on Alberta highways this weekend and the public is still being asked to keep their eyes open for the pair.
Update: amber alert canceled! Herbert was dropped off around 3 am this morning say RCMP. More to come…
Call Sparwood RCMP with any information at 1-250-425-6233.
This story is all kinds of creepy, weird, and awful. According to the National Post A 46 year old father was arrested July 22 and charged with three counts of sexual assault, 2 counts of sexual interference, 1 count of sexual exploitation,1 count of a parent or guardian procuring sexual activity, and two count of living off the avails of prostitution. In addition police have charged 3 men between the ages of 34-67 with engaging in sexual acts with a minor. “The three men have been arrested in relation to an ongoing investigation involving the procurement of a youth for sexual purpose,” said Cpl. Annie Linteau. “Numerous charges have now been laid against the father who was allegedly making his daughter available to these men for sexual purposes.” One man Benny Wolfe, a mayoral candidate for Penticton, BC, has come forward to say he didn’t know the girl was underage.
“She was reasonable, $100 for an hour of her time,” Wolfe told media. He admits to being a client of the girls for 8 weeks but believing that she was of age. “I have had three threats against my life and I have had to report to the police on three different occasions, I also had a lady at the Farmers’ Market basically challenge me, and I said look at the paper, read the news but don’t judge me unless you have the full facts. Let the courts hear the evidence, then after all the evidence has been heard and the judge has ruled, then you can criticize me, if there is any at all.”
Mr Wolfe had this to say about his ‘public vs personal’ life “what I have alleged to have done may not be acceptable to the majority of law-abiding citizens but I take full responsibility for anything I do in life and what I do in my personal life has nothing to do with my public life.” Whether or not you knew the girl was of age is not the point (and frankly hard to believe). What you do in your private life represents your character and integrity. Of course it has to do with your public life. You are a figure in your community who wants to represent the people of Penticton. To an extent I really don’t care what a politician does in private but there is a line and child rape is definitively across that line.
It’s rape, it’s child abuse, and it’s disgusting. Something tells me that the majority of the people in Penticton would agree with me. Go figure you have been ostracized from you community. Sorry to tell you but your dream of becoming Penticton’s next mayor is probably down the drain as well.
The CPS have issued an Alberta wide warrant for the arrest of 44 year old Calvin Korsberg. Korsberg has violated his probation by failing to report two weeks ago. Korsberg was released from prison Aug 7 after serving time for sexual assault.
Korsberg pleaded guilty in 2007 to 8 counts of sexually assaulting 8 different women from Saskatoon in August 2005.
“I think that’s what makes me so angry. I’ve worked so hard to be independent and now I’ve lost my independce” Anne, one of Korsberg’s surviours, tells Global News .She was attacked outside her home and forced inside and sexually assault by Korsberg two years ago. “I’m scared he’s going to come back because he knows my car, where I live, my address, my name. I’m terrified to go home”.
It makes my blood boil to think someone could have so much power over us as individuals. I know exactly how Anne feels as I have been here. It sickens me that this stuff happens in our communities. I understand that he has served his time and is not out on parol but it makes me wonder why he isn’t reporting for parol as he is supposed to. Korsberg is 6’1, 170 lbs, brown eyes, brown hair. If you’ve seen Korsberg please call CPS (911, or 403-266-1234) or Crime stoppers anonymously:
TALK to us at 1-800-222-8477.
TYPE to us by clicking on “Submit a Tip” above.
TEXT us by sending the keyword “tttTIPS” to 274637
If you see him Do not approach him. Call police.