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We do not typically name victims of Rape & Abuse, but this story is already in the public domain. july 2021

Spain's 19-year-old No.1 TikTok star faces 12 years in prison after bragging he tricked women into having unprotected sex.

Darrechi said he told sexual partners he was sterile to avoid wearing a condom
He made the comments in a YouTube interview and has since apologised
Spain's equalities minister said she has asked public prosecutor to investigate
Under a new bill greenlit by Cabinet, Darrechi could face up to 12 years in prison
The bill, commonly known as the 'Only Yes Is Yes' law reclassifies all non-consensual sex as rape, and is due to be debated by Parliament in September

A Spanish social media star could face 12 years in prison after bragging about tricking women into having sex without a condom.

Spain's equalities minister has asked prosecutors to investigate Naim Darrechi following the remarks made in a YouTube interview.

The 19-year-old is Spain's most popular TikTok user with 26.8million users on the app.
In the interview, Darrechi said he tricks sexual partners into having sex without a condom by telling them he is sterile.

The comment provoked outrage from girls and women, including minister Irene Montero, who noted that Darrechi's actions could constitute sexual abuse under current Spanish law.

Under a new law, such actions could be considered sexual assault under a new bill.

'Taking off a condom or ejaculating inside someone without consent is now sexual abuse and the #OnlyYesisYes law will recognise it as assault,' Montero wrote in a Twitter post referencing the bill.

'Bragging to 26million followers about something like this reflects the urgency of centering consent. We will inform the prosecutor's office.'

Darrechi later apologised on Instagram, writing: 'I'm really sorry... it's just crazy what I said.'

'I want to apologise, really. Sometimes I don't realise the responsibility that is mine...

'I made a comment that really is out of place and that is not right. Sometimes I say things and sometimes I exaggerate, but here it's just crazy what I said, I wish it had been cut at the edit and no one would ever have heard it.'

The comment came in an interview with Spanish YouTuber Mostopapi in which Darrechi stated: 'I find it difficult with a condom, so I never use one.'

He claimed that none of his sexual partners had gotten pregnant and said 'I started thinking that I had a problem.'

'So I tell them: "relax, I'm sterile." It's true,' Darrechi said, prompting a laugh from the interviewer.

Darrechi could face between one and 12 years in prison if convicted under the new bill, set to be debated by parliament in September, which reclassifies all non-consensual sex as rape. It does not come into effect until later this year.

The change to the criminal code followed intense public anger over light sentences given in a number of cases involving sexual crimes.

The most prominent example was the so-called 'Wolf Pack' case in which five men gang raped an 18-year-old woman in Pamplona in 2016.

Fury erupted after the men were first handed a lesser sentence for sexual abuse, rather than sexual assault.

We do not typically name victims of Rape & Abuse, but this story is already in the public domain. july 2021

Other
Gender: Other

Turkey officially withdraws from treaty protecting women.

ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey formally withdrew Thursday from a landmark international treaty protecting women from violence, and signed in its own city of Istanbul, though President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted it won´t be a step backwards for women.

Hundreds of women demonstrated in Istanbul later Thursday, holding banners that said they won't give up on the Council of Europe´s Istanbul Convention. "It's not over for us," one read. Similar protests were held in other Turkish cities.

Erdogan ended the country´s participation in the convention with a surprise overnight decree in March, prompting condemnation from women´s rights groups and Western countries. A court appeal to stop the withdrawal was rejected this week.

Erdogan announced his "Action Plan for Combating Violence against Women" on Thursday, which includes goals such as reviewing judicial processes, improving protection services and gathering data on violence.

"Some groups are trying to present our official withdrawal from the Istanbul convention on July 1st as going backwards," he said. "Just like our fight against violence towards women did not start with the Istanbul Convention, it won´t end with our withdrawal."

In March, the Turkish Presidency´s Directorate of Communications issued a statement saying the Istanbul Convention was "hijacked" by those "attempting to normalize homosexuality - which is incompatible with Turkey´s social and family values."

President Erdogan emphasized traditional family and gender values Thursday, saying combating violence against women was also a fight to "protect the rights and the honor of our mothers, wives, daughters."

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price tweeted that Turkey´s withdrawal was "deeply disappointing and a step backward for the international effort to end violence against women."

Women, LGBT groups and others have been protesting the decision. They say the convention's pillars of prevention, protection, criminal prosecution and policy coordination, as well as its identification of gender-based violence, are crucial to protecting women in Turkey.

Hundreds of women gathered Thursday amid a heavy police presence in Istanbul's main pedestrian thoroughfare. Protesters held colorful banners, feminist and rainbow flags, played music, whistled, and shouted slogans. Police closed off the area but later briefly removed barricades to allow a short march.

Amnesty International's Turkey campaigner Milena Buyum tweeted from the protest after police re-closed the avenue with barricades: "The irony of hundreds of women & LGBTI+ rights defenders being blocked by a huge number of predominantly male police officers is not lost." The rights group's observers said police used tear gas after they told demonstrators to disperse.

On Saturday, police dispersed LGBT demonstrators with tear gas and detained dozens, who were later released.

Data by the We Will Stop Femicide group show that 189 women have been murdered so far in 2021 in the country, and 409 last year.

Earlier, Amnesty International called Turkey's withdrawal "shameful" in a statement.

"At the stroke of midnight today, Turkey turned its back on the gold standard for the safety of women and girls. The withdrawal sends a reckless and dangerous message to perpetrators who abuse, maim and kill: That they can carry on doing so with impunity," said Amnesty International´s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard.

Other
Gender: Other

We do not typically name victims of Rape & Abuse, but this story is already in the public domain.

#MeToo? Chilling effect of Bill Cosby reversal feared.

When Indira Henard, director of the DC Rape Crisis Center, received the text message Wednesday, she thought she wasn´t reading her phone correctly. "Indira oh my god," said the message from a colleague. "Cosby´s walking out of prison."

"I put on the news and there it was, and my heart just dropped," Henard said. "I thought about how all our survivors would be feeling."

During the afternoon, Henard says the center´s hotline was "off the hook, with survivors needing a place to process, and people asking, `What happened? I don´t understand. He got convicted. Why would they do this?´" The center held support sessions Wednesday evening and scheduled emergency sessions Thursday to deal with the news.

When America watched Bill Cosby - once "America´s Dad" - go off to prison nearly three years ago, it was perhaps the most stunning development yet of the nascent #MeToo movement, which had emerged in late 2017 with allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Advocates and survivors of sexual assault hoped the movement would usher in an era of accountability for harassers and abusers - and in many ways, it did. Victims have been increasingly emboldened in recent years to seek justice, even for years-ago abuse, hoping their allegations would be taken more seriously.

But on Wednesday, as the nation digested the equally stunning sight of Cosby released from prison, some worried it would have a chilling effect on survivors, who often don't come forward because they don't believe it will bring justice. And they wondered whether some of the movement´s momentum, already slowed by the pandemic, would be lost amid the feeling that another powerful man had gotten away with it - albeit on a technicality.

"It´s been a hard day," Henard said. "It´s a deeply painful moment - not just for survivors in the Cosby case who came forward at great personal risk, but for all survivors."

This story includes discussion of sexual assault. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

___

For Tarana Burke, the prominent activist who gave the #MeToo movement its name, the first reaction to the Pennsylvania court´s decision was "shock, definitely shock."

"And as the shock settled in and I started seeing some of the (social media) commentary coming in ... we, folks who do this work across the field, started huddling together to talk about what our response would be," Burke said in an interview. "It was just real concern for survivors. We´re going to have a hard time sleeping."

"The fact of the matter," added Burke, herself a sexual assault survivor in her youth, "is we won´t see the ramifications of things like this for a while. People will look back and say, `I was sexually assaulted a week before the Cosby verdict was overturned. And the way that the backlash hit the Internet made me change my mind.´ We won´t hear those stories for a while. But those of us who have been through similar things - we know exactly how this hits and where it lands and what the consequences are, unfortunately."

RAINN, the anti-sexual violence organization, said its hotline calls were up 24 percent Wednesday from the previous week. "This is one of those times I really pray people will read beyond the headlines," said Scott Berkowitz, executive director.

"I think the country believes the victims," Berkowitz said in an interview. What does worry him: "Many survivors choose not to report to police, and for those who do report it´s a hard decision because they know it´s going to be a long, difficult slog through the justice process. It only makes sense to put yourself through that if you believe that at the end, there´s a reasonable chance of getting justice." He said RAINN would try to educate people that "the issue that let Bill Cosby out is not an issue that comes up in a normal case."

That´s the point that Lisa Banks - one of the nation´s most prominent attorneys in #MeToo issues with her partner, Debra Katz - sought to drive home. "The message has to be very clear and simple, that this was a mistake by prosecutors, a very unusual one and a technicality that is unlikely to happen again," she said.

She was referring to the decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that District Attorney Kevin Steele was obligated to stand by his predecessor´s promise not to charge the comedian, though there was no evidence that agreement was ever put in writing.

"Sure, the optics of the first major conviction of the #MeToo era walking out of prison is devastating," Banks said. "I don´t think that´s something many people are going to get past very easily. But I will say one thing that (Cosby accuser) Andrea Constand said when the verdict came down: `Truth prevails.´ I still think I did. And I don´t want people to get discouraged by this, although I know it´s going to be hard."

For activist Anita Hill, the word "technicality" wasn´t quite adequate to describe what she sees as a deeply flawed legal system stacked against survivors.

The issue of the non-prosecution agreement was, Hill said in an interview, "revealing in how hard it is for women to actively prove to prosecutors their claims should be heard in court by a jury." She also found it troubling that the court had left open the question of whether the prosecution´s use of five additional accusers was improper, as Cosby had argued, "creating this other uncertainty."

"Uncertainty: that's the thing that keeps people from coming forward," said Hill, who famously came forward herself in 1991 with harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas in his Supreme Court confirmation hearing. "They just don´t know what´s going to happen. And you do know it´s going to be really brutal."

The general public, she said, likely won´t understand the complexities of why it happened: "There was a jury verdict. He was in jail. Now he´s not."

As for #MeToo: "it´s a work in progress," said Hill, who now chairs the Hollywood Commission, which combats harassment in the entertainment industry. "Old systems are hard to change - they require a different mindset. So I think we still have to keep pressing. We have the social movement, we have the public outrage. But we need reform of the systems that have been in place forever."

Henard said she and her colleagues at the DC Rape crisis center were spending Thursday listening to survivors. "I´m really concerned around the chilling effect this will have," she said. "Particularly for Black and brown survivors, this is cutting deep. We are bearing witness to tears and pain, survivors wondering, `What is it going to take for a verdict to sit and not get turned over because of a technicality?´ This man raped not one, not two, not three not four but (dozens of) women, and so we can´t forget that," she said, referring to accusations against Cosby that never went to court, often because the statute of limitations had run out.

But Henard said Wednesday's court decision, shocking as it was to so many, "in no way diminishes the good work of the #MeToo movement."

"We´ve made great strides in the last few years," she said. "There´s more great things that have happened and will continue to happen. What this moment does is remind all of us, especially those of us who have boots on the ground, that there´s still work to do."

We do not typically name victims of Rape & Abuse, but this story is already in the public domain.

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#MeToo started a movement for change, but sexual criminality still pervades societies throughout the world.

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