The controversial 2006 documentary about an evangelical church camp outraged secular audiences, but its subjects have mixed memories
Ten-year-old Andrew Sommerkamp, with his shy demeanor and floppy blond hair, mounts the stage of the Kids On Fire church camp, and nervously tells the crowd that hes struggling with his belief in God. Hed spent days watching his fellow Christian campers weep uncontrollably, repenting and begging Gods forgiveness, and he has a confession to share.
I just want to talk about belief in God … Ive been having a hard time with it, he says, staring at the ground, scared and confused as the other kids look around at each other with anxiety in their eyes. To believe in God is hard because you dont see him, you dont know him much. Sometimes I dont even believe what the Bible says. It makes me a faker, it makes me feel guilty and bad.
Its one of several emotionally exhausting scenes in the 2006 documentary, Jesus Camp. Over the course of its celebrated and contested life, Jesus Camp has become a Rorschach test for audiences: some evangelicals see it as a fair representation of their culture, while secular, left-leaning audiences typically see an expose against a malicious force of right-wing indoctrination, often walking away with one angry phrase on their lips: child abuse.
Ten years later, Sommerkamp (yes, thats his real name) has abandoned evangelical Christianity, living with a group of spiritual seekers in Mount Shasta, California. His split from the evangelical world happening when his father came out as gay. He says he spent several years angry at the church, but has since discovered peace in eastern mysticism, quantum mechanics, and psychotropic drugs.
Was it child abuse? Yes and no, he said in a recent interview, about his time at Kids on Fire church camp. I think they had the best of intentions, but I see it as sick people trying to treat sick people. Its their coping mechanism for figuring out why were alive. I wouldnt trade that experience for anything, though, because it allowed me at such a young age to question my existence.
Rick Nelson, who spent years as a featherweight fighter, was walking his dog when a cub appeared in his path followed closely by its 320lb mother
A 61-year-old man from northern Ontario said he was lucky to walk away with only scratches after facing off against a 320lb black bear with only his fists and the skills gleaned from years of featherweight boxing.
Rick Nelson was walking his dog outside the city of Sudbury on Sunday when a black bear cub poked its head out of a shrub some three feet away from him. It was so close I could touch it. It let out a yelp, because I scared the heck out of it, he said.
As his dog barked at the cub, the former bear hunter knew he only had seconds to spare before the cubs mother would arrive to defend her cub. I knew right away I was in trouble, he told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Its calling for mommy.
He soon heard a crashing noise in the bushes. The mother was coming full speed, he said. And it came and it meant business. The bear stood on her hind legs as she eyed him.
Nelson looked around him. He had nothing to fight off the bear no rocks or sticks but he had spent a lot of time in the ring perfecting his boxing technique.
As the bear took a swing at him, Nelson responded with a right-hand jab, grazing the bears lips and teeth and tearing up his knuckles in the process. The bear struck back, carving inches-long gashes into Nelsons face and chest.
Nelson readied himself to take another swing at the bear. I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed, he said.
This time his punch landed exactly as he had hoped. I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout, he said. Believe me, when youve got adrenaline pumping, you can hit. Even at 61 with grey hair, you can still hit hard.
The cub let out another squeal and begin to amble out of the area. Now it was the moment of truth. Whats this bear going to do? Is it going to follow its cub or is it going to come back after me? Nelson said. To tell you the truth, that was the only time I was afraid I had no chance, I didnt stand a prayer. This bear was 320lbs and when it stood up its taller than I am.
He braced himself. It turned around and it was snorting blood. It looked at me, and I thought, Oh no. Here it comes, he said. It just turned back around and walked away like nothing ever happened and followed the cub. So I really lucked out there.
He spoke to CBC one day after the attack, telling the broadcaster that, despite his encounter, people have little reason to fear black bears. Black bears really arent dangerous unless you have a cub involved, he said. Probably theyre more afraid of you and [me] than we are of them.
He was quick to acknowledge, however, that his close call could easily have turned out very differently. Im really glad that the bear walked away. And Im really glad I did, too.
The EU referendum result in Leeds was one of the closest in the country
Remain just edged ahead with 50.3%, while 49.7% voted to leave
The area has benefited from EU funding
It’s a week after Brexit and despite the political and economic uncertainty, Selina Hartley is feeling positive. She is discussing a new business venture over coffee in the Victoria Quarter, an upmarket shopping centre that houses Harvey Nichols and Louis Vuitton, among other luxury retailers. Hartley has lived and worked in Europe, but still voted to leave.
“Although I love Europe, I believe that we need to take back some important legislation,” she says.
Can she explain why the vote in Leeds was so close? “I think it is probably divided. We are the financial capital of the North. There are many people who work in banking and insurance, all based in the city centre, so maybe they voted differently to the normal man on the street outside of commerce. South of Leeds is obviously a lot poorer.”
Outside, Frances Harrison-Burton, her husband Richard and grown-up daughter Dawn are heading home after a morning of shopping. Frances voted to remain, Richard voted Leave, and Dawn didn’t vote at all. She says she was too busy.
“When he walked out [of the polling booth] he said, ‘What did you vote?’,” says Frances. “I said I’d voted to stay in. He said ‘Well, you know what I’ve done, don’t you?'”
Richard is happy to be leaving. “We need to hold our own power again in Parliament, not some faceless machine in Brussels that says we can’t report all these criminals that are coming in,” he says.
There are no hard feelings, but Frances is concerned about how leaving the EU will affect young people like her 20-year-old grandson, who has to provide for his baby on a zero-hours contract. “Now we’ve left, is he still going to be in a job?” she wonders. Housing is also an issue – her grandson, girlfriend and baby are living with his parents. He is on the list for a council house, but she fears it may be a long wait.
One of the reasons Frances voted to remain is EU funding for the Burmantofts estate, where she lives. Research, however, shows, grants from Brussels have only covered a couple of small community schemes there.
“So why leave when they’re doing good things?”
It’s a different picture in nearby Harehills. Dawn bought a house there 11 years ago for 74,000. She says it has since dropped to 56,000. She blames the high number of immigrants. “There’s 44 houses on my side of the street – eight English people, the rest are Romanian,” she says. “I live next door to a lovely couple but there’s just too many now.”
Leeds has historically been regarded as “two cities within a city”, owing to the financial inequality that separates affluent, middle-class areas from deprived areas. The centre is prosperous, as are many of its suburbs, but there’s a ring around the city centre that has been called the “doughnut of deprivation”.
The wealth hasn’t spread into these areas, says Sally-Anne Greenfield, from the charity Leeds Community Foundation.
Back in 1999, Leeds applied for EU funding to address this “two-speed economy”.
“If you look at the deprivation indices between 2001 and 2011, many of the most deprived areas in Leeds have remained at the same level, so there’s a sense that the gap is still there,” says Greenfield.
“Leeds is a city of mobility, and people are supported to make economic progression. But the people who benefit from this mobility often move out of deprived areas and into more affluent ones.”
The Burmantofts estate overlooks the headquarters of NHS England, an imposing red building nicknamed the Kremlin. The roads have just been resurfaced and are divided by neat lawns.
In a house opposite the community centre, Sally (not her real name) shuts her two dogs inside the house before coming over to talk to us. She used to work at a local hospital, cleaning the ward and feeding patients, until she retired due to ill health. She is 53. Her grandchildren are playing in the front garden.
Sally voted to leave. She has lived on the estate for more than 20 years, but feels that British-born people are unfairly treated, while immigrants get good council houses. “People that have lived here all their lives can’t get the houses that they need,” she says. “I think there’s only five houses on this side with people from here.”
She says she’s not racist – her children are mixed-race – but blames the fact that there aren’t enough houses for those who need them.
Leeds City Council says priority for social housing is assessed on need, not origin, although some localities are able to prioritise some housing for local residents.
Almost a mile and a half down the road from Burmantofts, on Harehills Lane, businesses have sprung up to service the needs of the immigrant community. Outside St Gemma’s Hospice charity shop, women are combing through a pile of cast-off clothes under the watchful eye of Lee Hiamey.
“It’s a very mixed area,” says Hiamey. “We have problems, but it’s what you would expect from a growing town. We get a lot of crime, fighting, drinking on the street, that kind of problem. We get police sirens going every two seconds, night and day.”
He won’t reveal how he voted, but he wishes nothing had changed. “I have more worries now. We are in limbo. We don’t know how it will pan out.
Next door to the charity shop is the Ritz letting agency, managed by Bobby Sharma. “In this part of Leeds you’ve got a lot of housing benefit-style tenants.”
Many of his tenants are from Eastern Europe and this is part of his motivation for wanting to stay in the EU. “What would be the consequences if we end up losing these Eastern European tenants? That was one of the key business reasons for me voting to remain,” he says.
When the results came in, many of his landlords were worried. “On the way to work the following morning I must have had about four or five phone calls from large investors, saying: ‘Bobby what’s going to happen to our properties now that we’re going to be exiting?'”
Sharma admits there aren’t enough affordable, well-maintained houses available, and that the area is overpopulated, but the rents are good.
Pushing her cheery toddler down Harehills Lane single mum Sophie Whittaker is heading back to her privately-rented property. “It’s horrible,” she says. “I’ve got mice, my son brought me a dead mouse, he’s two. I can’t get re-housed because there’s no houses.” She didn’t vote because she says she just didn’t know much about it.
Her bright red hair is a sign of her profession – hairdresser – but the 21-year-old is unemployed. She didn’t vote in the referendum. She says she didn’t know much about it and was waiting for a leaflet to come through her door.
“If you’d asked me last year I’d have said, ‘Send them all back’ but now I have Romanian neighbours I feel nasty saying that.”
Many of the people the BBC meets on the streets of Harehills and Hovingham did not vote. Some were not eligible, but others say they never bother. “The government will do what they want to do at the end of the day so what’s the point,” says one mother who has just picked up her son from school.
Other mothers on the school run did vote.
Sameena Akhtar, 38, is an assistant pharmacist. She says she voted to stay because of who she is – a British Asian. “Already you can see on the news that people are being racially abused. I think it will affect us, even though we’re British.”
Across town, in upmarket Oakwood, Charlotte Walker, 27, is being treated to high tea by her two aunts. Her son Riley is with them – he should be at school, but they recently moved to be closer to her mother and found there was no school place. “All schools are just bursting. There’s just no room. Classes are just full everywhere,” she says.
Leeds City Council says 10 years of rising birth rates, reflecting the national picture, has put pressure on school places. Some schools have added an extra class to accommodate the new pupils.
“Leeds is a growing city and families arrive from elsewhere in the country as well as from other countries. Families move from one part of the city to another,” it said in a statement.
Walker’s voting registration did not come through in time, but her aunts, Julie Simpson, 57, and Moira Ross, 52, both voted to leave. In the run-up to the referendum Ross organised events for both UKIP and Labour. She says she likes the fact that Leeds has become more cosmopolitan, but it’s gone too far.
“When you see what’s getting handed out to foreigners, and our own pensioners having to scrimp and scrape and be cold in winter, it gets your back up,” says Simpson. “I’ve worked all my life and paid taxes and I don’t mind doing that – as long as my grandchildren are going to benefit.”
It’s been a turbulent week in politics since the vote, but they are still convinced leaving is the right thing to do.
Simpson is looking forward to a holiday in Spain next week. She says that the fact that the pound is weak against the euro because of the vote doesn’t worry her. She is more concerned about the future of the country, than the cost of her holiday.
In an attempt to combat Brexit gloom, Jameson’s cafe and tea rooms in Oakwood have put up a sign that says: “Cake makes you happy.”
But it’s going to take more than tea and cake to make Remain voters Nancy Crang and Joanne Kay happy.
Crang, 49, a civil servant, is very uncomfortable with the Leave campaign’s focus on immigration. “I definitely want to be an inclusive country,” she says “I’m really sad that some people from outside the country don’t feel welcome here. That’s a big thing for me.”
Kay, 51, says although she can understand the resentment, she feels all workers have the same chances. As part of her work for the Environment Agency she has to inspect waste management companies, which rely heavily on European labour.
She asked the owner of the biggest skip company in Leeds why he didn’t employ more locals. He says that he has tried to, but they aren’t as committed. “They come to work for a few days and then they don’t come back. The people come back time and time again are the Eastern Europeans.”
Now Kay is worried about how leaving the EU will affect her own job – the Environment Agency depends on Europe for much of its funding and legislation.
“I can’t remember feeling as devastated after any kind of political vote as I did when I found out about this,” she says. “It’s seismic.
Down the hill in Killingbeck, among the suburban semis one house leaps out as a celebration of British and Irish culture. Liam Lawlor, who immigrated from Wexford in the 1960s, has filled his front garden with an astonishing collection of pub signs and other memorabilia which he uses to raise money for charity.
He says he loves Leeds. “It’s friendly and you’ve only got to go a couple of miles outside and it looks like Ireland.”
But he voted to leave the EU.
He thinks the opportunities for his grandchildren aren’t as good as they were for him. “I think there’s too many people – the doctors are full the hospitals are full, the houses are full.” Although he admits he has never suffered any NHS delays himself, and he has nothing but praise for Leeds’ St James hospital, where he had a major operation.
A week on, and doubt is creeping in. “I’m not sure if I’ve done the right thing now,” he says.
Photographs by Paul Kerley. Additional reporting by Camila Ruz and James Stewart
Be yourself, were told but thats just another tyranny and theres nothing worse for our self-esteem, says Eva Wiseman
British women feel the same about their bodies as we do about Goebbels, or school dinner. Full of hate. Our arms are made of old ham; our genitals are like the closed-off wells that it is rumoured a child once died in; our bellies are obscene; our faces, bloody hell our faces are exploded mines at best. A handful of wet clay chucked against a wall. Nose like Broken Britain, skin like an umbrella that came free with the Express. Our thighs are a collective nightmare dreamed in a small tent in Wales. Our breasts are useless gym bags, our arses like an apocalypse.
British women have almost the lowest self-esteem in the world, with only 20% feeling confident about their bodies. This according to interviews with 10,500 women and girls across 13 countries for the latest Dove self-esteem in women project. Nearly all British women interviewed (85%) said that when they feel bad about the way they look they opt out of life they dont play sport, see friends, have a proper laugh. Seven in 10 girls with low body-esteem say they wont be assertive in their opinion or stick to their decision if they arent happy with the way they look, while nine out of 10 women will stop themselves from eating.
Though the study is new, the information, of course, is not. None of this is wildly surprising. Chances are you know, or you are, or you have known a woman, and you have stood with her beside a reflective surface, and you will have heard her tut and rearrange her body to make it look smaller from a distance. You will have always known she thinks her hips are evil and that she wanted to abort her hair.
The two new things that this study tells us are: first, that Britains body anxiety is getting worse. And second, that on top of all this anxiety there is an added cherry. While 60% of women say they believe they need to meet certain beauty standards, 77% believe it is also important to be their own person. And yet werent we promised that if we simply be ourselves, the pressure to meet beauty standards would fall away? It seems clear now that the two arent mutually exclusive. Luckily, we have two shoulders for these devils to sit on. What do you do with a tension like that between the pressure on you to be thin and blonde, and the pressure to embrace your curves, love your imperfections, to enjoy that vague candied sense of sorority with every other woman you encounter? To be strong, brave, natural, real, and at the same time look like Jennifer Lawrence when shes just got off a Californian horse.
This obscure requirement for the modern and liberated woman to be herself feels increasingly pernicious. While we should give Dove credit for its mission to inspire confidence in women, however wobbly the premise, I fear the modern panic it helps create. First there was that side-eyed term, real women; now theres the order to be yourself authenticity is currency, especially for women. But only if the authentic you is not insecure, or whimsical, or sad, or has that old worry chewing at her throat that she would be more lovable if she was whiter, thinner, blonde. Only if the authentic you believes not only that your body is beautiful but that beauty really matters.
At least the old pressure was prescriptive. You could see the edges of it, you could walk around it, subvert it, laugh at it, chuck it in the bin. It is possible to work out exactly why we shouldnt all aspire to look like 15-year-old Swedish gymnasts and refer back to the list whenever were feeling uncomfortable on a beach. But its much harder to unpick the problems with the new requirements, especially when they havent even replaced the need to look thin and white, just swaddled it in motivational Instagram quotes. To be yourself, when that means to appear confident, happy, brave and healthy, takes more than Botox it requires, among other things, a denial of all the societal crap that has brought you to a place where you feel the need to cover up those parts of your personality that are deemed unattractive. And that gap-year-style journey is not only far more expensive than a decent concealer but a reminder that it is still the womans responsibility to feel better about herself. The problem with be yourself is the insistence that, rather than the culture, the adverts, the media and the politics, it is still you who needs to change.
Sarah Young remembers being told the devastating news that nothing more could be done for her five-year-old son, Ollie.
Days earlier, he had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour and now he had been given just weeks to live.
His health deteriorated rapidly, leaving him paralysed down his left side, but a visit to a children’s hospice in Oxford proved to be a turning point for the whole family.
“Ollie perked up immediately when we got there. He was relaxed, he was chatting and he couldn’t wait to get in the water,” Sarah says.
Over the following week, while he was still able, he splashed about in the hospice’s hydrotherapy spa, played in the sensory room and loved making as much noise as possible in the music room.
By the time of his second visit to Helen House, Ollie was confined to a bed – but the care he received was just as attentive and amazing, according to his mum.
“I felt like we were treated as a special case. Ollie thrived. That’s why he lasted so long. It was down to Helen House. At home or in hospital, he wouldn’t have left us happy.”
But not every family’s experience of end-of-life care is as comforting as that experienced by the Youngs.
And that is why NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has published draft guidance this week which seeks to improve care for the estimated 40,000 children and young people in England living with a life-limiting condition.
These can include cancers, genetic conditions and rare or chronic diseases.
With improvements in neo-natal and intensive care, this population of vulnerable children has been growing over time but experts say there is not enough understanding about what they face, nor enough funding of children’s palliative care.
The guidance recommends that children and their families should be able to choose the type of care they receive and the place where they want to spend their final days.
Often, it notes, there is an assumption that the best place to die is at home but it says there are many other factors to consider – such as how to manage the dying child’s pain and symptoms alongside the daily demands of family life.
Places like Helen House, which specifically cares for children and has eight beds, have the time, staff and resources to provide end-of-life care.
The guidance highlights the importance of using music, art and pictures to help children explore their feelings and questions about what is happening to them.
And it suggests that children, young people and their parents or carers should be offered emotional and psychological support to help them cope with distress.
Dr Emily Harrop, interim chairwoman of the NICE guideline committee and consultant in paediatric palliative care at Helen & Douglas House in Oxford, says care around the country is patchy.
“To lose a child is a tragic, unimaginable, life-changing event. However, the way the death is handled by the professionals around a family, can make an enormous difference.”
She stressed the importance of communicating with children in an age-appropriate way and empowering families by really listening to their wishes.
Dr Harrop recalls a terminally ill boy in her care whose eyes lit up when he was able to have a musical conversation with a music therapist and another child, who could no longer speak, who was able to communicate his pain through pointing at pictures.
“These techniques can draw out a distressed person, give them a sense of autonomy and make them relax,” she explains.
Zoe Picton-Howell, a lay member of the NICE guideline committee, who lost her son Adam in March 2015, when he was 15, echoes Dr Harrop’s comments.
She says: “The most helpful thing was to have healthcare professionals who took the time to listen to Adam.
“When we worked together, Adam got the best care possible, but if a member of the team thought they knew best and became uninterested in what Adam wanted, his care tended to be bad.”
Listening to the family
The guidance also refers to ways of helping to manage pain without resorting to drugs – which include music, massage and holding patients.
Sarah Young says all these elements played a crucial part in Ollie’s care in the weeks before he died in 2012.
“Massage helped because he had bedsores and had to be turned regularly.
“And there was always someone talking to him, playing music, giving him a drink and listening to him.”
The needs of Ollie’s older brother Alfie, who was eight, were not forgotten either.
In Ollie’s final days, leading up to his sixth birthday, Sarah says she felt very reassured because there was always time for her questions to be answered and her concerns to be heard.
When it came to preserving memories of Ollie – which some people choose to do with handprints, locks of hair or photos – the family set up a foundation in his name which funds paediatric brain tumour research and support.
“I don’t know where we’d be now if it hadn’t been for the support we received at Helen House,” Sarah says.
The consultation for NICE’s draft guidance is open until 12 August 2016. Comments are welcome through the NICE website.
Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Tony Oursler have spent many years exploring paranormal phenomena through their artworks. Now, both have major exhibitions in New York and suddenly theyre not alone in their interests
Drugs, blood, caskets, fish and hair all feature in the arsenal of supplies enlisted for art by Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. A few more, for varietys sake: bones, a brass hand, dominatrix shoes and the discarded skin of a pet boa constrictor.
Best known as a musical dissident with the proto-industrial band Throbbing Gristle and later Psychic TV, Breyer P-Orridge has made visual art for decades as part of a ritualistic practice in which boundaries tend to blur. The first transmissions of musical noise started in the 1970s, but art has been part of the project from several years before then to the present day. Work of the more recent vintage makes up the bulk of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: Try to Altar Everything, an exhibition on view at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York.
The Rubin show focuses on correspondences between global contemporaneity and historic cultures from areas around the Himalayas and India, and the show surveys, in an expansive fashion, Breyer P-Orridges engagement with ideas from Hindu mythology and Nepal. Nepal is a favored haven away from the artists home in New York, but as with most matters in Breyer P-Orridges realm worldly matters turn otherworldly fast.
A Hollywood fixture from Tarantino to Pixar movies, the one-time Black Panther is now getting political in The Legend of Tarzan. He talks about how getting sober led to non-stop work and stardom
Everyone thinks Samuel L Jackson is about 15 years younger than he really is. Its the hair, probably, or the absence of it. I think weve all come to accept that Jackson keeps a rotating carousel of different movie wigs somewhere at home, and that none of his movie hair is ever real. No steady progression from dark to grey to white means the ageing process seems almost to have halted itself, and the man before me today, shaven-headed, tall, enviably lean and energetic, talkative and affable, could pass for a fit 45-year-old. Except hes 67.
Jacksons latest role, in The Legend of Tarzan, is a real-life figure inserted into a fictional universe, George Washington Willis, who achieved things in his lifetime that one is shocked and pleased to learn were achieved by any black American in the latter half of the 19th century. For a historically minded man such as Jackson, whose teenage years coincided with the optimistic height of the civil rights struggle, and who was a young Black Panther in the bleak and treacherous COINTELPRO years, the role probes some unfamiliar backwaters of the African-American experience.
At 14 years old he enlists in the civil war, he says, then he enlists in the Mexican revolution against the Emperor Maximilian. I dont know if he was an actual Buffalo Soldier, but I know he fought in the Indian wars too, and he killed a bunch of Indians! He was a Congressman, a preacher, a historian he did a lot of things, he had a whole life, short as it was. I actually visited his memorial, his grave, last year in Blackpool.
Activists applaud move away from victim blaming, but shift in the conversation has not yet led to tougher convictions
Public perception of sexual assault victims and those accused of attacking them is changing due to high-profile cases such as that of Brock Turner at Stanford University, but that is not yet translating into tough convictions against perpetrators, say victims advocates.
The former Indiana University student John Enochs agreed to a plea deal last week of a years probation and no jail time after two female students accused him of rape. One rape accusation dated from 2013 and the other from 2015, both while he was a student at IU. Although he pleaded guilty to battery relating to the 2015 incident as a felony prosecutors were unable to provide enough evidence to satisfy the higher charges the court ruled that it should be classified as a misdemeanor and he received one year of probation.
Many online immediately linked Enochs to Turner, the Stanford University student who was sentenced to six months jail time after being found guilty on three counts of sexual assault in which he penetrated an unconscious woman. The judge ruled that a longer sentence would have a severe impact on him, comments that set off a firestorm of media outrage. A letter written by the victim outlining the impact of the assault and the ensuing court case was widely publicized.
There are certain similarities in the cases which addressed accusations of rape or sexual assault after fraternity parties on campus, with both of those accused claiming the women involved consented but there are also key differences, particularly relating to the evidence provided by prosecutors. Turner was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault after a trial; Enochs pleaded guilty to one count of battery pretrial. But advocates for sexual assault victims say the coverage of the Enochs and Turner cases reflects a changing attitude from the public about rape and sexual assault.
We are seeing a shift in the conversation, because people are becoming outraged by this, said Kristen Pulice, director of programs at the Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault. Its changed over the last few months. Rape was the hush-hush thing, you didnt talk about the perpetrators it was always about the woman, and blaming the victim. The conversation has shifted, and now its the perpetrators not being held accountable.
Scott Berkowitz, president of Rainn (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the countrys largest organization working against sexual violence, has also noticed the change. Seeing how outraged people were in the Stanford case, and based on the calls and emails weve gotten this week about the Indiana case, I think theres been an evolution in public attitudes about this crime, he said. And the public sympathies are with the victims and not the perpetrator. Its very unfortunate that it took cases like this to mobilize the public into outrage, but we are glad to see the way the public is reacting to these cases.
Advocates say they are noticing mainstream media organizations covering sexual assault cases more closely and note that the Turner case became a water cooler topic for the public.
These conversations are happening where they werent before; on ESPN theres discussions about the notion of rape culture, said Angela Rose, founder of Pave (Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment), a charity that focuses on prevention of sexual violence.
However, Rose said, that conversation isnt always translating into prosecutions and harsh punishments for offenders: The public prosecutors, district attorneys and the criminal justice system still have a long way to go.
In the case of Enochs, the prosecutors spoke publicly about their anger at being unable to get charges of sexual violence to stick.
This turn of events was frustrating for us as prosecutors, due to the fact that there were two complaints against the defendant. That fact is the reason we continued to pursue accountability on his part, which led to this plea agreement, said Robert Miller, the chief deputy prosecuting attorney, in a statement.
Like the public, prosecutors are becoming more knowledgeable about sexual assault cases and focusing their attention on rapists, not victims, experts say.
Traditionally some prosecutors have shied away from [sexual assault and rape] cases because they are more difficult to prosecute, to prove, said Berkowitz, noting that he had seen an increase in prosecutors fighting hard to get a conviction. I hope that other prosectors wont take the wrong lesson from this, that theyll be willing to pursue these cases when they come through the door if the evidence is there.
Jennifer Long, the CEO of Aequitas, an organization of former prosecutors who push for justice in cases of violence against women, gives advice on how prosecutors in sexual violence cases can be most effective. She suggests learning how to put the focus on the offender, what the offender did, constantly keeping the attention on them which is where it belongs. Looking at how the perpetrator identified the victim and exploited something. Was the victim ill? Did the perpetrator lie to the victim? Did the victim trust them? Were they intoxicated? Pointing to all those purposeful actions to really be able to demonstrate the culpability and the dangerousness of the individual.
Many have noted that Turner and Enochs are both middle class white students, one a champion swimmer, the other a member of a campus fraternity, and Long acknowledges these factors can influence courts. If you see a rapist and hes not matching your view of what a rapist looks like because outwardly he doesnt look dangerous, you forget the person in the picture is capable of penetrating a lifeless body, in the case of Brock Turner, she said.
She also notes as did all the advocates the Guardian spoke with that focusing on victims being unable to remember certain details or recall ignores the fact that scientific research shows trauma affects memory so that recollections can be scattered. Long said questions asked by police or lawyers why didnt you call the police? why didnt you fight back? can have a victim-blaming effect that traumatizes victims, and therefore more open-ended questions how did you feel? what made you call police? often result in better answers.
The defence and the juries want to see the thing you see on TV: bloody, blackened eye, distraught victim, crying and dishevelled, said Pulice. Often, at times, thats not how a rape victim will look like; were not messed up after having sex. They want to see the Brock Turner victim, behind the dumpster with weeds in her hair, but thats not [always] what a victim looks like.
While many fans commented on how gorgeous their queen looked, a number of followers lashed out at the actress.
“Why are you like this???” one user commented. “You constantly go out of your way to disrespect cultures to look ~boho. It’s rude as f*ck. Don’t put dreamcatchers in your hair! That you have to constantly be told not to do this and dragged means you are not listening and it’s frustrating af!!”
This is not the first time she has done this either, the backlash continued. Even though she is part Native American using a dreamcatcher as hair jewelry is not done. If someone can tell me a tribe who does it I will take it back. But until then she is constantly pulling this type of stuff with multiple cultures and I don’t like it.
Hudgens has previously been slammed for Hindu cultural appropriation after wearing a bindi.
Beyoncs new tour finds her at the height of her artistic powers. What makes her sound, her dance moves, her image and her feminism so distinctive?
The sound: It sounds like a push to dominate all of pop
Of late, some music writers have got into the habit of referring to Beyonc as Queen Bey. It doesnt exactly imply a great deal of critical distance, but you can see why the nickname has stuck. It is hard to think of a recent album that feels more commanding and imperious than Lemonade, not just in its lyrics where defiant woman-scorned wrath meets righteous social anger but in its music. It sounds not like an R&B record, but a push to dominate all of pop. Country, alt-rock, left-field electronics, hoary Jack White blues-rock? I can do the lot. That seems to be one of its messages.
So pervasive is the Queen Bey persona that it is easy to forget that there was a time when Beyonc didnt seem to know what she wanted to be, at least musically. Her solo career never faltered commercially she continued the run of peerless pop hits that had begun with Destiny Childs No No No as if the groups dissolution were a mere formality, as if she had been the only thing that mattered about them all along but she also gave the impression of being torn between a career as an R&B diva and the desire to be an MOR entertainer.
Many of the best tracks on her first two solo albums tended to point up her voices similarity to R&B singers of the 60s and 70s the raw drums and see-sawing organ of Freakum Dress, the funk-rock of Suga Mama, Crazy in Loves blaring Chi-Lites horns but they were surrounded by stuff that erred on the sickly side of perfect, as if she were quietly investing in a future that might have more to do with cabaret than clubs.