Protective Mothers' Alliance International

family court abuse/corruption

Archive for the ‘crime’ Category

Connection Between DV and Mass Shooters/ NBC News

leave a comment »

 

Screen Shot 2017-11-06 at 19.31.38

 

 

IN THE NEWS– Connection between DV and mass shooters “Again and again, mass shooters tend to share a similar trait in their past: A history of domestic violence”

http://nbcnews.to/2y8vJFd

New Mother Tortured By Husband Shares Story to Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence

with one comment

Prosper Ortega (Source: GoFundMe)

Prosper Ortega (Source: GoFundMe)

(Atlanta, Georgia, July 2016) – Propser Ortega is recovering from horrific torture, rape and assault inflicted on her by her husband, Aaron Uchitel. Prosper was rescued by her mother, Fawn Ortega, who grew concerned after not hearing from Prosper, and fought to get inside the house. She was close to death when Fawn rescued her, and her newborn.

Fawn says, “Her ribs are broken.  He beat her ribs and breast saying her milk was useless and she was worthless. He tried to blind her so she couldn’t see her baby, he tried to make her deaf so she couldn’t hear him crying for her.” Aaron Uchitel has been charged with aggravated battery, false imprisonment and cruelty to children.

Fawn, and other family members, are sharing Prosper’s story in order to raise awareness abut domestic violence. The family has created a GoFundMe to raise money for hospital bills and other expenses.

Updates on Prosper’s recovery can also be found on the GoFundMe page. An update posted 4 months ago on Prosper’s recovery offers this touching message of hope: “We just keep rolling along – I don’t know what else to say other than that. Every day is another step towards some type of normalcy but normal still seems very far away. Despite that, we have beautiful people offering goodness in abundance, and that makes it worlds better…

Read More:

Mother ‘nearly tortured to death and held captive for days by her husband’ is reunited with two-week-old son but can hardly see because of her broken eye sockets

‘Mom, why did he do this to me?’: young wife in hospital after alleged abuse to save weeks old baby

Prosper Ortega and her son (Source: GoFundMe)

Prosper Ortega and her son (Source: GoFundMe)

Father With History of Abuse Kills Daughter, Says ‘She’s Happier Now’

with one comment

Lila Pickering, Image Retrieved from Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/2gk8fm24

Lila Pickering, Image Retrieved from Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/2gk8fm24

Asheville, N.C., Sept. 9, 2016 – Seth Willis Pickering stabbed his 6-year old daughter Lila to death in front of two park rangers along the Blue Ridge Parkway. When arrested, he said, “Now they will never be able to take her away from me.. She’s happier now.. it’s what she wanted.”

Pickering was involved in a custody dispute with ex-wife Ashley Pickering. Ashley left the relationship because he was abusive towards her. Ashley, who now lives in Florida, was fighting in the courts for the return of her daughter, “I went to leave and a cop was supposed to send Lila with me, and he didn’t, and I’ve been fighting with the courts and DSS.” Ashley claims that Lila was soon to return to her care.

Lila was placed in protective custody with the Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) after being removed from her father’s care, due to his violent behavior towards another woman. Lila was placed with a local family, who she knew well. The family offered to take the child in to avoid foster care. Pickering was allowed supervised visitation.

On September 9th, Lila was picked up at the home by her father, without permission, and taken to a remote camp site. Park rangers discovered Pickering with Lila, and before they could intervene, he has stabbed her to death.

Pickering is charged with first degree murder.

Lila Pickering is described as being a happy child with a beautiful smile who nickname was “Rescue Ranger” because she was willing to help anybody. Lila would have celebrated her birthday on October 1st, there will be a celebration of her life at the local elementary school where she attended. A Go Fund Me has been created by the family to help raise money for funeral expenses.

Cindy Dabil, Lila’s grandmother says Child Protective Services in Florida and in North Carolina should have done more to protect Lila. She hopes Lila’s tragic death will serve as a call to action to better protect children from abuse, and to make changes to improve the safety of children living in state care

Read More:

‘It’s what she wanted’: Dad in custody battle kills daughter in front of park rangers, police say/

Johnston students, staff grieve for girl killed on parkway

6-YEAR-OLD GIRL KILLED BY FATHER AFTER LOSING BITTER CUSTODY BATTLE

Missing 4 Years: Kidnapped Boy Hidden Behind Wall, Rescued & Returned to Mother

leave a comment »

December 2014, Orlando, Florida:  13 year Gregory Jean Jr. is returned to his mother after being kidnapped, and hidden behind a fake wall. He was missing for 4 agonizing years. 

Father, Gregory Jean Sr. and step-mother, Samantha Davis are accused of kidnapping Gregory Jean Jr. from his mother, who had custody, when he went to visit them near Atlanta.

Gregory Jean Sr. and Samantha Joy Davis. (Source: American Urban Radio Networks, http://www.aurn.com1)

Gregory Jean Jr. was abused and hidden behind a fake wall. He was given a cell phone to contact friends, and only allowed to talk to his mother after being coached on what to say. Jean Jr. then gained the courage to use that phone to contact his mother, and alert police to rescue him.

Gregory Jean Sr. and Samantha Joy Davis  face charges of child cruelty, false imprisonment and obstruction.

Read More: 

Boy Hidden Behind Fake Wall in Dad’s House by AURN Newsroom

Boy found hidden behind fake wall and his mother speak to CBS46 by Daniel Wilkerson and Rodney Harris

Boy Hidden in Garage of Georgia Home Recounts Rescue: ‘They Didn’t Give Up’ by NBC News

Mom recorded her own murder on cell phone — DV Crime

with one comment

CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. — Wesley Webb was fighting with boyfriend Keith Smith in their home in Schuylkill Township, Pennsylvania, when she decided to start recording the argument. What she ended up recording was her own murder, police say. Webb, 40, told Smith she would leave with her two children — three kids, all under age…

via Mom recorded her own murder on cell phone — WTKR.com

Written by EJ

May 12, 2016 at 6:50 pm

The Dangerous Culture of Male Entitlement and Sexual Hostility Hiding within America’s National Parks and Forests.

leave a comment »

http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/park-rangers/

On an early Friday morning in late June 2006, Cheyenne Szydlo, a 33-year-old Arizona wildlife biologist with fiery red hair, drove to the Grand Canyon’s South Rim to meet the river guide who would be taking her along the 280 miles of the Colorado River that coursed a mile below. She was excited. Everyone in her field wanted to work at the Grand Canyon, and after several years of unsuccessful applications, Szydlo had recently been offered a seasonal position in one of the National Park Service’s science divisions. She’d quit another job in order to accept, certain her chance wouldn’t come again.

 

The Grand Canyon is a mecca of biological diversity, home to species that grow nowhere else on earth. But after a dam was built upstream 60 years ago, changes in the Colorado’s flow have enabled the rise of invasive species and displaced numerous forms of wildlife. Szydlo’s task was to hunt for the Southwestern willow flycatcher, a tiny endangered songbird that historically had nested on the river but hadn’t been seen in three years. Her supervisor believed the bird was locally extinct, but Szydlo was determined to find it. The June expedition—a nine-day journey through the canyon on a 20-foot motorboat operated by a boatman named Dave Loeffler—would be her last chance that summer. When Szydlo asked a coworker what Loeffler was like, the reply was cryptic: “You’ll see.”……

Follow the link above to read more.

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

April 15, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Why It Matters That The Planned Parenthood Shooting Suspect Has Been Accused Of Domestic Violence/ thinkprogress.org

with one comment

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/11/28/3726209/planned-parenthood-suspect-history/

In the aftermath of a shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic that left three people dead, more details are emerging about the suspected gunman, 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear. According to police reports, Dear has a long history of getting in trouble with law enforcement — including several instances of being accused of preying on women.

According to BuzzFeed News, Dear was interviewed by South Carolina police in 1997 after the cops responded to a domestic violence call. Dear’s wife said that he locked her out of the house and, once she gained entry, he hit her and pushed her out of window. His wife didn’t want to press charges, saying she wanted only a police record of the incident. The cops noted that she had “apparent bruises” on her body from where she said Dear pushed her in the chest.

Five years later, Dear was investigated for making “unwanted advances” toward a woman who lived in his neighborhood. Dear’s neighbor Lynn Roberts and her husband reported he was hiding in the bushes by their house. Roberts said that he was “leering” at her on a “regular basis”; court records show that she eventually filed a restraining order against him in July 2002.

Dear has also faced a handful of other investigations for allegedly abusing an animal and threatening a neighbor. The charges against him have all been dropped or dismissed.
The revelations about Dear’s previous run-ins with the law, and specifically the instances in which he allegedly harmed women, were unsurprising to some observers.

indeed, there’s evidence that conclusively links domestic violence incidents with future violent crimes. Men who hurt their female family members often go on to hurt other people later in life.

Domestic violence advocates say that’s one important reason why crimes against women — which are often difficult to push through the criminal justice system, particularly considering the fact that violence against female partners has long been considered the norm — should be taken more seriously within society as a whole.

“Men who are eventually arrested for violent acts often began with attacks against their girlfriends and wives. In many cases, the charges of domestic violence were not taken seriously or were dismissed,” activists Pamela Shifman and Salamishah Tillet wrote in the New York Times earlier this year. “With so much at stake, responding to violence against women should be a top priority for everyone.”

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Dear, his history, or his motives. Authorities have not yet been able to pinpoint a motivation for the shooting at Planned Parenthood. The mayor of Colorado Spring, John Suthers, has come the closest to suggesting that the building may have been targeted because it provides women’s health services — saying on Saturday that people can make “inferences from where it took place.”

pma_logo_greymap

PIXABLE DATA: These Are The Most Dangerous States In America To Be A Woman/ Pixable

leave a comment »

http://www.pixable.com/article/the-most-dangerous-states-in-america-to-be-a-woman-69100?utm_medium=partner&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=pixlssocial

Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted in the U.S.A. This statistic from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence may seem shocking, but not when you take into account that one third of American women will be sexually assaulted within their lifetime — one third. That means one out of every three women you know (your sisters, daughters, mothers and friends) will likely fall victim to this awful crime.

The true scope of how many women have been attacked or victimized, especially by people they know, is terrifying. What’s even more terrifying is everything we don’t know. The last published results of the National Intimate Partner and Violence Survey are from 2010.

The closest we could get to finding real, recent answers on the frequency of sexual assault and rape in the last couple of years is from the FBI. The legal definition of rape was recently changed to include both male and female victims, but the FBI still includes statistics of the legacy definition (female victims only) in their annual crime report. We expected the FBI’s crime report to more or less match the figures from the CDC’s 2010 survey, but we noticed a drastically low number of rape victims — roughly 26 women per 100,000 people.

That’s when we realized a key fact. The FBI is basing their figures on arrests and convictions, excluding statutory rape and incest and only documenting “forcible rape.” The sad truth is that most rapes go unreported — with forcible rapes making up only a fraction of all reported rapes — and even less rapists are actually convicted. According to RAINN less than half of all rapes are reported, only 12% of what is reported actually leads to an arrest and only 3% of rapists see punishment for their actions.

When it comes to violence against women, not every zip code is equal, and some places are more dangerous than others. We’ve examined statistics from the FBI, the CDC’s 2010 comprehensive National Intimate Partner And Violence Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau to narrow down the most dangerous places for women in the United States from 2010 – 2014.
One out every six women in the U.S.A. was a victim of an attempted or completed rape in 2010.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.27.35 AM

Places like Alaska and Oregon hold the highest rates of rape against women, whereas states like Virginia and California hold some of the lowest rates. The 2014 information from the FBI also shows a different perspective than that of the above statistics from the CDC. While many of the same states are still on the top 10 list, some new states appear as well. This could be for a number of reasons. There could have been an increase or decrease in crime in the last four years among certain states or some states could just have a higher rate of conviction due to differing justice systems.
The 10 states with the largest percentage of women in 2010 who said they were raped in their lifetime are:

1. Alaska (21%)
2. Oregon (21%)
3. Michigan (20%)
4. Nevada (18.8%)
5. New Hampshire (18.7%)
6. Oklahoma (18.6%)
7. Washington (18%)
8. Colorado (18%)
9. Minnesota (16.9%
10. Connecticut (16.9 %)
In 2014, These were the states with the most rapes per 100,000 according to the FBI

1. Alaska (75.3)
2. New Mexico (51.4)
3. South Dakota (48.4)
4. Montana (42)
5. Michigan (40.9)
6. Arkansas (39.8)
7. Colorado (39.6)
8. North Dakota (37.3)
9. Kansas (37)
10. Arizona (36.6)
Sexual crimes against women (other than rape) are even more commonplace. These results from the 2010 CDC report are eye-opening.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.15.21 AM

At the lowest rate, which occurs in Louisiana, 22% of women have experienced sexual violence other than rape. Most states fall somewhere between the 30 and 35% mark, while others like Oregon see 43% of women falling victim to non-rape sexual violence. The 10 states where women are most frequently sexually assaulted are:

1. Oregon (43.3%)
2. Alaska (42%)
3. Maryland (41.9%)
4. New Hampshire (40.8%)
5. Washington (40.5%)
6. Illinois (38.6%)
7. North Carolina (38.3%)
8. New York (38%)
9. Connecticut (37.2%)
10. Kentucky (36.8%)
One of the most obvious ways to determine if a place is dangerous is by looking at the murder rate. The murder rate for females in 2010 was notably higher in certain states.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.17.36 AM

States in the southern half of the United States have a notably higher murder rate among females than states in the northern half. Southern states also have looser gun laws.
According to the CDC, in 2010, the states with the most murders per 100,000 people are:

1. Louisiana (4.44)
2. Mississippi (4.13)
3. Alabama (3.85)
4. New Mexico (3.69)
5. South Carolina (3.57)
6. Arkansas (3.48)
7. Nevada (3.48)
8. Georgia (3.32)
9. Tennessee (3.1)
10. North Carolina (3.07)
Stalking doesn’t always lead to violence, but it can. Even still, stalking is far less common than sexual assault but worth mentioning. This is the percentage of women in 2010 who reported having been stalked in their lifetimes.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.20.06 AM

In Kentucky, the state with the highest percent of incidents, 19% of women report being stalked. Most states see an 11-13% rate of stalking, while the states with the lowest instances, Wisconsin and Virginia, see a rate of 9.8% and 8.6% respectively. The states with the highest percentage of women who have been stalked are:

1. Kentucky (19%)
2. Alabama (18.4%)
3. Nevada (17.7%)
4. Oklahoma (16.6%)
5. New Mexico (16.4%)
6. North Carolina (16%)
7. Tennessee (15.3%)
8. Wyoming (15.2%)
9. Mississippi (15.1%)
10. Pennsylvania (15%)

Four out of every five assaults are committed by someone the victim already knows (a friend, boyfriend, acquaintance, etc), and one third of women are assaulted by an intimate partner. The 2010 report shows the sheer number of women who reported being assaulted by an intimate partner within their lifetimes.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.23.34 AM

Considering 94% of women who are murdered and four fifths of women who are raped are attacked by someone they know, these statistics are particularly telling. These states have the highest percentage of women who have been raped, physically assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner.

1. Oklahoma (36.8%)
2. Nevada (34.8%)
3. North Carolina (33%)
4. Michigan (32.5%)
5. Washington (32.4%)
6. Maryland (32%)
7. New Hampshire (32%)
8. Alaska (32%)
9. South Carolina (31.7%)
10. Tennessee (30.6%)
When labeling the most dangerous places for women, it may also be important to consider a woman’s mental health. A cluster of states seem to have had a notably higher suicide rate between 2004 and 2010.

If the attack is on oneself, versus a homicide or physical assault from another party, does it still count? Regardless of genetic predisposition to depression and self-harm, situations that lead a woman to suicide are perhaps indicators of an unhealthy environment.

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.25.09 AM

States with highest rates of suicide per 100,000 people are:
1. Alaska (9.62)
2. Nevada (9..62)
3. Wyoming (8.19)
4. New Mexico (8.06)
5. Montana (7.96)
6. Colorado (7.76)
7. Oregon (7.23)
8. Arizona (7.18)
9. Florida (6.40)
10. Idaho (6.31)
The problem is still growing, which is why we need more information.

Despite the most comprehensive and accurate report being from 2010, the frequency of rape among women has not decreased. According to the FBI, the figures rose 1.6% between 2013 and 2014. This leads us to the question, why isn’t there a more recent CDC study on domestic abuse if the problem is growing? How many women will really be assaulted (sexually or otherwise) in their lifetimes? How many women were actually affected within the last year alone and didn’t report it to the police?

Perhaps if people are more aware of the massive scale of the problem, it could help lead to a change. For every woman who says it can never happen to me, who truly believes it’s only a problem for a few unfortunate people, there is another woman who understands that it can happen to anyone and it does happen to anyone, even if she remains silent in her understanding.

There is help out there for women who find themselves in trouble. If you need help and you’re in the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.

Mother Left Grief-Stricken After Ex Allegedly Forced Her to Hold Infant Twin Daughters While He Killed Them, Then Shot Himself/ people.com

with one comment

BY CHRIS HARRIS @chrisharrisment 11/19/2015 AT 03:45 PM EST

http://www.people.com/article/florida-man-kills-self-after-murdering-twin-daughters

Two twin babies were shot and killed in front of their mother last week during a murder-suicide that unfolded in a home in Jacksonville, Florida.

A police spokesman confirms to PEOPLE that the two five-month-old infants, Hayden and Kayden, were both killed on Nov. 13 by their 28-year-old father, Gawain Rushane Wilson.

Police say Wilson entered the home where the twin girls’ mother, 22-year-old Megan Hiatt, lived with her father, Travis. Wilson allegedly shot the babies, Hiatt and her father before eventually taking his own life.

Megan Hiatt, who is a twin herself, was the sole survivor of what police characterized as a “domestic incident.” Police could not confirm she had to have a breast removed as a result of last week’s violence, but did say she was shot five times. She is recovering from her injuries at UF Health Jacksonville.

The police spokesman also refused to comment on numerous media reports claiming Hiatt was forced to hold her two babies as Miller shot them dead.

Hiatt’s mother, Melissa Bateh, told First Coast News in an interview that Wilson wanted to destroy her daughter’s life. “He wanted to destroy her world. He wanted her to watch it be destroyed,” Bateh said, adding that her daughter told her she was forced to hold the infants as Wilson shot them.

” ‘Mama, he killed them. He killed them in my arms. He made me hold them when he killed them. He made me watch,’ ” Bateh recalled. “I knew, I didn’t … I couldn’t imagine someone doing that, holding your own children while someone kills them.”

Police confirm Hiatt and Miller “were a couple at one time,” but say it doesn’t appear the two were “still a couple” at the time of the shooting.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help raise money to pay for the funeral costs for the twins and their grandfather. So far, it has raised nearly $20,000 in donations.

images

‘I’m No Longer Afraid’: 35 Women Tell Their Stories About Being Assaulted by Bill Cosby, and the Culture That Wouldn’t Listen

leave a comment »

Unresolved Traumahttp://nymag.com/thecut/2015/07/bill-cosbys-accusers-speak-out.html?mid=fb-share-thecut

By Noreen Malone and Portfolio By Amanda Demme

More has changed in the past few years for women who allege rape than in all the decades since the women’s movement began. Consider the evidence of October 2014, when an audience member at a Hannibal Buress show in Philadelphia uploaded a clip of the comedian talking about Bill Cosby: “He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up, black people … I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches … I guess I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch Cosby Show reruns. Dude’s image, for the most part, it’s fucking public Teflon image. I’ve done this bit onstage and people think I’m making it up … That shit is upsetting.” The bit went viral swiftly, with irreversible, calamitous consequences for Cosby’s reputation.

Perhaps the most shocking thing wasn’t that Buress had called Cosby a rapist; it was that the world had actually heard him. A decade earlier, 14 women had accused Cosby of rape. In 2005, a former basketball star named Andrea Constand, who met Cosby when she was working in the athletic department at Temple University, where he served on the board of trustees, alleged to authorities that he had drugged her to a state of semi-consciousness and then groped and digitally penetrated her. After her allegations were made public, a California lawyer named Tamara Green appeared on the Today show and said that, 30 years earlier, Cosby had drugged and assaulted her as well. Eventually, 12 Jane Does signed up to tell their own stories of being assaulted by Cosby in support of Constand’s case. Several of them eventually made their names public. But they were met, mostly, with skepticism, threats, and attacks on their character.
In Cosby’s deposition for the Constand case, revealed to the public just last week, the comedian admitted pursuing sex with young women with the aid of Quaaludes, which can render a person functionally immobile. “I used them,” he said, “the same as a person would say, ‘Have a drink.’ ” He asked a modeling agent to connect him with young women who were new in town and “financially not doing well.” In the deposition, Cosby seemed confident that his behavior did not constitute rape; he apparently saw little difference between buying someone dinner in pursuit of sex and drugging them to reach the same goal. As for consent, he said, “I think that I’m a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things.” If these women agreed to meet up, his deposition suggested, he felt that he had a right to them. And part of what took the accusations against Cosby so long to surface is that this belief extended to many of the women themselves (as well as the staff and lawyers and friends and others who helped keep the incidents secret).

Months after his depositions, Cosby settled the case with Constand. The accusations quickly faded from the public’s memory, if they registered at all. No one wanted to believe the TV dad in a cardigan was capable of such things, and so they didn’t. The National Enquirer had planned to run a big story detailing one of the women’s accounts, but the magazine pulled it when Cosby agreed to give them a two-page exclusive telling his side (essentially that these were instances that had been “misinterpreted”). People ran a story alleging that several of the women had taken money in exchange for their silence, implying that this was nothing more than an elaborate shakedown. Cosby’s career rolled on: In 2014 alone, there was a stand-up special, plans for a new family comedy on NBC, and a high-profile biography by Mark Whitaker that glossed over the accusations.

The group of women Cosby allegedly assaulted functions almost as a longitudinal study — both for how an individual woman, on her own, deals with such trauma over the decades and for how the culture at large has grappled with rape over the same time period. In the ’60s, when the first alleged assault by Cosby occurred, rape was considered to be something violent committed by a stranger; acquaintance rape didn’t register as such, even for the women experiencing it. A few of Cosby’s accusers claim that he molested or raped them multiple times; one remained in his orbit, in and out of a drugged state, for years. In the ’70s and ’80s, campus movements like Take Back the Night and “No Means No” helped raise awareness of the reality that 80 to 90 percent of victims know their attacker. Still, the culture of silence and shame lingered, especially when the men accused had any kind of status. The first assumption was that women who accused famous men were after money or attention. As Cosby allegedly told some of his victims: No one would believe you. So why speak up?

Read her story
PATRICIA LEARY STEUER,59. Alleged assaults: 1978 and 1980.
But among younger women, and particularly online, there is a strong sense now that speaking up is the only thing to do, that a woman claiming her own victimhood is more powerful than any other weapon in the fight against rape. Emma Sulkowicz, carrying her mattress around Columbia in a performance-art protest of her alleged rape, is an extreme practitioner of this idea. This is a generation that’s been radicalized, in just the past few years, by horrific examples of rape and reactions to rape — like the 2012 Steubenville incident, in which high-school football players brutally violated a passed-out teenage girl at a party and photographed and braggingly circulated the evidence. That same year, when a 14-year-old Missouri cheerleader accused a popular older boy at her school of sexual assault, her classmates shamed her on social media and the family’s house was burned down. The whole world watched online. How could this kind of thing still be happening? These cases felt unignorable, unforgettable, Old Testament biblical. Would anyone have believed the girls, or cared, had the evidence not been digitizable? And: How could you be a young woman and not care deeply about trying to fix this?

This generation will probably be further galvanized by the allegations that a national cultural icon may have been allowed to drug and rape women for decades, with no repercussions. But these younger women have given something to Cosby’s accusers as well: a model for how to speak up, and a megaphone in the form of social media.

Facebook and Twitter, the forums that helped circulate the Buress clip, were full of rage at Cosby’s perceived cruelty. Barbara Bowman, who’d come forward during the Constand case, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about her frustration that no one had believed her for all those years. Three days after Bowman’s op-ed, another woman, Joan Tarshis, came forward to say Cosby had drugged and raped her in 1969. By the end of November, 16 more women had come forward. Cosby resigned from Temple’s board of trustees and sought monetary damages from one of his accusers; he also told “Page Six” that he wanted “the black media to uphold the standards of excellence in journalism [and] go in with a neutral mind.” (Cosby, through representatives, has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and hasn’t been charged with any crimes. Emails to four of his lawyers and press reps went unanswered, although his team has begun a media tour to deny that his admission of offering Quaaludes to women was tantamount to admitting he’d raped anyone.) By February, there were another 12 accusers. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler joked about it at the Golden Globes: “Sleeping Beauty just thought she was getting coffee with Bill Cosby.” Attorney Gloria Allred got involved, representing more than a dozen of the women. Even President Obama said it was clear to him: “If you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape.”

There are now 46 women who have come forward publicly to accuse Cosby of rape or sexual assault; the 35 women here are the accusers who were willing to be photographed and interviewed by New York. The group, at present, ranges in age from early 20s to 80 and includes supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson alongside waitresses and Playboy bunnies and journalists and a host of women who formerly worked in show business. Many of the women say they know of others still out there who’ve chosen to remain silent.

MARCELLA TATE,
67. Alleged assault: 1975.

LINDA JOY TRAITZ,
64. Alleged assault: 1969.

LINDA KIRKPATRICK,
58. Alleged assault: 1981.

LINDA BROWN,
67. Alleged assault: 1969.

KAYA THOMPSON,
44. Alleged assault: late 1980s.

TAMARA GREEN.
Alleged assault: early 1970s.
This project began six months ago, when we started contacting the then-30 women who had publicly claimed Cosby assaulted them, and it snowballed in the same way that the initial accusations did: First two women signed on, then others heard about it and joined in, and so on. Just a few days before the story was published, we photographed the final two women, bringing our total to 35. “I’m no longer afraid,” said Chelan Lasha, who came forward late last year to say that Cosby had drugged her when she was 17. “I feel more powerful than him.”

Accompanying this photo essay is a compilation of the interviews with these women, a record of trauma and survival — the memories that remain of the decades-old incidents. All 35 were interviewed separately, and yet their stories have remarkable similarities, in everything from their descriptions of the incidents to the way they felt in the aftermath. Each story is awful in its own right. But the horror is multiplied by the sheer volume of seeing them together, reading them together, considering their shared experience. The women have found solace in their number — discovering that they hadn’t been alone, that there were others out there who believed them implicitly, with whom they didn’t need to be afraid of sharing the darkest details of their lives. They are scattered all over the country — ten different states are represented — and most of them had no contact with their fellow accusers until recently. But since reading about each other’s stories in the news, or finding one another on social media, or meeting in person at the photo shoots arranged by New York, many of the women have forged a bond. It is, as Tarshis calls it, “a sorrowful sisterhood.” ■

Testimony
THE INCIDENTS

“My agent said we’ve been contacted by a really, really big person in the entertainment industry who’s interested in mentoring promising young talent. I find out it’s Bill Cosby. I had the understanding I was going to be receiving private acting coaching from him. This was the opportunity of a lifetime. A driver would pick me up, my agent was paying for it. That made it all very, very professional. The door opens, and there stands Cosby. He’s in his sweats and very casual, very friendly. I had a monologue prepared. He seemed unimpressed. He said, ‘Let’s try a cold read,’ so he pulls out a script. The scene was set in a bar; the character was someone who was inebriated. He poured a glass of white wine. And he said, use this as a prop — now, that means you’re going to have to sip on it, of course. I really don’t remember much, except waking up in his bedroom. He was naked, and he was forcing himself into my mouth.” —Heidi Thomas

“I was introduced to Bill Cosby through my modeling agent. She said that Cosby wanted to see me. Which I thought was obviously for the show. I was told there was going to be a dinner, and when I got there, no one ever arrived. He asked me if I wanted a glass of wine; I took a few sips. It had a horrible taste. And I started not feeling well. He helped me up by my underarms with both hands. He walked me into the next room, where there was a mirror on the wall, and he told me to look at myself. Something was wrong with me. And then he took my right hand, and he put it behind my back. I remember seeing semen on the floor. And I felt some liquid on my hand. That was when I knew something sexual was going on.” —Jewel Allison

“He took my roommate and me out to dinner. It was this new hip steak restaurant on the strip near the Whiskey a Go Go called Sneaky Pete’s. He was chatting her up and trying to charm her. And he reached across and put a pill next to my wineglass and said, ‘Here, this will make you feel better,’ and he gave her one. I wasn’t really thinking. My son had recently died. I thought, Great, me feel better? You bet. So I took the pill and washed it down with some red wine. And then he reached across and put another pill in my mouth and gave her one. Just after I took the second pill, my face was, like, face-in-plate syndrome, and I just said, ‘I wanna go home.’ He said he would drive us home. We went up this elevator. I sat down, and lay my head back, just fighting nausea. I looked around and he was sitting next to my roommate on the love seat with this very predatory look on his face. She was completely unconscious. I could hear the words in my head, but I couldn’t form words with my mouth, because I was so drugged out. He got up and came over, and he sat down and unzipped his fly. He had me give him oral sex, and then he stood me up, turned me over, did me doggy style, and walked out. Just as he got to the door, I said, ‘How do we get out of here, how do we get home?’ And he said, ‘Call a cab.’ ” —Victoria Valentino

SUNNI WELLES,66. Alleged assaults: mid-1960s.

THERESE SERIGNESE,58. Alleged assault: 1976.

BETH FERRIER,56. Alleged assault: mid-1980s.

CARLA FERRIGNO. Alleged assault: 1967.
“Bill had been a friend. I had had dinner with his wife on one or two different occasions, I had worked with him, I had known him for many, many years, and he never made a pass at me. So when this happened to me, I was really, really shocked. I just couldn’t understand what was wrong with him. Had he lost his mind? When I came out of the bathroom, he said to me, ‘Okay, come on, let’s go. They’re waiting for us.’ He was behaving like a person that I had never met before in my life.” —Kathy McKee

“At 17, my agent introduced me to Bill Cosby, who was going to mentor me and take me to the next level of my career. Over the course of the next year, I was drugged half the time when I was with him and would come out of a delusional experience going, ‘Whoa, what was that?’ He would say, ‘Well, I needed to undress you and wash your clothes because you got drunk and made a fool of yourself.’ Do you remember the Jaycee Dugard story? She pretty much could have climbed over the fence any time she wanted to but was just so broken down and couldn’t think straight. I felt like a prisoner; I felt I was kidnapped and hiding in plain sight. I could have walked down any street of Manhattan at any time and said, ‘I’m being raped and drugged by Bill Cosby,’ but who the hell would have believed me? Nobody, nobody. I was invited down to Atlantic City to see his show and had a very confusing night where I was completely drugged and my luggage was missing. When I called the concierge to find out where my luggage was, Cosby went ballistic. He slammed the phone down and said, ‘What the hell are you doing, letting the whole hotel know I have a 19-year-old girl in my hotel suite?’ The next morning, he summoned me down to his room and yelled at me that I needed to have discretion. He threw me down on the bed and he put his forearm under my throat. He straddled me, and he took his belt buckle off. The clanking of the belt buckle, I’ll never forget.” —Barbara Bowman

JANICE DICKINSON,60. Alleged assault: 1982.

“I had a terrible headache, and I said, ‘Bill, do you have some Tylenol? I have a mother of a headache.’ And he said to me, ‘I have something stronger.’ And I said, ‘You know I don’t do drugs.’ He said, ‘You’re one of my best friends. Would I hurt you?’ And I believed him. All I remember is taking the pill; I don’t remember going to bed. But I do remember waking up in a fog and opening my eyes, and I had no clothes on, and there was Bill’s friend totally naked in bed with me. He started to laugh and smile, and he said, ‘Oh, did you have a good time?’ I said, ‘What the fuck happened? Do you always eff a dead person?’ I got my clothes on and I walked out. And Bill said, ‘Where are you going?’ I said, ‘What the eff did you give me?’ He said, ‘Oh, you had a bad headache, you were in so much pain. I gave you a Quaalude.’ I was hurt with Bill more than angry at his friend. Bill let him take advantage of me. That kills me. That’s why I know the stories of what he did to the other women are true, because if he didn’t have the respect for me, who was really a close friend, then he could do that to anybody he didn’t know very well.” —Joyce Emmons

LOUISA MORITZ,69. Alleged assault: 1971.

KACEY(name has been changed). Alleged assault: 1996.
THE AFTERMATH

“I told my supervisor at the Playboy Club what he did to me, and you know what she said to me? She said: ‘You do know that that’s Hefner’s best friend, right?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ She says to me: ‘Nobody’s going to believe you. I suggest you shut your mouth.’ ” —PJ Masten

“People often these days say, ‘Well, why didn’t you take it to the police?’ Andrea Constand went to the police in 2005 — how’d it work out for her? Not at all. In 2005, Bill Cosby still had control of the media. In 2015, we have social media. We can’t be disappeared. It’s online and can never go away.” —Tamara Green

CHELAN LASHA,46. Alleged assault: 1986.
“I had a few moments where I tried to come forward. But I was just too scared, and I also had the extra burden of not really wanting to take an African-American man down.” —Jewel Allison

“I didn’t realize that I had been raped. Back then, rape was done in an alleyway with somebody holding a knife to your throat that you didn’t know. There was no date rape back then. I just knew that something horrible had happened. But I couldn’t put a name to it. The difference between this and that rape in the dark alley is that his face would be before me every week on TV. People would mention a joke that he said: ‘Wasn’t that funny?’ And all the while, my stomach would just be churning.” —Joan Tarshis

“In 1975, it wasn’t an issue that was even discussed. Rape was being beaten up in a park. I understood at the time that it was wrong, but I just internalized it and dealt with it and pushed it down, and it resided in a very private place. It affects your trust with other people.” —Marcella Tate

HELEN HAYES,
80. Alleged assault: 1973.

HEIDI THOMAS,
55. Alleged assault: 1984.

PJ MASTEN,
65. Alleged assault: 1979.

SARITA BUTTERFIELD,
59. Alleged assault: 1977.

JANICE BAKER-KINNEY,
57. Alleged assault: 1982.

AUTUMN BURNS,
68. Alleged assault: circa 1970.

“Survivors of rape have a very difficult time having intimate relationships. I was in my 20s. I could never have a real relationship. It was like a black, disgusting tumor—a secret tumor.” —PJ Masten

“When I see a Jell-O pudding, it comes flooding back. Bill Cosby, that encounter, that one time, played a major factor in the direction my life took, toward the dark side.” —Sammie Mays

“Eighteen is very young. It took me a long, long time to come to terms with the fact that it was him, it wasn’t me. Life has not been easy for me. I had addiction problems as I got older.” —Linda Joy Traitz

“People go, ‘Why haven’t you gotten over it?’ But you might as well ask a combat soldier why he doesn’t forget the Battle of Guadalcanal. There was someone trying to harm him, someone trying to kill him, and they never get over it, they just learn how to cope with it.” —Tamara Green

LILI BERNARD. Alleged assault: early 1990s.
THE AVALANCHE

“I read Barbara Bowman’s piece in the Washington Post, how no one believed her, and I said, ‘This is it. I have to say something now. I have to stand up and say, Yes. Somebody else does believe you, because it happened to me.’ It was sort of like we were yodeling in a canyon and set off an avalanche. I knew I wasn’t ever gonna receive any money. I certainly didn’t want to be remembered as the woman that Bill Cosby raped. But I just felt so vindicated that I wasn’t alone.” —Joan Tarshis

“How would it benefit any of us? It doesn’t. We’re telling the story because we can’t hold it inside anymore.” —Kathy McKee

“I came forward to offer my support as a witness. I knew my statute of limitations had run out. When only one or two women came out, a couple of years ago, they were ridiculed more. It’s hard to not believe the numbers now.” —Janice Baker-Kinney

BARBARA BOWMAN,
48. Alleged assaults: 1985–1987.

SAMMIE MAYS,
57. Alleged assault: 1987.

JOAN TARSHIS,
67. Alleged assault: 1969.

MARGIE SHAPIRO,
58. Alleged assault: 1975.

JOYCE EMMONS,
70. Alleged assault: circa 1979.

REBECCA LYNN NEAL,
60. Alleged assault: 1986.

“I went online one morning, just to check my email. The Yahoo page came up, and there was something about Cosby, this thing with Hannibal Buress. And all of a sudden, something just hit me. Anger. Son of a bitch! You know, a woman can be not believed for 30 years. But it takes one man? To make a joke about it? That fucking pissed me off so bad. Suddenly I’m thinking, Who do I contact?” —Victoria Valentino

“I have a friend who is a detective for a police department. She’s the one who pushed me to file a report. My husband was like, ‘No, I don’t want anybody to know, we don’t want to expose you, I don’t want people saying bad things.’ But my friend said, ‘You gotta do it for you.’ ” —Lise-Lotte Lublin

“I saw that there were a lot of negative responses being posted against Barbara Bowman and Joan Tarshis and Tamara Green and Andrea Constand, grouping them in a historical reference to claims that “white women” have made in the past, that weren’t truthful, about being raped by a black man. But unfortunately with this case, I knew that there was a very strong possibility that these women were telling the truth, because I had had my own negative experience with Bill Cosby. And so I just felt like, No, this can’t go in that direction.”—Jewel Allison

“The part of it I wasn’t prepared for was the onslaught of women that have been assaulted and them telling me their story because I told mine.” —Beverly Johnson

“I started getting private messages on Facebook from other former Bunnies: ‘He did me too, PJ. He got me too.’ There’s a couple of websites — ‘We believe the women’ — and Cosby sites that we all created. And we talk, all the survivors. We just had the photo shoot. And I said it was one of the greatest experiences I ever had. It was fun. We had great music, great food, we were all dancing and laughing, and yet in L.A., the L.A. group said it was so somber, and everybody was upset. And I said, ‘What, are you kidding? We were celebrating here in New York, baby.’ Our freedom, our freedom! Nothing macabre about that. We’re out.” —PJ Masten

KATHY MCKEE,66. Alleged assault: early 1970s.
“Listen, he was America’s favorite dad. I went into this thinking he was going to be my dad. To wake up half-dressed and raped by the man that said he was going to love me like a father? That’s pretty sick. It was hard for America to digest when this came out. And a lot of backlash and a lot denial and a lot of anger.” —Barbara Bowman

“I think his legacy is going to be similar to O.J.’s legacy. When you hear O.  J. Simpson’s name, you don’t think, Oh, great football player. That doesn’t come to mind first. I’m thinking it’s not going to be, Oh, great comedian. It’s going to be, Oh, serial rapist. And that will be our legacy.” —Joan Tarshis

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

July 28, 2015 at 7:06 am

%d bloggers like this: