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New technique to help catch sexual offenders: Scientists detect condom lubricant on fingermarks for the first time

Posted: February 4th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

A new technique that's able to detect condom lubricants in fingerprints may offer law enforcement personnel and prosecutors new ways to establish the presence of a suspect in an alleged sexual assault. The technique, developed at Sheffield Hallam University, uses MALDI-MSI (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging), a technology used to map fingerprint ridge patterns, and is able to detect lubricant in fingermarks that have been left for several weeks before analysis.

"Offenders are increasingly aware of forensic issues and it is common now for condoms to be used and removed from the scene of a sexual assault," Dr. Simona Francese said. "If condom lubricant can be detected in fingermarks it would improve the evidence for the prosecution by establishing the assailant's presence at the scene and, crucially, having had contact with a condom. This would enable forensic scientists to provide further support to the evidence in alleged cases of sexual assault."

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Ugandan gay rights activist murdered weeks after court victory | World News | The Guardian

Posted: January 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

David Kato, one of the earliest and most prominent gay rights activists in Uganda, was murdered in his home Wednesday. The killing comes shortly after Kato won a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone tabloid from publishing names and pictures of Ugandans it claims are homosexual. Kato himself was pictured in an earlier run of the tabloid under the headline "Hang Them." When asked for comment, the tabloid's managing editor Giles Muhame said he had "no regrets" about the publication—or the murder.

It's worth forever remembering the intimate role American Christian fundamentalists have played in this murder, as "visits from several American preachers renowned for their homophobic views," reported Xan Rice, helped create a climate of fear and prejudice in the country.

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Calif. judge blocks sex offender residency law

Posted: November 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , | No Comments »

"Jessica's Law" restricts registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of a public or private school, or a park where children gather. Sounds good in theory, but "despite lay belief, a sex offender parolee's residential proximity to a school or park where children regularly gather does not bear upon the parolee's likelihood to commit a sex offense against a child," Judge Peter Espinoza wrote, blocking the law's enforcement.

The law's controversial; researchers and law enforcement groups say "residency restrictions don't prevent sexual assaults and, in fact, are counterproductive," Josh Goodman reports. Espinoza's ruling cites one such report by LA Police Chief Charlie Beck, which said if parolees can't find stable housing, they're more difficult for law enforcement to monitor. However, Beck is now distancing himself from that conclusion.

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Mob set Naroda guesthouse on fire – India – DNA

Posted: November 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A sex worker from Kolkata has died and two other women were injured in India this week due to burns sustained after a mob of about 50 people set fire to the guesthouse they were in. The mob of vigilantes believed the guesthouse, which had been raided by local police twice before, to be engaged in presumably prostitution-related "illegal activities." Evidently, however, despite any concerns for the guesthouse's occupants, the vigilantes decided manhandling the people there, pelting the building with stones, and ultimately committing arson that lead to murder was more appropriate behavior.

It is a grizzly reminder of the violence sex workers face at the hands of so-called "rescuers." While some of the loudest anti-prostitution activists are women, their advocacy perpetuates whore stigma to the detriment of all women; they're frauds.

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That’s Not What We Do | CarnalNation

Posted: September 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

In a remarkably well thought out and thorough response to the conversation around whether there are similarities between this story of kidnapping and sexual abuse and the actions of the BDSM community, Thomas MacAulay Millar speaks out clearly to remind every one that, no – it is not. BDSM is not unethical behavior, and unethical behavior is not BDSM. Millar sets out a 4 point code of Ethical BDSM, reminding us that: it is unethical (and unconstitutional) to ever have an irrevocable master/slave relationship; it's unethical to leverage existing vulnerability or power imbalance into a BDSM relationship; it is unethical to do things beyond your ability as a Top; it is unethical to do things to people that they don't have enough information to make an informed decision about. He continues by calling the BDSM community to action to be more responsible for speaking up about abuse, within and outside of the community.

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CarnalNation suffered from link rot, so brief source now links to Feministe; content is unchanged.

TransGriot: Hypermasculinity Is Killing Our Kids

Posted: August 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

An absolutely heart-breaking story of manslaughter is making headlines after 20 year old Pedro Jones confessed to punching his girlfriend's 17 month old baby boy to death. Jones said, "I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl." While the family is understandably outraged, that single quote is the only reference to transphobia in all mainstream media.

Trans activist Monica Roberts cuts to the issue's root: "One of the things I've been sickened about lately is kids who are being beaten because they aren't acting 'masculine enough' for the male adults in their lives." Indeed, Jones' crime is not the first. In 2005, 3 year old Ronnie Paris Jr. was killed by his 21 year old father by repeatedly slapping him around to ensure he wouldn't grow up to be "soft" or a "sissy." As TransGriot writes, "Homophobia and transphobia feeds into these hypermasculine attitudes, and it has got to stop."

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