Cops Suspect Slain Muslim Teen Nabra Hassanen Was Raped

FAIRFAX, Virginia Authorities suspect Nabra Hassanen may have been raped before she was murdered on Sunday, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

The killing of Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl, sent shockwaves through the country after a recent string of violent attacks on Muslims and racial minorities. Police said they are not investigating her death as a hate crime.

Hassanens body was found in a pond in Sterling, Virginia, hours after Darwin Martinez Torres allegedly struck her with a baseball bat, took her away, and killed her. One source said police found a womans pair of underwear near Hassanens body, and investigators are awaiting test results from vaginal swabs.

When asked if Hassanen was raped, Fairfax County Police Department Lt. Col. Deputy Chief of Police Tom Ryan said at a Monday press conference: There was an assault that occurred in Fairfax County and we had another assault that occurred in Loudoun County.

Torres, 22, is in Fairfax County jail custody for the attack on Hassanen. Torres, a national of El Salvador, entered the United States illegally, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Carissa Cutrell told The Daily Beast. Cutrell said ICE has asked to take custody of Torres after hes released from Fairfax County jail.

It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence, Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker said Monday. She added the case may be potentially prosecuted in Loudoun County due to elements of the various crimes and where they occurred.

According to a preliminary investigation, sources said, Hassanen and a group of about 15 Muslim teenagers were walking and riding bikes back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque in Sterling after leaving a nearby fast food restaurant at about 3:40 a.m. on Sunday.

One boy in the group began arguing with Torres, the sources said, before one of the teens allegedly threw a drink at Torres vehicle.

Torres drove his vehicle onto the curb as the teens scattered, the sources said. Witnesses told police that Torres chased part of the group, including Hassanen, with a metal baseball bat into a nearby McDonalds parking lot.

Hassanen reportedly tripped over her abaya, which is when Torres caught up with her and struck her with the bat in the head, rendering her unconscious. Torres then allegedly dragged her body to his vehicle and drove to another location where police suspect he raped her.

A source close to the investigation said Hassanen may have regained consciousness and resisted during the sexual assault before Torres struck her again. Autopsy results showed that Hassanen suffered blunt force trauma to the upper body.

Hassanens body was later found in a pond.

The Washington Post reported Hassanen was the first born of four daughters, a diligent and popular student who just finished 10th grade. The Hassanen family lived in a modest apartment near Washington, D.C., usually overflowing with friends and laughter.

Its a family where if youre feeling down and you need to laugh, this is where you go, Samar Ali, 26, who grew up in the Hassanens' apartment complex told the Post.

Why would you kill a kid? What did my daughter do to deserve this? her mother said to the Post.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/cops-suspect-slain-muslim-teen-nabra-hassanen-was-raped


Could weed be used to treat period pain?

There are reports cannabis will be approved by New York legislators to treat period pain. The evidence is unclear, but that doesnt mean the drug can be ruled out

According to reports this week, marijuana is about to be approved to treat period pains by legislators in New York. Cannabis is already allowed for medicinal use in 29 American states for a variety of conditions such as cancer, HIV or Aids, severe nausea, seizures and persistent muscle spasms (for example with people who have multiple sclerosis). Could period pains really be joining that list, and is there any evidence that it works?


It is certainly clearly stated in bill number A582: Medical marijuana can alleviate many of the painful effects of dysmenorrhea. The bill also states that Not only will this improve womens wellbeing and productivity during menstruation, but it will advance New York State in one of the countrys fastest growing industries. So cannabis will help women, and industry too. Its win win.

Except that Dr Penny Whiting, the lead author of a large systematic review in Jama on the medicinal uses of cannabinoids confirms my suspicion that there is no research showing that cannabis relieves period pains though she points out that because of the lack of research, theres also no evidence it doesnt work … Her review found moderate evidence that cannabinoids work for chronic pain and spasticity (severe cramps such as in multiple sclerosis) and low quality evidence that it relieves nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy and sleep disorders. Another review published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine found similar results.

Period cramps are caused by the release of prostaglandins that trigger muscle cramps in the uterus. These cramps reduce the blood supply to the uterus and cause painful spasms. Theres not much in the medical armoury to help dysmenorrhea. There are oral contraceptives that stop ovulation and therefore prostaglandin production, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (that inhibit prostaglandins being made) or paracetamol. Meanwhile, in Colorado and California women can use marijuana tampons made by Foria which smell of cookie dough. The tampons combine two active ingredients from cannabis tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). The cells lining the vaginal wall absorb the cannabinoids and may block the nerves from carrying pain signals to the brain. Local absorption is also meant to reduce any psychoactive high from the drug.

Theres anecdotal evidence from women that these cannabis tampons work within 20 minutes. However, they are not available legally in the UK. And like any drug, cannabinoids can have side effects. Writing in the BMJ, Dr Giles Newton-Howes, of the University of Otago in New Zealand argued the case for making it easier to conduct trials for the use of cannabis at medicine. He says that we can only speculate on their usefulness for dysmenorrhea. But its welcome speculation at that.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/19/marijuana-cannabis-treat-period-pain-dr-dillner


10+ Powerful Photos Of Dads In The Delivery Room To Celebrate Fathers Day

For those of you who didn’t know, today is Father’s Day in many countries around the world. And there’s a very simple reason why this day is so widely celebrated, and that’s because dads are awesome. Check out these professional pictures of dads in the delivery room to see what we mean. They’ll make you laugh, they’ll make you cry, but most importantly they’ll remind you, if you ever needed reminding, that dads deserve to be spoiled today for being there for us, and there with us, since the very first day we were born.

“Just before a gestational surrogate gave birth to their son in Kingston, Ontario, a midwife screamed shirts off so new dads Frank Nelson and BJ Barone would be ready to hold their baby against their bare chests for skin-to-skin bonding.”

This couple had really, really wanted a baby for several years. While I was waiting for the babys father to come out from the OR, his sister said, I can hear him crying from here! One minute later, we saw him covered in happy tears and holding his baby girl.

This babys mom had just handed her to her father for some skin-to-skin … and this sweet girl was clearly absolutely smitten! At less than two hours old, she was raising her head to look straight into his eyes.

“I adore this image of my sweet husband. In the midst of pushing I told him (strongly) “Do not move!” His head was the perfect resting spot for my foot. Throughout my entire pregnancy and birth he told me: I know you can do this. You’re going to be absolutely amazing. He’s been my rock again and again.”

As the pushing phase progressed, this first-time dad grew more and more excited to meet his daughter. As her head started to emerge, he repeatedly covered his face in wonderment and awe. Her first breath certainly took his breath away!

This dad was injured severely in an accident in Afghanistan just three months before the birth of their second baby. He wasnt able to support his wife physically, but he found other ways to help and hold space.

That tattoo on his chest was done after their first miscarriage, and now his daughter lies her sweet head against it. Both of them a reminder of triumph.

“When you just realize that after two boys…you finally have a girl.”

These dads waited for so long for their baby born via surrogate at a birth center that they were just completely overcome with joy when they finally got to hold him.

This dads pregnant wife and unborn daughter tragically passed away years ago. He has their names tattooed on his ring finger, which is visible in the photo. Later, he met and fell in love with his wife. This is their first son, Jude. Holding him for the first time skin-to-skin was a very emotional moment.

This dad wanted to make sure no one touched his babys umbilical cord until it had fully finished its job, so this was one way to guard it against being cut too early! This family knows how to have a good time any place, any time this wasnt staged at all! (They did use scissors to cut the umbilical cord.)

Trusting my body and my baby, I recognized when a fearful thought would arise and chose to change it. Absolutely it was incredibly hard, but I was strong – stronger than maybe some skeptics had believed when they found out I was doing a home birth. And sincerely, people’s doubts never offended me. I just felt sad that they didn’t realize the full feminine strength that all women posses. I…

Trusting my body and my baby, I recognized when a fearful thought would arise and chose to change it. Absolutely it was incredibly hard, but I was strong – stronger than maybe some skeptics had believed when they found out I was doing a home birth. And sincerely, people’s doubts never offended me. I just felt sad that they didn’t realize the full feminine strength that all women posses. I got to experience it in all its fullness yesterday, and my reward was birthing, not only a baby, but also a mom. _ Bonnie started letting me know she wanted to come meet the world at 5:00am on Monday, January 2, and my astounding husband and mother helped me labor until about 12:45pm when I got in our bathtub to push. My little sweet sister joined us then to squeeze my hand and help document the journey. Our midwife, Emily, from Lovers Lane Birth Center, was calming and made me feel strong and safe. The last push was something I’ll never forget – a defining moment in my life. She came out into the water at 1:59pm and she was perfect. _ Ben and I got a moment alone with this new little angel and I fell even more in love with my sweet husband. I’m reliving yesterday in my head over and over again. It was amazing, and if you are at all interested in a home or natural birth, I’m thrilled to help provide any insight or resources. _ Our little Birdie is 7.5lbs and 20in long with hair already long enough for pigtails. She pooped on me three times in the first two hours of her life, so we know she’s for sure Ben’s daughter…

This mother had been laboring for about 12 hours at this point and was absolutely exhausted. She was entering into transition, so each contraction was getting even more intense. Mic, the father, leaned in to pull her in close as she came down from the last contraction, wiping her tears from her cheeks. It was truly one of the sweetest moments Ive ever captured between a mom and dad.

These two dads are just about to meet their son for the first time. They traveled to Canada from Barcelona, Spain, (where surrogacy is illegal) to be there and support the surrogate mama in labor and delivery.

“And she opened her eyes and found him. She arched back her neck so that she could see or sense him better. Her father. The beginning of lifelong love.”

A normal part of life and an honor to catch your own baby.

This couple had decided right after getting married that they would have kids via adoption, not because of any physical constraints, but because that was what was in their hearts. Their first daughter is 2 years old and they adopted her the day she was born. So it came as a huge surprise when they moved to Hawaii and, at the same time, found out they were pregnant! This father…

This couple had decided right after getting married that they would have kids via adoption, not because of any physical constraints, but because that was what was in their hearts. Their first daughter is 2 years old and they adopted her the day she was born. So it came as a huge surprise when they moved to Hawaii and, at the same time, found out they were pregnant! This father was his partners rock throughout the whole labor, both physically and mentally. When she pulled her baby to her chest, their reactions were so different but so awesome!

There are those moments in life that you know will change you forever. And sometimes in those moments, you just cant keep it together!

It was a long birth for these first-time parents, but the father not only encouraged his partner, he also talked to his baby throughout labor. It was beautiful to witness.

“This is the couples first live birth, they had a still birth just over a year and a half ago. This mommy went through 24 hours of labor, and then everything stopped for just over a week. Her water then broke and she was in labor for 30 hours before their son was born. When the baby arrived, they both broke down crying when he took his first breath.”

“At 12:21am an AMAZING mother and INCREDIBLE father delivered their precious baby in the front seat of their car! I am still in awe of their strength, their sweet baby could not wait another minute to come into this world and his father delivered him within minutes of putting his car in park. No words can describe how amazing it was to watch this miracle, more to come as I…

“At 12:21am an AMAZING mother and INCREDIBLE father delivered their precious baby in the front seat of their car! I am still in awe of their strength, their sweet baby could not wait another minute to come into this world and his father delivered him within minutes of putting his car in park. No words can describe how amazing it was to watch this miracle, more to come as I was able to capture it all! Birth photographers dream, what a wild night it was. So in love with this family! Welcome to the world sweet babe.”

“And he reached down and delivered his own baby. Look at the tenderness in his hands, his face. This is family. This is love.

This dad had been emotional from the moment the midwife told his partner it was time to push. He supported her through every second of her painful labor and two epidurals. There was so much anticipation and lead-up to this moment that when the time came, his emotions utterly overwhelmed him in the most precious and authentic way. I cant imagine how much his daughter will love seeing this…

This dad had been emotional from the moment the midwife told his partner it was time to push. He supported her through every second of her painful labor and two epidurals. There was so much anticipation and lead-up to this moment that when the time came, his emotions utterly overwhelmed him in the most precious and authentic way. I cant imagine how much his daughter will love seeing this moment when shes older, knowing just how much her father loves her.

Complete happiness! This was the couples second daughter, born at home.

This moment! If any couple has really labored together, it was them. Watching them bring their son into the world and meet him for the first time was so moving.

This was this couples first girl and their last baby. It was also their first home birth and it just all came together for them. There was so much love in the room. This baby is daddys little girl for sure.

Catching his baby at home. I’m remembering him saying something along the lines of, “This is so cool!”

This dad labored through intense contractions alongside his wife. Sometimes Id look at him and know he was feeling her pain, too!

“I love seeing a dad meet his baby. There is something so powerful and healing about seeing men embrace fatherhood.”

This dad is holding his son for the first time, after waiting for his girlfriend to nurse and to have her time with the baby, skin-to-skin. Even though he was so patient, you could also see he was excited to finally get to hold his baby.

This dad was so shocked that the birth of their second baby happened so fast that it took him a few moments to realize what had happened. Even though you know you are about to have a baby, that moment is still so big and shocking!

Moments after watching his first child be delivered, this father tearfully gazes at his wife with such love and admiration.

Matt meets our daughter Story for the first time on January 30, 2009.

I adore care providers who allow partners to be such important parts of their babys birth. Allowing dads to have this opportunity or encouraging them to sit skin-to-skin just after birth helps facilitate an opportunity for instant bonding with their babies.

This is a rainbow birth. This couple had several miscarriages and stillbirths. This mom wrote in a blog post on my site: My initial thoughts were: that hurt and Im glad its over. Then it hit me, hes here and hes alive. We are bringing a baby home from the hospital! Still seems like such a dream.

“The way they looked at each other… From the first contraction to the moment they held her in their arms… Took my breath away. This is love. This is family.”

“The dance, the connection. Labor is both a solitary act… And one that requires you find your deepest and truest support.”

“He reached down and pulled his baby up and out of the water. Incredible.”

This mother had been in labor for three days, trying to have a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC). Her husband, a Dallas police officer, stayed by her side through every single contraction.

This dad is helping his wife through her surges or contractions as they were getting closer to meeting their first child.

“One of my favorite “dad moments.””

As this mama worked through a contraction, her partner was by her side offering his love and support.

“This is my little sister’s baby… And that’s my incredible brother-in-law catching his daughter. He’s going to be a neurosurgeon, but I can’t help but think he’d b e a great OB too! He never left my sister’s side during her labor… His words and his presence were invaluable.”

Directly after a C-section delivery, the nurse placed these twin babies in their fathers arms for the very first time. There was so much love in the room.

These parents were having their third child and didnt know the gender. They had two boys already, so there was a lot of chatter about what this baby would be. I caught the dads expression when the doctor said it was another boy. He was overjoyed!

“Isn’t it incredible when dads catch their own babies?”

This dad told me: All the action below the curtain and all the peace above it what a wonderful moment in time. I had no idea my wife was hiring a birth photographer, but after seeing this shot, Im so glad she did.

This couple had an unplanned C-section. More than anything, the dad brought a place of stillness and focus in the midst of all the busy-ness.

This dad is a firefighter and paramedic. Part of the couples deal was that if they were going to have a third baby, hed get to help with the delivery. The amazing OB-GYN was super supportive of him being involved and when it came time for mom to push, basically walked dad through the delivery. He was completely hands-on, delivering his baby boy!




A mom’s raw photo after a C-section shows how badass the female body is.

This is Mel Watts. Veteran mom.

She documents life with her kids on Instagram and her blog, where she keeps it pretty real about what it can take to raise children in 2017.

She also just recently added a new baby boy to the brood.

Just four days after the Caesarean birth of her son, she shared a photo on Instagram that captured the remarkable resilience of the female body.

The raw photo shows her belly before and after the delivery.

Recovering from a c-section is tough; it’s a major surgery after all. And while the incision was fresh, and the pain likely was too, Watts wanted to take a minute to appreciate her body for everything it’d been through.

Fair warning: This photo doesn’t pull any punches.

Top photo 30 weeks pregnant Bottom photo 4 days post Caesarean section. Wow. Honestly it’s no castle or bloody piece of art. Sure it’s filled with stretch marks and dimples. But this body, this one the one I own gave me another life. Another small human to love and to hold. It held onto him for 9 months and sheltered him, protected him and prepared him for the day he was born. So many times I’ve doubted my body, so many times I’ve pinched and pulled at sections that I didn’t like. In reality this body has done everything I’d ever want it to do. Sure it’s not magazine or swimsuit worthy to some. But to me and my husband, it’s the place that grew our babies. It’s the place that everything we love most started. And that’s all that counts right?! We feel as though we need to follow society’s stigma on what we should look like when in fact we should just do what we feel works for us. No body has the same body And every body has their own body. Enjoy it.

A post shared by M E L W A T T S – MUMMA LIFE (@themodernmumma) on

She wrote:

“Wow. Honestly it’s no castle or bloody piece of art.
Sure it’s filled with stretch marks and dimples. But this body, this one the one I own gave me another life. Another small human to love and to hold. It held onto him for 9 months and sheltered him, protected him and prepared him for the day he was born.
So many times I’ve doubted my body, so many times I’ve pinched and pulled at sections that I didn’t like. In reality this body has done everything I’d ever want it to do. Sure it’s not magazine or swimsuit worthy to some. But to me and my husband, it’s the place that grew our babies. It’s the place that everything we love most started. And that’s all that counts right?! We feel as though we need to follow society’s stigma on what we should look like when in fact we should just do what we feel works for us.
No body has the same body. And every body has their own body. Enjoy it.”

The response to her brave photo was swift and powerful.

It racked up thousands of Likes on Instagram, and other women’s stories have been pouring in via the comments section of the post.

“I have struggled with my C-section area for SEVEN YEARS. Why have I not been embracing it for that long?” wrote one woman. “That’s where the most cherished life called home before she was born. Thank you for helping me finally seeing this in the right light.”

“Thank you for posting this and stamping in my brain that this is the body that grew 3 humans and that’s definitely more important than a flat tum!” wrote another.

The circumstances of every birth can vary by choice or by medical necessity surgical or vaginal, natural or medicated, induced or not.

But none of that changes the end result: a new human being grown, nurtured, and brought into the world.

That’s a monumental feat, whether the mom is back on her feet and back in the gym in a matter of days, or whether she’s scarred and sore for weeks or months after.

The female body is an amazing thing. In the midst of “bikini season,” let’s just take a moment to remember that.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-moms-raw-photo-after-a-c-section-shows-how-badass-the-female-body-is


Stadiums of the future: a revolution for the fan experience in sport

Tottenhams new stadium will have its own microbrewery, while the Atlanta Falcons new home will feature the worlds first 360-degree video wall what else does the future hold for sports arenas?

With its own dedicated fromagerie, microbrewery and Michelin-star restaurant, it might be easy to forget you have come to watch the football when you are reclining in one of the premium lounges of Tottenham Hotspurs new 750m stadium. The 61,000-seat behemoth will feature the longest bar in the country, heated seats with built-in USB ports, a glass-walled tunnel so you can see the players before the game and even a sky walk allowing fans to clamber over the roof of the arena.

It will be the most technically advanced stadium in the world, says Christopher Lee, an architect with Populous, the sports and entertainment giant behind the design of the new-look White Hart Lane. It has to provide a reason for people to get off their sofas and leave their 50-inch flatscreen TVs.

As home entertainment systems become ever more elaborate, allowing fans to watch the action from every conceivable angle in ultra-high-definition, the conventional football stadium is having to up its game to lure people from the comfort of their homes. The promise of a pie, a pint and a good singsong in the stands just is not enough.

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People expect more from the experience and theyre willing to pay for it, says Lee. While premium seat tickets to Tottenhams gargantuan silver spaceship will start at 89, membership of its exclusive H Club which comes with provision for guests to store their personal vintage wines, cognacs and liquors in a purpose-built, temperature-controlled on-site reserve will cost 30,000 for two. Thats the price you must pay for enjoying a plate of specially sourced half-time cheese.

Besides the fancy catering, the football pitch itself has to work a lot harder, too. This is the first field of its kind designed to split into three parts and slide seamlessly under the seating stands, revealing an astroturf field beneath for American football, positioned at a lower level to ensure perfect sight lines for both modes of play. Acoustic consultants were brought on board in order to guarantee maximum amplification of crowd noise, ensuring a wall of sound will resonate from the 17,000-seat south stand, conceived as a single tier to rival the Kop at Anfield or the Yellow Wall at Borussia Dortmunds Westfalenstadion.

So, having reached the apogee of transformable robotic pitches, exclusive fine dining suites and perfectly tuned seating, what next for the future of stadiums?

Lee, who has worked on major sports venues around the world, says technology is having a huge impact on how these buildings are being imagined. Twenty years ago we put screens into stadiums, he says. But now we all carry a supercomputer in our pockets, so there are opportunities for layering the viewing experience from seeing different camera angles in your seat, to tracking the heart rate, speed and impact of players wearing smart clothing on the pitch.

He says the next big frontier is holographic representation, describing a world where players might be beamed on to the field from thousands of miles away. In the not-too-distant future you can imagine Real Madrid supporters in So Paulo watching the game in their stadium at the same time as the fans in Spain, he says. Its all about coming together for the collective experience.

Tottenham Hotspurs pitch will be designed to split into three parts to reveal an astroturf field underneath for NFL games. Photograph: Populous

It may sound far-fetched but the technology is already here. In its bid for the 2022 World Cup, Japan promised to record games in 360 degrees with 200 HD cameras and broadcast them around the world live in 3D, allowing players to appear in hundreds of stadiums simultaneously as holographic projections. Microphones embedded below the pitch would have recorded every ball kick and tackle whimper, adding to the sense of realism.

While Japans sci-fi dream lost out to the rippling vaginal vision of Qatars stadium plans, it is American football in the US that is now leading the way in developing next generation venues. Given the eye-watering sums generated from the sale of TV rights (with deals worth $27bn), each team in the National Football League is desperately trying to build bigger video screens and provide faster in-seat wifi than the next, even if most fans will never have the chance to experience it in person. The new $1.6bn Atlanta Falcons stadium, currently under construction and due to open later this year, will feature the worlds first 360-degree video wall, running for 335m around the bowl, as well as a vast a rotating oculus roof, inspired by the wings of a falcon, made of eight 500-ton moving pieces. At one point it was even going to include vibrating seats.

NFL has become an arms race, says the architect John Rhodes of HOK, the firm behind the Atlanta project. It used to be about sheer size, but now everyones focused on the convergence of the physical and digital experience, increasing connectivity in the stadium to bring fans closer to the players.

He says that parametric modelling techniques are having an effect on the geometry of the seating bowl, too, the layout generated by a whole host of interconnected parameters, from acoustics to distance from the bar and proximity to the bench. He sees a future where the seating bowl might be fragmented into smaller groups of 50-100 people, creating group suites to intensify the physical and social interaction between fans, while drones will become a ubiquitous feature for more than providing an elaborate backdrop to a Lady Gaga performance at half-time.

I dont imagine drones will be delivering beers to your seat, as some people think, he says, but I can definitely see linear bars served by drones running around the outside of concourse. It could have a revolutionary impact on how we think of concessions and eliminate queuing.

Others are less enamoured with the high-tech dream. Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de Meuron, the Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architects behind several renowned stadiums, from the inflatable bubble of the Allianz Arena in Munich to the steel tangle of Beijing Birds Nest, to the colossal brick cathedral of Chelseas forthcoming new stadium, thinks it might all be a distraction. Everything is becoming too artificial, he says. Its like when I watch my son playing Fifa on his console. If you have artificial lawns and roofs to keep out the rain and snow, you lose the physical authenticity of the moment and make it more of a virtual thing.

A computer generated image of Chelseas stadium plans. Photograph: Hussain Nazrul/Herzog and de Meu/PA

He says his focus is always on capturing the local specificity of the place, designing a venue that somehow responds to the fan culture of the team in question, whether thats a glowing lantern for Munich, a sharp white temple for Bordeaux, or an archaic masonry complex of vaults and buttresses for Stamford Bridge. For every project his practice reinvents the model.

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How football is adapting to the demands of the digital world – video

Our Bordeaux stadium is very refined to fit with the citys elegant urban plan, but in London this would be absurd, he says. Equally if we took our Stamford Bridge project to Munich it would look like Lord of the Rings. He describes his forthcoming Chelsea stadium as almost Roman in its raw heft, the polar opposite to Tottenhams shiny UFO.

Above all, he adds, both football and architecture need to keep that sense of the real. The smell of the grass, the proximity of the players to the fans. People come to watch games to have all of their senses stimulated thats what architecture must amplify.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jun/15/stadiums-future-holograms-drones-fan-experience


‘Gwyneth glows like a radioactive swan’ my day at the Goop festival

With its kale ice-cream, rose quartz eggs and inhouse shaman, Paltrows wellness adventure is silly and fun. But is it only for rich, white people who are disproportionately well already?

Culver City, Los Angeles, is socked in by haze, and a line of women in black athleisure more blondes than one is accustomed to seeing in one place at one time stretches down the block. Each has paid between $500 and $1500 (390 and 1,175) to stand in this line and attend In Goop Health: Presented by Goop, the inaugural health and wellness expo of Gwyneth Paltrows lifestyle brand, Goop.

People are excited, a little nervous and giddy. It feels as if we are waiting for the bus to summer camp, if your summer camp gives out free lube and Nicole Richie is there. At 9am the beefy security team parts and we pour into a courtyard where employees sort us into more lines based on how much we have paid to be here. Colour-coded bracelets indicate whether you are a Lapis ($500), Amethyst ($1,000) or Clear Quartz ($1,500) Gooper. More money means more activities: a foam roller workout, a sound bath, even lunch with GP herself in the Collagen Garden. Apparently, a prohibitively expensive, celebrity-studded self-help salon isnt exclusive enough: the very rich cant have fun without a little class hierarchy.

We pass into a second courtyard, which offers clusters of tasteful white furniture ringed by a variety of wellness adventures. In one corner, you can sit cross-legged on a cushion and the resident Goop shaman will tell you which crystal you need. In the opposite corner is a woman who will photograph your aura in a little tent. There is an oxygen bar and an IV drip station. And there is food, of course, just in very small pieces: tiny vegan doughnuts, quinoa and lox swaddled in seaweed, ladles of unsalted bone broth, fruit.

I take a lap of the courtyard and the cavernous hangar where we will be spending the next nine hours (there is no re-entry). Inside, interspersed among the Goop-approved matcha and coconut-water stalls, is the Goop Marketplace, where attendees can buy face potions, rolling pins and Tory Burchs new line of active wear. For $55, you can buy one of the jade eggs that Goop famously suggested women carry around in their vaginas. Or, a rose quartz egg, if you have seen results with the jade egg and want to take your practice a step further. I head back outside and get in line for the shaman.

Probiotic juices are flowing. Photograph: Kolasinski/BFA/Rex/Shutterstock

Turns out, the shaman is a little backed up, so they are scheduling appointments instead. A friendly employee writes my name on a clipboard and tells me to come back at 4.05pm. The line for aura photography is even longer. I wait about 10 minutes before a staffer announces that the schedule is full and we are all fired from the line, but we can check back later. Thats fine. Everyone is feeling good. Employees weave through the crowd with trays of probiotic juice. I decide I like the Goop expo. It is silly, but most of us seem to be in on the joke like Dungeons and Dragons for your vaginal flora. Why not?

I dont believe that my proximity to crystals (or lack thereof) has any effect on my wellbeing, but I dont think it is interesting or sophisticated to mock people who do. These women are having fun. They are sitting on pillows and connecting with each other. It is the kind of spontaneously intimate conversation that happens among women all the time, dressed up in the language of magic and, sure, monetised.

As long as you are not promising miracles and swapping carnelian for childhood vaccines, organising your inner life around crystals doesnt seem much different than organising it around bullet journalling. There is a line, of course, between having fun with rocks and exploiting peoples fears for profit, and I am expecting to approach that soon enough.

I wander back inside and there she is, gliding through the Bulletproof Coffee line like our priestess. Here is just a true fact: Gwyneth glows like a radioactive swan. She emits light. She would be great in a power outage. Though the FAQ specifically directed attendees to wear athleisure (with a link to the Goop stores athleisure page just to be helpful!), Gwyneth appears to be wearing a sirocco of flower petals. She leads us, her flock, into the auditorium and the real show begins.

After a brief history of Goop (I started to wonder: Why do we all not feel well? Why is there so much cancer? Why are we all so tired?), Paltrow introduces her personal physician, Dr Habib Sadeghi, DO. He talks for an hour about cosmic flow; his left testicle; the magnificence of Gwyneth (Ive been down and Ive touched her feet and Ill do it again); and his belief that consciousness precedes phenotypic expression, which means, basically, that all ailments are on some level psychosomatic and your ovarian cysts are really just little nodules of emotion or something.

Women connecting with themselves. Photograph: Salangsang/BFA/Rex/Shutterstock

The next panel, on gut health, counters Sadeghis consciousness theory with the assertion that all human illnesses are caused by antibiotics, ibuprofen, caesarean sections and legumes. The human gut is a rich rainforest, they say. Antibiotics are napalm, and taking one ibuprofen is like swallowing a hand grenade. Someone relates an anecdote about a marathon runner who had to get a faecal transplant from her fat niece, and it made the marathon runner fat. In mice, faecal transplants have been found to make fat mice thin, and anxious mice calm. Oh, my God, I realise. Paltrow is going to start selling her own poop.

Dr Steven Gundry, author of The Plant Paradox, reveals that from January to June inclusive, he consumes all his calories between 6pm and 8pm, because we evolved to search for food all day and then fast. Its funny how our understanding of human evolution of the point at which we were once our truest selves can shift according to which restrictive diet is on-trend that day. Next to each of our chairs is a complementary bottle of hot-pink, watermelon-flavoured water, sickly-sweet with Stevia. You know, just like the cavemen used to drink.

Gundry argues that human beings arent meant to eat any plants native to North America, because we are native to Africa, Europe and Asia. At one point, Dr Amy Myers casually distinguishes between the gut bacteria Asian people need (because they eat a lot of seaweed) and the gut bacteria that we need. You dont have to glance around the room to know who we are.

In Goop Health is shockingly white even to me, a blond, white person who went in expecting whiteness. Obviously, this is anecdotal I havent conducted a census but I dont recall seeing more than 10 people of colour among the attendees, and thats a generous estimate. The panellists are almost exclusively white. I wonder if anyone at Goop brought up the lack of diversity in their speakers during the planning stages, or anticipated this criticism. But to acknowledge it would be to acknowledge politics, and In Goop Health stays as far away from politics as it can get.

Lindy West at Goop in Health. Photograph: Lindy West

However, an event supposedly focused on being and achieving the optimal versions of ourselves, as Paltrow put it during her welcome address, cannot truly be depoliticised. You cant honestly address wellness the things people need to be well without addressing poverty and systemic racism, disability access and affordable healthcare, paid family leave and food insecurity, contraception and abortion, sex work and the war against drugs and mass incarceration. Unless, of course, you are only talking about the wellness of people whose lives are untouched by all of those forces. That is, the wellness of people who are disproportionately well already.

Towards the end of his speech, Sadeghi tells a story about an epiphany he had in the anatomy lab. He says hediscovered that the first valve of the heart flows straight back into the heart: Selfish little organ there! No, no, not selfish self-honouring. Wooo! What a difference! I could never give anything to anybody ask my beloved wife until I take care of me. Until my needs are met. Right? Right? When you fly down, the first thing that they tell you is that before you put the mask on anybody else, put it on yourself.

I hear that idea repeated over and over again at the Goop conference take care of yourself so you can take care of others. Put your mask on first. Hold space for yourself. Be entitled. Take. At a certain point, it begins to feel less like self-care and more like rationalisation. I dont know anything about the personal lives of the women at In Goop Health who they give money to, what hardships they have endured, why they were drawn to this event and every person I interact with is funny and smart and kind and self-aware. But it is self-evident and measurable that white people in the US, in general, are assiduous about the first part of that equation (caring for ourselves) and less than attentive to the second (caring for others).

It is OK to love skin cream and crystals. It is normal and forgivable to be afraid of dying, afraid of cancer, afraid of losing your youth and beauty and the currency they confer. We have no other currency for women. I understand why people spend their lives searching for that one magic supplement, that one bit of lore that will turn their lifestyle around and make them small and perfect and valuable for ever. I also understand, especially at this moment in history, why people long to step outside of politics for a day and eat kale-flavoured ice cream (real, not satire, actually good) in a warehouse full of Galadriels. But the idea that anything is apolitical is an illusion accessible only to a very few. And the absolute least the Galadriel-in-chief ought to do is acknowledge that.

The kale-flavoured ice-cream was actually good. Photograph: Lindy West

At 4.05pm I dash outside for my shaman appointment, only to be told they are running about an hour behind. Should I come back in an hour, I ask. I mean, you could try, the woman says in a way that means, No, or maybe, Not with that bracelet.

For her keynote to close the day, Paltrow purports to dissect the complexities and woes of being a working mother with a panel of famous gal pals: Cameron Diaz, Tory Burch, Nicole Richie and Miranda Kerr. How do they do it? How do they have it all? The women deliver a bounty of platitudes about ambition, female friendship, self-care, their mothers and sticking to ones practice. They are charming and humble. Richie is funny. But at no point do any of them say the words: I HAVE LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY AND A STAFF. In the context of a conversation about the challenges facing working mothers, the omission is, frankly, bizarre. It is a basic responsibility of the privileged to refrain from taking credit for our own good fortune. They might as well have been reading from Ivanka Trumps book proposal. As with all the other panels, they do not take questions.

There is one moment I cant stop thinking about. Near the end, Kerr casually mentions that she once tried leech therapy as part of her wellness practice: One was on my coccyx because its really good to, like, detox the body, rejuvenate the body I had a leech facial as well. And I kept the leeches. Theyre in my koi pond.

I am fat. I was the fattest person at the Goop expo. Strangers regularly contact me to tell me that Im unhealthy and Im going to die. A sampler from my emails:

Being obese is NOT OK. It is associated with many health risks including: diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and premature death. Go lose some weight you fat slob, and do it before you go on disability so we dont have to pay for you.

I dont know what sort of message you are trying to send out to young girls/women, but that it is OK to be obese, and it is some sort of feminist sin to want to keep to a natural healthy shape cant be a good one.

Kerrs body is almost certainly what those people mean when they say a natural healthy shape, because our society conflates conventional beauty with health. But, I dont know I might be fat, but Ive never felt like I needed to get an IV drip on a patio in Culver City or put leeches on my butt to suck out toxins, and Im grateful for that.

I guess Goop did make me feel well after all.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/14/gwyneth-glows-like-a-radioactive-swan-my-day-at-the-goop-festival


Ralph Northam Wins In Democratic Primary For Virginia Governor

FALLS CHURCH, Va. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated former congressman Tom Perriello in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, handing a humbling loss to progressive activists who had flocked to Perriellos candidacy.

Although Perriello enjoyed greater support among millennials, liberals and residents of Southwestern Virginia, his campaign hopes depended on getting many of them to turn out for the first time.

Ultimately the 42-year-old Charlottesville native and former diplomat was not able to expand the electorate enough to offset Northams advantage with more consistent Democratic voters, including many black Virginians and seniors.

Its still an uphill climb for groups that are farther to the left to succeed even in a Democratic Primary, said Geoffrey Skelly, an expert in state politics at the University of Virginia. Theres a lot of excitement. But at the end of the day, there are a lot of Democratic voters that are center-left and not left.

We fell short tonight at the polls, but after being outspent by over $3 million dollars, we showed that a grassroots effort can bring hundreds of thousands of people to the polls, Perriello said in his concession speech at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia. We had an amazing conversation that hadnt been had enough in this Commonwealth about rising and radical inequality, and skyrocketing debt and consumer debt.

Northam, a 57-year-old pediatric neurologist from the Hampton Roads area, will now face off against Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie. Gillespie,a Beltway power broker and former Republican National Committee chairman,consistently led in the polls against state Sen. Frank Wagner and Corey Stewart, at-large chairman of Prince William County. He beat Stewart by a narrow margin Tuesday night.

Northam held a double-digit lead over Gillespie in a hypothetical matchup in a Washington Post poll last month.

Northam is highly favored to win both because of the relative popularity of incumbent Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and disdain for President Donald Trump in the Old Dominion State. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in Virginia by 5 percentage points, and as of May, just 36 percent of Virginians approved of Trumps performance.

The Republican Governors Association immediately blasted Northam as a far-left extremist.

In choosing Ralph Northam, Virginia Democrats have anointed an extreme, far-left nominee that is hopelessly out-of-touch with Virginia voters, said RGA communications director Jon Thompson said in a statement Tuesday.

Prior to Trumps inauguration in January, the Democratic primary for governor of Virginia was not expected to be a contentious affair. As lieutenant governor since 2014, Northam secured support early on from nearly every major elected Democrat in the state, including McAuliffe and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

Then Perriello jumped into the race in January, betting that Trumps election had made the state ripe for a campaign focused on defending Virginia from the presidents policies. Fashioning himself a pragmatic populist, Perriello rolled out ambitious economic policies, including raising Virginias minimum wage to $15 an hour, providing universal preschool and tuition-free community college, and overturning the states right-to-work law, which makes it harder for labor unions to thrive. He also stumped against two natural gas pipelines slated to traverse the state, and refused donations from utility monopoly Dominion Power, which is building one of the pipelines.

The firm stances earned him the endorsements of leading progressives Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); the Sanders-backed political action committee Our Revolution; the state chapters of top labor unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Communication Workers of America; and a host of environmental activism groups, including Climate Hawks Vote.

The Washington Post/Getty Images
Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won Virginia’s contentious Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday.

Perriello became a national Democratic darling during his only term in Congress in 2009-2010 after voting enthusiastically for the stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act, in spite of his conservative district, which included a large swath of rural Southside Virginia. Then-President Barack Obama campaigned for him in his 2010 re-election bid, which Perriello publicized in a campaign ad.

Seven years later, Perriello enjoys the backing of dozens of Obama administration alumni, including the former presidents confidante Valerie Jarrett.

Thanks in part to the high-profile national support and accompanying influx of campaign contributions, the one-term congressman quickly came within striking distance of Northam. Northam trailed him by 2 percentage points in the most recent Washington Post poll in May.

It is a remarkable arc, especially when you consider Northam has effectively been running for governor for two years before Perriello announced, said Quentin Kidd, a Virginia politics expert at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia.

In the end, though, too few of the voters who said they would vote for Perriello turned out at the polls.

Nomiki Konst, a former Bernie Sanders campaign surrogate turned investigative reporter for the Young Turks, a left-wing YouTube channel, blamed the campaign for focusing too little on turning out the Democratic base.

The base is the most important part of the Democratic Party and we should never, ever take it for granted, she said shortly before Perriello took the stage.

Abortion rights was an important issue in this race. Im glad to know Ralphs got our back. Erin Matson

At the same time, blemishes on Perriellos record have fractured parts of the partys liberal base. A 2010 vote for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the ACA, which would have denied federal funding from the new law to any health insurance plans that cover abortions, proved especially alienating to reproductive rights advocates notwithstanding Perriellos expression of regret for the vote. By contrast, Northam has been a consistent supporter of abortion rights, helping lead the fight against a trans-vaginal ultrasound bill as a state senator in 2012.

Ralph Northam is a progressive champion. I cant wait to work with him as governor, said Erin Matson, a Virginia-based reproductive rights activist who supported Northam. Abortion rights was an important issue in this race. Im glad to know Ralphs got our back.

Northam also likely benefitted from a leftward pivot that neutralized some of Perriellos progressive appeal. He embraced the $15 minimum wage and unveiled a community college plan of his own, albeit one that requires two years of community service.

In addition, the Washington Post editorial board endorsed Northam a week before the election, praising his experience, temperament and… chances of success in the face of likely Republican control of one or both houses of the state legislature for the foreseeable future.

If any Democratic governor can nudge GOP majorities in his direction, its Mr. Northam, the newspaper wrote.

Perriellos campaign told HuffPost their internal polling showed a drop of 12 percentage points after the Post endorsement, driven heavily by attrition in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Yasmine Taeb, a Virginia Democratic National Committee member who backed Perriello, took some comfort in the fact that Perriellos competitive bid had pushed Northam to the left.

The fact that he is able to run a campaign on such a progressive agenda, the fact that he was able to move his primary opponent to the left on various issues as a result, it means he was successful, Taeb said. It was incredibly important to have a competitive primary for that reason.

And Perriellos influence extends past the governors race, Taeb noted. His stand against Dominion has provoked a debate about the influential state-regulated monopoly, with more than 60 Democratic candidates for House of Delegates following his example in rejecting contributions from the company.

The outcome is nonetheless a disappointment for national progressive activists in general, and Sanders in particular, who have struggled to put electoral wins on the board in national-level races since November. Sanders ally Rep.Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) lost his race to chair theDemocratic National Committee in February, and both Sanders-backed candidates in special House elections in Kansas and Montana fell short as well.

Kidd of Christopher Newport University nonetheless predicted that the disappointment of Perriellos loss for many progressives would not undermine Northams general election bid.

I dont think it is going to take any wind out from behind Northam because part of the reason they are so energized is because of the guy in the White House, he concluded. Youre gonna see the left get behind Northam.

Julia Galdo, a 70-year-old Falls Church resident on hand at Perriellos concession speech on Tuesday night,plans to vote for Northam, but she is not happy about it. She poked her head into the enclosed media area to express her anger at the party machine for blocking Perriellos path.

Im seriously tired of the Democratic Party. They dont understand vision when they see it, she said.

As for Dominion Energy, Galdo, who opposes fracking, ventured that they are thrilled with the outcome.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ralph-northam-wins-democratic-virginia-primary_us_59406e07e4b0d3185485b45f


5 Common Myths About Sexual Assault You Probably Believe

The most fortunate of us learned everything we know about sexual assault from two sources: Hollywood, and scandalous news stories that usually focus on the accused (since it usually takes a celebrity perpetrator to make headlines). Shockingly, they do not always paint an accurate picture of reality.

We’re thus left with a series of misconceptions and biases that range from merely wrong to horrific. To set the record straight, we talked to “Amanda,” an RN and Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (“SAFE”). Who are you going to believe, her, or a show in which the crime is being investigated by Ice-T?


Myth: A Rape Victim Always Has Some Kind Of Injury

According to Oscar-winning movies like Monster and Boys Don’t Cry, rape victims will always be bruised and bloody (after all, it was an assault, wasn’t it?). In a weird case of pop culture influencing itself, the villain of Gone Girl gets it into her head that in order to convincingly fake a sexual assault, she must go the extra mile and simulate the event with a goddamned wine bottle. Conclusion: If a woman has truly been assaulted, there’ll be damage, even if it takes a doctor and a special exam to find it.

This, however, is not true — an assault might not leave any injuries at all (we’re often talking about a part of the body designed to push out a baby, for Pete’s sake). That’s a good thing in theory, but it’s something Amanda constantly has to explain to people.

“This is a huge prosecutorial hurdle to overcome,” she says. “It’s one of those details that you walk into court expecting to have to testify to, and you tell the prosecutor to ask that question specifically, so I can tell the jury that no visible injury does not mean there was no trauma.” In fact, she points out, vaginal injury is just as likely to occur as a result of consensual sex, so even when there are injuries, they aren’t evidence of a crime.

Meanwhile, the injuries that victims should worry about are ones you almost never see on TV. “Interesting fact: If an assault, sexual or otherwise, involves strangulation, it is automatically deemed a felony offense,” Amanda says. That’s because even brief strangulation can lead to damage you don’t even notice until much later. “When a person loses consciousness from strangulation, this is often caused by micro strokes in the brain,” she explains. “These tiny strokes can often only be detected on CT or MRI, and can be deadly. Even if they don’t kill you today, the cumulative effect is that of a traumatic brain injury and can lead to lifelong deficits.”

That’s why Amanda and other specially trained medical professionals always check for strangulation, even if the victim is pretty sure they would remember that kind of thing. Often they don’t, Amanda says, and often the only sign is a thumbprint bruise behind the earlobe or broken blood vessels in the eyes, ears, or mouth. In other words, a lot of places you can’t see on yourself. This is one reason Amanda is adamant about victims going to the hospital afterward, even if they think they escaped the attack unharmed.

Wait, you didn’t know that many victims avoid going to the hospital afterward? They sure do, and it’s because a lot of them believe …


Myth: Getting Examined Afterward Is Almost As Bad As The Assault

This is the dreaded “rape kit” you’ve seen in a million shows, the exam a victim gets after a sexual assault. Here’s where popular culture tries to portray this in a way that drives home how unpleasant and invasive it is (to help us sympathize with victims, which is nice) but in the process, winds up scaring many victims away.

You can probably picture it at this point. “A bruised, weeping girl reclines on a cold exam table with her legs in stirrups,” Amanda guesses. “The doctor comes out from the sheet covering her genitals and tells the detective standing beside him about the evidence he found.” The fact that the detective may or may not be Ice-T doesn’t help. One marathon of crime dramas is enough to give anyone a phobia of both police and doctors.

To wit: In one episode of Law & Order, Officer Jayne-Mansfield’s-Daughter informs a rape victim at a hospital that she must have a rape kit whether she likes it or not, literally chases her down when she starts to run, then casually hurls a “don’t take a shower in case you change your mind” at her retreating figure. Meanwhile, the doctor seems more concerned with exactly how drunk the victim may or may not have been than the shards of glass he removed from her body.

No doubt, shitty cops and doctors do exist (we’ll get to that later), but people don’t tend to go into this specialty with the intention of torturing victims. Here’s how it goes where Amanda works: “The patient is taken immediately back to a room and the SAFE nurse is contacted to come in and take the case,” Amanda says. “I tell them that SAFE means I am specially trained to work with survivors of traumas and assaults like they have been through, and there is nothing that they can tell me that will shock me.”

What follows is a pretty routine check-up. “I ask about how she is doing now. Any discomfort? We talk about each body part, and pain in your head, neck, shoulders, all the way down. Then we check in. I ask how she is doing and if she’s ready to talk about what happened. When she is ready I start writing. Verbatim, everything she says gets written exactly. This report is what directs my care. Based on what they tell me, I know where to look for injuries as well as where to collect evidence. I also know how to make them more comfortable: For example if there was no contact with her mouth I can now get her something to eat or drink without risking losing evidence.”

“Depending on what she would like to do, we proceed,” Amanda continues. “I have her stand on a clean sheet and disrobe behind a curtain I hold up. Each article of clothing is separated to be boxed up for evidence. She changes into a gown and sits on the bed. Then I begin the head-to-toe exam … I ask the patient if there is any discomfort along the way, and if I see any injuries, I will ask what happened. We can take photos of injuries for later use, and will swab areas where evidence may be, based on the story.

“The final step of the exam is the dreaded genital exam. If she is not comfortable, we skip this, but most women are okay with it by this point because we have built a good rapport. She positions herself just like we are doing a pap smear, a speculum is inserted, I check the tissue for trauma while collecting samples — and we are done.”

Were you surprised that the victim had the right to decline parts of the procedure? “From the moment you walk into my ED, you are in charge,” Amanda says. “My job is to give you back control of your body and your choices. If you just want STD and pregnancy prevention medications, that’s all we have to do. If you want a head-to-toe exam to check for injuries, you got it. Evidence collection and police reporting? I will make it happen for you. You are in charge.”

The exam also doesn’t mean the victim is pressing charges — getting a rape kit doesn’t trigger an investigation. Police can be given the kit anonymously and will hold it for 90 days while the victim decides. So please, if this happens to you, go to the hospital.


Myth: Assaults Leave Victims In An Obvious State Of Terror/Panic

It seems weird that someone wouldn’t remember getting strangled, right? In fact, you’d think every second of an attack like this would be permanently seared onto the insides of their eyelids. When TV cops interview a freshly assaulted victim, they always behave the same way — they’re emotional, sometimes actively panic-attacking, but you can bet they can recall every vivid detail. Real life, as usual, is weirder.

“When a brain is going through a severe traumatic stress, the information is entered into the memory in a unique way, a primal way,” Amanda says. “You remember smells and sounds more strongly than conversations and social cues. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ becomes fuzzy while other facts ring through crystal clear. When the memory is accessed later, in a calm state, the memory may be no longer chronological, more sensory-focused than sensible, or even blank altogether.”

So, when some of those details turn out to be incorrect later, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that the victim is making it all up. “Listening to a victim tell a story that keeps changing, or she can’t remember whether the assailant was black, white, shirtless, masked or otherwise, seems to [the police] like a good reason for skepticism.”

As for all those dramatic tears, it happens in some cases, in others the victim seems cold or even detached. This is partly because of the unique way every human brain process trauma, and partly due to the fact that you’re actually not seeing them in the immediate aftermath. “[T]he vast majority of my patients come 12, 24, or even 72 hours post assault — and even then not without cajoling from loved ones, therapists, or college R.A.s.” In that time, they’ve probably gone to class or work, even hung out with friends — the world keeps turning no matter what trauma is screaming through our heads.

“One woman told me about how she was walking at night on her campus,” says Amanda. “She was a tall, strong athlete that no one would have labeled ‘damsel in distress.’ She said she felt someone walking behind her and the hairs went up on her neck, she picked up the pace. When she looked back, there was actually three men following her. She felt sweaty and nervous but kept her walking pace, believing that her alarm system was overreacting. The men began walking faster and closing in and she panicked. Running across the quad she looked back and saw there were five men chasing her ‘Like a pack of wild animals. And I was prey.’ I will always remember that description. [But] she spoke flatly and coldly about this emotional moment.”

Unfortunately for victims, nearly everyone they encounter — from police, to juries, to friends — watched the same shows and movies you did. And let’s face it: Actresses don’t win awards by playing crime victims as cold, detached, and confused.


Myth: Everyone Is Going to Treat Your Assault As The Emergency It Clearly Is

When you go to the Emergency Room, particularly with an especially heinous emergency, you probably expect it to be treated like an emergency, since that’s word everyone keeps using. The reality is that you may find your suffering is not that high a priority. “We have a trauma hospital right down the street that has a terrible attitude toward domestic violence and sexual assault patients,” Amanda says. “I personally know of a case where a sexual assault survivor was brought to that hospital by police for a pretty bad attack. Because she was not a high-risk/trauma patient like a gunshot wound or a stroke, she sat in the waiting room for six hours! Can you imagine?”

Amanda says the main reason about half of all sexual assault victims report being treated poorly by healthcare professionals is under-staffing and under-training. See, although all RNs are trained in the basics of treating sexual assault survivors, many hospitals do not have specially trained sexual-assault examiners like Amanda. What can be reasonably taken as insensitivity may just be a lack of time or knowledge.

“Rape survivors require caregivers to have understanding about trauma reactions, patience with psychiatric hurdles, and a strong grip on their own biases and issues,” she says. “In the fast-paced ER, providers may not be in a place to provide that care.” So yeah, it’s a real coin flip — you might get someone like Amanda, or you might get some harried general ER nurse who’s actively double-fisting cardiac arrests after 18 hours on her feet.

Even if you luck out in the waiting and examination rooms, there’s still room for injustice on the way out, and we’re not talking about the police. (Anymore. Or yet.) Writer Elyse Anders recently made headlines when she furiously tweeted a photo of the collections letter for her rape kit. That’s right: They billed her for getting assaulted. That’s understandably infuriating, and it’s understandable that this would scare victims away from obtaining care. It’s a freaking tornado of understandability. But there’s a way around that, too: it’s actually illegal. It turns out that the 13 states where victims had been held financially responsible were abusing loopholes that are quickly being closed. The most frequent offenders, Louisiana and Illinois, both passed laws against it in 2015.

This is about as shitty as it gets, but don’t start dropping F-bombs at your screen quite yet. We saved the worst for last.

When everyone is following the law, Amanda says, the government actually pays for victims’ medical services. “When a person is convicted of a crime against another person involving fines, the money goes into the victims’ compensation fund,” she explains. “This fund pays for medical and mental health care, lost wages, and other costs incurred for victims.” Of course, you can’t discount the dickery of individual hospitals (they can wind up eating some costs, and may not be happy about it) but making enough of a stink about how they’re, you know, breaking the goddamn law goes a long way toward resolving the problem — as eventually happened in Anders’ case.


Myth: When You Get A Rape Kit, Someone Is Going To Actually Do Something With It

The other side of the Law & Order coin of bullshit is the idea that assaults occur, get investigated, and get prosecuted in no more than an hour minus commercial breaks. In reality, an estimated 400,000 rape kits are just sitting around untouched in evidence lockers around the country. Some of them go back decades.

OK: Now you can drop those F-bombs.

You’ve probably seen activists talking about this (there was even a Law & Order: SVU episode about it). According to Amanda, though, that problem can’t be solved with demands and petitions. “A kit is processed at the request of the district attorney’s office when they are going ahead with prosecution. If there is any question as to whether the DA thinks the case will be feasibly winnable, the kit will go untouched. This is an issue of resources. The DA cannot prosecute every case because the vast majority of [sexual assault] cases are ‘He Said, She Said,’ have drugs or alcohol involved, or could be perceived as questionable by a jury (e.g. ‘I was raped by my husband or ex-boyfriend’).”

It’s a catch-22 that circles forever back around to shitty attitudes about rape — you can’t convince a jury if you don’t have hard evidence, and you can’t get hard evidence unless you know you can convince a jury.

Which might be why the incarceration rate for rapists is a fucking disgrace.

“The scary thing is that in places where kits have been processed en masse, there has been a disturbing trend of evidence of serial rapists’ DNA on multiple kits,” she continues. “These perpetrators would have continued to go unidentified, were it not for the evidence telling a different story.”

Amanda emphasizes that this doesn’t mean having a post-assault exam is useless — it might make it even more important. “A kit may never get processed, a case may never be prosecuted, and an assailant may never face justice — but my patient will have been heard, been validated and supported through one of the worst experiences of their life,” she says. “I cannot tell you how many exams begin with a girl bundled in clothes and jackets and blankets in the fetal position and ended with them asking me, ‘Thank you so much for taking care of me. This is not at all what I had expected. Can I give you a hug?’ And we do.”

Let’s clear some more of the air about sexual assault in 6 Realities Of Life When You’re Raped By A Celebrity and 8 Ways the Legal System Screws Rape Victims (Like Me).

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2481-5-sexual-assault-myths-debunked-by-expert.html


Students sue after deputies pat down 900 of them in a warrantless drug sweep

(CNN)About 900 students at a Georgia high school were groped by law enforcement officers during a drug sweep that was conducted without a warrant and didn’t yield any drugs, a federal lawsuit claims.

The suit was filed by a human rights group on behalf of students at Worth County High after an April 14 incident when about 40 officers showed up at the school without advance notice.
They put the school on lockdown for four hours and ordered many students into hallways, where they were forced to stand spread eagle, the lawsuit says.
    According to the suit, officers cupped boys’ genitals, touched girls’ vaginas, reached inside bras, touched girls’ bare breasts, patted their buttocks and placed their hands inside students’ underwear. No drugs were found.
    CNN was unable to contact Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby or his lawyer for comment. But the sheriff told CNN affiliate WALB the searches were legal — despite not having warrants or permission from parents or the school system — because school administrators were present during the pat-downs.
    Hobby told WALB he decided to conduct the drug search after law enforcement arrested some juveniles in connection with burglaries in March and uncovered evidence of drug activity at the school.
    He said he probably would not conduct a similar search again because of community response, WALB said.

    Angry parents

    Parents were furious. Amaryllis Coleman told WALB that an officer reached below her daughter’s panty line during the search..
    “The whole community is upset about this. Our children were violated and we’re banding together,” Coleman said.
    The county school board is upset, too.
    Tommy Coleman, the Worth County School Board attorney, told CNN that Hobby and deputies showed up with a target list of 13 suspects, but only three of those students were at school that day.
    “The egregious thing that happened was he didn’t search just those individuals but he searched every single student at the school,” Coleman said. “There was aggressive searches and touching of undergarments and breast and genitalia by deputies.”
    Coleman said the superintendent and principal have spoken to some of the parents.
    “It’s been a matter of great public concern,” he said.

    The lawsuit’s claims

    In the accounts given by nine students, female officers searched female students and male officers searched male students, the suit said.
    The lawsuit describes the experience of a student identified as K.A., who was searched by deputy Brandi Whiddon.
    “Sheriff Hobby entered K.A.’s classroom and ordered the students to line up in the hallway with their hands on the wall,” the suit said. “Deputy Whiddon took one of K.A.’s arms, placed it higher up on the wall, and kicked her legs to open them wider. Whiddon pulled the front of K.A.’s bra away from her body by the underwire and flipped it up.
    “Whiddon also looked down the back and front of K.A.’s dress. Whiddon slid her hands from one of K.A.’s ankles up to her pelvic area. Whiddon’s hands went underneath K.A.’s dress as Whiddon felt up K.A.’s leg. Whiddon’s hands stopped on and cupped K.A.’s vaginal area and buttocks. Whiddon then slid her hands down to the other ankle. Whiddon was wearing gloves, but did not change them before or after her search of K.A.”
    The lawsuit filed by the Southern Center for Human Rights says sheriff’s deputies and officers from other unnamed agencies conducted the search.
    Hobby, four named deputies and 25 officers unnamed officers were listed as defendants. The plaintiffs are nine students identified only by initials. The suit seeks unspecified damages.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/08/health/students-grope-drug-sweep-trnd/index.html


    GP’s call to ‘equally protect’ boys with HPV vaccine – BBC News

    Image copyright Kirsty Bonney
    Image caption Kirsty Bonney says she believes the vaccine should be available to all adolescents

    A mum-of-two is calling for boys to receive a vaccine currently only given to girls to protect against cancer.

    The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) jab is offered to teenage girls in the UK to protect against cervical cancer.

    A health committee will meet later to review whether boys should also be given the jab, which can protect against throat and penile cancers.

    GP Kirsty Bonney paid privately for sons Zak, 13 and Finn, 11 to be immunised.

    The doctor from Devon said she made the decision after working on a chemotherapy unit where she looked after two young men with HPV-related throat cancers.

    ‘Fear of cancer’

    She said she wants to see boys “equally protected” with the HPV vaccine rather than risk cancer in later life.

    “I could never really understand why we weren’t vaccinating boys and then I discovered we could have it done privately.

    “I’d be much happier knowing all the boys’ friends were equally protected.

    “I wouldn’t want to be seeing one of their friends in my surgery in a few years time [with cancer] because they hadn’t been vaccinated.

    “[The jab] is certainly not cheap [at 540] but the cost of that compared to the thought of them getting a throat cancer puts it into perspective.”

    Image copyright Dr_Microbe
    Image caption Australia, USA, Italy and Canada are among the countries that recommend vaccinating girls and boys

    The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises UK health departments on immunisation and is considering extending the programme to include boys.

    It said there was increasing evidence on links between HPV infection and other cancers.

    It will discuss the matter at a meeting later and has asked Public Health England to look at the cost effectiveness of such a change.

    Why should boys be vaccinated against HPV?

    Image copyright Getty Images
    • About 15% of UK girls eligible for vaccination are currently not receiving both doses, a figure which is much higher in some areas
    • Men may have sex with women too old to have had the HPV vaccination
    • Men may have sex with women from other countries with no vaccination programme
    • Men who have sex with men are not protected by the girls’ programme
    • The cost of treating HPV-related diseases is high – the cost of treating anogenital warts alone in the UK is an estimated 58.44 million a year, while the additional cost of vaccinating boys has been estimated at about 20 million a year

    Source: HPV Action

    Gary Tanner from Somerset, was diagnosed with HPV-related throat cancer in 2013.

    He has undergone chemotherapy, radiotherapy and had his voice box removed. The 64-year-old said vaccinating girls alone made no sense.

    “I am still living with cancer and most certainly my wife and I are living with the fear of cancer. We know it has shortened my life expectancy.

    “There are vaccines available to prevent to protect people against this. I think they should be used on all available members of the public.”

    Different types of HPV

    Image copyright Getty Images

    Infection with HPV is the cause of almost all cervical cancers.

    However there are more than 100 different types of HPV and infection with other types of the virus may cause:

    • genital warts
    • skin warts and verrucas
    • vaginal cancer or vulval cancer
    • anal cancer or cancer of the penis
    • some cancers of the head and neck
    • laryngeal papillomas (warts on the voice box or vocal cords)

    Source: NHS

    Campaign group HPV Action said it was “unfair that females should be expected to bear sole responsibility for tackling an infection that affects both sexes similarly”.

    In a letter to the JCVI, it said “significant” numbers of men will have sex with unvaccinated women.

    “While private vaccinations can protect individual boys, this is not a solution for the male population as a whole,” a spokesman added.

    Public Health England’s head of immunisation Dr Mary Ramsay said boys are already protected, with around 85% of eligible girls fully immunised.

    She said: “This helps to prevent the spread of the disease in girls and boys.”

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-40062677