Delve into the latest updates on intersectional violence, justice, and cultural shifts throughout the month of August
Tory Lanez sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion
In 2020, Megan Thee Stallion was the survivor of a roadside shooting by rapper Tory Lanez after leaving a party in Hollywood Hills at Kylie Jenner’s house. Following the trial, Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a Los Angeles judge on August 8th, 2023. Megan Thee Stallion (real name Megan Pete) wrote in her statement, “He not only shot me, he made a mockery of my trauma,” Pete reportedly wrote in a statement that was read in court on Aug. 7. “This is a statement for all survivors that their lives matter and there is zero tolerance for the torture that accompanies violence.”
Pete’s case faced intense scrutiny from the public, who were shocked that the violence she endured would not be believed. In her penned essay with Elle magazine, she shares her vulnerable feelings on facing violence from what she considered a close friend. The behaviors we see in intimate partner violence are not just excluded from the context of romantic relationships.
Pete writes her healing is “an ongoing process with moments of fear and uncertainty mixed in with blissful realization.” She continues to share that her survivorship is only a chapter in her life, not a definition of her journey.
FIFA opens disciplinary case against Spanish soccer president who kissed player on the lips after Women’s World Cup victory
Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales refuses to resign after FIFA opened a disciplinary proceeding over the unsolicited kiss of Jenni Hermoso following the World Cup win over England. The forced kiss over Hermoso took headlines and social media by storm, but he was also seen hugging other Spain players and kissing them on the cheek. Rubiales’ initial response to his behavior was met with him calling those who criticized him “idiots.” The backlash from Spain, including its prime minister and other government officials, called upon him to step down from the federation. His later published apology was deemed insufficient, with Irene Montero, the minister for equality, describing it as a “form of sexual violence.” You can read more about this developing story here.
Baylor University Is No Longer Required to Protect Queer Students From Sexual Harassment
Baylor University, despite its alleged history of Title IX violations, has been granted religious exemption by the Biden Administration’s Department of Education for Title IX provisions that hold schools accountable for sexual harassment and violence against LGBTQ students. The exemption protects the university from complaints that would cause other schools to lose federal funding. This means Baylor University can deny queer students’ claims they were harassed based on their gender identity and sexual orientation. Baylor University is a Baptist institution that argued that its faith “affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God” and demands “purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm.” The Department of Education granted the exemption based on the current Title IX ruling.
The U.S. Department of Justice announces grant awards to support victims of sexual assault
The U.S. Department of Justice announced $51.86 million in grant awards to support victims of sexual assault. The Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) grant funding will provide services to every state and the District of Columbia, including American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The funds are made available from the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In a statement from Attorney General Vanita Gupta, she says, “It is critically important that all victims of sexual assault are able to access support and safety.” You can learn more about the OVW implementation initiatives at www.justice.gov/ovw.