Category Archives: Anti-BDSM

QotD: “I thought he was going to tear chunks out of my skin”

Lisa is one of a number of young women who have told the BBC they have been pressured into acts of violence in the bedroom.

She says she willingly “got together” with a guy she “kind of knew” at a house party but was shocked when he began repeatedly biting down on her body.

“When he pulled his mouth away, his teeth were still clenched. I thought he was going to tear chunks out of my skin,” she says.

Lisa, which is not her real name, said there was no conversation beforehand about whether she wanted to be bitten and she was physically shocked by it.

She says she was crying and asked him to stop “but there’s only so much you can do when somebody is a lot larger and stronger than you are”.

Online culture is changing behaviour in the bedroom and what was once regarded as strictly fetish is rapidly becoming the norm.

BBC Disclosure and BBC 5Live commissioned a survey of 2,049 UK men aged 18 to 39 to assess how so-called “rough sex” was being navigated.

In the survey, 71% of the men who took part said they had slapped, choked, gagged or spat on their partner during consensual sex.

One-third (33%) of the men who had done this said they would not ask verbally whether their partner would like them to do it either before or during sexual activity.

What is driving this interest in so-called “rough sex”? Our survey of young men pointed to a big factor – pornography.

More than half of the men (57%) who had said they had slapped, choked, gagged and spat on partners said pornography had influenced their desire to do so.

One in five (20%) said it had influenced them a “great deal”.

A man called George – not his real name – told the BBC Disclosure programme A Question of Consent that he had tried choking and slapping during sex.

“You see it in porn and think, ‘oh, that looks class’ and you try it,” he says.

However, George says it can be disappointing when re-enacting what you watch on free pornography sites.

“It never turns out the way it looks in porn,” he says. “Obviously, they are actors, even though you watch and you like it, when you try it in real life you are disappointed quite a lot.”

Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, from Durham University, researches the clips, titles and thumbnails found on the front pages of the world’s most popular free pornography sites.

She says she found evidence on the first page of the sites of all kinds of videos that would not be allowed to be uploaded under their stated terms and conditions.

Dr Vera-Gray says she even found evidence of videos that “promote, endorse or glorify sexual violence, such as rape”.

She says: “Porn has changed the landscape of what’s going on for kids and so if you think your 12-year-old hasn’t seen pornography, I’d really question that.”

BBC Disclosure approached the most popular free pornography sites for an interview. None agreed.

Lisa, who is in her 20s, told the programme how she felt after her encounter.

“I was just in shock,” she says.

She says she felt a bit guilty because she had “gotten with him”.

“Could I have done more? Could I have said more? Could I have left?” she says.

She asks herself: “Did you do enough to stop it?”

Brenna Jessie, from Rape Crisis Scotland, says that feelings of guilt are really common among victims of abuse.

“I think there will be a lot of women who have consented to sex but who have not consented to violence who won’t necessarily recognise their experience or understand their experience to be sexual violence,” she says.

Ms Jessie believes that society is to blame for those feelings.

“We live in a society that really shames victims and blames them for not doing more to keep themselves safe rather than asking the perpetrators – or the people, who have committed these acts – why they have done that?”

(source)

QotD: “The portrayal of porn culture as an empowering, feminist win epitomizes the degree to which pop culture feminism has lost its way”

Last Sunday, a number of Pornhub’s most popular Asian performers took to the runway at New York Fashion Week to model the “Herotica” collection from Namilia. The designers behind the label, Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl, described their choice of models as a “feminist statement.” Li explained, “The cosmos of sexual pleasure has been restricted to a few boring and chauvinistic narratives for the pleasure of the male gaze,” adding, “Porn isn’t something existentially male.” With this collection, Li and Pfohl intended to subvert the dominant narrative of submissive Asian women, by using dominatrix-inspired looks — a traditional Chinese dress was deconstructed, and merged with contemporary sadomasochistic porn culture.

The collection is heavily influenced not only by porn, but by sadomasochism in particular — the designers included a schoolgirl-type uniform, with a pink and white pleated leather skirt (a blatant nod to porn culture’s fetishization of girlhood), and printed the phrase “cock wrecker” on a number of items from the collection. During a backstage interview, Li said, “We wanted to take porn into a new context to kind of normalize sex work, prostitution, pornography, and put it in a fashion show context, so there’s not as much shame and taboo,” emphasizing her desire to create a “revolutionary new feminist youth culture.”

The portrayal of porn culture as an empowering, feminist win epitomizes the degree to which pop culture feminism has lost its way, completely abandoning the long-standing feminist goal of female liberation in favour of a faux-feminism that panders to male desire. Far from representing a challenge to the male gaze (the apparent aim of the designers), the show stayed perfectly on script, falling prey to the sleight of hand that has convinced women that our sexual objectification is subversive and liberatory. In a classic marketing move, porn culture and those who profit from it have sold us something that harms us, and convinced us that we wanted it all along.

[…]

Pornhub is one of the most popular porn sites on the internet. Alexa, the leading web-traffic tracker, lists Pornhub in 36th place among the world’s most visited websites, out of tens of millions of sites. Rule out search engines like Google, web portals like Yahoo, and shopping sites like Amazon, Pornhub takes fourth place, beaten out of the top spot by Wikipedia, Microsoft, and Netflix. Four other porn sites crack the top 100, including XVideos, BongaCams, xHamster, and xnxx. Between these five porn sites, their combined views per month exceed 6 billion. That equates to over 138,000 views per minute, or 2,300 views per second. Pornhub alone claims 115 million visits per day, and 42 billion specific searches annually.

Over the last year, Pornhub has been implicated in a number of cases of sex trafficking, child exploitation, and rape, as the site hosts an unknowable number of video recordings of sex crimes. In October, a 15-year-old who had been missing for a year was found after explicit photos of the girl were posted online. Further investigation found that she had appeared in 58 porn videos posted on Pornhub, and the man responsible was arrested in Fort Lauderdale. The girl reported that she was forced to have an abortion after getting impregnated during this time.

A few months after being attacked and raped at knifepoint, Rose Kalemba, who was 14 at the time, found several people from her school sharing a link online in which she was tagged. After clicking on it, Kalemba was led to Pornhub and was horrified to find multiple videos of her attack posted online. Recounting her story, Kalemba said, “The titles of the videos were, ‘Teen crying and getting slapped around,’ ‘Teen getting destroyed,’ ‘Passed out teen.’ One had over 400,000 views.” Kalemba emailed Pornhub numerous times over a period of six months, begging for the videos to be removed from the site, but she received no reply and the videos stayed up. The videos were not removed until Kalemba set up a new email address pretending to be a lawyer and threatened legal action against the site.

In a viral blog entry posted last year, Kalemba shared a detailed account of her ordeal, and called for Pornhub to be held responsible for their extended inaction. She heard from dozens of other girls saying videos of their sexual assaults had also appeared on the site. Though Pornhub claims to remove all videos of assault, the reality does not reflect this and Pornhub continues to unapologetically host videos with titles such as, “Teen abused while sleeping,” “Drunk teen abuse sleeping,” and “Extreme teen abuse.” The company’s defence is that they “allow all forms of sexual expression” that do not go against their terms of service, even if “some people find these fantasies inappropriate.”

More recently, 22 women sued the owners of GirlsDoPorn, Michael James Pratt and Matthew Isaac Wolfe, as well as porn actor Ruben Andre Garcia, saying they were coerced into performing sexual acts on film that were later uploaded to Pornhub. The men had posted Craigslist ads for “beautiful college type preppy girls” needed for photo shoots, but when the women arrived, they were plied with drugs and alcohol and pressured to participate in a porn shoot. The victims were awarded $12.7 million. According to a federal indictment, Pratt and his co-conspirators also produced child pornography and trafficked a minor.

These cases demonstrate how dangerous Pornhub is, and how easily the site can be used as a tool to capitalize on the abuse of vulnerable women and girls. Laila Mickelwait, Director of Abolition for Exodus Cry and anti-pornography activist, found that all that is required to upload content to Pornhub is an email address. No government-issued ID is needed, even to become a “verified user.” She found that it took less than 10 minutes to create an account on Pornhub, and to upload blank content to the site, which was immediately live and accessible to all users. If she wanted to become a verified user, she could have done so with nothing more than a photograph of her holding a piece of paper with her username written on it.

Pornhub is a resource for anyone who wishes to upload content, with absolutely no verification needed other than an email address, making it a perfect breeding ground for exploitation — something they appear to be in no rush to prevent, despite claims made in their terms of service.

In her book, Pornland, Gail Dines explains that when you Google the term “Porn,” over 2.3 billion pages show up in the results, generated in less than half a second, with Pornhub being the top search result (hence it being frequently referred to as the “YouTube of Porn”). Based on what comes up just in the first page of links, some of the most common sex acts in mainstream pornography appear to be vaginal, anal, and oral penetration of one woman by three or more men simultaneously, double anal sex, double vaginal sex, gagging, and bukkake, along with regular references to women being “destroyed,” “punished,” “choked,” and “brutalized.”

The three porn performers that modelled for Namilia are Asa Akira, Marica Hase, and Jade Kush. A quick search of these names on Pornhub turns up videos with titles such as, “Japanese Porn Star Marica Hase Fucked Rough in Bondage,” “Marica Hase Beauty Teen Fucked Hard,” and “You Fuck Jade Kush Every Which Way Then Cum On Her Face.” When we consider the amount of abuse that has been hosted on Pornhub, the normalization of such titles is unsettling at best. And the idea that portraying Asian porn performers as dominatrixes will subvert the norm of submissive Asian women is nonsensical.

First, reversing a norm does not necessarily weaken the norm, and in fact could be said to strengthen it. The reversal is an acknowledgment of its power. The idea of a dominatrix is only considered sexy because we have been taught to eroticize imbalances of power; that a dominatrix is treated as a fetish shows that she represents a deviation from the norm of male domination. She is a male fantasy. Second, we do not undo the damage caused by sexist stereotypes by swapping sides in the narrative. A dominatrix is “sexy” because it is not real — that “power” does not extend beyond that moment, in that bedroom or scene. The dominatrix, though somewhat contrary to the social norm of male supremacy, still reinforces the eroticization of unequal power. Being a “cock wrecker” is not a feminist position, and only further perpetuates the idea of violence and abuse as sexy.

This move by Namilia does nothing to liberate women, and instead represents yet another instance of the pornification of pop culture. Pornhub is not a feminist utopia of sexual empowerment, but quite the opposite — it is a resource frequently utilized by abusers of women for manipulation and humiliation. Collaborating with Pornhub to display outfits that fetishize sexual power imbalance, girlhood, and leather is about as far from feminism as anything could be, and indeed, only serves to normalize and bolster the site not only in the eyes of the general public, but for young women specifically, who are being told this is what feminism looks like.

Andrea Dworkin once wrote that “the new pornography is left wing; and the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die.” It looks like the corpses will be dressed in pink leather school skirts with “cock wrecker” emblazoned across their chests.

Jessica Masterson, Feminist Current, full article here

QotD: Social media make girls think choking during sex is ‘normal’

Teenagers are being exposed to graphic images on social media that promote life-threatening sexual acts, such as strangulation and erotic asphyxiation, prompting concerns that this is “normal” for a generation.

An investigation by this newspaper has uncovered hundreds of images of sexualised choking and strangulation on the virtual scrapbook Pinterest, the photo-sharing platform Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, and the microblogging site Tumblr. All three allow children as young as 13 onto their sites.

The images, which include pictures of young women being pinned down and strangled by men, and women with gags over their mouths, are often posted under hashtags such as #daddy, #chokingkink, #breathplay and #strangle.

On Pinterest there were images of children being gripped by the throat. One picture on Tumblr showed a bed with rose petals spelling out the words “bruise my oesophagus”.

Users also post phrases that promote these acts, such as “grab me by the throat and call me yours”, “Netflix and choke me” and “I’d probably still adore you with your hands around my neck”.

Campaigners argue that Fifty Shades of Grey, the sadomasochistic romance series, has helped normalise violent sexual practices. Dr Jane Monckton-Smith, a forensic criminologist, said: “Fifty Shades opened the floodgates to this. Women felt under pressure to indulge in dangerous behaviours.”

They argue that social media are now helping to make these acts mainstream, so that young women feel they cannot refuse sexual partners who wish to strangle them during intercourse.

Fiona MacKenzie, founder of the campaign group We Can’t Consent to This, said: “Social media sites normalise it, so that for young women there becomes an expectation that they may be choked or strangled.

“We hear this from women in their twenties all the time. This was once a very niche practice; now there is a push for young women to accept it as normal — to go along with it because it’s ‘sexy’.”

According to a survey by the research company Savanta ComRes last year, 38% of women under the age of 40 have experienced unwanted slapping, choking, gagging or spitting during consensual intercourse.

Sahana Venugopal, 23, a journalism student, said that she had seen this type of explicit material on Tumblr from the age of 14. “I’d inadvertently see a lot of pornographic material because accounts would use the hashtags of other popular TV shows or media to bring followers to their porn sites,” she said.

“After my experiences with Tumblr, I felt that choking was normalised as a sexual behaviour. It’s shown as an expression of passion and it’s something that girls are kind of groomed into doing, but it’s only recently that I see that being critiqued as something criminal.”

Under their community guidelines, Instagram and Pinterest do not allow images that promote violence on their sites.

MacKenzie added: “People know this practice is promoted on porn sites — they don’t expect it to be on Instagram or Pinterest. Some of what I saw on Instagram was so graphic that I couldn’t sleep afterwards. Strangulation is also a common risk factor for future homicide.”

Some Pinterest users also advertise T-shirts, necklaces and cards on the site that promote strangulation with slogans such as “treat me like a princess and choke me”.

Some of the content — including all the Pinterest posts — was removed after it was flagged by The Sunday Times. Pinterest said it did not allow content that promotes “graphic violence or sexual fetishes”, and Facebook said it removes images that promote “sexual violence or sexual acts which could cause serious physical harm”.

Tumblr said it did allow “some content that may be sexual in nature” but not posts that promote violence.

(source)

QotD: “Note that, shockingly, there’s not one positive implication of directly re-experiencing traumatic stimulus”

From tumblr

QotD: “It’s all blamed on subs as long as there’s any way of arguing that they consented”

discyours

QotD: “You’re dead wrong if you think a dom will stop a punishment if you safe word either”

(from tumblr)

QotD: “Concern grows over ‘rough sex gone wrong’ defence in courts”

Senior lawyers and women’s organisations have condemned the increasing use of “rough sex gone wrong” as a courtroom defence to the murder of women and called for a change to the law in the UK.

In the wake of the conviction of British backpacker Grace Millane’s killer in New Zealand, researchers have revealed a tenfold rise over the past two decades in the number of times similar claims have been made in UK courts.

According to the campaign group We Can’t Consent to This, in the past decade 30 women and girls have been killed in what was claimed to have been consensual violent sexual activity in the UK.

Of those, 17 resulted in men being convicted of murder, nine led to manslaughter convictions and two ended in acquittals. In one further case, there was a murder conviction but only after the victim’s husband confessed; police had initially treated the death as non-suspicious. The case of one woman’s death has yet to go to court.

In 1996 there were two cases in which deaths and injuries to women were blamed on “rough sex”; by 2016, that had climbed to 20 cases a year.

During the Auckland trial of Millane’s murderer, the accused’s lawyer, Ian Brookie, told the jury that the 21-year-old backpacker had died during “a perfectly ordinary, casual sexual encounter between a young couple … as a result of what they consensually engaged in.”

The jury, however, did not believe him and unanimously found the killer guilty of murder. “You can’t consent to your own murder,” the crown prosecutor Brian Dickey said.

Fiona Mackenzie, an actuary, set up We Can’t Consent to This after the outcry over the killing of Natalie Connolly, 26, by her partner John Broadhurst, 40. Despite having 40 separate injuries, including serious internal trauma, a fractured eye socket and bleach on her face, Broadhurst received a sentence of three years and eight months for manslaughter.

Mackenzie supports changes to the domestic abuse bill, put forward by the MPs Harriet Harman and Mark Garnier, to incorporate the principle of R v Brown into statute.

She told the Guardian: “As well as changing the law, we need to have an attitude change across the justice system. People need to stop buying into these ‘rough sex’ excuses.

“Everywhere you look in the world, there’s the same failure in countries’ criminal justice systems. It’s terrifying.”

Consent, which has increasingly entered popular consciousness as a key concept in rape cases, is no defence to injury, let alone death. The principle was established in a 1993 test case, R v Brown, in the House of Lords in which a group of men were convicted of assault and wounding even though their sadomasochistic victims had willingly participated in the violence.

The defence of “rough sex gone wrong” has no official status in law but can, campaigners claim, influence prosecutors to reduce a charge from murder to manslaughter or a judge to lower the eventual sentence.

Sarah Green, the director of the End Violence Against Women coalition, said: “Women monitoring femicides in the UK believe the so-called ‘rough sex defence’ is growing. It is deeply alarming and at worst reflects the fact that defence is, actually, a business where some are willing to ‘test’ approaches that might win in court. It sets women up to be harmed in life and grossly insulted after their deaths.

“We’re also appalled at the willingness of large parts of the media to uncritically reproduce this deeply misogynistic line. Editors need to get a hold of this now and stop the thoughtless and sensational communication of cases where women have died.”

Prof Susan Edwards, a barrister who teaches law at the University of Buckingham, believes strangulation should be made a stand-alone offence.

“Strangulation is the cause of death in around a third of all spousal homicides,” she said. “Now there’s a burgeoning use of [rough sex excuses] because there’s greater acceptance of BDSM [bondage and sadomasochism] in relationships.”

Thirty years ago, she said, the more common excuse from a violent partner would have been that they were provoked, that it was unintentional or they lost control.

Campaigners partly blame the cultural normalisation of rough sex on the growth of violent online pornography and books such as Fifty Shades of Grey with its themes of sadomasochism.

What is not so clear is whether there has been a significant rise in the number of sexual strangulation deaths or whether the excuse of “rough sex” is simply being deployed more often than in the past.

Karen Ingala-Smith, the chief executive of the domestic violence charity Nia, said: “Women don’t die from rough sex. Women die because men are violent to them.”

She said violent and degrading online pornography was “socialising young men into different expectations of what they are supposed to do in bed. Women are pressured, whether they’re conscious of it or not, to accept violence during sex and do things that weren’t commonplace 10 or 20 years ago.”

(source)

Grace Millane murder: Man guilty of killing backpacker in New Zealand

A man who strangled a British backpacker and hid her body inside a suitcase has been found guilty of murder.

Grace Millane was found buried in bushland outside Auckland, New Zealand.

A jury at the city’s high court rejected claims by the 27-year-old man, who cannot be named, that she died accidentally during “rough sex”.

Ms Millane’s parents David and Gillian wept in the public gallery as jurors convicted their daughter’s killer.

He showed no emotion as the verdict – reached after about five hours of deliberations – was read out.

Justice Simon Moore said the defendant would be sentenced on 21 February next year.

[…]

Jurors heard the defendant and Ms Millane had met via the Tinder dating app on 1 December last year, the night before Ms Millane’s 22nd birthday.

They spent several hours drinking cocktails in bars around Auckland before going to the defendant’s hotel.

Ms Millane, from Wickford, Essex, was found in the mountainous Waitākere Ranges a week later.

Prosecutors said post-mortem examinations found bruises “consistent with restraint” on her body, and that she had been strangled.

On the night of her death, the court heard, the defendant “wasn’t distressed or concerned by her death”, and set about making plans to dispose of her remains.

He “sexualised” the killing by searching for pornography, stopping at one point to take lewd photos of her corpse, prosecutors said.

The following day, he went on a Tinder date with another woman while the body of Ms Millane remained in the hotel room.

He had bought a second suitcase in a bid to cover his tracks, as well as cleaning products and a shovel, jurors heard.

The defendant did not give evidence in his defence.

Following the verdict, the step-brother of the murderer spoke to television station TVNZ reporter Paul Hobbs.

The man, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, said he initially thought Miss Millane’s death could have been an accident but when he saw the timeline of events, his view changed.

His step-brother, he said, was “a pathological liar that lies over pointless things and continues to lie until the point where he’s got no out – absolutely no out – and then he just breaks down and cries and runs away.

“It’s just absolutely terrible that a life had to be lost because of it.”

He said he did not think his step-brother intended to kill Grace, but said: “In that moment he just kept going… and he took Grace’s life.”

In an interview with police, shown during the trial, the defendant was seen to break down in tears.

“His tears, to me, they’re more tears for himself.”

Apologising to the Millane family, he added: “I’m just so, so incredibly sorry for their loss.

“To know it’s one of our family members – even though it’s not our actions – it’s very difficult, and I can’t imagine the pain and hurt and what [the Millane family] had to go through for a court hearing… to me that’s all because he doesn’t have any shred of a decent human being inside him, and couldn’t just confess to the fact he murdered her.”

I really thought he was going to be found not guilty of murder, becuase of the evidence that Millane was into BDSM and ‘breath play’, so this is amazing.

QotD: “The ‘Consensual Rough Sex’ Defence Is On The Rise In Murder Cases And We Need To Discuss It”

Last week, the trial of the man suspected of killing British backpacker Grace Millane finally began.

The 22-year-old from Wickford, Essex, had been on a round-the-world trip when she was strangled to death in the Auckland apartment of the 27-year-old man she had met for a Tinder date last December, the eve of her 22nd birthday.

Jurors have heard that after she died, the accused took “intimate” photos of her body, watched pornography, and went on to have on another Tinder date the following evening, while Grace’s body was kept in a suitcase in his room.

Prosecutors allege Grace was strangled to death in the man’s apartment – but the case for the defence? They claim that Grace died by accident during consensual sex, saying “acts designed to enhance sexual pleasure went wrong”.

This defence will mean Grace’s family will have to endure a month-long trial during where her sexual behaviours and preferences are openly discussed. Her parents, David and Gill, are sitting just feet from the accused.

Grace’s story is a shocking one – but sadly not unique.

‘Consensual rough sex’ defences to the killing or injuring of women and girls are successfully being used to get lighter convictions and sentences.

In fact, the consensual violence defence has been used in the case of 59 deaths of women since records began. Only in the case of 36 pf those deaths was the defence not supported by the jury, and the accused were convicted of murder.

Of the remaining cases, 16 resulted in manslaughter convictions, two were found not guilty, and in three no charges were brought. Two cases – Grace’s included – are ongoing.

Currently, so-called ‘sex gone wrong’ defences are successful roughly 45 per cent of the time.

Around 60 per cent of women who are killed in alleged ‘rough sex’ die from being strangled, and a third of the dead women just met their killers on the same day as their murder.

What’s worse, the use of the ‘consensual rough sex’ defences to the killing or injuring of women and girls is on the rise in courts.

According to the most recent available statistics, there were 20 uses of the defence in 2017, compared to just two in 1997 – a tenfold increase in 20 years.

These statistics have been collated by We Can’t Consent To This (WCCTT), an initiative looking to change laws on domestic violence, with the consensual violence plea at the heart.

WCCTT are campaigning to amend the Domestic Abuse Bill in England and Wales to end the use of these defences in court.

The bill has sadly been temporarily halted due to the dissolution of parliament ahead of the general election in December. But two MPs – Harriet Harman and Mark Garnier – have announced they will take action over the use of ‘rough sex’ defences.

Its message is a simple one: women can’t consent to their own death. And it’s one that is brutally encapsulated in the dozens of true stories it has on its website – stories like Grace’s.

There’s Natalie Connolly, a 26-year-old mum who died at the bottom of her stairs in 2016 after suffering 40 separate injuries, including serious internal trauma, vaginal arterial bleeding, a fractured eye socket and facial wounds.

Her partner of only a few months, millionaire property developer John Broadhurst, claimed it was consensual, alcohol and drug-fuelled rough sex. He was convicted of manslaughter and got only three years and eight months.

Then there is Laura Huteson, a 21-year-old who was killed by a man she had met just that day. Her killer Jason Gaskell had held a knife to her neck while having sex and cut through her carotid artery.

Gaskell, the only surviving witness, claimed he didn’t intend to use the knife to kill Laura. He was ultimately charged with murder but admitted manslaughter and got just six years in prison. Courts heard how Gaskell had strangled a woman 11 days earlier.

Chloe Miazek was a 20-year-old student who had been out drinking in Aberdeen when she had been thrown out of a nightclub for being too drunk. She was approached by Mark Bruce, 32, while waiting at a bus stop and within two hours he had strangled her.

Bruce claimed it had been an accident and denied murder. He pleaded culpable homicide – the Scottish equivalent of manslaughter – and got just six years inside.

The examples make for tough reading – yet unbelievably, the subject of ‘consensual rough sex’ remains fraught with grey areas, legally speaking at least.

But for WCCTT founder Fiona Mackenzie, it reads starkly black and white.

“The law should be clear it shouldn’t matter if she consented to rough sex, that shouldn’t matter at all, it shouldn’t be part of a case,” she tells Tyla.

Fiona was inspired to create WCCTT when she heard MP Harriet Harman speak about Natalie Connelly’s death on BBC Woman’s Hour.

She – like a lot of other women she knew – were horrified by John Broadhurst’s short sentence and concerned by the frequency in which these kinds of cases were appearing in the news.

On Christmas Eve last year, Fiona decided to collate all of the cases she could immediately and launched the website.

Fiona explains how in some cases, even police officers investigating these cases, coroners, and crime scene officers are then “writing them off” because they look like sex accidents gone wrong.

“This defence allows people to switch their brains off,” she explains. “They think ‘other people must get up to this, who knows what goes on in the bedroom, maybe she asked for it.’

“That’s why it’s so successful. It’s the ultimate in victim blaming – blaming women for their own death.”

In all cases, jury’s have to go off the accused’s word alone. The victim can’t offer their side of the story, as is the sad situation with Grace.

“We need a change in attitude in the criminal justice system so people know that women do not consent to this violence,” Fiona adds.

Aside from changing the law, Fiona hopes WCCTT can help to raise awareness about the dangers of violent sex more generally.

“There’s a huge issue with young women being choked, punched, slapped or just horrendously assaulted as part of consensual sex by men that they are dating,” Fiona explains.

“We know this, we know its really dangerous to strangle someone, but for some reason young men are able to override this knowledge and are choking their partners.”

Recent figures from the ONS showed an estimated 4.3 million women have experienced some form of domestic abuse, and one in five have experienced some type of sexual assault since the age of 16 in England and Wales.

Police receive a domestic abuse call every 30 seconds, while two women are killed by an ex or current partner every single week in England and Wales alone.

It’s clear the increase in cases of violent sex and the use of the consensual rough sex defence goes hand-in-hand with the normalisation of violence against women, and it needs to be stopped.

(source)

QotD: “Husband killed his wife ‘when 48-hour bondage sex session’ during their ‘honeymoon period’ in Germany left her with a perforated bowel”

A German man is in court facing manslaughter charges for killing his new wife in a 48-hour BDSM sex session just days after they walked down the aisle together.

Ralph Jankus, 52, and his wife Christel, 49, took part in a 48-hour sex session for their nuptials, he claims.

New bride Christel suffered severe internal injuries allegedly after a sharp object was inserted into her.

When emergency services were called four days later, they were unable to save Christel.

Self-confessed sadomasochist Jankus faces manslaughter charges at the court in Krefeld, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, in western Germany.

He is being prosecuted for failing to call for help, allegedly leaving her injured for four days. He claims he was not aware his wife was seriously ill.

The public prosecutor believes that Jankus must have been aware of how unwell his wife was and that her life was in danger.

When questioned, he told police the sex had been consensual and that he had been taking part in sadomasochism sessions for the past thirty years.

[…]

Jankus has reportedly admitted that his wife had previously complained about discomfort and had been to see an internal medicine specialist who had carried out a colonoscopy, but nothing had been found to be wrong with her.

Forensic medicine specialists came to the conclusion that the woman must have had some sort of barbed hook inserted into her and when it was removed this caused a perforated bowel.

The victim’s 30-year-old son, who has not been named, claimed his mother had been abused as a child and was mentally unstable.

He added that his mother was dominated by her husband and had started wearing clothes that covered her up well.

She had also allegedly reported abuse at the hands of her husband before they got married, in 2017, but later withdrew these allegations and had spent some time in a psychiatric clinic.

Her son claims that she fled to a women’s shelter in 2018, before turning up happier and marrying her partner in July of the same year.

He said: ‘She had injuries over her whole body and in her genital region.’

The son said: ‘I made accusations to her that she was putting up with too much and that it should never have gone this far.’

He added he had seen bruises which his mother had shown him and she allegedly told her son that she never wanted to see her partner again and never wanted to be hurt by him.

He claims that Jankus ‘abused, mistreated and humiliated’ his mother, but added: ‘I do think she loved him though.’

Her son’s partner, who is also a witness and who has not been named, said: ‘We had no idea about the violence at first. But over time it became more apparent, she was not allowed to leave the apartment. She was forced into taking drugs. She was beaten for going to the hairdressers without permission.’

(source)