Aiken Area Progressive

Progressive blog for the Central Savannah River Area.

Local shelter for victims of sexual violence re-locates to Aiken’s truck route

Aiken — Truck drivers who are victims of sexual violence can now park their 18-wheelers at a local shelter.

The Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons, the first shelter in South Carolina to accept male victims of sexual violence committed by women, has moved their center to 254 Beaufort Street.

Beaufort Street is still the main truck route in Aiken to this day.

In an interview with the Aiken Standard, executive director Susan Selden said that this is the first time in the group’s history they have moved. From its beginnings in 1981 until this week, the Cumbee Center was located in downtown Aiken.

“We’ve been cramped in that little office since before I got there, with very narrow hallways for clients to walk down,” Ms. Selden told the Standard. “…We wanted them (clients) to have more privacy, and this fall, we hired more staff because of increased demand and we had to have somewhere to put them.”

That little office was on Lancaster Street, a place where trucks – and especially thru trucks – are prohibited from accessing and have been prohibited from accessing since before the Cumbee Center’s existence.

Ms. Selden noted that she has seen a marked rise in clients, especially male clients who were abused by spouses and female clients who were sexually assaulted or raped.

“They’re showing up to the hospital, and then we provide services after their hospital (visit), after their rape kits,” said Ms. Selden. “So, there’s been a definite increase in our hospital advocacy. We’ve seen more domestic violence clients. We’ve done more orders of protections this year than I remember, so we’ve had to hire additional staff.”

The Cumbee Center hired three staff members right away in October with its Victims of Crime Act Grant from the state’s Attorney General Office. Ms. Selden said she’s looking to hire additional staff members by the week ending on January 27, 2018.

The services offered at the organization’s new location will be the same as the previous location. That includes crisis care, counseling, case management and assistance with filing orders of protection.

Inside is Ms. Selden’s office, a little more than half a dozen offices for staff members, a kitchen and storage space, as well as a large conference area that can be used for trainings and community collaboration meetings.

Ms. Selden, who has been in her role since 2015, said she is excited about the move.

“I feel like we’ve gotten more awareness out which is one of the original goals … and we’re seeing more people come out,” she said. “I don’t know if theres an increase in violence. I think they know they can get good service here. Hopefully, they trust us.”

And although there is still a lot of moving taking place, Ms. Selden said, “We are officially open now. …This is the location to come to.”

Like all other businesses in the city, The Cumbee Center will go through a zoning process before signage goes up, but for those who still need assistance finding the location, it is located near Probation Parole and Pardon Services, as well as the Aiken County Health Department. Unlike with the previous location, The Cumbee Center is now very easily accessible for truck drivers who may need to find a place to go and get out of a violent relationship.

It is also roughly a half mile from the new Aiken Department of Public Safety headquarters – also located on Beaufort Street.

There is also signage at the old location about the move.

The Cumbee Center also operates confidential emergency shelters in Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell, Edgefield and McCormick counties. If you or someone you know needs assistance and/or access to the shelter, you can call the center’s hotline numbers. They are 803-259-4451 and/or 803-649-0480.


Raising A Girl During #MeToo

Erin Matson tells readers of her site what it is like raising a daughter during the era of outing sexual abusers.

Erin Matson

The #MeToo reckoning has only started to reveal the routine and gratuitous presence of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault in the lives of women and girls. It’s going to be a long, slow burn of new stories coming to the surface, some of them shocking and others as duh-tastic as possible (you mean that pompous guy who was known for treating his employees like shit and the “pro-life” congressman who obsessed about controlling women’s bodies all day long on the House floor were treating their women employees like their own personal sexual property? NO WAY!). There will be more backlash, and considering who is president of the United States, it is going to be terrible.

Meanwhile, a whole bunch of us still need to raise our daughters.

I’ll be honest, I find this a particularly challenging moment to parent a girl who is getting ready to go to kindergarten…

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If you solicit money from someone, you will be jailed for no less than ten years under this proposal – even if no sexual favors are involved!

Washington, DC – Thinking about messaging men for money via text or Facebook Messenger? That will cost you your freedom for a very long time, ladies.

Under a new amendment Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced Monday evening, anyone who messages to solicit money for any reason from another person would be sent to a federal jail for ten years or more.

While Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s post notes that this proposal is about messages that lead to an act of prostitution, Goodlatte’s proposal goes far beyond that. It even criminalizes the simple act of planning a date using digital means.

Mobile network operators – AT&T Mobility, Cricket, MetroPCS, Page Plus, Sprint, T-Mobile, Tracfone Wireless (including Straight Talk and Net 10), US Cellular and Verizon Wireless – would be given a huge incentive to track your text messages and give your messages to government agents. Digital platforms would be given the same incentives to do likewise.

The amendment was offered as a companion to House Resolution 1865, introduced by Ann Wagner (R-Mo.). Both measures, which would repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 outright, will be considered at any moment.

The underlying bill, which has 171 co-sponsors from both parties, would repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and would open digital platforms to criminal and civil liability not just for future sex crimes that result from user posts or interactions but also for past harms brokered by the platforms in some way. So platforms that followed previous federal laws (which encouraged less content moderation in order to avoid liability) would now be especially vulnerable to charges and lawsuits.

Under current law, only the federal government has the authority to bring charges against mobile network operators, mobile apps and web services as much of the user-generated content (which is more heavily regulated under state laws) conflicts with the more lenient federal laws. If HR 1865 passes, it would allow for states to prosecute anyone, including web services and their third-party content creators, for monetary solicitation. No exceptions would be made under the proposal, which would make innocuous messages like one my longtime friend sent to a dude on Messenger on Sunday night a federal offense.

The underlying bill would repeal and replace Section 230 with a new federal crime of benefitting from participation in a venture engaged in the exchanges of money for any purpose, and makes it easy to hold all sorts of web platforms and publishers in violation.

Any “provider of an interactive service” who hosts user-posted information with reckless disregard that the information provided…is in furtherance of sex trafficking (or any exchange of money for any reason) or an attempt to commit such an offense could face a fine and up to 20 years in prison, the bill states. And nothing “shall be construed to require the Federal Government in a prosecution, or a plaintiff in a civil action, to prove any intent on the part of the information content provider.”

What that means is that my friend’s message to a man on Sunday night after promising to go through with her plans the previous night would nab Facebook on a federal charge under HR 1865.

And that’s not all. Her message would also get her prosecuted (if the dude lives in another state) and she could be jailed for 10 if Goodlatte’s amendment is approved as a companion to HR 1865. The Goodlatte amendment significantly expands on the Mann Act. Currently, the Mann Act only criminalizes sex work if the sex worker is a passenger in a vehicle and is being transported across state lines. Goodlatte’s amendment would expand significantly on that, declaring that whoever uses or operates a facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce or attempts to do so with the intent to exchange money for any reason would be subject to being jailed for ten years. The amendment additionally declares that anyone that “solicits or demands money from 5 or more persons” or “acts in reckless disregard of the fact that any monetary exchanges are in fact contributing to sex trafficking” could face a fine and up to 25 years of imprisonment.

Had my friend solicited money from at least five men who lives outside of South Carolina, she’d be facing 25 years in federal prison. And that proposal, if it becomes law, would apply to any monetary exchanges between people, even if no sexual favors are involved whatsoever.

These bills, as well as the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act, are not only unconstitutional – these bills violate basic human rights. And the worst part about them? They do nothing to combat sex trafficking. All these bills do is drive dating ads further underground, making it both harder to rescue victims of sexual abuse and harder for willing adult sex workers to conduct business safely, while simultaneously enabling unscrupulous attacks on the Internet, putting an insane chill on all internet speech, and opening the way for even more government prying into everyone’s digital lives, even on feature phones.

Jami Cantor files lawsuit against the NFL Network for sexual assault, three suspended from network

New York City – Since October 6, all of the sexual harassment stories from the #MeToo coverage have come from the political and entertainment arenas. Sports was largely unscathed.

Was being the operative word here.

On Monday night, Jami Cantor (pictured) officially filed a lawsuit against the NFL Network accusing the satellite channel of sexual harassment and assault. Ms. Cantor was the former wardrobe stylist at the network.

As a result, three former players were indefinitely suspended. Ike Taylor, Heath Evans and Super Bowl champion running back Marshall Faulk were removed from the network. Ms. Cantor has also named two more defendants in the lawsuit, including Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Ms. Cantor claims that Faulk groped her breasts and behind and asked “deeply personal and invasive questions” about her sex life. She said that both Mr. Taylor and a former executive producer for the NFL Network sent her explicit pictures, with Mr. Taylor intentionally sending her a video of him masturbating in the shower. Ms. Cantor also noted that the former network executive producer said on one occasion that she was “put on earth to pleasure me” and pressed his crotch against her, asking her to touch it. She also described receiving explicit texts from Mr. McNabb, a former NFL Network analyst who appears as a college football and NFL analyst on the ESPN family of networks.

With these incidents, plus the incidents involving Molto Mario Batali and Rich Swann since Sunday, at least 162 men and two women (LeeAnn Tweeden and Mariah Carey) have been exposed as sexual harassers or abusers.

Here’s a real list of six bad things the US promotes!

Talladega, Ala. – When Roy Moore spoke to his supporters last week, he said that the US promotes a lot of bad things.

He wrongly cited same sex marriage as an example. In reality, same sex marriage is a positive right and a positive thing to promote.

Since he decided to bring up his claims of bad things promoted, I have a list six bad things the US actually promotes:

1. Gymnophobia. Gymnophobia is the hatred of nudity and/or nudists. And both conservatives and liberals – and especially women – are guilty as charged in being gymnophobes.
2. Misogyny against pregnant women. Conservatives in Alabama have said that they would rather vote for a candidate who sexually assaulted children (defined as being under 16 in the state, according to Alabama’s age of consent law) than to vote for a person who believes that women still have basic civil rights during pregnancy. That tells you all you need to know about that electorate.
3. Segregated bathrooms and transphobia. Most Americans who do not study hard believe that segregation ended in the 1960s. Wrong. Segregation never ended, and that is especially true for gender non-conforming people. They are victims of segregation today in many places, most infamously in Oxford, Ala. and in the states of North Carolina and Texas. Oh, and lest we forget that at least 24 transgender people have been murdered this year as of December 4.
4. Racism. Trump has been promoting racism disguised as patriotism everywhere he has been. He insulted all African-Americans by calling them “son of a bitches” in September. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, he attacked NFL players for supporting a move to go back to the Bush-era policies of remaining in the locker room until the Star Spangled Banner is over. And this has been happening so repeatedly, it is impossible to dismiss.
5. Romeo and Juliet clauses. Yes, we are going after these clauses, which are in many states’ statutory rape laws (thankfully, such clauses are no longer in South Carolina’s law). The age of consent should mean just that – for everyone. Time to repeal these clauses.
6. Guns and gun culture. Eventually, we were going to get here. The US has had a mass shooting for every day in 2017, including the infamous massacre in Las Vegas that killed 58 people on October 1 and a mass shooting in nearby Allendale. And the worst part of it all is that the House of Representatives just passed House Resolution 38, a law that will allow criminals to carry guns everywhere – including in daycares, schools and sports arenas – including in New York City due to the fact that the bill nullifies all tough gun laws while allowing the laxest of gun laws to dictate policy nationwide! You can demand the Senate to kill HR 38 here, and you can also tell your state attorney general to join in a lawsuit against HR 38 should it become law.

There are more bad things that the US promotes, but these are among the biggest. Add more in the comments!

Sexual assault facts, by the numbers

0: The percentage of male victims who have falsely accused a woman of sexual assault.
The number of seconds that most rapists, gender notwithstanding, spend in jail.

3: The percentage of convicted sexual assault perpetrators who spend at least one second in jail. Time served while awaiting trail counts towards this stat.

5: The percentage of sexual assault claims that are false.

8: Percentage of sexual assault perpetrators who are convicted.

12: Percentage of Americans that have appropriate sexual boundaries. This percentage is the same for both women and men.

16: The percentage of men who are victims of sexual assault overall.

18: The percentage of men overall who are sexually assaulted by a woman.

25: Percentage of women who are victims of sexual assault overall.
Percentage of males who are victims of sexual assault prior to registering with the Selective Service System.

34: Percentage of people ages 0-17 who are victims of sexual assault. This excludes male victims who said they were victimized within 30 days of their 18th birthday.

40: Percentage of female victims who are sexually assaulted by other women.

44: Percentage of females who are sexually assaulted before attaining the age of majority.

47: Percentage of male victims who are sexually assaulted by other men.

53: Percentage of male victims who are sexually assaulted by women.

60: Percentage of female victims who are sexually assaulted by men.

69: Percentage of male victims born on or after January 1, 1987 who are sexually assaulted by women and girls.

88: Percentage of Americans who have very poor sexual boundaries. This percentage is the same for both women and men.

92: Percentage of sexual assault perpetrators who are not convicted.

95: Percentage of sexual assault claims that are true.

97: Percentage of convicted sexual assault perpetrators who are sentenced to probation (meaning no jail time). Time served in jail awaiting trial does not count towards this stat.

100: Percentage of false sexual assault claims, when the very few false claims are broken down by gender, made by women. (NOTE: Very few claims of sexual assault claims are false.)

Disturbing poll shows that only 12% of Americans have appropriate sexual boundaries

It pains us to do this, but there’s some very disturbing news to report on this Friday.

A poll of one thousand nineteen (1,019) people revealed that many Americans have poor sexual boundaries.

In fact, the poll revealed that only 1 in every 8 Americans, both men and women, have appropriate sexual boundaries.

Read the rest of this entry »

Roark Capital, which owns Arby’s, to buy out Buffalo Wild Wings

Atlanta, Ga. – Arby’s, a very popular burger and sandwich chain, is buying one of the up and coming wings chain, Buffalo Wild Wings.

According to reports, the deal is worth $2,400,000,000.00. Roark Capital Group, which owns Arby’s, will pay $157.00 per share.

The buyout of Buffalo Wild Wings marks the end of a bad 2016 & 2017 for the eatery, which has seen falling sales due to rising prices on their chicken wings and the resignation of CEO Sally Smith in disgrace after she lost a legal battle during the summer.

Meanwhile, Arby’s has seen booming sales with the introduction of new sandwiches such as the already extremely popular chicken pepperoni parm sandwich. Their sales are also aided by their family friendly atmosphere and policies (i.e. prohibiting customers other than law enforcement or military personnel from carrying firearms into the establishment).

Although they are soon to be a subsidiary of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings will continue to run as an independent brand, which is very good news for fans of the restaurant.

Arby’s is not the only one who stands to benefit from this deal. Wendy’s stands to make $450,000,000+ from the deal as well. Wendy’s owns 18% of Arby’s.

Florida pro-life terrorist denied parole

Tallahassee — An American pro-life terrorist was denied parole today and he will not be eligible again for parole for 25.5 more years.

Michael Griffin was denied parole after numerous people – including Dr. David Gunn’s son – spoke at the hearing.

David Gunn Junior, who now is more than twice the age he was when his father was assassinated in Pensacola on March 10, 1993, sent this statement to the Daily Kos’s Ann Rose:

“Awesome news from Tallahassee. Florida law dictates their parole commission to set presumptive parole release dates for all inmates with parole eligible sentences. The presumptive date does not mean parole or release. Today, the parole board set a presumptive parole date of 2043 for Michael Griffin. Griffin, 56, will be 82; however, based on the statements of the commissioners, it seems likely the state will never grace Griffin with parole as they all indicated he was a danger to others and his parole could be seen as an influential to others (as it would have been) to act as he did. Though there is another hearing in seven years, the max they can delay a rehearing under FL law, the state’s decision signals they have no inclination to parole this repugnant and unrepentant terrorist. My family thanks everyone who helped make the hearing a success.”

Gunn Senior’s assassination was the 27th terrorist attack on abortion clinics, and the first terrorist attack overall in the presidency of Bill Clinton.

Griffin’s next parole hearing date is now on March 9, 2043 – the day before what would be the 50th anniversary of the terrorist acts he committed against Dr. Gunn.

Daily Kos

Six reasons why I hate Samhain/Halloween

Samhain (Halloween for the non-Pagans out there) is the traditional Pagan festival that occurs on October 31. It is a day dedicated to the rituals celebrating the lives of those who did not make it and paying respect to ancestors. It is also supposedly the end of the growing season (although the mean first freeze in Williston is not until Christmas Day).

But, just like with anyone else in any other faith, not all of us in the Pagan/Wicca/Witch faith celebrate Samhain.

I, for one, flat out hate Samhain.

Here are six reasons why I hate October 31.

• It is merely a pathetic excuse for adults to violate public indecency laws. More than likely, if you look long enough, you will see several adults come in with attire that would get them a one way ride to the county jail. Readers of this site – even during the Blogspot days – should know by now that our Constitution does not protect clothing and that most US municipalities and all US states have classified some articles of clothing – including a raft of Halloween costumes for adults you can find at the entrance of Party City – as public indecency or indecent exposure.
• It is the anniversary of Greg Moore’s death. On Samhain 1999, I was watching the NFL and racing. I decided to turn to a CART race on WJBF-DT (then WJBF-TV) News Channel 6 that was taking place at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. I had the grave misfortune of watching the race early on. That is because Mr. Moore smashed an inside concrete wall (literally) head first before flipping several times afterwards. Unbeknownst to me, when I turned on the local news on WRDW News 12 at Six, I remember watching the segment called the Big Finish. The sportscaster then showed the horrific crash that I previously saw. It was then when I heard him say that Mr. Moore died in that crash. In 2014, I learned that Mr. Moore was killed instantly in that crash and, after watching the video on YouTube for the very first time, the cause of death was a basal skull fracture – the same injury that killed Gonzalo Rodriguez on September 11 of that year at Laguna Seca, and the same kind of injury that would later claim the lives of Adam Petty, Kenny Irwin Junior, Tony Roper, Dale Earnhardt Senior and Blaise Alexander – all within the next 25 months.
• Cultural appropriation. Even if the attire is within the confines of the law, some attire appropriates marginalized people and their stereotypes. This is a growing problem. Unlike with jokes, which any group of people (including men) can be a victim of a totally unfunny and offensive joke, power dynamics actually do come into play when it comes to cultural appropriation. What that means is that it is offensive for cisgender people to dress up as a transgender person, an able bodied person to dress up as someone with a mental illness, and for women who are not sex workers to dress up in attire so skimpy, they could be mistaken for a sex worker (note: Sugar babies and findommes are also sex workers). Straight people, clothed people, whites and men cannot be victims of cultural appropriation.
• Racist and sexist decorations. There are plenty of these decorations during Sahmain season. These range from decorations of lynching colored people to decorations of boys/scarecrows with extremely turgid erections trying to intimidate guests.
• Hard candy. I do not like most of the hard candy that is associated with Samhain. The only kinds I like are the Smarties, Skittles and Starburst. That is it.
• Horror movies. Yea, I am definitely not a fan of horror flicks. And not just because they simply can not be unseen. They actually make it much more difficult for me to sleep – and that is the absolute last thing I and any other person with a mental illness need as we have enough issues as it is.

And that is the end of that.

As of 6:00 EDT today, Twitter will start suspending accounts for “creepshots” and other non-consensual nudity


San Francisco — At 6:00 Eastern Daylight Time (midnight Hawaii-Aleutian Time) today, Twitter began their first enforcements of more stringent policies.

What that means is that accounts can now be suspended from Twitter for posting “creepshots”-like photos. This would include photos from the infamous Bushwick event that took place in New York City in 2014, one which we called “Creepshots for Women”.

Also, accounts that share non-consensual nudity will also get suspended from Twitter. This includes non-consensual topless photos of women. Sharing non-consensual photos of a mother breastfeeding her child will not trigger a suspension as Twitter does not consider breastfeeding as nudity.

Also, Twitter announced that phase two of their more stringent policy combating abuse will take place at 6:00 EDT on November 22. At that time, accounts that threaten violence against others will be permanently suspended. Also on November 22, accounts that use hate symbols and post hate imagery will be suspended and face the possibility of a permanent suspension from the social media site.

The new policy, which is being rolled out in phases, was put in place after the #WomenBoycottTwitter campaign that lasted 48 hours, encompassing the dates of October 13 and October 14.


Allendale-Fairfax freshman brings gun to school

Fairfax – A pupil was arrested at Allendale-Fairfax High School earlier this week for bringing a handgun on school grounds.

Rick Gooding, who works for Barnwell radio station WDOG-FM, tweeted about this.

The only info is that the pupil was a freshman and was taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia. Neither the Allendale-Fairfax School District nor the Allendale County Sheriff’s Department identified the suspect due to his age.

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