A court ruled the father had sexually abused his child from around the age 13 to 19 and even acknowledged he was violent when she resisted, but he was acquitted because the law requires prosecutors to prove there was overwhelming force, a threat, or that the victim was completely incapacitated.

The verdict is being appealed, but it has sparked outrage with hundreds again expected to demonstrate in cities across the nation Wednesday, while an online petition demanding that any sex without consent be defined as rape — signed by more than 47,000 people — has been submitted to the justice ministry.

For Jun Yamamoto, who was abused by her father between the ages of 13 and 20, the story is sickening familiar.

“Again!… That was what I thought,” the 45-year-old said, adding: “Japanese justice does not recognise sexual offences like this as a crime. I cannot tolerate it anymore.”

The court acknowledged in the latest incest case that the girl had been forced to have intercourse “against her will” and was psychologically subjugated by her father because of the repeated abuse.

But it said it was unclear whether she was “incapable of resisting”, so her father was acquitted of rape.

No protection

Yamamoto, a nurse who also works for the rights of sexual abuse victims, is demanding reforms to the Japanese criminal code.

“When caught off guard or attacked by somebody who should be someone you can trust, you freeze in shock and cannot fight back,” Yamamoto told AFP.

“Even in a case where a father raped his daughter, the court says she could have resisted and lets him go. This legal situation is really a serious problem.” she said, her voice quivering with barely suppressed anger.

While the global #MeToo movement against sexual abuse has stormed through everything from Hollywood to the Italian opera, it has struggled to take off in Japan.

But calls to protect sex abuse victims seem to be winning support, with hundreds expected to rally holding symbolic flowers in 20 cities nationwide on Wednesday.

In one past “Flower Demo” in Tokyo, advocates held banners reading: “Law MUST protect victims, NOT perpetrators”

“Why do we have to ask for this over and over again?” said a tearful protester on mic. “Are we asking for something so inconceivable?”

Activists and lawyers warn that Japan’s criminal code, which dates back over a century, is incapable of protecting sexual abuse victims.

“When the criminal code was created in 1907, Japan was purely patriarchal,” lawyer Yukiko Tsunoda explained.

“The purpose of criminalising rape was to assure a wife would bear a child only by her husband and never be accessed by other men… It was a law of chastity which would only benefit a husband or the father of a family,” she added.

“Who wants to protect a woman who so easily lets a rapist do his thing just after a few punches? That was the thinking.”

Many activists see the law as part of a broader gender problem in Japan, which, despite relatively high rates of female education and workplace participation, remains unequal in many ways.

Tsunoda said that sexist norms remain embedded in the legal system and systematically undermine women’s rights, which according to her explains why Japan is ranked 110th out of 149 countries in the World Economic Forum’s latest gender gap report.

Unsafe for women?

In 2017, Japan revised the criminal code on sexual offences for the first time in 110 years, recognising male victims, and increasing the punishment for rape from a minimum of three years to five.

But the requirement that a victim be able to prove they could not resist assault remained unchanged.

Tsunoda served on a justice ministry panel considering the reforms and urged the requirement be changed, but a majority disagreed, arguing that it could lead to innocent victims being convicted based on the “subjective” views of alleged victims.

A review will happen next year, but it is unclear whether the controversial rule will be up for discussion.

Yamamoto and fellow rights campaigners are hopeful the voices of tens of thousands of citizens who signed the petition will force legislators to reconsider.

“The petition to remove the requirements seems to be the most supported among the opinions we’ve received,” a justice ministry official told AFP, adding: “We take it very seriously.”

But until changes are made protestors say they will continue to rally across the country on the 11th of each month.

Demonstrator Wakana Goto, 28, told protestors at one rally: “In Japan, with its reputation as one of the world’s safest countries, I have been exposed to sexual harassment since the age of three, forced to get used to it and to learn to deal with it.”



Credit: AFP, Pulse News

The #MeToo movement has found its way to this part of the world, and the essence of it, is to remove the shame that’s typically associated with speaking out as a victim of sexual assault.

The end goal is to turn male-dominated and abusive power structures on their heads, and the Nigerian fashion industry has woken up to this, with models naming and shaming abusers they’ve come across in the past.

Nigerian models recently rallied together in a bid to stop the casual sexual violence they suffer, by calling out rampant perpetrators — specifically photographers and booking agents — as well as giving advice to young, aspiring models.

The success of a model’s career is largely dependent on the rooms her booking agent can get her into, and from the testaments shared on an Instagram page dedicated to this cause, it’s clear the men in these positions realised their power and used it to prey on these models.

Speaking to Konbini about this, top model Aduke Bey said:

“I’m lucky enough to never have experienced any sexual violence in fashion so far, but I know so many people who have. In fact, more people than not have been assaulted and it’s such a shame. 

First of all, we need more women in the industry as photographers, cinematographers etc, so that we can feel more comfortable around each other, and we won’t always be at the mercy of sometimes wicked men.

I’m glad that people are speaking up now, but we really need more people coming out and saying their stories. There’s still so much to uncover, and we’ve just scratched the surface. Silence gives these abusers more power”

Nigerians have a very limited understanding of a model’s importance in the fashion industry, and therefore cast the job aside as indecent and unserious. As a result, models sometimes feel pressure to entertain unwanted sexual advances in order to get ahead in their careers.

Models are actually crucial in fashion, as there would be no catwalk or runway shows without them. Designers need them to model their clothes in campaigns, and publications need them when creating their content. Given the importance of their role, they should be protected by those in power.



Credit: konbini.com

In recent times, particularly in 2018, there has been a stronger movement in favour of empowering women in the film industry. From gender pay gap uprisings with the highest paid actresses in the Hollywood demanding the same pay as men in equivalent roles, to sexual harassment claims which gave birth to the #MeToo movement, there are many areas in the industry addressing the need to empower its women. Some of these issues were harder to address in the past as even top actresses needed the work, and with fewer leading lady roles decided to stay silent until much later after any grievances they may have faced. Today, Anita Kouassigan shares her view that there is a need to invest in more women screenwriters and directors.

In this day and age, with the many digital distractions we face by overusing our mobile phones, I firmly believe that film – more than ever – will remain the most effective medium for catching – and keeping – one’s attention when a story is being told. There’s nothing that focuses my mind more than escaping into a movie -at least a decent one, with an engaging story. And the use of film as a tool for storytelling and engagement is a major part of our March event as with all our events.

“There will be screenings of short clips showcasing the messages our sponsors and partners want to deliver. It could be an internally produced documentary that contains footage of a school that’s just been built. Or a view of the first hospital commissioned in a rural area. Or interviews of a victim who’s able to tell their story after being freed from some form of bondage.

Women can certainly become more empowered with an increase in films created to tell even the most uncomfortable stories about their struggles, and this includes documentaries, such as The Uncondemned, possibly one of the most uncomfortable yet. It is a film about the first conviction of rape as a war crime and component of genocide (directed by Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel-now late, sadly). They worked together as a great team, and I am not suggesting we have films made by women alone, we just need more input from women, which means that there is a need to invest in women in film. Women in film need more funding, in their various roles, including on set, but especially when it comes to screenwriting and directing.

Let us consider the argument in favour of more women having a seat at the table (in boardrooms) and the need for women to play more important roles in the decision-making process of a country (women in law and politics). Those arguments are from the same underlying principle of the need for women to have a voice.

Similarly, in film, more women need to partake in the story-telling process and in directing films, as that is what will ultimately determine how a story comes across. It’s an ongoing reality that not enough scripts are being written by women (perhaps they need more of an incentive?), and men cannot entirely understand the feminine experience. I am not saying we should leave men out; we just need more of a feminine input.

Oftentimes, not enough lines or screen time are dedicated to female roles to humanise a character and one of the most negative aspects still ongoing in the film industry is the objectification of women. It’s still common for female characters to be ridden with clichés and in order to really sell a movie, women may have to appear sexy in order to be viewed as powerful. Why does a woman have to be sexy to be powerful? Why can’t she just be smart and influential in order to be powerful?

Maggie Gyllenhaal recently remarked in an interview that the use of sex in films is used as a tool for female roles to capture the attention of the audience, then they’ll be heard. On screen, women are oftentimes treated as accessories expected to look beautiful, glamorous and extravagant. The key is finding ways to make filmmaking more progressive, giving more dimension to female characters and their stories.

Scripts are often written by men, and while I am not suggesting that male screenwriters set out demean women, they naturally lack certain knowledge that only a woman can have about the certain women-centric issues being addressed. On the other side of what’s deemed as entertaining, there’s the portrayal of bitchy or evil (both with negative connotations), far from empowering.

But things are changing – including in Nigeria. Isoken, directed by Jade Osiberu is a film that has pushed boundaries in terms of the story itself and the way the lead actress (Dakore Egbuson-Akande) depicts her role. She does so in an empowered expression of the issues and choices she’s facing, subjects that are normally deemed as taboo and that cause people (both men and women) to even disrespect a woman in Isoken’s position. But there is still a funding gap for films written and directed by women, and actress-turned-director is still a harder promotion, compared with the case of men.



Credit: Anita Kouassigan, Guardian Woman

Author Maryam Awaisu, one of the activists leading the #ArewaMeToo movement has regained freedom.

People from the Northern part of Nigeria have taken to Twitter in the last few days to share sad stories of abuse from close friends, partners and relatives.

Awaisu, according to Amnesty International, was arrested in her office on Tuesday by SARS officers.

She has finally regained freedom, according to Amnesty International, as well as some social media users who were at the station with her.

Amnesty Int. Nigeria


Maryam Awaisu @Ice131Queen has been released. Though she is free now, her arrest and detention was aimed at intimidating women rights activists pursuing justice for victims of sexual violence.

1,199 people are talking about this
463 people are talking about this


Finally she’s out and she’s on her way home 🙏🙏

Aisha Yesufu@AishaYesufu

Maryam Awaisu is still not freed. She is in there at SARS Office. Her phone is off! @ibrahimu14 and some other great Nigerians are waiting outside where she is. Hopefully they would release her today#IAmMaryam#WeAllAreMaryam#FreeMaryamAwaisu#ArewaMeToo

57 people are talking about this
Credit: Bella Naija

R. Kelly is reportedly set to tell his side of the story after Lifetime’s docuseries ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ aired.

The R & B legend was accused of horrific abuse by multiple women in the docuseries. But he maintains his innocence and intends to “expose” his accusers via a new website called survivinglies.com.

Sources close to R. Kelly reportedly revealed that he and his team are in the middle of launching the site. The website will reportedly attempt to expose his accusers as liars and expose the motivation behind their allegations.

At the moment, the website is not live, but there is a Facebook account with the same name. It appears that Asante McGee, who was featured in the docuseries, is the first target to be exposed by R. Kelly.

The Facebook page Surviving Lies shared a video linked to YouTube. The video features an audio conversation that allegedly features Asante’s daughter and ex-boyfriend exposing her accusations. The people on the audio have not been verified, but the page is claiming that it is Asante’s daughter and ex-boyfriend.

R. Kelly set to

Credit: LIB

Jada Pinkett-Smith has joined the now growing list of celebrities who have come to speak out since the now famous #SurvivingRKelly documentary hit the internet and for her, she is surprised at folks buying his music.

In a video shared via her Twitter page on Sunday, January 6, 2018, the movie star and mother of two expressed her shocked at the increasing rate of sales of R.Kelly’s music, since the documentary where women came out to speak about the pains they went through in his hands.

”So I got an article about how R.Kelly’s music sales have spiked substantially since the release of surviving R.Kelly documentary series and I’m having a really difficult time understanding why but it is important that I understand why. I really would like for you guys to make me understand what I am missing, if I’m missing something that I don’t necessarily agree with, I just want to understand what I’m missing. So you can sound off below and that would be great and we can continue the conversation…and I really don’t want to believe that black girls don’t matter enough or that the reason? So let me know, happy Sunday,” she said.

It is well known that in the world of music, a number of reasons spikes off the increase in sales of music from artists which includes, death and just like the situation, a big controversy.


Credit: Pulse

On Tuesday, October 16, 2018, in Los Angeles, top singer and actress Lady Gaga was honoured as one of Elle’s Women In Hollywood.

Gaga delivered her Women in Hollywood acceptance speech from an extremely vulnerable and honest place. She opened up about her sexual assault, mental illness, and a plea for women to lift up each other’s voices and “beckon the world towards kindness.” “I wanted to take the power back,” she said.

And part of reclaiming that power had to do with what she wore. While promoting A Star Is Born, Gaga has worn dramatic, glamorous, Old Hollywood gowns.

At ELLE’s Women in Hollywood event, she wore an oversized Marc Jacobs suit, her hair in a low bun. For Gaga, it was stripped down.

25th Annual ELLE Women In Hollywood Celebration - Arrivals

Here, an extended excerpt from Gaga’s moving acceptance speech:

“I tried on dress after dress today getting ready for this event, one tight corset after another, one heel after another, a diamond, a feather, thousands of beaded fabrics and the most beautiful silks in the world. To be honest, I felt sick to my stomach. And I asked myself: What does it really mean to be a woman in Hollywood? We are not just objects to entertain the world. We are not simply images to bring smiles or grimaces to people’s faces. We are not members of a giant beauty pageant meant to be pit against one another for the pleasure of the public. We women in Hollywood, we are voices. We have deep thoughts and ideas and beliefs and values about the world and we have the power to speak and be heard and fight back when we are silenced.

So, after trying 10 or so dresses, with a sad feeling in my heart, that all that would matter was what I wore to this red carpet, I saw an oversized Marc Jacobs suit buried quietly in the corner. I put it on to a resounding view of eyes glaring at me in confusion. But the Rodarte was so beautiful! one said. But the Raf Simons for Calvin Klein was so stunning on you! said another. But what about the Brandon Maxwell? What about the Dior? Lots of questions. They were all dresses. This was an oversized men’s suit made for a woman. Not a gown. And then I began to cry. In this suit, I felt like me today. In this suit, I felt the truth of who I am well up in my gut. And then wondering what I wanted to say tonight become very clear to me.

As a sexual assault survivor by someone in the entertainment industry, as a woman who is still not brave enough to say his name, as a woman who lives with chronic pain, as a woman who was conditioned at a very young age to listen to what men told me to do, I decided today I wanted to take the power back. Today I wear the pants.

In an age where I can barely watch the news, I gasped at the unjust men, and some women quite frankly, that I see running this country. I had a revelation that I had to be empowered to be myself today more than ever. To resist the standards of Hollywood, whatever that means. To resist the standards of dressing to impress. To use what really matters: my voice.

After I was assaulted when I was 19 I changed forever. Part of me shut down for many years. I didn’t tell anyone. I avoided it myself. And felt shame even still today standing in front of you. I feel shame for what happened to me. I still have days where I feel like it was my fault. After I shared what happened to me with very powerful men in this industry, nobody helped me. No one offered my guidance or a helping hand to lead me to a place where I felt justice, they didn’t even point me in the direction of the mental health assistance I was in dire need of. Those men hid because they were afraid of losing their power. And because they hid, I began to hide.

I hid for a long time until I started to feel physical pain. Then I had to go to the doctor because I didn’t know what was wrong with me. And then I was diagnosed with PTSD and Fibromyalgia, which many people don’t think is real, and I don’t even know what the fuck to say about that. But I’ll tell you what it is. It’s a syndrome that is essentially a cyclone of stress induced pain. And I really wish my friend Lena Dunham was here tonight because I think she could probably articulate this much better than me. And I hope we can all agree that she’s a remarkable woman.

Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma—these are just a few examples of the forces that can lead to this tornado of pain. So what I would like to say in this room of powerful women and men today is let’s work together to beckon the world towards kindness. I’m fortunate enough now to have the resources to help me. But for many, the resources either don’t exist or people don’t have the ability to pay for or access them. I want to see mental health become a global priority. We’re not able to control all of the challenges and tragedies that life throws our way. But we can work together. This room can work together to heal each other. And we can also try to find the strength in the best way that we can to ask for help if we need it.

It is my personal dream that there would be a mental health expert teacher or therapist in every school in this nation and hopefully one day around the world. Let’s lift our voices. I know we are, but let’s get louder. And not just as women. But as humans. And see that there are great men in the world. And ask them to hold our hands. For justice. That our voices be heard. Whatever our story may be. For an equal standing. We will fight for justice for women and men and those with other sexual identities. For me, this is what it means to be a woman in Hollywood. It means, I have a platform. I have a chance to make a change. I pray we listen and believe and pay closer attention to those around us to those in need….Be a helping hand. Be a force for change”.

Culled from Elle

“All over the world today women are speaking up. Their stories are still not really heard,” Adichie said at the opening of the world’s biggest publishing event.

“Women are still invisible. Women’s experiences are still invisible.”

A year after the #MeToo movement went viral and sparked up a global discussion about sexual harassment, Adichie said there was much work left to be done.

“It is time for us to pay more than lip service to the fact that women’s stories are for everyone,”

“We know from studies that women read books by men and women. But men read books by men. It is time for men to read women.”

In a thinly veiled reference to US judge Brett Kavanaugh’s controversial confirmation to the Supreme Court despite accusations of sexual misconduct, Adichie slammed the tendency not to believe victims of such assaults.

“We seem to live in a world where many people believe large numbers of women can simply wake up one day and make up stories about having been assaulted,” Adichie said.

“I know many women who want to be famous. I don’t know one single woman who wants to be famous for having been assaulted.”

Adichie, who divides her time between the United States and Nigeria, said now was an “urgent” moment to stand up for what is right — particularly in President Donald Trump’s America.

“The world is shifting, it’s changing. It’s darkening,” the 41-year-old said.

“The most powerful country in the world today feels like a feudal court, full of intrigues feeding on mendacity, drowning in its own hubris.

“We must know what is true. We must say what is true. And we must call a lie a lie.”

She spoke out at the time but she was not given any attention. The global #MeToo phenomenon encouraged her to go public again and on Saturday, October 6, 2018, to file a police complaint against Patekar, who issued a denial.

Dutta also alleged that filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri behaved inappropriately towards her while shooting a 2005 movie. Agnihotri’s lawyer denied the “frivolous” claims.

Dutta said she has received threats but she has also won support from several high-profile stars, while other actresses have now started to speak out about Bollywood’s darker side.

Over the weekend a HuffPost India report published accusations against director Vikas Bahl, one of the four founders of Phantom Films, the edgy production house behind Netflix’s first original Indian series, “Sacred Games”.

A crew member, who is not named, said Bahl insisted on escorting her to her hotel in 2015 and pretended to pass out drunk on her bed, only to awaken and masturbate on her later, HuffPost reported.

Kangana Ranaut, an actress who worked with Bahl on “Queen”, his 2014 hit film touching on female empowerment, came out and said that the director would “bury his face in my neck and hold me really tight”.

“It took me a great amount of strength and effort to pull myself out of his embrace,” she told the India Today news channel.

On Friday, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, two fellow Phantom Films founders, announced on Twitter that they were dissolving the production company.

Kashyap released a further statement over the weekend saying they had not acted earlier because the alleged victim had not wanted to speak out until now.

“Now in hindsight and after taking stock of things myself, I can quite see how I was ill-advised,” Kashyap said.

He added that the company had disciplined Bahl internally by suspending him and barring him from their premises.

Bahl has yet to comment publicly on the allegations.

Stories of bad behaviour are also now emerging about men in other sectors.

A Mumbai comedian, Utsav Chakraborty, last week found himself at the centre of a Twitter storm accusing him of sending lewd messages to women and young girls such as requesting topless photos.

After an initial dismissal, Chakraborty, who now faces a possible police investigation, tweeted that he has “been the exact monster I’ve been trying to fight all my life”.

Another woman shared screen shots of WhatsApp conversations between her and Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s top-selling authors, in which he propositions her and ignores her objections that he is married.

Bhagat confirmed the veracity of the screen shots and said in a long Facebook post that he was “really sorry to the person concerned” — while also apologising to his wife.

Meanwhile The Wire, an online news site, ran an article it said reveals the “dark underbelly” of the Indian media, quoting accusations against at least three newspaper editors.

Credit: Pulse