6 Facts About Erotic Asphyxiation

What Is Erotic Asphyxiation?

Erotic asphyxiation (EA) is an increasingly common sexual practice, particularly among young people. It is dangerous and can lead to accidental death. It was first depicted in the 1791 novel Justine (Les infortunes de la vertu) by Marquis de Sade. Popular among people who engage in bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, it has become normalized through its depiction in pornography.

In this article you will learn about:

Let’s get started.

What is Erotic Asphyxiation?

Erotic asphyxiation is a sadomasochistic fetish of consensual strangulation during sexual activity, granting absolute power to one person through the complete surrender of the other. It is also known as breath play, erotic chokingsexual asphyxiation.

Common types of erotic asphyxiation

Some of the most common types of non-fatal strangulation are the constriction of the throat by:

  • Using one or both hands
  • Apply pressure with a forearm
  • Applying pressure with a knee or foot
  • Use of objects, such as a strap, rope, belt, scarf, cord, scarf, necklace, plastic wrap, etc. 

Physical outcomes of erotic asphyxiation

Some of the consequences of erotic asphyxiation:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Brain damage
  • Hoarse voice
  • Paralysis
  • Motor and speech disorders
  • Stroke
  • Bladder or bowel incontinence 
  • Dizziness
  • Memory loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Seeing dark spots
  • Tunnel vision
  • Memory loss

Why do people choke each other during sex?

Erotic asphyxiation is said to enhance sexual arousal and magnify the intensity of orgasm.

“We found that many people into choking remember growing up and watching porn with choking in it,” said Dr. Herbenick. “In a country where porn stands in for sex education and family conversations about sex, some young people do what they see in porn.”

How common is erotic asphyxiation?

According to a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine and lead by Dr. Debby Herbenick, a professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health. “And it is a thing, especially among young adults.”

People Choked During Sex

SexPercentage
Women21%
Men11%

People Who Have Choked Others During Sex

SexPercentage
Women12%
Men20%

Dr. Herbenick says there has been a shift in sexual behavior over the last two decades. The study found that choking during sex is most prevalent among 18-29-year-olds, among whom 40% had either choked a sexual partner or been choked by one.

“We found that 21 percent of women had been choked during sex as had 11 percent of men,” said Dr. Herbenick. “We also found that 20 percent of men and 12 percent of women had choked a partner.”

The study also found that 23 of the 347 female respondents expressed feeling frightened during sex as their partner had attempted to choke them by surprise and without consent.

How is erotic asphyxiation different from non-fatal strangulation?

What differentiates non-fatal strangulation from so-called erotic choking is context, intent, and consent. While both erotic asphyxiation and non-fatal strangulation are dominant behaviors, there are some important distinctions:

Erotic asphyxiation is:

  • Consensual.
  • Occurs in the context of mutual sexual pleasure.
  • Is not intended to cause harm.

Non-fatal strangulation is:

  • Non-consensual.
  • Occurs in the context of abusive power and control.
  • Intended to cause harm and induce fear.

Is erotic asphyxiation as dangerous as non-fatal strangulation?

Although erotic asphyxiation is consensual and occurs in a different context from non-fatal strangulation, it poses the same dangers.

Certified sex therapist Kimberly Resnick Anderson explains, “Sexual choking or breath play is really dangerous. Even in the BDSM community, it’s never safe. There is always a lethal risk.”

Moreover, the rise in erotic asphyxiation has led to a quarter of American women report feeling scared during sex. due to a rise in non-fatal strangulation that takes place during sex without consent.

References

  • Glass, Nancy & Laughon, Kathryn & Campbell, Jacquelyn & Block, Carolyn & Hanson, Ginger & Sharps, Phyllis & Taliaferro, Ellen. (2007). Non-fatal Strangulation is an Important Risk Factor for Homicide of Women. The Journal of emergency medicine. 35. 329-35. 10.1016/j.jemermed.2007.02.065. 
  • Herbenick D, Fu TC, Wright P, Paul B, Gradus R, Bauer J, Jones R. Diverse Sexual Behaviors and Pornography Use: Findings From a Nationally Representative Probability Survey of Americans Aged 18 to 60 Years. J Sex Med. 2020 Apr;17(4):623-633. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.01.013. Epub 2020 Feb 17. PMID: 32081698.
  • Debby Herbenick, Elizabeth Bartelt, Tsung-Chieh (Jane) Fu, Bryant Paul, Ronna Gradus, Jill Bauer & Rashida Jones (2019) Feeling Scared During Sex: Findings From a U.S. Probability Sample of Women and Men Ages 14 to 60, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 45:5,424-439, DOI: 10.1080/0092623X.2018.1549634
  • Thomas, K. A., Joshi, M., & Sorenson, S. B. (2014). “Do You Know What It Feels Like to Drown?”: Strangulation as Coercive Control in Intimate Relationships. Retrieved from http://repository.upenn.edu/spp_papers/168 
  • Savage, Dan (2020, September 9). Savage Love: Why Is Choking During Sex Common Among Young Adults? Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  • Engle, Gigi (2020, July 21). Why Some People Are Turned on by Choking During Sex—and How to Do It Safely, According to Experts. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  • Phetasy, Bridget (2017, November 2). So You’re Into Choking… Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  • Wint, Camilla. (2018, March 23) Acute Upper Airway Obstruction. Retrieved March 1, 2021.

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Dylan Farrow’s Statement on Episode 2 of Allen v Farrow

Dylan Farrow | Complete Statement | Allen v Farrow | Episode 2

FOR THREE DECADES powerful people have spoken for and spoken over Dylan Farrow, silencing her voice and robbing her of the opportunity to tell her story in her own words. Despite relentless and public gaslighting from people who ought to have protected her, she has never wavered in her testimony.

Tonight Episode 2 of the documentary miniseries Allen v Farrow will air on HBO. It features disturbing audiovisual footage of 7-year-old Dylan disclosing the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her father in 1992. Dylan Farrow reminds us that in the post #MeToo era, it is important to create safe spaces for survivors of sexual abuse to tell their stories.

Dylan Farrow’s Statement on Episode 2 of ‘Allen v Farrow’

Today, Dylan Farrow posted the following statement on Twitter:

“I’m writing this because to be totally honest I have been losing sleep and overcome with anxiety. Tonight’s episode of Allen v. Farrow docuseries features a video of me as a seven-year-old child disclosing my abuse to my mother.

“My mother gave me this video when I became an adult to do whatever I wanted with it.

“It shows me as I was then, a young, vulnerable child. “Little Dylan,” whom I’ve tried since to protect.

“Deciding to allow this tape to be viewed now publicly in this way has not been easy. I myself had resisted ever watching it until now. It had been long stored away in a closet. Scared. Buried.

“I almost didn’t offer it to the filmmakers, because being this vulnerable in public is absolutely terrifying for me. My fear in letting this tape come to light is that I am putting Little Dylan in the court of public opinion.

While I have been able to take the stones thrown at me as an adult, to think of that happening t this little girl is stomach-churning. But I decided to let them share in the hopes that Little Dylan’s voice might now help others suffering in silence feel heard, understood, and less alone. And that my testimony might also help parents, relatives, friends, loved ones, and the world, in general, understand first-hand how an abused child might speak and interpret these horrific events.

“There is a third reason as well.

“Personally, I had for decades pushed “Little Dylan” away as a coping mechanism. So part of my goal in allowing her to now speak is also to try and find some healing for me and my childhood self. It’s an attempt to make them whole again, and find some peace and closure.

“Ever since news of her abuse was inadvertently made public, I, my siblings, and my mother have all been subjected to an endless barrage of vitriolic slander and baseless rebuke; derision so painful that I separated myself from her in self-defense. I hid her away in a closet with the tape too – hidden, afraid, sad, and hurt.

“If you watch this video, I very much hope you will do so with empathy, compassion, and an open mind and heart and not use this as an opportunity to attack, turn away, criticize, mock; or to further shun “Little Dylan” and in doing so shame and silence the millions of abused children who are suffering in the world today. This is the most vulnerable part of who I am.

“I hope this tape helps us all find ways to allow painful secrets to come safely out of their closets so we can all heal and move forward in strength and peace. No longer ashamed, buried, scared, sad, and silent.

“To all other survivors, please know that your truth is valid and there are those who will listen. RAINN is always available at 800-656-4673.”

References

  • Farrow, Dylan. (2017) Official Twitter, Twitter.com. Retrieved February 28, 2021.

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Jennifer’s Law Could Bring Coercive Control Legislation to Connecticut

Jennifer's Law | Coercive Control | Domestic Abuse

CONNECTICUT STATE SENATOR ALEX KASSER is sponsoring Jennifer’s Law in honor of Jennifer Dulos in the 2021 Legislative session. The new bill will widen the definition of domestic abuse to include coercive control.

“When women are the victims of abuse, they seek safety for themselves and their children. Often that means staying with the abuser because the danger of leaving is too great,” Sen. Kasser said in a statement about the bill, “But when victims do summon the courage to leave, we have a responsibility to believe and protect them. Too many women have lost their lives just trying to get free. And too many children have become collateral damage in this struggle. It’s time for us to shine a light on DV in all its forms and protect those who need protecting. Women often feel shame and fear when they’re with their abuser and when they leave they are re-traumatized by a society that doesn’t believe them. DV is a public health crisis that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic. And oftentimes the signs are invisible.”

What is Coercive Control?

Coercive control is a pattern of acts used by one person to secure emotional, psychological, and financial dominance over another person. It is a distinct form of psycho-emotional abuse that is used as a tool to frighten the recipient into submission.

How Will Jennifer’s Law Help?

Jennifer’s Law will expand and modernize the definition of domestic violence to include Coercive Control in Connecticut state law.

  • The bill will also require coercive control training by professionals with firsthand experience working with domestic abuse survivors.
  • It also seeks to give precedence to child safety when determining custody in family court by making domestic violence assessments a priority.
  • It seeks to furnish victim-survivors seeking a protective order from the Court with legal support.
  • The bill would require judges to recognize victims of domestic abuse and child abuse and provide them with adequate safety and protection.

Jennifer’s Law and Interpersonal Femicide in Connecticut

Jennifer’s Law was created in honor of  Jennifer Dulos, a mother from New Canaan, Connecticut, who is missing and believed to have been murdered by her husband while appealing for protection for herself and her children in family court.

According to Connecticut Protective Moms interpersonal femicide sees approximately 28 cases of femicide and filicide committed every year by perpetrators of coercive control.

Some coercive control murders in Connecticut over the last few years include:

So far, two states in the US have expanded the definition of domestic violence to include coercive control: Hawaii and California. Find out more about which states have coercive control legislation.

References

Photo by Jackson David.


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3 Narcissistic Cheating Patterns With Jeni Woodfin LMFT

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT

Narcissistic cheating patterns are important to learn. They will help you see through attempts to gaslight and manipulate your perception of reality. Because highly narcissistic people and full blown NPDs i.e. people with narcissistic personality disorder, are compulsive liars, they excel at concealing their true intentions and activities. Confrontation is useless. The closest most people come to getting a straight answer out of a narcissist are the farfetched accusations they make to deflect from the terrible truth about their treachery.

So how do you catch a narcissist cheating?

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT explains that the truth is evident in their behavior and shares how to spot three key narcissistic cheating patterns.

Why Are Most Narcissists Chronically Unfaithful?

Narcissists are relentlessly disloyal, which is why involvement with them leads to inevitable harm. 

More often than not, narcissism is a driving force behind promiscuity and infidelity. Narcissists may feign commitment as a means to an end but in reality, they approach romantic relationships with an attitude of I’ll-get-you-before-you-get-me.

One of the reasons for this is that narcissists detest feelings of vulnerability. They are driven by an insatiable hunger for power and control because it relieves them of early experiences of impotence.

Narcissists prefer ego-boosting sexual conquests as proof positive of their ability to charm and seduce. It’s one of the ways they parade their superior manipulation skills.

Lying puts narcissists at an advantage as it thwarts their partner’s ability to make informed decisions. Misleading and deceiving others is a way to ease the nagging insecurities that plague them.

The risks of a relationship with a cheating narcissist

Under normal circumstances, infidelity can destroy relationships. But if your partner is a narcissist, the betrayals are so absolute and extreme that they may leave you completely shellshocked. 

If you’re involved with a narcissist and they are cheating on you, you’re likely at risk for a traumatic discard which may include being unceremoniously replaced by a new partner who they’ve secretly been grooming behind your back.

Alternatively, a cheating narcissist may drive you to end the relationship with one outrageous offense after the next. Only to immediately replace you with a new love interest they have quietly groomed behind your back.

Learning to recognize these three subtle narcissistic cheating patterns will empower you to see past the smoke and mirrors of a narcissistic partner’s endless deceptions.

3 Narcissistic Cheating Patterns

For expert guidance, we reached out to Jeni Woodfin, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist trained in repairing relationships after infidelity. She obtained her master’s degree in counseling psychology from John F. Kennedy University. Today she practices in Silicon Valley where she specializes in betrayal trauma, including infidelity, emotional affairs, and other trust breaches. 

They Put More Effort Into Their Appearance

Manya Wakefield: You’ve worked with hundreds of couples as well as with people who are cheating or recovering from infidelity. What’s the first narcissistic cheating pattern to look out for?

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT: Your partner changes and it’s noticeable. 

Manya Wakefield: Do you mean that there are changes in the narcissist’s baseline behavior?

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT: You may see your partner become very happy, suddenly interested in their appearance, losing weight, buying new clothes, trying a new haircut, or updating their manscaping game. 

Manya Wakefield: So the first narcissistic cheating pattern to watch out for is some kind of superficial change, like a change in style or appearance.

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT: If you notice your partner suddenly grooming more than normal, this is a potential sign your partner is thinking about how to be and feel attractive.

They Start Changing Their Schedule

Manya Wakefield: What would you say is the second of the narcissistic cheating patterns people should be aware of? 

Jenny Woodfin, LMFT: Another clue would be a change in schedules. 

Manya Wakefield: Can you describe what changes in the narcissist’s schedule might look like?

Jenny Woodfin, LMFT: Many of us have a fairly predictable schedule or routine. If your partner begins to take late meetings at work, has new business dinners in the evening, or is away from the house more, this potentially signals they are making time for another person. 

There Are Changes in Sexual Activity

Manya Wakefield: So, a narcissist who is unfaithful would be grooming themselves more and making changes to their routine to win over another romantic interest. What would you say is the third one of the narcissistic cheating patterns to look out for?

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT: The last sign that often happens is a change in the bedroom that can go either way. Sex may increase, new sexual moves may be introduced, or new sexual behaviors may be requested. Or, some affair-involved partners go the opposite way with the bedroom becoming dead. 

Manya Wakefield: This is an interesting red flag because, for many, it seems like a dead giveaway. Walk us through the strategy of the last one of these narcissistic cheating patterns. Why would a cheating narcissist stop having sex with their partner?

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT: These people may experience very low sexual desire for their partner, may avoid being sexual, or may have difficulty performing. 

Manya Wakefield: Something I often hear from survivors is that people with this personality report feelings of boredom. Their infidelities are usually less about their partner and more about the insatiable emptiness they are constantly trying to fill with white knuckle experiences like substance use, promiscuity, infidelity, gambling, and the power trip of manipulation.

To summarize, what would you say is the common denominator shared by all three narcissistic cheating patterns?

Jeni Woodfin, LMFT: The link between all these signs is change. Many couples know each other very, very well. If you see a change from a long-time pattern, especially if the change results in coldness or distance, this could be a result of an affair.


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Gérard Depardieu Charged with Rape and Sexual Assault

Gérard Depardieu Charged with Rape and Sexual Assault | #MeToo | Narcissistic Abuse Rehab

GÉRARD DEPARDIEU, 72, has been charged with rape and sexual assault of a 22-year-old colleague.

His attorney, Hervé Temime, told AFP on Tuesday that the French actor, “completely rejects the accusations.”

The alleged sexual assault and rape took place at one of Depardieu’s homes in Paris on August 7 and August 13, 2018, while they were rehearsing a scene from a theatre play at his home in Paris.

“The actress told police she had been assaulted by the actor twice this month at Depardieu’s home in Paris.”

The accuser knew Depardieu before the alleged attacks took place. According to a source close to the case, he is a friend of her family.

Her agent to French digital news service BFMTV that she is “devastated” by the alleged attacks. 

Depardieu’s attorney responded with the statement, “I had a long meeting with Gérard Depardieu and I am absolutely convinced that his innocence will be established.” 

There’s really no such thing as rape. It’s only a matter of a girl putting herself in a situation where she wants to be. Violence isn’t committed by those who do the act but by the victims, the ones who permit it to happen.

Gérard Depardieu

French prosecutors dropped the investigation in 2019

Investigations into the rape and sexual assault allegations against Gérard Depardieu were dropped by French prosecutors, who issued the following statement, “A number of investigations undertaken as part of this procedure have not enabled us to characterize the crimes alleged in all of their individual parts.”

The case was reopened last year and Depardieu was charged on December 16, 2020. He is currently free but under judicial supervision.

Depardieu claims to have “had plenty of rapes”

In an excerpt from a 1978 interview with Film Comment magazine, Depardieu admitted that he was a rapist:

“It was my pal Jackie – he was sixteen or seventeen – who took me along on my first rape.” 

He pauses, then adds as an afterthought, “He’s dead now, Jackie.” 

The incident occurred, Depardieu adds nonchalantly, in a bus depot; the girl, a brunette in her early twenties, was waiting for a bus when the teenager and the nine-year-old began teasing her.

“One thing led to another and, hup!!” – Depardieu suddenly rises halfway out of his chair, like an animal bounding after prey – “that was that.” He pauses. “It was normal. After that, I had plenty of rapes, too many to count.”

Depardieu returns to his chair and glances at the faces around him. He is surprised to note that they are registering something like horror. 

“There was nothing wrong with it,” he explains. “The girls wanted to be raped. I mean, there’s really no such thing as rape. It’s only a matter of a girl putting herself in a situation where she wants to be. Violence isn’t committed by those who do the act but by the victims, the ones who permit it to happen.”

In a taped interview with Time Magazine, journalist Richard Corliss asked Depardieu if he had committed rapes, and he replied, “Yes, but it was absolutely normal in those circumstances. That was part of my childhood.”

Depardieu denied making the statements after the fact. Instead, he qualified his previous statements, saying, “It is perhaps accurate to say that I had sexual experiences at an early age. But rape – never. I respect women too much.” 

The interview with Time was recorded in French and Depardieu’s lawyers argued that his statement was poorly translated, that he had not participated in but witnessed multiple rapes.

Time Magazine refused to retract the interview.

Who is Gérard Depardieu?

Gérard Depardieu is a lionized figure and widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in French cinema. He made his film debut in 1973 in the film Les Valseuses (Going Places).

The Oscar nominee has appeared in 170 films, including Green Card and Cyrano de Bergerac. However, he did not attend the Oscar’s ceremony due to public outrage over his admission of multiple rapes during his youth.

References

Editors (2021, February 23) ‘French actor Gérard Depardieu charged with rape.’ France 24. Retrieved February 22, 2021.

Zoglin, Richaed. (2001, June 24) L’Affaire Gérard Depardieu. Time Magazine. Retrieved February 22, 2021.

Mann, Judy. (1991, March 20) How Do We Handle The Rapist Turned Heartthrob? The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2021.


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FKA Twigs Opens Up To Gayle King on CBS This Morning

FKA twigs interview with Gayle King | CBS This Morning

FKA twigs opened up to journalist Gayle King on CBS This Morning about the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of actor Shia LaBoeuf. In her first television interview since taking legal action against him in December 2020, the Grammy nominee also took the opportunity to name and define some of the common behaviors of perpetrators of domestic abuse.

With California’s new coercive control legislation in force as of January 1, 2021, twigs’ lawsuit against LaBoeuf may set an important new precedent as California is the second state in the USA to criminalize coercive control.

In the claim she filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, twigs (born Tahliah Debrett Barnett) describes LaBeouf as “a danger to women,” who kept her “in a constant state of fear.”

She describes experiencing an ongoing pattern of abuse in her relationship with LaBoeuf that included verbal, emotional, physical abuse, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Specifically:

  • Non-fatal strangulation
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual battery, and
  • Infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease.

On February 12, 2021 LaBoeuf’s legal team issued a statement that the actor denies “generally and specifically each and every allegation.”

His behavior became gradually more and more abusive.”

FKA twigs

FKA twigs is now speaking out in the hope of helping others spot the signs of domestic abuse in intimate relationships and, most importantly, for survivors to know that they are not alone.

Knowledge is Power

Once twigs understood that the harms that were allegedly inflicted on her by LaBoeuf were intentional, she reached out to Sistah Space, a London based service specialized in supporting abuse survivors of African heritage.

She started to learn about the manipulation tactics used by perpetrators of coercive control and developed an awareness about the attitudes that drive these destructive behaviors.

Empowered with new knowledge, twigs was able to escape and begin the healing process.

She shared that, in retrospect, the relationship had red flags from the very start. She described some of them to Gayle King in the interview.

Boundary violation disguised as romantic gestures

“In the beginning he would jump over the fence where I was staying and leave flowers outside my door and poems and books.” twigs told King, “And I thought it was very romantic, but that quickly changed. I understand now that that’s testing your boundaries. But it didn’t stop there, you know. His behavior became gradually more and more abusive.”

Love bombing and devaluation

She also described her experience of the idealization or love bombing phase of the cycle of abuse to King, as LaBoeuf “putting me on a pedestal, telling me that I was amazing, over the top displays of affection just to knock me off the pedestal, to tell me that I was worthless, to criticize me, to berate me, you know. Pick me apart.”

Learn more about love bombing in our interview with Harvard trained psychotherapist Madelaine Claire Weiss.

Gaslighting

“Abusers use gaslighting,” said twigs, wringing her small hands and taking a deep breath before she continued, “Which is where somebody minimizes your experience. It’s, like, altering your narrative and not listening to you, and denying your experience.”

Battery

“Eventually, it did become physical,” she said softly, dropping her gaze for a instant before lifting her eyes to meet King’s stare, before bravely giving a detailed account of how her relationship with LaBoeuf spiraled into violence.

Summary

There are many important lessons to be learned from FKA twigs about domestic abuse that may dispel the manifold myths that form the loopholes that help perpetrators evade justice. The reality is that because of its systemic nature, domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of financial status, fame, education, or social standing.

Watch Gayle King’s full interview with FKA twigs below.

Watch Gayle King’s interview with FKA twigs


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Justin Timberlake: “I want to take accountability.”

Justin Timberlake Apologizes to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears

Justin Timberlake has made a public apology to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson in the aftermath of the release of The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears on Hulu

The documentary highlights the glaring misogyny that shaped the narrative of Spears and Timberlake’s breakup in 2002.

Background of Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears

Timberlake is being criticized for smearing and slut-shaming Spears with accusations of infidelity and disclosing intimate details about their sexual relationship in the media. He is also being rebuked for profiting from the sexist narrative he promoted about Britney Spears by releasing the song and video Cry Me A River. 

In addition to this, the Hulu documentary details the impact of Timberlake’s actions on Spears’ reputation, career, and mental health.

Background of Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson

Discussion of the documentary on social media also led to revisiting the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII half time show on CBS, during which Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast during a live CBS broadcast to an audience of 143.6 million viewers. 

CBS parent company Viacom urged Jackson and Timberlake to issue public apologies. Nevertheless, an exercise in misogynoir ensued. Jackson alone was blamed for the incident and Timberlake remained silent as she was publicly denounced and shunned.

Viacom CEO Les Moonves targeted Jackson and had all of her music and videos blacklisted on MTV, CBS, and its radio stations. Jackson was also disinvited from the 46th Grammy Awards and dropped from the starring role in a movie. Promotion of her eighth studio album Damita Jo ceased.

Scores of CBS employees disclosed to the LA Times that the Moonves created a culture of racism, misogyny, and abuse. In July 2018, Ronan Farrow reported that six women accused Moonves of sexual harassment, threats, and intimidation. The CBS board opened an inquiry into Moonves’s conduct and, despite his attempts to obstruct the investigation, found the witnesses to be credible. Moonves was fired.

Justin Timberlake’s Statement in Full

“I’ve seen the messages, tags, comments, and concerns and I want to respond. I am deeply sorry for the times in my life where my actions contributed to the problem, where I spoke out of turn, or did not speak up for what was right. I understand that I fell short in these moments and in many others and benefited from a system that condones misogyny and racism.

“I specifically want to apologise to Britney Spears and Janet Jackson both individually, because I care for and respect these women and I know I failed. I also feel compelled to respond, in part, because everyone involved deserves better and most importantly, because this is a larger conversation that I wholeheartedly want to be part of and grow from.

“The industry is flawed. It sets men, especially white men, up for success. It’s designed this way. As a man in a privileged position I have to be vocal about this. Because of my ignorance, I didn’t recognize it for all that it was while it was happening in my own life but I do not want to ever benefit from others being pulled down again. 

“I have not been perfect in navigating all of this throughout my career. I know this apology is a first step and doesn’t absolve the past. I want to take accountability for my own missteps in all of this as well as be part of a world that uplifts and supports. I care deeply about the wellbeing of the people I love and have loved. I can do better and I will do better.”

Photo by Drew de Fawkes.


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FKA Twigs’ Coercive Control Allegations Denied by Shia LaBeouf

FKA Twigs Coercive Control

FKA Twigs’ describes her former partner Shia LaBeouf as a “danger to women” in the claim filed by her legal team in December 2020. In it, she accuses him of coercive and controlling behavior, including non-fatal strangulation, sexual assault, and battery, and infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease.

According to her claim, “LaBeouf kept [Twigs] in a constant state of fear.”

It is a landmark case since California’s new coercive control legislation came into force on January 1, 2021. Last October, California became the second state in the USA to criminalize coercive control.

Shia LaBeouf denies all of FKA Twigs allegations

In their response to the Los Angeles Superior Court, LaBeouf’s lawyers deny “generally and specifically each and every allegation.”

They argue that LaBeouf did not cause harm to Twigs (real name Tahliah Barnett) and requested that the sexual battery allegations be dismissed because “none of the acts alleged were based on sex and/or the conduct was not sexual.”

His team also says that LaBeouf’s “alleged conduct was reasonably necessary for his self-defense and/or safety.” His lawyers are also demanding that the case be dropped and for LaBeouf to be compensated for his legal expenses.

LaBeouf blames alcoholism and PTSD 

In a previous response to FKA Twigs’ allegations, LaBeouf told the New York Times:

“Although many of these allegations are not true, I am not in the position to defend any of my actions. I owe these women the opportunity to air their statements publicly and accept accountability for those things I have done. As someone in recovery, I have to face almost daily reminders of things I did say and do when I was drinking. I can’t rewrite history, I can only accept it and work to be better in the future. I write this as a sober member of a twelve-step program and in therapy for my many failings. I am not cured of my PTSD and alcoholism, but I am committed to doing what I need to do to recover, and I will forever be sorry to the people that I may have harmed along the way.”

The actor is currently enrolled in an in-patient rehabilitation program. 

Scared, intimidated, controlled

Barnett met LaBeouf when she co-starred in the 2019 drama Honey Boy, a semi-autobiographical film about his childhood and his complicated relationship with his father.

She told journalist Louis Theroux that LaBeouf made her feel, “scared and intimidated and controlled.

References


Confidential support is available 24/7/365 to anyone experiencing abuse.
In the USA call 1-800-799-7233 or log on to thehotline.org.
In the UK call 0808 2000 247 or log on to nationaldahelpline.org.uk.


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Ireland’s First Coercive Control Conviction

Ireland's first coercive control conviction

Ireland’s first coercive control conviction highlights the importance of active bystanders. Judge Elma Sheahan sentenced 52-year-old Daniel Kane to 10.5 years in prison for coercive control, intimidation, and repeated assaults on his 43-year-old ex-partner. Kane’s campaign of domestic abuse took place over twenty months between 2018 and 2020.

Coercive control is a pattern of acts used by one person to secure emotional, psychological, and financial dominance over another person. It is the most extreme form of domestic abuse in existence. It was criminalized in Ireland in 2018. 

Neighbors feared for victim’s life

Kane is the first person in Ireland to receive a coercive control conviction after a trial. Judge Sheahan found that his aggression was unprovoked and motivated by his contempt for the 43-year-old victim.

His daily alcohol-fueled attacks on his partner caused neighbors to  fear for her life. Consequently, the police were called to the premises on five different occasions.

One  neighbor recalls, “There were genuinely times I thought he was going to kill her — that’s how bad it was. The level of violence and aggression heard inside those walls was very distressing at times, at all hours of the day and night.

“And it wasn’t just normal rows. It was frightening what you would hear, between his aggression and her screams.  I called the gardai and reported it to the ­management company, that’s all you can really do.”

The extent of Kane’s control over his partner terrified her to such an extent that she initially refused to make a complaint leaving the police unable to intervene.

In 2019, emergency medicine consultant Dr. Niamh Collins contacted investigators and expressed fear of  a “real and substantial” threat to her life. Armed with medical evidence, police were able to charge Kane.

From victim to survivor

After Kane was charged, the victim felt safe and found the courage to tell her story. Moreover, she was able to provide a detailed victim impact statement about the intimate terrorism he inflicted on her. Yet he continued to threaten her from behind bars. Between March and July 2020, he told her he would send nude videos of her to her family and friends and publish them online if she didn’t withdraw her statement.

In a display of remarkable courage, she went ahead with the case, testifying to the court that she “might be dead or in a vegetative state” if not for the intervention of the  doctor and police. She encouraged other victim-survivors to reach out to services like Woman’s Aid and the National Domestic Violence Hotline for support.

Orla O’Connor, the chief executive of the National Women’s Council of Ireland and Chief Superintendent Finbar Murphy at Blanchardstown Garda Station praised the survivor.

Chief Superintendent Murphy said, “This brave woman’s evidence in this investigation was vital.

“This case shows that any victim of domestic abuse shouldn’t suffer in silence — the abuser will convince them the [police] won’t listen but this is wrong.

“We will listen, we will investigate and the fault always lies with the aggressor. The Garda are skilled and experienced to deal with these types of investigations.”

“There are other tools at our disposal such as barring orders and we will continue to use those. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from — it’s against the law for anyone to behave in this appalling fashion. Everyone is entitled to dignity and respect.”

For more information visit Ireland’s National Police and Security Service.

Cruelty of the most vicious nature

The court found that Kane’s coercive and controlling behavior began in earnest once he had isolated his partner from her family and friends. 

Judge Sheahan said Kane showed disdain for the victim with totally unprovoked and unpredictable acts of “cruelty of the most vicious nature”, including:

  • Financial abuse
  • Punching
  • Burning her foot with a cigarette
  • Cutting her face and neck with a pizza slicer
  • Stomping on and fracturing her arm
  • Head-butting when she was recovering from nasal surgery, and
  • Strangling her, leaving bruises on her throat

He subjected her to humiliation by forcing her to sit naked on a sofa while he ranted verbal abuse at her. Because Kane took all of the victim’s money she could not escape.

A contributing factor to this lengthy coercive control conviction was Judge Sheahan’s disconcerting observation of Kane’s refusal to accept responsibility for the pain he caused – behavior that is typical of dark triad personalities high in narcissistic and anti-social traits.

In addition to his coercive control conviction, Kane was charged with intending to pervert justice for trying to intimate his ex-partner into withdrawing her statement. He pled guilty.

Domestic abuse occurs in the context of coercive control

Sarah Benson, chief executive of Women’s Aid, underscores the role coercive control plays in domestic abuse relationships. She describes the pattern of abuse as “tactics designed to isolate someone, erode their self-esteem and their sense of self-worth.”

Signs of coercive control include but are not limited to:

  • Isolation
  • Obstruction of employment
  • Monitoring time
  • Deprivation of basic needs
  • Monitoring communication
  • Taking control of daily life
  • Put-downs
  • Rules and regulations
  • Financial abuse
  • Threats
  • Criminal damage
  • Assault or rape

“It would be true to say that the vast majority of domestic violence and domestic abuse relationships occur in the context of coercive control.” said Ms. Benson, “Criminalizing coercive control is an incredibly important piece of legislation because that is how domestic violence and abuse manifests itself, in a pattern of behavior. To see that recognized and vindicated by a jury is excellent progress.”

A landmark coercive control case

Ireland’s first coercive control conviction demonstrates a departure  from the culture of silence in which domestic abuse thrives. It also shows  the vital role played by informed bystanders in preventing domestic abuse.

With the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, Ireland is now  the only country in Europe with definitive coercive control legislation.

“This is a landmark case in Ireland and we hope that it will encourage many other women living with the terrorizing pattern of coercive control to come forward and to know that they will be believed and understood,” Catríona Gleeson, a spokeswoman for Safe Ireland said, “This case also sends a strong message to abusive men that if they think that it is acceptable to control, isolate, intimidate or degrade a woman, as this man did on a prolonged basis, they will have to stop this behavior or they will be convicted of a very serious crime.”

A gendered crime

While holding space for male survivors and recognizing that it happens to some men, it is important to understand that coercive control is a gendered crime. In other words, the extreme levels of violence and domestic homicide associated are more likely to happen to women.

Forensic social worker Dr. Evan Stark of Rutgers University who first coined the term, explains, “coercive control is a strategic course of oppressive behavior designed to secure and expand gender-based privilege by depriving women of their rights and liberties and establishing a regime of domination in personal life.”

He characterizes coercive control as:

  • Rational, instrumental behavior and not a loss of control
  • Ongoing rather than episodic, and
  • It is based on multiple tactics i.e. violence, intimidation, degradation, isolation, and control.

Global Incidence of Domestic Homicide

The systemic nature of coercive control is such that every year 50 000 women are killed by intimate partners or family members.

Men20%
Women80%

Source: UNDOC Homicide Statistics. Page 18.

Resources


Confidential support is available 24/7/365 to anyone experiencing abuse. In the USA call 1-800-799-7233 or log on to thehotline.org. In the UK call 0808 2000 247 or log on to nationaldahelpline.org.uk.


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FKA Twigs Sues Shia LaBeouf for Coercive Control

FKA twigs Sues Shia LaBeouf for Coercive Control

FKA Twigs and Karolyn Pho have filed an explosive joint action complaint against Shia LaBeouf at the Los Angeles Superior Court on December 10, 2020. The document gives a searing account of the catalog of atrocities that both women allegedly experienced at the hands of LaBeouf during their respective relationships with him, including:

  • Sexual battery.
  • Battery.
  • Assault.
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Gross negligence.

FKA Twigs’ Allegations Against Shia LaBeouf

FKA Twigs met LaBeouf on the set of the film Honey Boy and dated him over a nine month period from 2018 to 2019.

In her complaint, the 32-year-old singer and multiple award-winner claims that 34-year-old LaBeouf groomed her with a charm offense before subjecting her to “brutal” and “degrading” treatment, including:

  • Non-fatal strangulation
  • Constant criticism
  • Symbolic violence
  • Forcing her to follow an ever-changing rule book, and
  • Deliberately infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease.

Karolyn Pho’s Allegations Against Shia LaBeouf

Karolyn Pho describes Shia LaBeouf’s behavior during their year long relationship as, “jealous, impulsive, and irrational.”

Pho alleges that on one occasion during her relationship with LaBeouf, he climbed on top of her and, “held her down by her arms, causing intense pain and leaving multiple bruises, and then head-butted her violently, causing her to bleed on the hotel bed.”

Pho dated him from 2010 to 2011.

Like Twigs, she alleges that LaBeouf is a perpetrator of abusive power and control.

California’s Coercive Control Legislation

Legislation prohibiting coercive control was signed into law in California by Governor Gavin Newsome. Senate Bill 1141 defines coercive control as:

  • “Disturbing the peace of the other party” [with] conduct that destroys the mental or emotional calm of the other party, as specified.
  • Coercive control […] is a pattern of behavior that unreasonably interferes with a person’s free will and personal liberty and includes, among other things, unreasonably isolating a victim from friends, relatives, or other sources of support.

According to the new bill, coercive control includes but is not limited to:

  • Isolating the other party from friends, relatives, or other sources of support.
  • Depriving the other party of basic necessities.
  • Controlling, regulating, or monitoring the other party’s movements, communications, daily behavior, finances, economic resources, or access to services.
  • Compelling the other party by force, threat of force, or intimidation, including threats based on actual or suspected immigration status, to engage in conduct from which the other party has a right to abstain or to abstain from conduct in which the other party has a right to engage.
  • This section does not limit any remedies available under this act or any other provision of law.

The new legislation comes into force in California on January 1, 2021.

Sia Claims She Was Also Abused By Shia LaBeouf

Australian singer Sia tweeted her support of FKA twigs and spoke of her own experience of emotional abuse by Shia LaBeouf:

“I too have been hurt emotionally by Shia, a pathological liar, who conned me into an adulterous relationship claiming to be single. I believe he is very sick and have compassion for him AND his victims. Just know, if you love yourself – stay safe, stay away.”

I too have been hurt emotionally by Shia, a pathological liar, who conned me into an adulterous relationship claiming to be single. I believe he’s very sick and have compassion for him AND his victims. Just know, if you love yourself- stay safe, stay away.

LaBeouf appeared in the 2015 music video for Sia’s song Elastic Heart, which featured on her album Girls Of Pop, alongside Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler. 

On December 13, 2020, FKA Twigs responded to Sia on Twitter: 

“I’m sorry @sia this reinforces why I had to publicly share my experience. We need to support each other <3”

Update: Sia later shared in an interview with the Sunday Times that LaBeouf was surreptitiously dating her and FKA Twigs at the same time.

“It turns out he was using the same lines on me and Twigsy, and eventually we found out because we ended up talking to one another. Both of us thought we were singly dating him. But that wasn’t the case. And he was still married.”

Sia had previously cast LaBeouf in the role of an alcoholic father in the video of her 2015 hit single Elastic Heart.

A History of Abusive Behavior

Shia LaBeouf has been accused of violent behavior in the past. He has been arrested several times for drunk and disorderly behavior, and most recently in September 2020 for theft.

In 2017, LaBeouf pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction after he was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and public intoxication in Georgia.

In 2015, he was involved in a dispute with his then-wife, Mia Goth, in Germany and reportedly told his friends, “I don’t want to touch a woman, I don’t want to hit a woman, but I’m getting pushed,” He also told a local, “If I’d have stayed there, I would have killed her.” He was no charged after this incident.

He has previously issued manifold apologies for his behavior, which he attributes to his battle with substance dependency.

Photo by Bobo Boom.

Resources


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