Edit: That's all we have time for today, but if you have more questions, leave them in the comments and Elizabeth or I will try to get to them later this afternoon. In the meantime, please keep following our coverage at usatoday.com. Thank you!
Hey everyone! I’m Lindsay Schnell, and I wrote last week on why Alaska has abnormally high rates of domestic violence, sexual assault and murder of women. She spent nine days in Alaska reporting this story, visiting the cities of Juneau, Anchorage, Kotzebue and Buckland. She spoke to dozens of sources, including victims, victims’ family members, activists, lawmakers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, domestic violence experts and residents, and reviewed hundreds of pages of court documents.
On Friday, Attorney General William Barr declared a public safety “emergency” in Alaska, directing more than $10 million in immediate law enforcement aid to largely rural communities ravaged by domestic violence and sexual abuse.
I’m a national correspondent based in Portland, Oregon. I cover issues in the West and nationally I focus on the intersection of religion and politics. I’ve been at USA TODAY since September 2017. I was a sports writer for the first decade of my career, and previously worked at Sports Illustrated and The Oregonian.
Elizabeth Williams, an Anchorage-based activist, is joining me today to talk about why Alaska is so dangerous for women. Elizabeth Williams is a social worker in Anchorage, Alaska. She and her younger brother started No More Free Passes in response to the infamous Justin Schneider case. No More Free Passes successfully voted out the judge, changed the laws, and are now working to change how Alaska prosecutes sexual assaults.
You can read the stories from Lindsay’s reporting here:
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After my brother caught me having sex with my bf, then they met my bf and yesterday, they told us that we have to get married if we want our relationship. They also said that they will disown me and kick me out if i dont do as they say.
They said that he has to tell his parents and that his parents will have to visit my parents and ask for my hands. They said that i have to get married in 3 weeks. 7 weeks maximal.
Anyways, now what? i am 16.
i'm a mess a wreck. i don't want this. i don't want to have my rapist's baby. my parents don't believe he actually raped me. when i told them i had drunk alcohol at the party, they blamed it on that. my mom called me "easy" and my dad said he was disappointed and ashamed of me not being "pure" anymore. my mom's question was "now how can you find a good husband now that you're 'dirty'?"
i'm so tired of living in fear. i'm scared i'm going to run into him when i leave the house. i'm starving myself in hopes to kill the parasite inside of me. i don't want it. i made the mistake of telling my mom about it and she cried because now i'll have a "bastard" to raise and "you were so dumb to have sex with someone you didnt know! now look at you"
i was raped. i was drugged. no one believes me though. everyone just thinks i drank too much and regret having sex with some rando. but that's not what happened. i still have fucking nightmares. i still wake up in a panic scared that he is going to be there. i've had suicidal thoughts since it happened. and now this. now this is making me spiral. i want to scream and punch my stomach until the point i kill it. its a living nightmare, knowing that he fucking ruined my life so far and will continue to keep ruining it if i continue the pregnancy.
i took 4 pregnancy tests and puked when they all came back positive. my mom dragged me to a "crisis pregnancy center" where they did an ultrasound and forced me to look at the screen and see what my rapist did to me. i just cried. i don't want this. my mom was crying tears of fucking JOY. she wants me to keep it. the ultrasound person kept telling how the heartbeat was strong and healthy and how "excited i must be!" and i just wanted to scream in her face "I DON'T WANT IT. I WANT AN ABORTION. I DON'T WANT IT"
i have to have an abortion. i will kill myself if i have to go through with this. my parents are already angry so whats the fucking point if i abort this pregnancy and get on birth control. they won't like it but i cant do this. im 18. i regret ever going to that party. i regret ever talking to him and thinking he was a "friend". the nurse at the hospital didn't believe me, the cops didn't believe me.
i told mu mom i didnt want this. i told her how angry i was for her taking me to a place that just guilts you into staying pregnant. my mom told me she refused to pay for "killing an innocent soul" and we got into a fight. she kicked me out of the house while my dad just kept yelling at me and telling me how much of a disappointment i am. i left because i couldnt handle the fucking screaming and pressure anymore. i was able to get up with another friend who is letting me stay with her. i think the only reason shes doing that is because shes the one who convinced me to go to the party where my life was fucking ruined and probably feels guilty
i called an actual abortion clinic in my state and set up the consultation. i'm going to have to travel hours just to get there (gee thanks south dakota for only having one fucking planned parenthood. i hate you) i looked up to find a way to help pay for this and the only fund in my state is a residential place so i cant call at night. i left two voicemails. i set up my appointment. i'm going to donate plasma and blood if i can to get enough money for this because my parents refuse to help. i'm on my own here and its never been more clear. i cant order the pills online because my parents still go through my mail because they want to control me. i dont have any friends i can trust to mail the pills to them. i dont want to trust anyone but a professional because im terrified of it going wrong.
every hour that passes i feel sicker and sicker and more and more angry and scared and lost and fucking hopeless. i didn't want this. i didn't fucking deserve this. i want this to be over. i wish i had never gone to that stupid party. its all my fault. i wish i could take it back. im so tired of being angry and miserable and scared
Growing up, my mother used to joke with me that “you broke mommy!” when I was little. I didn’t really understand- I knew my mom couldn’t have kids anymore, and i didn’t quite know how it worked. As I got older, my mom slowly gave me more info about what went down when I was born. She tried to cope with it with humor. Thats how my mom always dealt with things, considering she married a man child, and her father was an abusive old jerk. So my mother copes with life by having a sense of humor with it, and spreading positivity and helping others.
I finally asked her for more details, to piece together the little facts I learned growing up. When she went into labor, she went to the hospital around noon. The doctor was angry- he had a dinner party to get to that evening and didn’t want to be late. As my mother recalls, he “put a hook inside her” to “break her water faster”, and induced labor immediately. I was born extremely fast. And, while my mother was laying there afterward, the doctor told her she didn’t need any more kids (I was her second) and did a tubal litigation.
She didn’t want it. She didn’t ask for it. The doctor decided he thought two kids was enough for her and forced sterilized her.
My mother was devastated. She tried to cover it up to my father- she knew my dad would probably go back and murder that doctor. Hence her saying to me as a kid that I broke her when I was born. I think she was just trying to find a funny way to cope, but also to cover it up against my father.
She told me now she wishes she had done something. She wishes she could have sued him. She wishes she could have gotten him fired for violating her body. But its been 27 years now. Its too late.
But just know this shit really happens. I’m sure its happened to more mothers than just my own.
I just came home and i’m crying. I just went home from school (I love in an apartment complex) and when I arrived at the entrance door to the complex, some dude was standing there with his bike. I thought sure I’ll let him in but while I was fumbling with the key he just groped my breast from behind and took off. what the fuck is wrong with the world. he got away by bike and laughed. like it was funny. i feel like shit. i’m 16 and that dude was at least mid twenties. i know it’s not my foult but i don’t wanna be groped or touched or whatever. i think im finally going to start boxing (my friends go boxing and always want me to join them). what an utter piece of shit.
Edit: THE TITLE IS A JOKE! Please don't come at me for the title without even reading the whole post first including the edits.
A post about slutshaming from AITA reminded about this situation I had with a male doctor when I was around 17.
I have been on contraception since I was 14 basically as soon as my period started because it quickly became unbearable. None of the pills I had been put on had any effect and had caused me to not get the grade I needed in one of my science GCSE's and had passed out and got a mild concussion in my maths AS level in sixth form that I had to resit.
I looked into different methods of contraception because I refused to fail my A Levels and risk getting into the University I wanted. A friend had told me that the implant in the arm was the worst on that she had personally been on and I also didn't want my dad to feel it in my arm, and I couldn't get the coil or one that is inserted in through the vagina, so I decided on the Depo Injection.
In England, the surgery* gives you who ever is available so it can be a different doctor every time. I had already gotten my first injection a couple months before by a woman and after 15 days of straight bleeding, my period was better and barely there.
3 months after I went to get my second injection and got a male doctor. I originally wasn't uncomfortable with him performing the injection, even though it's in the top of my butt cheek.
He then asked me a question that I wasn't sure was relevant but considering it was only my second time I didn't think much of it. He asked if I was sexually active, I said no. He asked how many current partners I had and I said no confused considering I literally just told him that I wasn't sexually active but thought that it was just the line of questions he had to go through.
Then he asked me how many sexual partners I had ever had and I was so shocked I just said no even though I knew he didn't need to know it and it definitely wasn't something he needed to know.
He then basically went on a rant, saying "You should only be on contraception if you're sexually active. Theres no point in you being on contraception, especially not the depo injection. If you want to be on contraception for no reason, you should take the pill, BLAH BLAH BLAH"
I was so shocked I couldn't even say anything, especially because if he literally looked at the computer in front of him he would see that my period have been an ongoing problem for me since I was 14 and not just me attention seeking or whatever he thought I was doing. I was so pissed off and embarrassed but I had no idea what to do in this situation so I asked I could get a chaperone in the room while he was perform the injection and then just left when he finished not even listening to anything he said after.
This was told to me by someone else who works with them so it was an indirect compliment.
“I don’t know why those other girls are being disrespectful to him, he’s one of the nicest men I’ve ever met.”
Seriously melted. So happy that I get to show these girls that there are men in this world who believe in their future, and care about them no matter what.