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JamesLandrith.com is registered with the Washington, DC Registry







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Welcome to the Official Website of James Landrith
Keep Your Bags to Yourself (or You Aren't A Transit Ninja)
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Wednesday, 05 March 2014
There is a lot of talk about how men need to be aware of the space they take up in public.  Some men are unaware or outright act like entitled children. I don't dispute the need for such conversations.  SOME men DO need to hear that message. I've had a lot of huge, overstuffed backpacks smack me in the head while seated or been knocked back by some clueless commuter who isn't compensating for the space his big, stupid bag is occupying while hanging in the air behind him.

As an introvert, I am always aware of the real estate I occupy. I am present without being dominant. I don't require anything more to feed my intellect and self-worth. I don't need to control or dominate a situation or location. I don't feel the need to fill a room with noise and posturing. As a male rape survivor of a female predator, I am even more aware of my surroundings. That does not mean I am worried about what will happen. It means that I want to be left alone and not have to deal with unnecessary, ridiculous situations that may be triggering or cause a spike to my PTSD.

I've carried a messenger style bag to work since the early 1990's while still on active duty. It usually contains, pens, note pads, PDA, books, Nook, documents, my lunch or whatever. I don't swing it around like I'm in a sword fight. I don't try to take off people's heads while getting on or off the train. I don't expect it to have it's own seat while others stand. I put it on my lap when traveling and hang it on my shoulder, but swung in front of me so it is not in the way while people pass. I believe it is my responsibility to watch out for others and not their responsibility to jump and duck as we navigate public spaces. Call me crazy, but I think that is how rational, mature human beings should behave in public.

Today on the train ride home, the car was about two thirds full. That was comfortable enough for a ride from DC to Alexandria, Virginia and left plenty of room to breathe and keep a polite distance. I maintained about two feet between the young woman to my front and my own person. Throughout the jostling and turns this was just fine to ensure we both had sufficient space. A few stops later and my new friend Entitled Woman gets on and takes up position behind me. At this station, about the same amount of commuters embarked vs. disembarked. Plenty of room was left in the car and a sufficient number of handholds were available. There was no reason to crowd. This person decided that she needed to get right behind me, pushing and shoving her stupidly large bag in my backside, all the while leaning into me for several stops. Every time we got jostled, she would shove back into me and try to dominate space as if the train were overcrowded during rush hour. Meanwhile, there was space behind her and on her other side. I closed up some of the space between me and the young lady to my front in order get her out of my back. Entitled Woman saw this as an excuse to push in further and continue her attempt at Metro dominance. This went on for several miles and through many stations until a seat opened up and she sat her rude, entitled ass down.

Ugh.

As relevant as conversations about space and public courtesy are for men and boys, it has been my experience far too often that plenty of women need the same teachings. There are simple courtesies that just don't seem to be taught, whether it is something as simple as keeping a polite distance; not expecting that your purse, laptop case or bag deserves it's own seat; or keeping your elbows tucked in and to yourself while riding. I'm not going to even get into how many purses and backpacks I've taken to the side of the head over 20 years of riding the train. While the experience I outlined above was not the end of the world, it is very commonplace in the Metro and can be a problem for those of us who are wired a bit differently. I am completely understanding of crowded, densely packed trains during rush hours and inclement weather. I deal with that through simple acceptance of it being a temporary nuisance that won't last long. That said, acting like an entitled asshat is not anyone's right where another person's bodily sovereignty is concerned. Flipping the genders in such interactions doesn't make it any more acceptable.

Is it really so hard to just respect EVERYONE?  Can we please stop pretending this a male only problem?  Truly, it isn't.
Last Updated ( Monday, 21 April 2014 )
 
Mentioned by Committee to Protect Journalists Regarding Sexual Violence Advocacy
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Blog, Commentary and Articles - Rape, Sexual Assault and Abuse
Written by James Landrith   
Friday, 07 February 2014

So, um, the Committee to Protect Journalists has mentioned my advocacy work in their new edition of "Attacks on the Press, 2014 Edition: Journalism on the World's Front Lines."  The chapter on "Finding the Courage to Cover Sexual Violence" discusses media coverage of sexual violence, survivors and reporters who have faced such in the line of duty.

 

 


 

 

Apparently, they thought my advocacy on behalf of male survivors and exposure of female predators was noteworthy enough for a mention and referenced my CNN interview.

I've been mentioned in dozens of books before for my work with The Multiracial Activist and The Abolitionist Examiner, so I'm not new to getting cited or quoted.  This one is different though, as I actually got butterflies in my stomach reading it.  As an online publisher and freelancer, this one means a bit more to me.  The CPJ is an important organization with a needed mission.

 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/attacks-on-the-press-2014-edition-committee-to-protect-journalists/1117305827?ean=9781118873083

 

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 February 2014 )
 
The Chief Speaks: Men as rape victims considered taboo
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About Me/Website - Press and Government Mentions
Written by Nicolette Clark   
Tuesday, 04 February 2014

The Chief Speaks: Men as rape victims considered taboo

 

Published by The Stylus: The College at Brockport's award-winning newspaper since 1914

 

By Nicolette Clark

EDITOR_IN_CHIEF

Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 11:02

 

 

I almost decided to retire my column on sexual assault this semester. 

Almost. 

But when I was searching for something new that I felt strongly enough to write about each week, I was stuck. Not much came to mind except my strong opinions regarding sexual assault. 

In the beginning of the fall semester, I unconsciously picked up the torch for women’s issues concerning sexual assault, and in doing so I wasn’t disputing the fact that men can be victims as well. 

In the U.S., 1 in 33 men are victims of sexual assault, while it happens to 1 in 6 women, according to the Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network (RAINN).

There have been 17.7 million American women who have been victims of attempted or completed rape, while there are 2.78 million American men who have been victims. 

I’m not saying these numbers don’t matter or that sexual assault against men isn’t as important as when it happens to women.

Regardless of the gap between those numbers, both are astronomical.  

I’m curious though: Why doesn’t the media sensationalize male rape the way they do with women? If you type ‘Rape’ in the Google search bar, almost all of the stories that pop up regard women.

 If you click on the news section of Google with that search, there is not a single story about a man being sexually assaulted. 

Why are men not coming forward and speaking up? We’ve already come to the conclusion that it happens, so why aren’t there any news stories?

“Males have the added burden of facing a society that doesn’t believe rape can happen to them ... at all,” said psychotherapist Elizabeth Donovan in an interview with CNN.

It’s hard to stomach the fact that the men you look up to or love like your father, brother, best friend or boyfriend can be raped. It happens. 

As much as we try to act like we are invincible, we’re not, regardless of our gender. Men can be victims too. 

“Often, male survivors may be less likely to identify what happened to them as abuse or assault because of the general notion that men always want sex,” Jennifer Marsh, the vice president for Victim Services at RAINN said in an interview with CNN.  

Curtis St. John, a representative for MaleSurvivor, a national support group for male sexual victimization, said, “‘Were you aroused?’ is a question posed to male victims. You don’t hear it with female rape victims. It’s an interesting question that men get asked.”

Then there’s the whole other argument where men have to prove that they were preyed upon or sexually assaulted. 

CNN posed the question in an October article, “Experts say the general disparity in physical strength comes into play — can’t a man fight off a woman?”

That’s not just a blow to masculinity, but to someone’s very manhood. 

“I want people to understand that it’s not about how physically strong you are,” James Landrith, 19, who was a victim of rape himself said, in an interview with CNN. “We [men] are conditioned to believe that we cannot be victimized in such a way.”

Unfortunately, while women are painted as victims, men have the complete opposite problem. 

It is hard for society to see them in any light as a victim and even harder for them to see themselves as victims. 

Men are raised with the notion that they are supposed to be strong and be the protectors. 

Being a victim of sexual assault challenges the very basis of that notion. 

“It’s a tough call; people think men can’t be raped and they don’t understand that in the confusion no still means no,” St. John said, according to CNN.

Regardless if you’re a man or a woman, it comes down to the same basic principle, “No means no.” 

“Whenever you talk about male survivors, women have it statistically worse, but it’s not a competition — and we each need our time to talk about it,” Landrith said.

 

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twitter.com/Nic_Clark2

 

http://www.thestylus.net/campus-talk/the-chief-speaks-men-as-rape-victims-considered-taboo-1.3136325#.UvWu89uF9d6


 

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 February 2014 )
 
Letter to the Leadership of Gila Regional Medical Center Regarding Abusive Medical Searches
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Advocacy and Letters - Letters to Media, Academic and Commercial Orgs
Written by James Landrith   
Thursday, 30 January 2014

Letter to the Leadership of Gila Regional Medical Center:

 

As a male rape survivor, I was disgusted to read about your hospital's collusion in the physical assault and indignities visited upon David Eckert. The whole world knows what your hospital did now as this is international news. To further compound the injury, I was outright flabbergasted that you tried to extort $6,000 out of this man after the monsters who violated their hippocratic oaths subjected him to multiple invasive and involuntary bodily searches.

Each one of you should be ashamed for the conduct of your staff and the unforgivable manner in which your hospital handled this man's body, his dignity and for having the dishonesty to try and steal thousands from a person you so callously injured.

You owe a lot more than you can ever repay this man and the community will sit in judgment on you for your unwillingness to side with
the patient over money and the political authority of a police force completely out of control.

You should be ashamed. This is a crime and it is unforgivable.

 

Sincerely,

 

James A. Landrith, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 January 2014 )
 
Grassroots Group Delivers Signatures to DC Council Sexual Assault Reforms
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Advocacy and Letters - Press Releases
Written by The DC Justice for Survivors Campaign   
Tuesday, 28 January 2014

January 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Renee Davidson
DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC)
This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
202-556-4232

Grassroots Group Delivers Signatures to DC Council Sexual Assault Reforms

DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC) boasts support of over 300 community members and growing

Washington, D.C. — The DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC) today strongly urged DC Council to support critical legislation to protect survivors of sexual assault. The Campaign is a rapidly growing coalition of 19 advocacy and other organizations as well as over 300 individual community members from all parts of the District. “The volume of people that are continuing to join the Justice for Survivors Campaign shows that the DC community puts survivors first,” said Susan Mottet, DC JSC organizer and President of National Organization for Women, DC Chapter (DC NOW). “DC Council should do the same by adopting DC JSC’s recommendations to strengthen the Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights Amendment Act of 2013 (SAVRAA) and passing the bill as soon as possible.”

The DC JSC was established this past year in response to recent evidence of police mismanagement of sexual assault cases in the nation’s capital.The grassroots group is dedicated to passing legislation to ensure the fair and just treatment of all those who report sexual assault in the District.

“The DC JSC has seen widespread community support for the three vital measures needed to improve the Sexual Assault Victim’s Right Amendment Act,” said Sherelle Hessell-Gordon, a DC JSC organizer and Executive Director of the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC). These measures include that the DC Council: 1) Ensure a survivor’s right to a victim advocate without exception; 2) Establish an external sexual assault case review process; and 3) Require an independent consultant to assist MPD with the implementation of reforms.

The 301 individuals that have joined the DC JSC represent a diverse spectrum of the DC and surrounding communities, including direct service providers, anti-violence professionals, women’s and LGBT health advocates, concerned residents from all eight DC Wards, and over 80 self-identified survivors of sexual assault. Support also comes from the following 19 local and national organizations: The As One Project; Break the Cycle; Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS); The DC Center for the LGBT Community; Defend Yourself; DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC); Everyday Feminism; Fem2pt0; FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture; Law Students for Reproductive Justice of American University; Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care, Inc.; National Association of Social Workers (NASW); DC Metro Chapter; National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO); National Organization for Women, DC Chapter (DC NOW); Pious Pagan Publishing; Ramona’s Way; Slutwalk D.C; Stop Street Harassment and Washington College of Law’s Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

“The act of sexual assault is one of the most heinous crimes ever committed,” said Julia Strange, a DC JSC organizer and Director of Programs and Policy for Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS). “The passage of SAVRAA along with DC JSC’s amendments will determine whether survivors who report their assault can begin the process of healing and obtaining justice or whether they will be re-victimized by the very public safety infrastructure intended to support them,” said Strange.

Community members can sign up in support of the DC JSC’s policy recommendations here.

###

The DC Justice for Survivors Campaign (DC JSC) is a grassroots coalition of sexual assault survivors, direct service providers, advocacy organizations, allies and community members working to increase and codify the rights of and improve services for survivors of sexual assault in the District of Columbia. Formed by Collective Action for Safe Spaces (CASS), the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) and National Organization for Women, DC Chapter (DC NOW), the DC JSC believes that sexual assault survivors must receive fair and compassionate treatment from first responders, service providers and members of law enforcement and the justice system. We believe there should be greater transparency by agencies and organizations that work with survivors of sexual assault to reduce revictimization.

 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 February 2014 )
 
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