TIME Australia

Gay Asylum Seekers Could Be Resettled in Papua New Guinea, Which Outlaws Homosexuality

(FILE) Manus Island Detention Centre
This handout photo provided by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, shows facilities at the Manus Island Regional Processing Facility, used for the detention of asylum seekers that arrive by boat, primarily to Christmas Island off the Australian mainland, on October 16, 2012, in Papua New Guinea. Handout—Getty Images

The men had originally sought refuge in Australia

Several gay people, who fled persecution in their home countries and sought asylum in Australia, are reportedly to be resettled in Papua New Guinea (PNG), where homosexuality is a crime.

The asylum seekers are currently held by the Australian immigration officials on Manus Island in PNG, where they could eventually live permanently, the Guardian claims.

Homosexuality in PNG is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

The Guardian says it has seen what purport to be letters written in Farsi by four gay Iranian men in the Australian-run detention center on Manus Island. The authors appear to detail persecution in their home country and the fear of being resettled in PNG.

“I thought Australia and its people would be my protector, but they taught me otherwise,” one letter reads.

“I am hoping that I will not be sent to PNG prison because I don’t want to be killed by indigenous people living in PNG like my fellow countryman did in February,” reads another.

The authenticity of the letters has not been confirmed.

A December report by Amnesty International says the detainees at the facility have been told that anyone found engaging in homosexual acts will immediately be reported to the PNG police. The report also details numerous other human-rights violations at the detention center.

Amnesty had “consistently raised the issue of gay men on Manus with the [Australian] immigration department” but “never had a clear response,” Graeme McGregor, Amnesty Australia’s refugee-camp coordinator, told the Guardian.

Ben Pynt, director of Humanitarian Research Partners, estimates there are around 36 gay men detained at Manus and several others who are too afraid to reveal their sexual orientation, the Guardian says.

Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, who did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment on the purported letters, said in December he was unaware of any claims of homosexuality among Manus inmates. He also denied that it was the Australian government’s policy to report homosexual activity among asylum seekers to the PNG government.

[Guardian]

TIME Football

Chicago Bears’ Brandon Marshall Addresses Domestic Abuse Claims

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall looks on from the sidelines during a game against the Buffalo Bills in Chicago on Sept. 7, 2014. Scott Boehm—AP

"We have to gather all the facts before we play judge and jury"

Pro football player Brandon Marshall defended himself Thursday against allegations that the National Football League had mishandled Marshall’s alleged 2007 assault of his ex-girlfriend.

Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred claimed the NFL had failed to properly investigate Marshall’s arrests on suspicion of domestic abuse and misdemeanor battery in 2007 and 2008.

“We have to gather all the facts before we play judge and jury,” the Chicago Bears star said at a press conference. “Because there are two sides to a story. And there are some thing that we don’t know.”

Marshall has insisted he never “put a hand to” ex-girlfriend Rasheeda Watley, and demanded an apology from ESPN, which resurfaced allegations of domestic abuse in a televised profile.

Still, he acknowledged that his relationship with Watley had been rocky and said that he has been attending therapy sessions since. “We argued every single day. We treated each other bad. We had no business being in a relationship,” he said.

While defending himself, Marshall said his life had been touched by domestic violence growing. “I grew up in a house, in an environment, in a neighborhood where it was volatile,” he said. “Domestic violence is serious. I saw how it affected my mother.”

The wide receiver’s remarks come the day after the Chicago Bears issued a statement defending the player.

 

TIME Parenting

A Young Southern Woman Remembers the Fear and Shame of Being Whooped

Adrian Peterson
Adrian Peterson Dilip Vishwanat—Getty Images

The difference between a spanking and child abuse has nothing to do with race

I’m grown, but I’m not grown grown.

Maybe my decent credit score is proof the downy feathers of my childhood have somehow molted to reveal adult plumage patterned with W2s and check stubs and old text messages from men, but relative financial independence doesn’t make me feel like someone who’s planted her foot firmly at the adult’s table of the Thanksgiving dinner of life. As a twenty-one-year-old Southerner, I still teeter on this cusp of age-affirmed identity — full-breasted and home trained and French 75’d down, absolutely, but not yet a veteran of childhood. My mama doesn’t care what the hell FICA says, how grown I think I am. Like many black mothers might say, she could still whoop me — and that’s a promise.

Twenty-one years is a long enough time, I think, for me to be able to find that language humorous, tell myself that I now take value and wisdom from those past threats of bodily harm. Living in my own apartment, I am detached from the poking straws of the nest that nurtured me and the methods like corporal punishment that were used to prepare me to live outside of it. Spankings in my household weren’t perceived as brutalizations or assault. Neither were they administered as such. For bad behavior or disobedience, spanking was righteous judgment, swiftly executed, but the memory of the pain, not an explanation of my wrong-doing, kept me obedient.

And I wonder, in light of the news of Adrian Peterson beating his son so badly that even the child’s testicles were bruised, whether or not the pride that accompanies Southerners when it comes to withstanding beatings as children, this conviction that we are all somehow better people because of it, is rooted in some puerile sense of belonging, as if children must be hazed into their Southern identity in order to truly respect some arbitrary societal order. The pictures of Peterson’s son make one wince, and the dismissal of his obvious abuse by those of us who claim that our regional background makes us experts in the social growth of children is troublesome.

Because I understand parents who choose corporal punishment as a means of training their children and that that choice isn’t always a malicious one, though I might wince in regional camaraderie with other Southerners as we recall selecting our own switches, what I remember most looking at Adrian Peterson’s son is the humiliation of being hit. The pain is intense, but your sore ass heals, eventually; the confusion at being physically punished sans communication from people who might not be equipped with the tools to communicate their reasons for hitting you in the first place lingers. I don’t remember being a little girl who sometimes did bad things that were met with matching punishments by authority figures — my recollection of those times only yank forward misery, with fear of asking questions and fighting back because I wasn’t grown enough to do so.

So, at 21, I’m not grown enough now to know what’s best for those who navigate the landscape for raising children in a constantly socially-shifting world. Maybe I, like Charles Barkley claims, will swell the ranks of Southern black parents who whip their kids if I’m ever a mother myself, but hopefully with critical self-examination and that past shame in mind, I can figure out for myself if it’s actually worth it.

 

Sierra Mannie is a senior majoring in Classics and English at the University of Mississippi. She is a regular contributor to the school’s student newspaper, The Daily Mississippian, and her writing has previously appeared on TIME.com.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Football

Second Adrian Peterson Child Abuse Claim Could Aid Prosecutors

The running back was accused of hitting another one of his sons last June

Although the Minnesota Vikings announced Monday Adrian Peterson would return to the team after he admitted to using corporal punishment to discipline his son, Peterson is now facing new allegations of an earlier instance of child abuse, according to Sports Illustrated. SI reports that Peterson hit another one of his sons last June, leaving a scar on his forehead.

The team reinstated Peterson under the argument of “due process”– something they did not do for Chris Cook who, after being accused of choking his girlfriend in 2011, was suspended indefinitely without pay and missed 10 games before being acquitted, according to Sports Illustrated.

[Sports Illustrated]

TIME

Chris Brown Gives Ray Rice Advice So He Doesn’t ‘Become a Monster’

Chris Brown Court Date
Chris Brown enters the H. Carl Moultrie I Court House of the District of Columbia Kris Connor—Getty Images

"I’ve been down that road," said the R&B singer, who pled guilty to felony assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009

The indisputable, visual evidence of abuse. The victim’s decision to stay. The high profile nature of what is usually a hushed crime. It was inevitable that Chris Brown’s 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna would be compared to indefinitely-suspended NFL player Ray Rice’s abuse of then-fiancée, now wife Janay Rice.

Although Rihanna hasn’t provided comment, she has been directly impacted by Rice’s abuse. CBS pulled her planned performance of “Run This Town” from the NFL pre-game show.

Interestingly, it is Brown who has spoken up about Rice’s act of abuse, as a man who has “been down that road before.” The main takeaway? Seek therapy, as Brown does twice a week, or else “you’ll become a monster.”

Here’s what Brown said to MTV News’ Sway Conway Thursday:

I think it’s all about the choices you make. With me, I deal with a lot of anger issues from my past – not knowing how to express myself verbally and at the same time not knowing how to cope with my emotions and deal with them and understand what they are.

So I think help is great. I still talk to my therapist twice a week, and it helps me to…if I’m frustrated and I’m dealing with something, to vent and say what I’m going through so I can hear from an actual clinical person, ‘this is how you should react,’ or ‘it’s good to feel this way because feelings, emotions, and energy are supposed to come and go. It’s not supposed to stay there, you’re not supposed to keep it inside, because it’ll bottle up and you’ll become a monster.

For me, dealing with my anger issues and understanding myself and the life I’ve been through, where I’m headed and where I want to be has helped me focus on what’s really important and not F up. For anybody who’s going through that situation or anybody who’s dealing with it — it’s all about the choices. Every situation is different but it’s all about the choices you make and how you control your anger.

To Ray, or anybody else — because I’m not better than the next man — I can just say I’ve been down that road. I deal with situations and I’ve made my mistakes too, but it’s all about how you push forward and how you control yourself.

As an act of solidarity with Janay Rice, who has been critiqued for choosing to stay with her husband, thousands of women have courageously shared their stories of abuse and the inherent complexity of their decision not to leave under the powerful hashtag #WhyIStayed. Robin Givens wrote her own account of staying with an abuser on TIME.

Hearing directly from abusers, however, is rare.

While Brown’s openness does not erase his crimes, it opens up a very important conversation that needs to be had on the other side of the table as well.

TIME Sports

Chris Kluwe: NFL Would Rather Sell Women Pink Jerseys Than Protect Them

In football, and in the case of Ray Rice, the tape never lies. But the NFL sure has

“The tape never lies.” It’s an all too familiar saying in the NFL, an admonishment to players that no matter how well you think you did, no matter what excuses you make, the truth is always there for anyone to see. Game tape is who you are, the signature of your work, and it is one of the most highly rated metrics that scouts, coaches, and general managers use to evaluate you. If someone in football personnel doesn’t watch the tape, then they literally do not know how to do their job.

In the case of Ray Rice, Roger Goodell is claiming that he never saw the tape. Not the tape of Ray Rice’s on field performance, where he’s consistently been a star running back for the Baltimore Ravens, but the tape of an elevator in Atlantic City, where Rice unleashed a brutal left hook into Janay Palmer’s face, slamming her head into the elevator wall and railing, knocking her out.

Roger Goodell — a man who spared no expense going after the New Orleans Saints during the Bountygate scandal, a man who has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner time and time again in cases of player discipline, a man known predominately for his willingness to find and examine all forms of evidence in cases of perceived misconduct — now wants us to believe, in this particular instance, after months of reporting by trusted League sources that the NFL factored what was on that elevator tape into its decision to suspend Ray Rice a mere two games, that he did not, actually, see the tape, and is just as flabbergasted as the rest of us that this horrific act of violence took place. Oh lawdy, bring the fainting couch.

Based on everything I know from nine years of experience in the league, this is a lie.

Those same media outlets, the ones that so trustingly reported what their League sources told them to report, are furious, claiming that their sources are now trying to backtrack and prevaricate in the face of unrelentingly hostile public opinion at a decision that treats the abuse of a woman so cavalierly.

The public at large is furious at the decision to try and sweep under the rug an incident that occurs all too frequently in this country: a partner abusing someone who loves them. Nearly everyone is furious at the “business as usual” attitude of one of the most profitable sports leagues in the world, a business willing to blame the victim and make her apologize on national television in order to protect its brand.

We should be furious. This charade of accountability has been perpetrated for too long, let too many players skate by with no real consequences for their violence against others.

Ray Rice. Greg Hardy. Ray McDonald. Terrell Suggs. Perrish Cox. Chris Cook. Ahmad Brooks. Brandon Marshall. A.J. Jefferson. Name after name after name — a few who were cut by their teams, but most of whom were given a green light to continue playing in a league urging women to purchase pink clothing and apparel in order to drive viewership numbers up. It’s a league failing those same women when it comes time to do something that matters, to actually address the issue of domestic violence.

Of course, I believe, the NFL, and by extension, Roger Goodell, watched that video. The tape never lies; that’s the mantra of the League, at every level. The NFL employs many people, who are very good at their jobs, to make sure they have access to that information, to get that tape, and the truly chilling part of all of this, is that the people in charge, almost exclusively men, saw that video and made a conscious decision to do nothing about it until their hand was forced by public opinion.

Those in charge felt that this was just one more incident to be pushed to the side, ignored by both the front office and the team itself in pursuit of ratings and money. Those in charge felt that a woman being beaten into unconsciousness, right in front of them, did not matter as much as the perceived value of Ray Rice on the football field, scoring touchdowns and selling jerseys. Those in charge chose convenience over ethics, profit over a person. All the evidence was there, clearly on tape, but the will to act, to force change in a culture that desperately needs it, was not; not until public outrage grew so large that the NFL felt compelled to try and salvage some shreds of morality.

The tape never lies. The signature of the NFL is one of enabling abusers, batterers, and worse, caught on police records all across the country, still employed by their teams because the NFL doesn’t think you care about wives, sisters, daughters and mothers, but only about your entertainment.

The tape never lies. Numerous reporters went on record with information from trusted league sources, information that was nothing but public relations and smears, an attempt to minimize the shocking events the NFL thought we would never see.

The tape never lies, but apparently the NFL does, and it is past time we held them accountable for their actions.

Chris Kluwe is a retired NFL player who played for eight seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

TIME domestic violence

13 Thoughtful Tweets About Janay Rice’s Instagram Statement

The wife of disgraced NFL player Ray Rice stunned observers on Tuesday by lambasting critics of her relationship and her husband

Many were quick to applaud the firing of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who was unceremoniously suspended from professional football Monday — likely spelling an end to his career — after a video of him violently attacking his then-girlfriend Janay Palmer went viral. Some criticized the NFL’s lenient punishment of Rice before the entire video was made public.

Twitter reacted with a mix of horror, bewilderment and sympathy as the news sparked a broad based conversation about domestic violence organized around two hashtags: #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft.

This morning, Janay, who is now Rice’s wife, defended her relationship in an Instagram post that lambasts the “media and unwanted opinions from the public” for causing her family pain: “If your intensions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels,” Janay said.

That statement caused another social media firestorm. The reactions ranged from sadness and sympathy to criticism of Janay. Here are some of the most powerful tweets:

 

TIME NFL

10 Intelligent Tweets About Violence in the NFL

Football players and fans are demanding the NFL to do better

While it’s hard to see positive outcomes in the wake of ex-Ravens running back Ray Rice’s suspension from the league for domestic abuse, the incident has at least inspired an important conversation about how the NFL’s role when it comes to players’ acts of violence off the field.

Here are 10 insightful tweets, from both football players and fans, about how the league needs to address domestic abuse going forward:

See Also: How Twitter has taken a stand with Janay Rice with #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft

TIME Football

Here’s Where to Exchange that Ray Rice Jersey for Free Beer or Pizza

Wild Card Playoffs - Indianapolis Colts v Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball during the AFC Wild Card Playoff Game on January 6, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. Patrick Smith—Getty Images

Ravens official store will accept exchange of #27 shirt for other merch, but local bars and pizzerias get in on the action too

Baltimore Ravens fans who have purchased a Ray Rice jersey from stadium stores will be offered another, less controversial jersey in exchange, the Ravens announced on Tuesday.

The offer comes amid signs that stores and fans are dumping the #27 jersey in droves, following the leaked video of the running back violently assaulting his then fiancé, now wife, in an elevator.

Local merchants told an ABC News affiliate in Baltimore that sales of Ray Rice merchandise had already been slipping since news of the assault first broke in February. When the startlingly graphic video surfaced on Monday, stores and restaurants in the city began issuing a recall of sorts.

No Idea Tavern offered a $10 tab to any customer who turns over a Ray Rice jersey at the bar. A local pizzeria, Hersh’s Pizza, also offered an exchange of free pizza plus a donation of $2.70 to the women’s shelter House of Ruth Maryland.

“These jerseys will save us money on toilet paper this week,” the restauranteurs added on their Facebook page.

TIME NFL

White House Hails Cut of Ray Rice for Domestic Violence

Baltimore Ravens v Dallas Cowboys
Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens sits on the bench against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of their preseason game at AT&T Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez—Getty Images

"Domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society"

The White House expressed support late Monday for the Baltimore Ravens’ decision to terminate Ray Rice’s contract after leaked video footage showed the running back committing a violent assault against his then-fiancee.

“The President is the father of two daughters,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “and like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society. Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football—and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

Vice President Joe Biden joined the chorus of condemnation in a Tuesday interview with the Today show. “When the video was out there,” Biden said, “and [they] saw how brutal it was, the Ravens did the right thing: fired him immediately.”

The NFL has indefinitely suspended Rice after TMZ released a video showing Rice punching his then-fiancee in an elevator and then dragging her unconscious body into the hallway of an Atlantic City hotel.

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