When Nabila was a judge in Afghanistan’s Supreme Court, she granted divorces to women whose husbands were sometimes jailed for assaulting or kidnapping them. Some of the men threatened to kill her after they had served their time, she said.
In mid-August, as the Taliban poured into Kabul and seized power, hundreds of prisoners were set free. Men once sentenced in Nabila’s courtroom were among them, according to the judge. Like the other women interviewed for this article, her full name has been withheld for her protection.
Within days, Nabila said, she began receiving death threat calls from former prisoners. She moved out of her house in Kabul and went into hiding as she sought ways to leave Afghanistan with her husband and three young daughters.
“I lost my job and now I can’t even go outside or do anything freely because I fear these freed prisoners,” Nabila said by phone from a safe house. “A dark future is awaiting everyone in Afghanistan, especially female judges.”
gains made by women over the past two decades. Female judges and lawyers have left the courts under Taliban pressure, abruptly erasing one of the signal achievements of the United States and allied nations since 2001.
The women have not only lost their jobs, but also live in a state of perpetual fear that they or their loved ones could be tracked down and killed.
worked in Afghanistan for several years. She said she is representing 13 female lawyers and judges who are trying to leave the country.
nearly 90 percent of women experienced some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime, according to a 2008 study by the United States Institute of Peace.
These judges helped to bring some reform to many courts, particularly in urban areas, delivering justice to growing numbers of women and girls beaten and abused by husbands or male relatives.
The women defied a legal system that favored husbands, granting divorces to Afghan wives who in many cases would previously have been doomed to stay in abusive marriages. Among those now in hiding are former lawyers and judges who defended abused women or pursued cases against men accused of beating, kidnapping or raping women and girls.
the Taliban takeover on Aug. 15. She is trying to leave Afghanistan with her mother and two brothers, one of them a former government soldier, she said.
“I lost my job, and now my whole family is at risk, not just me,” Behista said.
shot and killed on their way to work in Kabul.
Understand the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
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Who are the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that came after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, including floggings, amputations and mass executions, to enforce their rules. Here’s more on their origin story and their record as rulers.
Who are the Taliban leaders? These are the top leaders of the Taliban, men who have spent years on the run, in hiding, in jail and dodging American drones. Little is known about them or how they plan to govern, including whether they will be as tolerant as they claim to be. One spokesman told The Times that the group wanted to forget its past, but that there would be some restrictions.
Male judges and police officers often resisted reforms to the justice system, and pressured women to rescind their complaints from the court. A Human Rights Watch report released in August said the system had failed to provide accountability for violence against women and girls and had undermined progress to protect women’s rights.
The report said landmark legislation passed in 2009, the Elimination of Violence Against Women law, was often sabotaged by male officials despite some progress in bringing justice to victims under the law.
World Bank, more than half of all Afghan women lack national ID cards compared with about 6 percent of men. And for many of the women who do have documents, theirs efforts to escape are complicated by a husband or child who does not.
To assist Afghan women, Ms. Motley suggested reviving Nansen Passports, first issued in 1922 to refugees and stateless people after World War I and the Russian Revolution.
Some female judges and lawyers have managed to escape Afghanistan. Polish authorities recently helped 20 women and their families leave, Justice Glazebrook said, and 24 female judges have been evacuated to Greece since August, according to the Greek foreign ministry.
November 2016 suicide bomb attack on the German consulate.
“I was getting threats for the past five years,” Friba said.
In 2014, she secured a divorce for her sister who had been forced to marry a Talib at age 17 under the movement’s first regime. Her sister has since fled to Egypt with their three children. “He is still after her,” she said.
Mr. Karimi, a member of the Taliban cultural commission, denied that the former judges and lawyers were at risk. He said they were covered by a general amnesty for all Afghans who served the previous government.
“To those people who are living in hiding: We are telling them that they should feel free, we won’t do anything to you,” Mr. Karimi said. “It’s their own country. They can live very freely and easily.”
Justice Glazebrook rejected this.
“These women believed in their country, believed in human rights and believed in the importance of the rule of law and their duty to uphold it,” she said.
As a result, she said, “They are at risk of losing their lives.”
Niki Kitsantonis contributed reporting from Athens, and Ruhullah Khapalwak from Vancouver.
Fighting stalkerware is tough. You may not suspect it’s there. Even if you did, it can be difficult to detect since antivirus software only recently began flagging these apps as malicious.
Here’s a guide to how stalkerware works, what to look out for and what to do about it.
The Different Types of Stalkerware
Surveillance software has proliferated on computers for decades, but more recently spyware makers have shifted their focus to mobile devices. Because mobile devices have access to more intimate data, including photos, real-time location, phone conversations and messages, the apps became known as stalkerware.
Various stalkerware apps collect different types of information. Some record phone calls, some log keystrokes, and others track location or upload a person’s photos to a remote server. But they all generally work the same way: An abuser with access to a victim’s device installs the app on the phone and disguises the software as an ordinary piece of software, like a calendar app.
From there, the app lurks in the background, and later, the abuser retrieves the data. Sometimes, the information gets sent to the abuser’s email address or it can be downloaded from a website. In other scenarios, abusers who know their partner’s passcode can simply unlock the device to open the stalkerware and review the recorded data.
So what to do? The Coalition Against Stalkerware, which was founded by Ms. Galperin and other groups, and many security firms offered these tips:
Look for unusual behavior on your device, like a rapidly draining battery. That could be a giveaway that a stalker app has been constantly running in the background.
Scan your device. Some apps, like MalwareBytes, Certo, NortonLifeLock and Lookout, can detect stalkerware. But to be thorough, take a close look at your apps to see if anything is unfamiliar or suspicious. If you find a piece of stalkerware, pause before you delete it: It may be useful evidence if you decide to report the abuse to law enforcement.
Seek help. In addition to reporting stalking behavior to law enforcement, you can seek advice from resources like the National Domestic Violence Hotline or the Safety Net Project hosted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
Audit your online accounts to see which apps and devices are hooked into them. On Twitter, for example, you can click on the “security and account access” button inside the settings menu to see which devices and apps have access to your account. Log out of anything that looks shady.
Change your passwords and passcode. It’s always safer to change passwords for important online accounts and avoid reusing passwords across sites. Try creating long, complex passwords for each account. Similarly, make sure your passcode is difficult for someone to guess.
Enable two-factor authentication. For any online account that offers it, use two-factor authentication, which basically requires two forms of verification of your identity before letting you log into an account. Say you enter your user name and password for your Facebook account. That’s Step 1. Facebook then asks you to punch in a temporary code generated by an authentication app. That’s Step 2. With this protection, even if an abuser figures out your password using a piece of stalkerware, he or she still can’t log in without that code.
On iPhones, check your settings. A new stalker app, WebWatcher, uses a computer to wirelessly download a backup copy of a victim’s iPhone data, according to Certo, a mobile security firm. To defend yourself, open the Settings app and look at the General menu to see if “iTunes Wi-Fi Sync” is turned on. Disabling this will prevent WebWatcher from copying your data.
Apple said this was not considered an iPhone vulnerability because it required an attacker to be on the same Wi-Fi network and have physical access to a victim’s unlocked iPhone.
Start fresh. Buying a new phone or erasing all the data from your phone to begin anew is the most effective way to rid a device of stalkerware.
Update your software. Apple and Google regularly issue software updates that include security fixes, which can remove stalkerware. Make sure you’re running the latest software.
In the end, there’s no true way to defeat stalkerware. Kevin Roundy, NortonLifeLock’s lead researcher, said he had reported more than 800 pieces of stalkerware inside the Android app store. Google removed the apps and updated its policy in October to forbid developers to offer stalkerware.
But more have emerged to take their place.
“There are definitely a lot of very dangerous, alarming possibilities,” Mr. Roundy said. “It’s going to continue to be a concern.”
GRANTHAM, England — Daniela Espirito Santo died after waiting on hold for the police to answer her call for help.
It was the seventh time in a year that she had reported her boyfriend to the police, including for death threats and for trying to strangle her. Two of those calls came in the hours before her death. The first was in the morning, after her boyfriend pinned her on the bed and pressed his forearm against her throat.
“Is this it?” Ms. Espirito Santo, 23, had gasped, according to a police report. “Are you going to kill me this time?”
The police took him into custody but quickly released him. He returned to Ms. Espirito Santo’s apartment and soon afterward she called the police to report that he had assaulted her again. The dispatcher told her that her situation wasn’t urgent, because the boyfriend had left. He directed her to a nonemergency hotline and hung up after 94 seconds.
during the first month of Britain’s lockdown — more than triple the number in that month the previous year, and the highest figure in a decade. But it also illustrates another flaw in British authorities’ efforts to address violence against women: the repeated failure of prosecutors to punish abusers.
Initially charged with manslaughter, the boyfriend, Julio Jesus, then 30, was eventually sentenced to only 10 months behind bars. The Crown Prosecution Service, the national public prosecutor, dropped its manslaughter charge because of complicating medical opinions about the condition of Ms. Espirito Santo’s heart, and convicted him on two counts of serious assault. He was released before England’s coronavirus lockdowns had ended.
“There was a litany of failures where once again a woman’s voice hasn’t been listened to,” said Jess Phillips, a Labour lawmaker who speaks for the opposition on domestic violence policy. “This case shows nothing is changing, even though victims keep being promised it is.”
fewer than 2 percent of rape cases and 8 percent of domestic abuse cases reported to the police in England and Wales are prosecuted, even as complaints are rising.
The nation was shocked earlier this year when a police officer confessed to kidnapping, raping and murdering Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who was abducted while walking home in South London. The crime underscored the vulnerability felt by many British women and their concern that the police and prosecutors are failing to protect them.
Parliament recently approved new legislation on domestic abuse. But changing policing and public attitudes has proved difficult for decades. Failings and missed opportunities by the police often remain hidden.
Ms. Espirito Santo’s case fit that pattern. Her death in Grantham, a market town in the largely rural English county of Lincolnshire, received little outside attention and was regarded as a tragedy, not a scandal. An inquest into her death is in limbo. Lincolnshire Police — a small force covering a wide area with a sparse but often deprived population — refused an interview, as did the Crown Prosecution Service.
But an investigation by The New York Times lays bare the escalating abuse Ms. Espirito Santo reported, gives a rare insight into police failings and raises questions about the decision by prosecutors to drop the manslaughter charge. The Times has obtained a confidential 106-page report compiled by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, an official watchdog, into the Lincolnshire force’s handling of the case.
The report documents Ms. Espirito Santo’s ever more desperate interactions with the police, revealing a haphazard response as her situation worsened. It noted that some male officers felt sympathetic toward Mr. Jesus before releasing him on bail, including one who said his “biggest concern” was the boyfriend’s mental health.
government failings on domestic abuse at the start of Britain’s lockdowns, which left victims trapped at home with abusers and isolated from family and friends. The rules were especially constricting for people with serious health conditions, like Ms. Espirito Santo, who had to pause her job at a nursing home.
“Daniela’s case is a scandalous failing by the police to recognize someone who was at an increasing risk of domestic homicide,” Ms. Wistrich said. “But it is sadly illustrative of many cases we see.”
Lincolnshire Police refused to answer even written questions, citing concerns about prejudicing a future inquest. A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said it was determined to improve the handling of crimes against women and girls and to “narrow the gap” between “reports of these terrible offenses and cases reaching court.”
Ms. Espirito Santo’s story — pieced together by The Times through the confidential report, other documents and more than a dozen interviews — is of a yearlong cry for help that went unheard.
“Everything happened because the police didn’t help Daniela when she rang,” said Isabel Espirito Santo, Ms. Espirito Santo’s mother. “If the police had helped more, I think she could still be here.”
Ms. Espirito Santo was pregnant with her second child when she first reported Mr. Jesus to the police. It was May 19, 2019, and she told officers that he had threatened to kill her, that he was violent and controlling and “excessively jealous.”
examination of domestic abuse complaints stated that it was officers’ job to “build the case for the victim, not expect the victim to build the case for the police.”
‘Is This It?’
Fifteen hours before she died, Ms. Espirito Santo made her penultimate call to the police. It was 9:48 a.m. She told the operator that Mr. Jesus had thrown her on the bed and grabbed her neck, leaving a mark. He had left, but not before pinning her with the front door and threatening to kill her. When two officers arrived, she agreed to support a prosecution.
She told the officers that she had “lost count” of how often Mr. Jesus had assaulted her, often squeezing her neck so tightly that she struggled to breathe. She said that he sometimes slammed her against furniture, that he had once broken her finger, and that she was afraid he might kill her.
Two hours later, Mr. Jesus was arrested, crying as he was taken into custody. Later that afternoon, Ms. Espirito Santo called Ms. Price-Wallace and said the police had told her that Mr. Jesus would be released pending a charging decision.
can qualify as manslaughter if it leads to a death, even if the killing was unintentional. Those found guilty can face up to life in prison.
But prosecutors decided to drop the charge after a cardiologist hired by Mr. Jesus’s lawyers argued that while the assault could have caused the heart failure, so could a verbal argument.
Prosecutors concluded that they could no longer meet the tests for a manslaughter conviction by proving that the heart failure was caused by an assault, a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service said.
That was despite the fact Ms. Espirito Santo had reported an assault, not an argument, minutes before her death; despite Mr. Jesus’s admission that he had assaulted her that morning; and despite her history of domestic violence complaints.
The official watchdog report on Lincolnshire Police found that the “decision making of its officers may have influenced the circumstances of the events” around Ms. Espirito Santo’s death, if not caused it, and blamed officers for a “lack of detailed consideration of Mr. Jesus’s situation” on release.
Yet the report did not recommend disciplinary action and mentioned only one “potential learning recommendation” — for a formal policy around sending calls to the nonemergency number, a change that has been introduced. In a statement to The Times, the watchdog agency said it had also made “learning” recommendations for two officers on how they interacted with Mr. Jesus.
Domestic Abuse Act. It was a response to growing outrage over failures in abuse cases. For the first time, the law established that nonfatal strangulation — which Ms. Espirito Santo repeatedly reported — is a criminal offense, bringing up to five years in prison.
Since such strangulation usually does not leave marks, the police often fail to recognize it as a serious crime. Prosecutors, in turn, do not bring more serious charges. Advocates for abuse victims have welcomed the law but say it will change little unless police and public prosecutors are educated in using it, and given proper resources.
On July 5, on what would have been Ms. Espirito Santo’s 25th birthday, her mother and two dozen others scattered her ashes at her favorite spot, a lake in the Lincolnshire countryside. Her grandmother gave a reading in Portuguese by the water’s edge. Her mother wept.
“I didn’t get justice in court,” she said. “But I believe in justice of the gods.”
www.thehotline.org. In the United Kingdom, call 0808 2000 247, or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
The feminists’ social media accounts had been slowly disappearing in China for days. And when that wasn’t enough for their angry critics, a powerful voice on the internet stepped in to help.
In a discussion on the popular Chinese platform Weibo, one of the critics asked for better guidelines on how to file complaints against women who shared feminist views. The user suggested that the company add “inciting mass confrontation” to the list of violations that could have them removed. A Weibo account long affiliated with the company’s chief executive, Wang Gaofei, joined the conversation to offer tips.
“Here,” the person using the account said on April 14, posting a screenshot with easy instructions for filing complaints against the women. Under “type of complaint,” click “inciting hatred,” the screenshot showed. Under specific reason: “gender discrimination.”
half a dozen state media reports and a podcast. “He accused me of gender discrimination, which is the most laughable thing in the world,” she said.
Ms. Liang, a 28-year-old lawyer in New York, is one of the women whose accounts were removed by Weibo. She is suing the company for violating China’s civil code, saying it did not adequately explain its accusations against her.
The women’s accounts first started disappearing after March 31. Two days earlier, Xiao Meili, a well-known feminist in China, had left a hot pot restaurant in the southwestern city of Chengdu, angry that a man had ignored her repeated requests to stop smoking illegally indoors. The man was so furious that he hurled a cup of hot liquid at Ms. Xiao and her friends.
four other feminists on a charge of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” ahead of a campaign about sexual harassment on public transportation. The detentions led to an international outcry.
Feminist ideas have slowly entered the mainstream. Many women have been encouraged by the small gains in the country’s nascent #MeToo movement. And feminist thought appeals to Chinese women who feel that the government fails to address issues of gender discrimination, said Lu Pin, a veteran women’s rights activist based in New York whose account was also removed.
There are few outlets for women to vent in China. “That’s why they go online,” Ms. Lu said.
domestic violence, the difficulties of getting a divorce and gender discrimination in the workplace. Gender-related issues are often among the most talked-about subjects on the platform. But in a male-dominated culture, that has led to resentment.
Many of the most active opponents of China’s rising online feminist discourse have hundreds of thousands of followers. Some are celebrated in state media and allied with a broader nationalist movement that sees any form of criticism as an affront to Beijing. Women are easy targets, facing death threats and accusations of being “separatists.”
Douban, an internet forum and review website, has also recently removed at least eight groups dedicated to women’s issues, according to China Digital Times, a website that tracks Chinese internet controls. Douban declined to comment.
After the hot pot incident, Taobao, an e-commerce site in China, removed 23 items from Ms. Xiao’s online store, saying that they were “prohibited content,” according to a notice viewed by The New York Times. All of the items had the word “feminist” written on them. Ms. Xiao sued Weiboin a Beijing court on April 14, seeking access to her account and $1,500 in compensation.
After she posted her lawsuit on WeChat, China’s ubiquitous instant messaging platform, her public account was removed for “violating regulations.”
Ms. Liang, the lawyer, said she was one of the many women inundated by abuse after she posted supportive messages for Ms. Xiao. She was furious when her Weibo account was frozen, because it meant she could no longer defend herself, she said. “It’s the equivalent of sealing your mouth shut, hanging you up and leaving you to burn,” she said.
One of Ms. Liang’s supposed offenses was sharing a post on Twitter by the group “Chinese for Uyghurs.” Her critics used it to accuse her of being unpatriotic by spreading awareness of the plight of the oppressed Muslim minority.
Despite the risks, many women continue to share messages of support for those who have been kicked off Weibo, Ms. Liang said. She described the platform as “the only open space for me to speak out” and said she wanted her account back, even though she knew that the same angry users would be waiting for her when she returned.
“I think having this space is especially important for young women on the internet,” she said. “I refuse to give it up to those disgusting people.”
Elsie Chen contributed reporting. Lin Qiqing contributed research.
WASHINGTON — The Russian military buildup at the Ukraine border and in Crimea could provide enough forces for a limited military incursion, the C.I.A. director, William J. Burns, told senators on Wednesday as he and other senior officials outlined a range of threats facing the United States.
Russia could simply be sending a signal to the United States or trying to intimidate the Ukrainian government, but it had the abilities in place to do more, Mr. Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“That buildup has reached the point that it could provide the basis for a limited military incursion, as well,” Mr. Burns said. “It is something not only the United States but our allies have to take very seriously.”
Mr. Burns testified alongside Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence, and other officials about an array of threats from global powers like Russia and China as well as challenges that have been less of a focus of intelligence agencies in the past, including domestic extremism and climate change.
annual threat assessment report, released Tuesday ahead of the hearing, the intelligence community said that China’s push for global power posed a threat to the United States through its aggression in its region, its expansion of its surveillance abilities and its attempts to dominate technological advances.
Russia has also pushed for a sphere of influence that includes countries that were part of the Soviet Union, like Ukraine, the report said.
Both China and Russia, however, wanted to avoid direct confrontation with the United States, the report said.
Mr. Burns said the Russian actions have prompted internal briefings as well as consultations with allies. President Biden’s call on Tuesday to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was intended to “register very clearly the seriousness of our concern,” Mr. Burns said.
The United States has been tracking the Russian troops for some time, at least since late March. American officials have said privately that the Russians have done little to hide their troop buildup, unlike in 2014 when they first attacked Ukraine. That has convinced some, but not all, officials briefed on the intelligence that the Russian activities may be mostly for show.
penetrated nine federal agencies, and another by China that compromised Microsoft Exchange servers. The Biden administration is expected to respond to the Russian hacking soon, most likely with sanctions and other measures.
Ms. Haines said Russia used hackings to sow discord and threaten the United States and its allies. “Russia is becoming increasingly adept at leveraging its technological prowess to develop asymmetric options in both the military and cyberspheres in order to give itself the ability to push back and force the United States to accommodate its interests,” she said.
Lawmakers also raised the issue of a series of mysterious episodes that have injured diplomats and C.I.A. officers overseas. Some former officials believe Russia is behind the episodes, which they have called attacks.
Mr. Burns said he was working with his colleagues to ensure better medical care for C.I.A. officers. He also said he was working to “get to the bottom of the question of what caused these incidents and who might have been responsible.”
Questions on China dominated the earlier Senate confirmation hearings for Ms. Haines and Mr. Burns, and lawmakers again pressed on Wednesday for assessments on China and its efforts to steal American technology. Ms. Haines outlined how China uses technological might, economic influence and other levers of power to intimidate its neighbors.
“China is employing a comprehensive approach to demonstrate its growing strength and compel regional neighbors to acquiesce to Beijing’s preferences,” she told senators.
another recent intelligence report, on global trends, highlighted how the coronavirus pandemic and climate change, along with technological change, were testing “the resilience and adaptability” of society. The “looming disequilibrium,” she said, compels intelligence agencies to broaden their definition of national security.
But at least one lawmaker, Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, also asked a more practical question: How many intelligence officers have received coronavirus vaccines?
Mr. Burns said 80 percent of the C.I.A. work force was fully vaccinated and another 10 percent have had their first shot. He said all C.I.A. officers serving overseas “have the vaccine available to them directly.”
Mr. Wray was unable to give an estimate of how many of his agents had received a shot, saying that the vaccination rates varied in field offices in different states. Ms. Haines said 86 percent of her work force had had at least one shot, with a “fair percentage” being fully vaccinated. General Nakasone also had no estimate but said a vaccination center had been set up at Fort Meade, Md., where the National Security Agency’s headquarters is.
Lawmakers have also been pressing intelligence agencies to help examine the problem of domestic extremism. Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia and the chairman of the intelligence committee, linked the rise of domestic extremism to the same trends promoting disinformation produced by Russia and others. And he said he wanted the intelligence chiefs to outline how they could help provide better warnings of potential violence like the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“go back to school.” Mr. Trump’s last director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, chose not to release a threat assessment or testify before Congress last year.
DAVOREN PARK, Australia — No one really knows when backyard sheds became meaningful to men, as a retreat and a place to tinker. But in the late 1990s, Australia made them communal. Hundreds of men’s sheds, as they came to be known, popped up across the country — where retirees or the out of work could stave off loneliness and depression by working on creative projects, gaining new skills and socializing.
All of which got Raelene Wlochowicz thinking: What about the women? It was the end of 2019, and she was about to retire after 28 years of working in Australia’s juvenile justice system. People kept asking her what she was going to do with her time.
“I don’t know,” she’d say. “I’m ready to finish my work life, but I’m not finished with my life.”
Always active, a working-class grandmother with bright red hair and a nose ring, she couldn’t stand the idea of playing cards in a senior center or sitting around gossiping over $4 coffee.
She knew that the first men’s shed had opened not far away, on the fancier side of Adelaide, the most industrial of Australia’s major cities and the capital of South Australia.
Women’s sheds are a newer development, and they often take on a broader mandate, in terms of whom they serve and the skills they aim to develop. Barry Golding, an adult education professor at Federation University Australia in Ballarat who wrote a book about men’s sheds, said women’s sheds were just starting to take off, with around 100 worldwide.
protests against sexual harassment are appearing outside Australia’s Parliament, the women’s shed has become another way to channel outrage and energy.
In Davoren Park, some of the women are survivors of domestic violence; others are widows or out of work. They come for protection, progress and fellowship.
Leanne Jenkins, 46, was one of the first members. A mother of two with a tightly pulled ponytail, she said she had been struggling with severe anxiety and depression when her therapist suggested that the shed might be a good place to make friends and develop new skills. At first, showing up brought panic attacks. Now, she’s at the shed almost every day.
“They treat me like family, and if I’m not here or not around for a week, they come get me,” she said. “I feel like I’m relied on. If I don’t make it to the shed, I actually feel guilty.”
Their first project was just getting the shed up to code. The water didn’t work, glass covered the floors, the bathrooms were foul.
They pulled in a small local grant, and the rest came from donations of time or goods. One day, Ms. Wlochowicz received a call from a woman whose sister had died, leaving a garage of arts and crafts supplies. Others offered more clothing and home supplies than they could ever need.
Some of it can now be found in a “room of love.” To get there requires walking down a long school hallway, past a wall of photos with women of all ages smiling and squeezed together. Inside, Ms. Wlochowicz snapped on the light to reveal a classroom made into an ad hoc store, with beauty supplies, dresses, jeans, towels and linens — all of it free for women fleeing domestic violence.
“When they run, they run with nothing,” she said.
It was one of many signs that this particular shed, in a forgotten corner of a wealthy and often sexist country, has never been just about socializing.
On a recent Tuesday, a dozen of the shed’s members, along with a few daughters and granddaughters, sat together in the arts and crafts room to practice for choir with a song they wrote about the shed that plays to the tune of “The House of the Rising Sun.”
Ms. Wlochowicz watched as their teacher, Katie Pomery, 23, a local singer-songwriter, conducted with her hands and smiled more with every verse.
“It is a place where friendship grows, and you can get free bread,” they sang. “The garden’s full of possums and beasts, the kitchen’s full of food. If you come here with a heavy heart, we’ll lighten up your mood.”
Either way, it came a “terrible time,” said Nigar Goksel, the top Turkey expert at the International Crisis Group, especially because of the recent withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.
According to data gathered by U.N. Women, the United Nations agency for women’s rights, 38 percent of Turkish women experience violence from their partner at least once in their lifetime, and more than one in 10 was subjected to domestic violence in the last 12 months. In the 2021 Global Gender Gap report, an annual review by the World Economic Forum that covers economics, politics, education and health, Turkey ranked 133 among 156 countries.
The protocol fail in Tuesday’s meeting comes at a crucial time in Turkey’s relations with the European Union.
In recent months, Turkey has emphasized a desire to improve relations with the bloc and to revive its process for joining. The meeting was intended to build momentum in a relationship that has been fraught with disagreements in recent years on issues like migration, maritime borders and customs arrangements.
“Whatever the realities on the protocol side, the incident clearly underscores the fact that Turkey was blind to the optics of how this would appear,” said Mr. Lesser of the German Marshall Fund. Those optics, he added, “will only underscore the sense that Europe is not on the same page when it comes to values, when it comes to diversity, inclusion and gender equality.”
That point was not lost on the offended party.
Ms. von der Leyen “seized the opportunity to insist on the issues related to women’s rights in general and to the Istanbul Convention in particular,” Mr. Mamer, her spokesman, said. “It would have been discussed certainly in any case, but obviously this sharpened her focus on the issue.”
Matina Stevis-Gridneff reported from Brussels, and Carlotta Gall from Istanbul. Monika Pronczuk contributed reporting from Brussels.
Some investors have started distancing themselves from Dispo, a fast-growing photo-sharing app, after its co-founder, the YouTube creator David Dobrik,became embroiled in controversy.
Dispo, which launched in 2019, is a photo-based social platform similar to Instagram that mimics the experience of using a disposable camera. Photos taken through the Dispo app take 24 hours to “develop” and appear on a user’s feed.
In October, Dispo raised $4 million in a funding round led by Seven Seven Six, the firm of Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder. In February, the company garnered an additional $20 million in a financing led by Spark Capital; the funding valued Dispo at $200 million.
But in an investigation by Insider that published last week, Mr. Dobrik was accused of playing a role in a sexual assault scandal involving a former member of his “Vlog Squad.” He later told The Information that he would leave Dispo and step down from its board. And some of Dispo’s investors have also started backing away.
posted on Twitter.
On Monday, Mr. Ohanian and Seven Seven Six also issued a statement calling the accusations against Mr. Dobrik “extremely troubling” and “directly at odds with Seven Seven Six’s core values.” Mr. Ohanian posted to Instagram that he and Seven Seven Six supported Mr. Dobrik’s choice to step down from the company.
Seven Seven Six also said on Twitter that it would donate any profits from its investment “to an organization working with survivors of sexual assault.”
Maitri, which is focused on helping South Asian survivors of domestic violence.
become enamored with the influencer world. “I feel like something has palpably shifted in the past year among investors, and it seems like everyone is talking about the creator economy now and investing in creator tools,” Li Jin, founder of Atelier, a venture firm investing in the creator space told The New York Times in December.
But several popular YouTube stars have come under fire over the past year for scandals involving racism and sexual assault.
Mr. Dobrik is one of YouTube’s most popular creators, with more than 18.7 million subscribers on his primary channel. After gaining fame on Vine, the short-video app, he and a group of friends called the “Vlog Squad” began creating short, comedic content often involving stunts for sites such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.
Late Thursday night, Sisters Uncut, a provocative feminist organization that has emerged as a leader of the most forceful protests in Britain’s growing national movement around women’s safety, declared a small victory.
“We’ve delayed the #PoliceCrackdownBill,” the group announced on Twitter. “This is a victory, but we will not stop.”
The announcement was just the latest evidence that this movement differs from past campaigns that opposed violence against women in general terms but that rarely made sweeping demands.
Women are furious not just about the death of Sarah Everard, 33, in London — a police officer has been charged in her kidnapping and killing — but about what they see as a heavy-handed and misogynist response from the police afterward. They are directing their anger at law enforcement and the justice system, and pushing to scrap a proposed police and crime bill, which would create sweeping new restrictions on protests and grant broad new powers to the police.
the arrest of a police officer over her killing, have led many to conclude that the police are an active threat. Women’s safety and freedom, they argue, can come only from much deeper social changes — and any policy change in response to Ms. Everard’s death should focus on those.
Impunity for Sexual Violence
Margaret Atwood famously said that there was nothing in her novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” that did not happen to women somewhere, at some point in history. That is often treated as evidence of in-depth sourcing, but in fact it is the force behind the novel’s visceral central horror: that any protection women might think would be offered by democracy, education, wealth or race can all too easily disappear in an instant.
For many women in Britain, Ms. Everard’s killing and the police’s violent dispersal of a London vigil in her memory have triggered a similar horror, on a less dystopian scale, about how unprotected they truly are. It has become a moment, too, to reflect on the suffering of women of color, and other groups targeted for abuse, that has long been ignored.
promised new actions to improve women’s safety: more CCTV cameras, better street lighting, and plainclothes police in bars and clubs to watch for attacks on female patrons. And it campaigned for more support for the police and crime bill, which would grant sweeping new powers to police departments across the country.
All those responses seemed grounded in the theory that women felt unsafe because there were not enough police, with enough power, in enough places.
the police action in Clapham last weekend was against one protest. But statistics tell a story of many more widespread failures.
From 2019 to 2020, less than 3 percent of rapes reported to the police were prosecuted, according to government statistics. And if unreported cases are taken into account, the real prosecution rate is even lower.
“Rape has been decriminalized, frankly,” said Emily Gray, a lecturer at Derby University who studies policing.
A 2019 report by the British newspaper The Independent found that 568 London police officers were accused of sexual assault between 2012 and 2018, but only 43 faced disciplinary proceedings. And from April 2015 to April 2018, there were at least 700 reports of domestic violence by police officers and police staff, according to documents obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalists from 37 of Britain’s 48 police forces.
Opponents of the police and crime bill, which would grant the police wide-ranging power to shut down protests, argue that it would make scenes like the one on Clapham Common more frequent, and would not stop the most prevalent forms of violence against women.
“Violence against women usually comes from a power imbalance,” Dr. Gray said. One reason the police bill is being attacked, she said, is that “it doesn’t do anything about that at all.”
So what are the alternatives? Different groups tend to focus on different remedies.
Sisters Uncut, which was founded in 2014 in response to government austerity measures that slashed funding for women’s shelters and other help for women at risk, has long demanded that such services be reinstated.
Perpetrator programs, which work intensively with abusive men to prevent them from attacking their partners, have shown some promise in cases where the abusers are committed to change, said Dr. Westmarland, who has studied them.
“The physical and sexual abuse reduced quite substantially and in some cases was eliminated altogether,” she said. But she noted that the programs had not been effective at reducing coercive control — the domineering emotional abuse that is the hallmark of domestic violence and that is deeply traumatic in its own right.
One belief that cuts across nearly all the groups involved — including mainstream ones like the Women’s Institute, the largest women’s organization in the country — is that education must be a centerpiece of any change.
Such education could be “a real shot at prevention, and shaping some of the prevalent attitudes that greatly hurt girls and women, as well as nonbinary people, in our society,” said Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University and the author of two books on the ways sexism shapes society, said in an interview.
But while education might sound like the kind of anodyne concept that anyone could support, Dr. Manne said via text message that she believed it would actually be quietly radical for education to address the politically charged issues of misogyny, male privilege and male responsibility for ending male violence.
“Can you imagine if sex education became political?” she asked. “Sigh. It’s my dream, though.”
ISTANBUL — In two surprise midnight decrees, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdrew Turkey from an international treaty on preventing violence against women and removed the head of the central bank, moves likely to please his followers but further estrange him from Western partners.
Mr. Erdogan had floated the idea of withdrawing from the treaty, known as the Istanbul Convention, for more than a year as he courted conservative and nationalist followers to shore up his flagging popularity. Opposition parties and women’s groups were opposed amid concerns over rising violence against women in Turkey and women’s groups immediately announced a protest rally on Saturday afternoon.
The president, who has increasingly insisted on greater control over the Central Bank, appears to have opposed a raising of interest rates by the central bank chief, Naci Agbal, before dismissing him.
Mr. Erdogan has steadily concentrated more authority into his own hands over his 18 years in power and his latest actions came amid a flurry of attacks on political opponents that seem intended to solidify his political base.
purchasing the Russian S400 missile system, and facing heavy fines against the state bank Halkbank for its role in violating sanctions against Iran. Mr. Biden has not talked to Mr. Erdogan since taking office, but his administration officials have already brought concerns about human rights into the mix.
Mr. Erdogan has also reiterated his desire to join the European Union. But his latest actions were announced just after a video conference with senior E.U. officials on Friday in which they called for a de-escalation in tensions and the moves appeared to be a calculated snub.
The Council of Europe said on Saturday that Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention was “deplorable because it compromises the protection of women of women in Turkey, across Europe and beyond.”
described the move as “a despicable act of recidivism, as well as a harbinger of early elections.”
Burak Ulgen, a writer, tweeted: “Abolishing Istanbul Convention means patting the men on the back, and tell them ‘Please go ahead you can kill women.’ The blood of all the women murdered in this country is on your hands.”
The decrees followed recent attacks on political opponents of Mr. Erdogan that seemed aimed at satisfying his political supporters.
On Wednesday, Turkey’s top prosecutor filed a complaint to the Constitutional Court to close down H.D.P., the largest pro-Kurdish party, accusing it of links to a Kurdish militant group. That brought a swift warning from the State Department that such a move “would unduly subvert the will of Turkish voters.”
On the same day, the Turkish Parliament voted to strip a prominent H.D.P. lawmaker and human rights advocate of his seat and ordered him removed from the chamber. And on Friday, a leader of the country’s Human Rights Association was detained in a morning raid on his house, one of similar 20 detentions in Istanbul and Ankara.
Mr. Erdogan’s moves against the H.D.P. and human rights defenders who are considered sympathetic to the Kurds are seen as a political calculation to raise the standing of his alliance with the Nationalist Movement Party, which has been losing support to its rival Iyi Party in recent months. The tactics also appear to be an attempt to divide the opposition.