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News :: Gender
Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
21 May 2005
An activist in the vegetarian movement allegedly assaulted a young woman at a national animal rights conference. This has led to the creation of a web page which may expand to include other reports of sexual abusers in activist communties.
The following alert is being distributed by the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference:

With this posting we seek to provide a way to protect women in the animal advocacy community and show sexual assaulters that they will not find a safe haven in this movement.

A criminal complaint charging sexual abuse has been filed against Christian Vegetarian Association founder and former International Director Nathan Braun.

Nathan's picture is posted at http://www.SexualAssaultWatch.org/NathanBraun/

At the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference in New York City last month, in the church where many of the activists were staying, a young woman describes "In the middle of the night, I woke up to him [Nathan Braun] rubbing my vagina, trying to finger me, groping my body..."

In our subsequent investigation, at least three other women that he met at animal rights conferences have come forward and reported unwanted aggressive physical advances by Nathan Braun.

In response to the charges last month, Nathan, a self-described "polygamist," said that he "would not be surprised at all" if he had indeed done what she described, but chalked it up to "sexsomnia." If he did do it, he claimed, he did it while he was asleep. Within days, though, he dropped the sexsomnia defense entirely and now evidently denies the assault completely. Nathan now feels he has become an object of prejudice for being, in his words, "one of the very few young 'handsome'-ish, xian [Christian] alpha males in attendance."

We believe that sexual assaulters should be held accountable for their actions within the movement. The predictable response when someone is held accountable is for that person who is accused of sexual assault to deny the act, to minimize the act, to blame the victim, and to threaten those who hold him accountable. We urge Nathan and any one else in the movement who may have sexually victimized others, to chose a more just response: First, to stop sexually harassing and sexually assaulting women, second, acknowledge what they have done, and third, provide restitution to the assault survivor(s) and meet their demands and that of the community. We say to him and anyone else who acts in ways that violates women's boundaries: "You are responsible for your behavior and we hold you accountable for that behavior." We recommend that anyone with sexual assault complaints against them not be allowed to attend, speak, or table at an animal rights venue until he satisfactorily answers to the accusations.

The Christian Vegetarian Association should be commended for doing the right thing and swiftly disassociating themselves from Nathan once they were informed of the situation.

The Grassroots Animal Rights Conference was proactive in setting forth an explicit zero tolerance policy against sexual harrassment and assault. Sexual assault in the animal advocacy community affects us all. It destroys trust, exploits vulnerable individuals, and bankrupts the claims of a movement that speaks about equality and challenges oppressions. This is harmful to the individual women for whom sexual assault can cause physical, psychological, and spiritual damage, but it is also harmful to the movement. It creates a climate in which some of us cannot feel safe in our activism. Sexual assault should not be the cost of being a woman animal activist.

(a printable version of this alert is available at
http://www.sexualassaultwatch.org/nathanbraun/flyer.pdf)
See also:
http://www.sexualassaultwatch.org/nathanbraun

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
21 May 2005
gee whiz, I thought this site always proclaimed "innocent until proven guilty". Guess not. Just print uninvestigated and unvetted allegations as truth. that's fair. here's a thought. Prove your case (beyond a reasonable doubt of course) and then blacklist.
Re: Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
21 May 2005
YES
Interesting Article.
22 May 2005
So, from that article I have deduced that eating a strictly vegetarian diet may cause "sexsomnia" as an unwanted side effect.

Seems like the animal rights movement have a problem with deviant sexual behavior, and have tried to address this problem at their conference.

Thank you Boston IMC for bringing this to my attention.

(all this time I thought it was eating red meat that made males aggressive and testosterone crazed.)
Re: Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
22 May 2005
.
How is this going to empower anyone? This offers absolutly no resources on communication, consent, self defense, solidarity against violence, or trama care. Alot of people have been allied in the struggle to stop violence against women and splashing creeps photos around hasnt been a top priority of the victums. This just seems like sensational revenge getting.

p.s. how many arab women did American troops rape or kill today then force thier hungry dogs to eat their rotting corpses? Can I submit US troops photos as animal abusing sexual assaulters?
Re: Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
22 May 2005
h-fries, thank you for posting this article and helping spread awareness of this threat to prevent it from happening in the future. it's really discouraging to see people who are supposed to be allies in the struggle doing this kind of stuff. what a creep.
It looks like a bully website to me.
22 May 2005
I suspect the owner of the website will be sued for libel unless the charges are proved in a court of law. I understand that sexual assault is a significant crime and defaming someone for it should have a high standard of proof. I'm sure the U.S. Government will have a ball getting the site's owner to list any activist that it wishes to silence.
Re: Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
23 May 2005
We have no way to verify any of the facts stated on the web site.

A link to a police report?

What about his side of the story?

If this guy is cleared of the alleged charges, I hope he sues the shit out the owner of that site for libel.
Re: Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
23 May 2005
homefries- thanks for posting this info! people do need to be aware of allegations. we were at that conference, sleeping at that church! even with all the workshops on oppression within grassroots movements, goes to show that no where is a "safe place."
More Creeps To Avoid: Rapist Recruiters
23 May 2005
Ooops, They Did It Again: Army Recruiter Is Charged With Rape

Gainesville Police arrested a U.S. Army recruiter Thursday, alleging he raped a woman who had gone to the local recruiting office and was interested in joining the military.

George O. Kirkman, 40, a staff sergeant who enlisted in the Army in 1990, has been charged with sexual battery, police reported.

The case was filed the same day the Army halted recruiting nationwide because of allegations of misconduct around the country. The move by the Army, called a "stand down," took place after reports that a recruiter made threats to get someone to sign up, and another offered to help a student fake a diploma and pass a drug test.

http://www.gainesville.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050521/LOCAL/505
Re: Activist Allegedly Sexually Assaulted a Young Woman at a National Animal Rights Gathering
24 May 2005
Well, the title of this article does say the charges are "alleged", not proven. And there are four different people making accusations. I'd say that's pretty serious and people--especially women--need to know about this, to make sure such conferences remain safe spaces. Now, if it turns out the charges are false, I would say that the people who went to the effort to publicize the charges have the responsibility to let everyone know that the charges are false. But four separate accusations are pretty serious.