Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

Gun control’s weary warriors have been searching for a way to appeal to Republicans and give the issue a pulse in Congress. A couple of Midwestern women Democrats may have found a way to do it, by tying it to domestic violence.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and Michigan Representative Debbie Dingell are pressing legislation to take guns out of the hands of men who abuse women. On Wednesday, Dingell introduced a bill along with a Republican, Robert Dold of Illinois, mirroring legislation Klobuchar reintroduced earlier this year in targeting those convicted of stalking and abusive dating partners.

For both women, the issue is personal. As a county prosecutor, Klobuchar helped establish some of the first domestic violence service centers in the nation before coming to Congress. Dingell grew up in a household where domestic violence and guns were a constant worry.

 

 

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As we mark the 12th anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Sierra Leone gives us a reason to celebrate. Earlier this month, following years of prolonged advocacy from local and regional groups, it became the 37th African Union State to ratify what is also known as the ‘Maputo Protocol’.

 

The Protocol guarantees comprehensive rights to women and provides a formidable legal framework to address the violence and discrimination against them. It was informed by African realities and negotiated by Africans for Africans.

It calls for the elimination of discrimination against women through a raft of prescribed interventions. It prohibits all forms of female genital mutilation (FGM) as well as other harmful practices. It recognizes the particular vulnerability of certain groups of women including elderly women and women with disabilities. The right of women to peace and their participation in the promotion and maintenance of peace is upheld. It also promotes the rights of women to live in a positive cultural context.

By ratifying the Protocol, Sierra Leone has made a progressive move towards legal protection that will complement national laws relating to women and girls. According to the Human Development Report (2014), Sierra Leone’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) value of 0.643 ranks it at 139 out of 149 countries. 

 

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I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history. And I have just been blessed with the most astonishing human responses to that attack.

What happened to me while head of the popular online forum Reddit for the past eight months is important to consider as we confront the ways in which the Internet is evolving.

The Internet started as a bastion for free expression. It encouraged broad engagement and a diversity of ideas. Over time, however, that openness has enabled the harassment of people for their views, experiences, appearances or demographic backgrounds. Balancing free expression with privacy and the protection of participants has always been a challenge for open-content platforms on the Internet. But that balancing act is getting harder. The trolls are winning.

Fully 40 percent of online users have experienced bullying, harassment and intimidation, according to Pew Research. Some 70 percent of users between age 18 and 24 say they’ve been the target of harassers. Not surprisingly, women and minorities have it worst. We were naive in our initial expectations for the Internet, an early Internet pioneer told me recently. We focused on the huge opportunity for positive interaction and information sharing. We did not understand how people could use it to harm others.

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La mayoría de las cubanas no tienen acceso a Internet, como le sucede a este grupo que asiste a la presentación de un libro sobre temas de género en La Habana Vieja. Llegar a ellas es parte de los retos pendientes para las ciberactivistas que usan la blogosfera y las redes sociales como espacios de denuncia y discusión sobre los derechos de las mujeres. Crédito: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

Con blogs, correos electrónicos, tuits o comentarios en Facebook y otras redes sociales las feministas de Cuba comenzaron a llevar al debate público sus críticas al machismo imperante en esta isla caribeña.

A falta de espacios diversos para la participación social y política que integren sus demandas a las transformaciones en curso en el país, quienes defienden los derechos de las mujeres encontraron en las nuevas tecnologías de la información y la comunicación (TICS), un canal sin censura para extender sus opiniones.

“Las redes sociales y los blogs llevan la lucha por la equidad al escenario digital, pero también permiten establecer alianzas para la visibilidad de ciertos contenidos y crear redes de colaboración”, confirmó a IPS la afrocubana Sandra Abdallah Álvarez, precursora del ciberactivismo en esta nación de gobierno socialista. 

El blog Negra Cubana Tenía que Ser, que ella gestiona desde 2006, comparte sistemáticamente artículos e informaciones contra el racismo, el sexismo, la homofobia y otras discriminaciones que tienen como objetivo a las mujeres en Cuba.

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Dear Friends:

At its International Council Meeting to be held in Dublin, from 7-11 August 2015, Amnesty International will review an internal circular entitled "Draft Policy on Sex Work" and plans to vote on whether to call on governments to decriminalize pimping, brothel owning and prostitutors ("buyers of sex").

Below and available by click is an  open letter to Amnesty exhorting them not to adopt, under any circumstance, a policy that endorses and calls for the full decriminalization of the sex trade.

Should you wish to sign this letter to Amnesty Interational, please send us your name and the name of your organization or affiliation, if applicable, by close of business (New York time) Tuesday,

July 21.  Although I am not so naïve to think this letter is not at risk of being leaked prior to it being sent to Amnesty (although I hope it won't), please send it to your respective listservs as discreetly as possible for their signatures.

Please don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or comments.

Taina Bien-Aimé,

Executive Director

Coalition Against Trafficking in Women

 tbien-aime@catwinternational.org

 

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Ira Gelb
The basis of Sweden’s legislation is that prostitution is a form of male violence against women and children.

In a centuries-deep sea of clichés despairing that 'prostitution will always be with us,’ one country's success stands out as a solitary beacon lighting the way. Since the introduction of a revolutionary prostitution law in 1999, Sweden dramatically reduced the number of its women in prostitution. Between 1999 and 2008, the number of women in street prostitution was halved.1 In many major Swedish cities, street prostitution has all but disappeared. Gone too, for the most part, are the renowned Swedish brothels and massage parlors that proliferated during the last three decades of the twentieth century when prostitution in Sweden was legal.

In addition, the number of foreign women now being trafficked into Sweden for sex is nil. In 2013, the Swedish authorities reported only 41 suspected victims of human trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, a figure that's negligible compared to the 15,000 to 17,000 females yearly sex-trafficked into neighboring Finland.2 No other country, nor any other social experiment, has come anywhere near Sweden's promising results.

By what complex formula has Sweden managed this feat? Amazingly, Sweden's strategy isn't complex at all. Its tenets, in fact, seem so simple and so firmly anchored in common sense as to immediately spark the question, "Why hasn't anyone tried this before?"

 

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More than 80% of the girls in some states’ juvenile detention centers suffered sexual or physical abuse before they were incarcerated, according to a new study released by the Human Rights Project for Girls, the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality, and the Ms. Foundation for Women.

In Oregon, the study found that 93% of imprisoned girls had a history of sexual or physical abuse, including 76% who were sexually abused before the age of 13. In California, 81% of jailed girls had been abused, including 45% who were raped or sodomized and 45% who were burned or beaten.

For many of those girls, the experience of abuse didn’t merely heighten their risk of incarceration but served as its fundamental cause – a phenomenon the report describes as the “Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline.”

In some cases, the criminalization of abuse is overt – in many states, girls as young as 13 can be arrested for prostitution. But the report points to a more prevalent and insidious way that experiences of abuse propel girls into prisons.

According to the Justice Department, girls accounted for only 16% of all juvenile detainees in 2011, but made up nearly 40% of those detained for so-called status offenses – acts like running away, truancy, or alcohol possession, which only constitute crimes because of the perpetrator’s age.

The report notes that these offenses, the most common crimes for which girls are arrested, are also among the most common symptoms of childhood abuse.

“What we see is a commitment on the part of law enforcement to arrest for non-violent status offenses that include truancy, running away, and loitering,” Malika Saada Saar, the executive director of the Human Rights Project for Girls, told reporters in a conference call. “All behaviors that correlate with childhood sexual abuse, with a child that is being abused and is trying to protect herself.”

The primary justification for jailing girls whose lawbreaking is caused by abuse is that juvenile detention centers can provide them with necessary rehabilitative services. But the report argues that “justification cannot counterbalance the significant psychological and physical harms created by commitment.”

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Direct Link to Full 48-Page 2015 Report:

http://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/centers-institutes/poverty-inequality/upload/2015_COP_sexual-abuse_layout_web-2.pdf

 

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Atención multidisciplinaria en situaciones de acecho, agresiones sexuales y violencia doméstica - Aspecto médico de la violencia hacia las mujeres

Conferencia ofrecida por la Dra. Linda R. Laras García el 21 de mayo de 2015. La conferencia fué coordinada por el Programa de Prevención de Violencia hacia las Mujeres del Recinto de Río Piedras de la Universidad de Puerto Rico.

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By Hikma Ahmed, ACAL

Saadia Rajab is a 22 year old Sudanese woman who was charged with adultery and sentenced to death by stoning.

When she first appeared at the Alhaj-Yousf/Bahri Public Order Court in the north of Khartoum, Saadia did not have any legal representation and admitted that she had a relationship with a man while being married to another. She was sentenced to "lapidation" (stoning to death) under Article 146 of the Sudanese Criminal Act of 1991[i] But, in accordance with Article 144g of Sudan's 1991 Criminal Procedure Law, the judge postponed implementation of the sentence and ordered her to return to court after a month.

At her second court appearance on 28 June, Lawyers from the Aid Center for Advocacy and Legal Consultation (ACAL), the free legal defence group, intervened and took up her case. Saadia told them that her husband had been absent for more than one year. Lawyers at ACAL were aware that some experts on Islamic jurisprudence state that the absence of a husband for at least one year is tantamount to divorce and is, therefore, grounds for cancellation of a stoning sentence.

So, upon the advice of her lawyers, Saadia explained to the court that her husband had been absent for more than one year and on that basis pleaded not guilty to adultery. The judge (Altaher Khalifa) summoned Saadia’s husband, who had filed the adultery charges against her, and encouraged the couple to enter into an informal settlement. The man subsequently admitted that he had abandoned her for over a year and withdrew his complaint.

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Annotation: 

This summary report of a study of intimate partner homicide (IPH) among Latinos in America determined its rate, characteristics, and trends compared to IPH among Whites and African-Americans.

 

Abstract: 

Overall, the study found significant differences in the proportion of IPHs between Latinos and non-Latinos for each racial group (White, Black, and “other“), but was most striking compared to IPH among Whites. Twenty-two percent of homicides among Whites involved IPH; 10 percent of Black homicides were IPHs; 10 percent of Latino homicides were IPHs; and 17 percent of homicides among “other“ races were IPHs.

Regarding the age and gender of IPH victims, Latino victims were more likely to be in the 35-64 age group.

Relative to other homicides, IPH was 21 times higher for Latino women than Latino men.

Racial/ethnic comparisons were also made regarding the gender of IPH offenders, the circumstances of the homicide, whether or not alcohol/drug abuse was involved, prior history of abuse, weapon used in the homicide, and marital status. Data for this study were obtained from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NVDRS is the first national surveillance system for violent deaths It provides systematic, accurate, and timely data on violent deaths. For this study, data pertain to variables related to incidents; victims; suspects; death certificates; coroner/medical examiner/hospital; law enforcement; victim-suspect relationship; and weapon used. Data on race/ethnicity were obtained from death certificates. 3 tables and 13 references

FULL STUDY PDF AVAILABLE ONLINE HERE

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Una comisión de expertas y expertos diseñará la estructura y la misión en los próximos sesenta días.

La UFEM es la primera unidad creada en la Procuración General de la Nación con la aplicación de la nueva Ley Orgánica del Ministerio Público Fiscal. Responde, en parte, a “la histórica manifestación realizada bajo el lema Ni Una Menos”.

 
 

 

 Por Soledad Vallejos

La Procuración General de la Nación creó la Unidad Fiscal Especializada en Violencia contra las Mujeres (UFEM), que tiene “carácter permanente” y responde a “la necesidad de jerarquizar la estructura” fiscal dedicada específicamente a estos delitos. La resolución 1960/2015, que establece su funcionamiento, señala que la UFEM “es la reacción institucional a demandas de distintos órdenes”: los compromisos internacionales del Estado argentino y las exigencias de la ley de protección de violencia contra las mujeres; “un claro reclamo social” que fue visibilizado por “la histórica manifestación realizada días atrás bajo el lema Ni Una Menos”, y la necesidad de jerarquizar y profundizar lo realizado por “el Programa de Políticas de Género y por dispositivos similares de otros Ministerios Públicos Fiscales”.

 
 
 

PERSPECTIVA

Desde hace un mes la sociedad se puso de pie y acordó decir basta, reafirmar el derecho a decir no a lo que no se quiere, no se desea y no se acepta, y decir sí a lo que cada mujer elige por ella. Por eso, se pidió:

 

1. La puesta en marcha e instrumentación en su totalidad y con la asignación de presupuesto acorde de la LEY N º 26.485, "Ley de Protección Integral para Prevenir, Sancionar y Erradicar la Violencia contra las Mujeres en los ámbitos en que desarrollen sus relaciones interpersonales".

2. Recopilación y publicación de estadísticas oficiales sobre violencia hacia las mujeres incluyendo los índices de femicidios.

3. Apertura y funcionamiento pleno de Oficinas de Violencia Doméstica de la Corte Suprema de Justicia en todas las provincias, con el objeto de agilizar las medidas cautelares de protección. Federalización de la línea 137.

4. Garantías para la protección de las víctimas de violencia. Implementación del monitoreo electrónico de los victimarios para asegurar que no violen las restricciones de acercamiento que impone la Justicia.

5. Garantías para el acceso de las víctimas a la Justicia. Atención de personal capacitado para recibir las denuncias en cada fiscalía y cada comisaría. Vinculación de las causas de los fueros civil y penal. Patrocinio jurídico gratuito para las víctimas durante todo el proceso judicial.

6. Garantías para el cumplimiento del derecho de la niñez con un patrocinio jurídico especializado y capacitado en la temática.

7. Creación de más Hogares/Refugio en la emergencia, Hogares de Día para víctimas, y subsidio habitacional, con una asistencia interdisciplinaria desde una perspectiva de género.

8. Incorporación y profundización en todas las currículas educativas de los diferentes niveles de la educación sexual integral con perspectiva de género, la temática de la violencia machista y dictado de talleres para prevenir noviazgos violentos.

9. Capacitaciones obligatorias en la temática de violencia machista al personal del Estado, a los agentes de seguridad y a los operadores judiciales, así como a profesionales que trabajan con la temática de violencia en diferentes dependencias oficiales de todo el país.

 

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Direct Link to Full 9-Page 2015 Study Document: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/law-0000037.pdf

This study tests whether there is substantial undercounting of sexual assault by universities. It compares the sexual assault data submitted by universities while being audited for Clery Act violations with the data from years before and after such audits. If schools report higher rates of sexual assault during times of higher regulatory scrutiny (audits), then that result would support the conclusion that universities are failing to accurately tally incidents of sexual assault during other time periods.

The study finds that university reports of sexual assault increase by approximately 44% during the audit period. After the audit is completed, the reported sexual assault rates drop to levels statistically indistinguishable from the pre-audit time frame. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that the ordinary practice of universities is to undercount incidents of sexual assault. Only during periods in which schools are audited do they appear to offer a more complete picture of sexual assault levels on campus.

Further, the data indicate that the audits have no long-term effect on the reported levels of sexual assault, as those crime rates return to previous levels after the audit is completed. This last finding is supported even in instances when fines are issued for noncompliance. The study tests for a similar result with the tracked crimes of aggravated assault, robbery, and burglary, but reported crimes show no statistically significant differences before, during, or after audits.

The results of the study point toward 2 broader conclusions directly relevant to policymaking in this area. First, greater financial and personnel resources should be allocated commensurate with the severity of the problem and not based solely on university reports of sexual assault levels. Second, the frequency of auditing should be increased, and statutorily capped fines should be raised to deter transgressors from continuing to undercount sexual violence. The Campus Accountability and Safety Act, presently before Congress, provides an important step in that direction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

 

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Evidence Rating: No Effects - More than one study 

Program Description

Program Goals

The Sexual Assault Risk Reduction Program was a rape prevention program for college students. The program was designed to teach about the prevalence of sexual assault, distinguish between myths and facts about rape and rapists, describe techniques women can use to increase personal safety; and identify agencies that can assist victims of sexual assault. The overall goal of the program was to reduce the occurrence of sexual assault by increasing women’s use of self-protective strategies and enhancing women’s self-efficacy in responding to threatening situations.

.....

Evaluation Outcomes:

Across three evaluations of the Sexual Assault Risk Reduction program, no significant differences between the treatment and comparison groups were found for any of the behavioral measures. Although there were statistically significant differences for the rape-myth acceptance and protective-dating behaviors outcomes, these differences were small and were the only significant outcomes for the attitudinal measures.  Overall, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the intervention did not impact sexual assault for program participants.

SEE FULL STUDY REPORT HERE

 

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Delegates to the first Summit of Women Leaders of African Descent of the Americas taking part in one of the working groups organised during the three-day gathering held Jun. 26-28 in Managua, Nicaragua. Credit: José Adán Silva/IPS

MANAGUA, Jun 29 2015 (IPS) - They say they are tired of waiting for justice after centuries of neglect and contempt due to the color of their skin. Black women leaders from 22 countries of the Americas have decided to create a political platform that set a 10-year target for empowering women of African descent and overcoming discrimination.

“We’re going to fight with all of our strength to break the chains of racism and racially-motivated violence,” Shary García from Colombia told IPS at the end of the first Summit of Women Leaders of African Descent of the Americas, which drew 270 delegates to Managua Jun. 26-28.

García said the three days of debates in the Nicaraguan capital gave rise to the Political Declaration of Managua, whose 17 demands and central themes are aimed at eradicating discrimination based on a combination of racial and gender reasons in the Americas.

“It wasn’t easy to sum up in 17 ideas the complaints and demands of 270 women and their families, who have experienced discrimination, violence and the denial of their rights all their lives. But each and every one of us who came here knows that this is how the beginning of the end of discrimination starts.”

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Remedies for Forced Marriage - A Handbook for Lawyers brings together expert commentaries by lawyers and activists working on the issue of forced marriages and interference with choice in marriage in four different countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

The Handbook is intended to assist those seeking legal remedies in such cases, and in particular to prevent forced marriages, and protect those affected. While aimed primarily at lawyers, we hope that it will also be useful for voluntary sector workers, social workers and women’s rights advocates and activists seeking to identify available legal remedies.

The Handbook discusses available remedies in four countries for securing the right to choice in marriage. While focusing on legal remedies – available through the courts – it also identifies practical steps to be taken prior to or alongside any attempted legal action.

The Handbook is divided into two parts, the first on the United Kingdom and the second on the three countries in South Asia. In each case the discussion on legal remedies focuses broadly around four broad areas, namely applicable laws, the court system, the criteria for validity of marriage, and remedies for prevention and protection. The discussion on remedies in the UK differs significantly from that in the other countries, reflecting the different legal systems.

Cover page
Inside cover and dedication
Table of contents
Introduction
Part I: Remedies in United Kingdom
1 Legal Remedies for Forced Marriage in United Kingdom
Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE and Teertha Gupta QC
2 Escaping Forced Marriage: Non-Legal Remedies in United Kingdom
Hannana Siddiqui
Part 2: Remedies in South Asia
3 Remedies for Forced Marriage in Bangladesh
Sara Hossain
4 Remedies for Forced Marriage in India
Asmita Basu and Jayna Kothari
5 Remedies for Forced Marriage in Pakistan
Sohail Akbar Warraich
Acknowledgements
Acronyms
Glossary
List of Laws
List of Cases

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Hay organizaciones que están desarrollando aplicaciones de alerta que periodistas, defensores de derechos humanos y otras personas pueden utilizar para enviar un mensaje de emergencia a sus amigos y compañeros de trabajo si sienten que corren un peligro inmediato. Crédito: Johan Larsson / cc by 2.0

NACIONES UNIDAS, 24 jun 2015 (IPS) - El uso generalizado de la tecnología digital, como las imágenes satelitales, las cámaras adheridas al cuerpo y los teléfonos inteligentes, es una nueva herramienta para registrar y denunciar la violación de los derechos humanos en el mundo.

“Todos hemos visto cómo se registran en los teléfonos celulares las acciones de agentes de policía y otras personas que utilizan una fuerza excesiva, y eso conduce a medidas contra los responsables”, declaró el relator especial de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) sobre ejecuciones extrajudiciales, Christof Heyns

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“La lucha feminista y la defensa de los derechos humanos ha de sobrepasar fronteras y culturas”

Femen publica un manifiesto para explicar la ideología y metodología de acción del movimiento

Madrid, 25 junio. 15, AmecoPress. Una acción en la embajada de Túnez en Madrid daba el 6 de junio de 2013 el inicio de la rama española de Femen –el movimiento feminista ucraniano que se caracteriza por usar el desnudo de las mujeres como arma política-. Pero fue un mes antes, a principios de mayo, cuando Lara Alcázar (Asturias, 1991) y apenas cuatro compañeras más iniciaban su andadura revolucionaria. Dos años más tarde, las activistas de Femen España se encuentran presentando el ‘Manifiesto Femen’, con el que quieren dar a conocer su movimiento “por dentro” y facilitar la participación de quienes quieran sumarse a él.

Lara habla rápido y claro. Su seguridad no es impostura ni simple estrategia, sino una conquista propia de quien hace aquello que cree, con valentía. Se defiende bien de las numerosas y variadas críticas que Femen recibe de hombres y mujeres, también del feminismo, pero es humilde y aboga por la inclusión. Radical –en el sentido de ir a la raíz- y políticamente incorrecta.

ENTREVISTA AQUI

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EXCERPT:

Carey and Ohlsen's studies were unprecedented before local police began to characterize child prostitutes as sex trafficking victims in 2009. It's a step in the right direction: the classification places more of the burden on trafficking suspects than victims. Here are some more of Carey's findings:

  • 469 child sex trafficking victims were identified between 2009 and 2013.
  • The average age of victims was 15. The youngest was 8.
  • 96 percent of the victims were female.
  • 40 percent of the victims were white, 27 percent were black and 5 percent were Hispanic.
  • Nearly 17 percent of victims had a child of their own when they were identified.
  • 62 percent of victims were dealing with addiction issues.
 
 

SEE FULL ARTICLE HERE

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The dozens of women piling into roller coasters together at Six Flags amusement park in New Jersey one recent spring day didn't all speak the same language. But they shared another bond — each one had found the courage to escape an arranged marriage. The women were celebrating their independence and their new community with the local group that had made their leap possible, a legal services non-profit called Unchained At Last. 

LISTEN TO AUDIO HERE:

It's a labor of love for its founder, Fraidy Reiss. She grew up in Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community where her arranged marriage at the age of 19 was not unusual. 

"The adults in my life who knew me were telling me that this was the right thing and that this was a great guy, and he is the perfect match for you," she says. "It didn't occur to me to question that, or to think otherwise. Saying no to a match was a scary prospect." 

Reiss remembers the exact moment when she realized her husband wasn't the man she'd hoped for. It was a week after her wedding. 

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Annotation: 

Recognizing that one of the most traumatic events a child can experience is the arrest of a parent in the presence of the child, this report presents model practices for such arrests.

 

Abstract: 

Law enforcement agencies are in a unique position to limit this harm to a child in three key ways. First, modify arrest procedures to make them less traumatic for children. Second, adopt protocols that ensure children have immediate support from competent caregivers and are otherwise protected from harm in the aftermath of a parental arrest. Third, collaborate with social workers and child advocates in connecting children of arrested parents with the services they need. With these broad recommendations as a guide, this report outlines several model protocols and practices that law enforcement agencies can use in conducting arrests of parents whose children are present at the scene of an arrest. Among the topics discussed are the effects and extent of exposure to trauma and violence in children; current efforts at the national, State, and local levels to improve the treatment of children during parental arrests; and detailed model practices for improving the treatment of children during a parental arrest. Attention is give to model protocols for planning an arrest to determine whether children will be at the scene, ways officers can be attentive to the needs of the children while observing proper and safe arrest procedures, and ways in which police agencies can work with child-serving agencies to ensure that children’s needs are being met while the parent is in custody. Appended supplementary information and samples of aids that can be used

FULL PDF FREE ONLINE HERE

SAMPLE PAGE FROM GUIDE...

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Un informe que llegó a Associated Press señala que los cascos azules asignados por la ONU a Haití participaron en “transacciones” que implicaban relaciones sexuales a cambio de alimentos y medicamentos con más de 200 mujeres y niñas. Ell propio informe subraya que muchos de los casos de violencia sexual no llegan a quedar registrados.

Según un nuevo informe de la Oficina de Servicios de Supervisión Interna de la ONU (OSSI) en posesión de la agencia de noticias, una tercera parte de los presuntos casos de explotación y violencia sexual implica a menores de 18 años.

Estas atrocidades vieron la luz después de que un grupo de investigadores entrevistara a 231 personas en Haití que afirman haber sido obligadas a realizar prácticas sexuales con cascos azules de la ONU a cambio de la posibilidad de ver satisfechas sus necesidades más elementales.

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La trata de personas y su explotación sexual es una pesadilla en América Latina y a nivel mundial. El problema es ignorado a pesar de ser el tercer negocio más lucrativo, tras el narcotráfico y la venta de armas. Además según la ONU, más de 4,000.000 mujeres son vendidas cada año para servir en prostitución, esclavitud o matrimonio, y más de 2,000.000 niñas son introducidas en el comercio sexual.

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It is very likely that Pope Francis will issue an encyclical Thursday that will endorse the scientific consensus that the earth is warming and that this change in climate is caused in large part by greenhouse gases generated by human activity. One cheer for the pope! All things considered, it obviously is a good thing that the pope recognizes the reality of climate change.

Unfortunately, when it comes to proposing remedies for the problem, the pope ignores one of the principal underlying causes, not just for global warming, but for other looming ecological disasters.

The pope will apparently recommend reduction in the use of fossil fuels. Sure, yes, that will help and virtually everyone agrees that should be done. Of course, how to bring about this reduction in fossil fuels without adverse economic consequences is a subject of much debate, and here, apparently, the pope has nothing to offer but nostrums. Exhortations to lead a simpler life and a call for richer nations to assist poorer nations in the transition away from fossil fuels sound more like wishful thinking than practical solutions.

There is one very practical measure, immediately realizable and eminently feasible that is, as it were, staring the pope right in the face: The pope should not only end the Catholic Church's morally absurd and repugnant opposition to contraception, but should urge all families to engage in responsible family planning.

Reducing population growth would have a substantial positive effect on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. One persuasive scientific analysis indicates that reducing population growth could help achieve 37 percent to 41 percent of the targeted reduction in emissions by the end of the century. This paper also pointed out that "there is a substantial unmet need for family planning and reproductive health services in many countries."

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-N.Y.) proposed military sexual assault reform that failed Tuesday in the Senate by a vote of 50-49. | MANDEL NGAN via Getty Images
 
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's (D-N.Y.) proposed military sexual assault reform fell short on Tuesday of the 60 votes it needed to pass in the Senate, for the second year in a row.

Gillibrand's bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act would have removed sexual assault cases from the military chain of the command and established an independent justice system to handle those crimes. Gillibrand said military rape victims are afraid to report their crimes because they don't trust the chain of command not to retaliate against them for doing so. According to the latestDepartment of Defense survey, three out of four servicemembers don't trust the system enough to report their assaults, and one in seven military sexual assault survivors said their perpetrator was someone in their chain of command.

"Our sons, our daughters, our husbands, our wives are being betrayed by the greatest military on earth," Gillibrand told her colleagues before the vote.

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