Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias



Our investigation shows that in most states, laws do little to keep attackers from having firearms.

The Stay family and their five children. Both parents and four of the children were fatally shot Wednesday in their Texas home.

On Wednesday evening, Ronald Lee Haskell, disguised as a FedEx delivery man, gained entry to the home of his sister-in-law and her spouse, Stephen and Katie Stay, demanding the whereabouts of his estranged ex-wife. According to statements by the Harris County police and prosecutors, he then allegedly tied up the Stays and their five children, ages 4 to 15, and shot them execution style, killing all but his 15-year-old niece, who played dead. Haskell then began driving to the home of the children's grandparents, possibly to continue his rampage, but his critically injured niece managed to call 911. He was apprehended on the way by law enforcement. After a three-and-a-half-hour standoff three miles from the scene of the killings, Haskell surrendered and was arrested.

Court records show that in Utah in 2008, Haskell was charged with domestic violence and simple assault against his wife. She reported that he had hit her in the head and dragged her by the hair, according to police and court records. He pleaded guilty to the assault charge and had the domestic-violence charge dismissed as part of his plea deal. In July 2013, Haskell's wife filed a protective order against him in Cache County, Utah, where they lived at the time. The order applied to her and their four children. She then moved away and filed for divorce about a month later. The divorce was finalized this past February.

It's not yet clear if Haskell possessed his guns legally, but his case appears to be the latest example of how easy it remains for domestic abusers to possess firearms, thanks to weak legislation. Under federal law, Haskell's protective order should have prohibited him from owning guns, says Laura Cutilletta, a staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.




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NACIONES UNIDAS, 11 jul 2014 (IPS) - La Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) continúa las negociaciones para establecer los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS), que marcarán la agenda humana posterior a 2015, mientras expertos en población esperan que la salud sexual y reproductiva ocupe un lugar importante en la lista final.

La sesión especial que celebrará la Asamblea General a mediados de septiembre podría fortalecer los derechos reproductivos y el derecho a la planificación familiar universal.

“Estamos en un momento crítico para los derechos de la salud sexual y reproductiva (DSSR)”, afirmó Gina Sarfaty, de la organización no gubernamental Population Action International, con sede en Washington.

"Los activistas se están movilizando para garantizar que los derechos de salud sexual y reproductiva sigan siendo tan centrales en la próxima serie de objetivos como lo son para la vida de las mujeres”: Gina Sarfaty.


A medida que las negociaciones por los ODS comienzan a levantar vuelo “los activistas se están movilizando para garantizar que los DSSR sigan siendo tan centrales en la próxima serie de objetivos como lo son para la vida de las mujeres”, añadió en diálogo con IPS.

“Hay mucho en juego, y la necesidad de acción es de suma importancia”, advirtió Sarfaty, especialista en sistemas de información geográfica e investigadora en Population Action International.

Los expertos prevén que la población mundial, que en la actualidad supera los 7.200 millones de habitantes, crezca a casi 11.000 millones en 2100. Aproximadamente 64 por ciento de esa expansión se concentrará en 10 países, de los cuales nueve pertenecen al Sur en desarrollo, según Population Action International.

Un importante factor de crecimiento demográfico son las altas tasas de fecundidad en ocho de esos países, a saber: República Democrática del Congo, Etiopía, Kenia, Níger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda y Zambia.

Los dos países restantes donde se concentrará la mayor parte de ese crecimiento son India y Estados Unidos, que ya tienen una gran población, con más de 1.200 millones y 312 millones respectivamente, y una elevada inmigración.


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About This Collection

This collection highlights the disproportionate vulnerability of women and children to domestic and sexual violence in disaster and emergency situations, and organizes information to help increase the safety and well being of those at higher risk for violence (or re-traumatization) during and after a major disaster or crisis. Note that the terms “disaster” and “emergency” are being used broadly to refer to major traumatic events and crisis situations that are either natural (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, etc.) or man-made (e.g., massacres, terrorist attacks, etc.).

Included in this collection are selected materials and resources -- many gender-informed -- that can be used by domestic and sexual violence organizations to increase their preparedness for and response to major disasters and emergencies. Also included is information developed for victims/survivors of domestic and sexual violence who are concurrently coping with trauma and stress after a natural disaster or major crisis. Special attention has been given to the issues faced by children in these situations. Links to several films and documentaries are offered as a tribute to the victims and survivors of those events as well as tools that advocates and activists may use in their educational and awareness programming. A list of organizations working directly or indirectly with disaster and emergency preparedness and response is included, including international and national relief efforts aiming at responding primarily to the needs of domestic and sexual violence survivors in the aftermath of a disaster.




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I met Mirabel in 2011, four years after she had left her home in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, a city reputed to be the murder capital of the world. She, her sisters and mother were terrorized by an alcoholic father who abused them and stole the earnings from her mother’s struggling grocery store to spend on liquor and women. The tipping point came when Mirabel, then 16, confronted her father after a drunken rampage, and he nearly killed her with a machete. When an uncle offered to pay for a smuggler to take Mirabel to the United States, her mother begged her not to go. “We all know the stories of women who get raped or die in the desert,” Mirabel told me. “But I couldn’t stay. I had no life there.” She told her mother she loved her, boarded a bus with her teenage cousin and headed north, hoping for a better education and a better life in “El Norte.”


But Mirabel’s safe passage across the U.S. border 15 days later was just the beginning of another ordeal that came with its own terrors. Immediately after entering the United States, she was apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. “They were questioning me, and I was crying,” she recalled to me. “I said, ‘I can’t go back.’ I was 16, the only under-aged girl and little, but those officers put handcuffs on me just like I was a criminal.” After spending a few days in jail, she was taken into federal custody at a shelter in Los Fresnos, Texas, for unaccompanied minors. It was clean, Mirabel says, and had a nice enough living room, but she soon realized she couldn’t leave. “There was no life—life ended there,” she says. “The shelter was near the main road and I could see cars going by, and I wanted to be in that car.” It would be six months before an immigration judge in Texas granted her asylum petition and released her from federal custody to a foster family in Virginia.



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Sign the petition

A 16-year-girl was raped at a party in Houston. Now pictures of her unconscious and naked body have gone viral, but the Houston police have failed to act.1

Jada,* a brave survivor who is speaking out about her sexual assault, went to a high school party where she was handed a drink that knocked her unconscious. She only found out what happened to her when pictures circulated on social media. The perpetrator even went so far as to mock her on on Twitter--and still others made fun of her by mimicking the pose she was photographed in while unconscious.2

It's absolutely outrageous that no arrests have been made, but if we all speak up now, we can make sure there is justice for Jada, just like there was in the Steubenville rape case. 

Add your name now demanding the Houston police arrest the teen responsible for sexually assaulting Jada.

ARTICLE HERE: 16-Year-Old’s Rape Goes Viral On Social Media: ‘No Human Being Deserved This’

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Police are relying on state wiretapping statutes to arrest citizens who film police in public. The federal circuit courts that recognize a First Amendment right to film police in public places where the citizen-recorder has a right to be present are in line with Supreme Court precedent. While the exercise of the right to film police is subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions, police cannot be allowed to suppress speech at the core of the First Amendment’s protections. State wiretapping statutes that prevent citizens from filming police officers in such places without any further justification violate citizens’ First Amendment rights.


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Este documental producido por Radio Internacional Feminista narra la historia del paradigmático caso de Campo Algodonero en Ciudad Juárez, México, donde en el 2001 fueron encontrados los cuerpos de 8 jóvenes mujeres brutalmente asesinadas y torturadas. Ante la desidia del gobierno por realizar la investigación debidamente y buscar a los culpables de estos asesinatos, 3 madres de las víctimas presentaron el caso ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos CIDH. 

El 10 de diciembre de 2010 la CIDH sentencia al estado mexicano por este caso. El fallo es una sentencia histórica ya que le dice a éste y a otros estados qué acciones debe emprender para evitar que continúe la violencia feminicida. 
La Herencia de las Ausentes relata de la voz de Irma Monreal, una de las madres, la historia del caso y de todo el proceso ante la CIDH. 
Realización: Andrea Alvarado Vargas
Producción: Katerina Anfossi Gómez.
Producción general: Radio Internacional Feminista.

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(Lea este mensaje en español aqui)

The Women's Refugee Commission is pleased to announce the release of its groundbreaking new publication, Detained or Deported: What about my children? What to do if you can’t be with them

This toolkit is designed to help immigrant parents keep their families together. It is the first-ever comprehensive, nationwide resource to help families who are caught between the immigration and child welfare systems.

The toolkit will also be a valuable resource for attorneys, advocates, family members and others who work with immigrant families. It provides critical information to ensure that family unity and children’s best interests are taken into consideration in immigration, child welfare and family court decisions.

More than 5,100 children are currently in the U.S. foster care system because a parent has been detained or deported. Some parents have even lost their parental rights, and will likely never see their children again.

Detained and deported parents retain the legal right to make decisions about what happens to their children, even if children are temporarily out of their care. However, practically speaking, logistical barriers, a lack of coordination between the immigration and child welfare systems, and a lack of awareness of undocumented parents’ rights can make it extremely difficult to put families back together once the immigration and child welfare systems are involved.

Detained or Deported: What about my children? guides parents and those who work with them through the steps they need to take to keep children from entering the child welfare system, locate children in that system, comply with a child welfare case plan, participate in family court and make arrangements for children at the conclusion of a parent’s immigration case. It includes information on how to get a lawyer and how to stay in touch with children.

Detained or Deported: What about my children? has been approved by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for placement in all detention facilities that hold adults for more than 72 hours. 

An interactive version of the toolkit is available at http://wrc.ms/1gYgvrP

A printable version of the toolkit is available at http://wrc.ms/1ki59zN

For a print copy, contact info@wrcommission.org . Note, supplies are limited.

Learn more about the Women's Refugee Commission’s work on parental rights athttp://wrc.ms/1oRrgwx

Michelle Brané
Director, Migrant Rights and Justice Program

Emily Butera
Senior Program Officer, Migrant Rights and Justice Program



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Though overdue, Pope Francis's meeting today with clergy sex abuse victims was a positive and necessary step. The Pope’s homily shows some readiness to be transformed by his encounter in Rome with the survivors, and makes several important points – he emphasizes the specifically Catholic nature of abuse by priests, and the terrible impact of abuse on the victims’ families, and the role of “Church leaders.” (See the English and Spanish text of the Pope's homily.)

Most notably, the pope made a significant and historic promise to discipline bishops who fail to respond adequately to child sexual abuse: "All bishops must carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors, and they will be held accountable."

While the pope's description of bishops' culpability as "sins of omission" is inaccurate in the extreme, his is still a stern and specific acknowledgement that bishops must ensure the safety of children.

But now Pope Francis must internalize and personalize his point about Church leaders who "did not respond adequately to reports of abuse." His future actions on this crucial point must begin from his own past.

As Argentina's most powerful archbishop, he refused to meet with victims, and he stayed largely silent on the issue of clergy sex abuse, except to issue a surprising denial that he had ever handled an abusive priest. His only known action was to commission a behind-the-scenes report to judges that sought exoneration of a criminally convicted priest by impugning the credibility of the priest's victims.


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EXCERPT: Results: Approximately half (51.8%) of victims reported their most recent incident to the police. Victims were more likely to report if they had an AVO against the offender, if their property had been damaged, if they were physically injured, if the abuse was physical or sexual, if they felt their children were at risk or if they had reported previous DV incidents. Victims were less likely to report if they were pregnant or experienced more than 5 previous incidents of abuse. The top three reasons for not reporting to police were fear of revenge/further violence (13.9%), embarrassment/shame (11.8%), or the incident was too trivial/unimportant (11.8%). The primary barrier to reporting, according to those interviewed, is that police either do not understand or are not proactive in handling DV (17.1%). 



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escalatorThese days, sexual and domestic violence prevention is the place for engaging men.  It has been for several years.  But something I’ve noticed recently is a new focus on just how we are engaging men.  A few months ago, for an academic paper I’m writing, I put out a call on the PreventConnect email group for research and articles about women’s experiences working with men in the movement.  I didn’t find much, but I can’t tell you how many people were thrilled that I was writing about that topic and how many stories came from women in the group (and I promise a summary of the paper just as soon as it is complete).  This is an issue we have barely addressed, but everyday I see and hear more and more people taking it on.

We’ve likely all heard of the glass ceiling – referring to the barrier that keeps women from rising to the top levels of leadership.  But what about the glass escalator?  The other day, a colleague in the movement brought up the concept in relation to men in the movement to end violence against women.  She meant, as the glass escalator implies, that men in the movement tend to advance to leadership positions much earlier and much faster than women in the movement, and without doing the same amount of work to get there.  This is consistent with data that shows this tendency in most “female-dominated” professions, and I think it is particularly important to consider in light of the strong focus on engaging men in the movement to end violence against women.


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Autoras reconocidas, noveles y amateurs respondieron a una convocatoria para escribir relatos de no más de 150 palabras. El resultado es ¡Basta! Cien mujeres contra la violencia de género, que interpela, conmueve e invita a reflexionar. Cómo se gestó el proyecto.

 Por Mariana Carbajal

Cien escritoras unieron sus voces contra la violencia machista en una antología de microficciones, cuentos brevísimos, que no superan las 150 palabras, en donde la poética se cruza con el dolor y el horror. En ¡Basta! Cien mujeres contra la violencia de género (Buenos Aires, Macedonia), plumas de la trayectoria de Ana María Shua, Luisa Valenzuela, Silvia Plager y María Rosa Lojo se entrelazan con autoras noveles y amateurs que respondieron a una convocatoria abierta y reflejan la amplia geografía argentina. El proyecto nació en Chile, para llamar la atención social frente al aumento de los femicidios y se está replicando a lo largo de Latinoamérica.

Los libros son pequeños, de bolsillo. Los relatos conmueven, estremecen, interpelan, invitan a reflexionar. La primera versión de ¡Basta! Cien mujeres contra la violencia de género se gestó en el país trasandino y se publicó en 2010 bajo el sello del Grupo Editorial Asterión, a partir de la iniciativa de un puñado de escritoras chilenas, entre ellas Pía Barros y Susana Sánchez Bravo. “Las cifras negras de femicidio y sus secuelas llegan a un tope terrible en el año 2000 en Chile, cuando en Alto Hospicio, Iquique, quince jóvenes de entre 13 y 24 años desaparecen sin dejar rastro ante la pasividad de las autoridades competentes, quienes aventuran la tesis de que las niñas han optado por la prostitución para salir de la pobreza y han viajado al Perú. Una de las víctimas sobrevive y declara identificando a su agresor, quien posteriormente confiesa y se encuentran algunos de los cadáveres de las víctimas. Esto nos puso, como escritoras y editoras, ante una verdad ineludible: si eres mujer, vales menos que un hombre; y si eres mujer pobre, vales menos aún”, recordó Bravo.



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The Battered Women's Justice Project is pleased to announce a new online resource:

Representing Victims of Intimate Partner Violence Connected with the Military - A Handbook for Civil Attorneys

Victims of intimate partner violence who are military service members, veterans, or partners of service members or veterans, often have specific legal issues related to the military. Attorneys who are unconnected to the military must understand those issues or run the risk not only of inadequate representation, but also of increasing danger to their clients. While resources on legal representation of service members and/or veterans exist, this handbook specifically addresses additional considerations for attorneys when representing military-related victims/survivors:

•                The intersection between intimate partner violence and PTSD

•                Accountability for military offenders

•                Military protective orders

•                Federal firearms prohibitions and the military

•                Service of process issues

•                Service members Civil Relief Act

•                Child custody, divorce and military benefits division

The handbook's target audience is attorneys and legal advocates who are relatively unfamiliar with the structure, culture, and laws of the military, although it contains information that may also be useful to military attorneys or legal assistance officers. 





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Lydia Cacho 
Argenpress Un niño hondureño de una ciudad perdida mira la televisión de una peluquería, el anuncio advierte que el turismo atrae recursos para la mejora del país, pero el pequeño no cree ser ciudadano de esa patria. Una pequeña de ocho años, proveniente de El salvador a quien entrevisté, piensa que la patria no existe, el hogar está sólo en su imaginación. Esos millones de niños y niñas expulsados del mundo, no hablan de sus países con ese masoquismo entusiasta de los adultos. Han madurado a golpes de realidad.

La inocencia de la que hablamos al referimos a la infancia se ha diluido. Después de entrevistar durante una década a niñas, niños y adolescentes que han sido víctimas de violencia aprendí más sobre el mundo. Es en la voz de esa generación menor de dieciséis años donde encontramos las respuestas sobre la crisis que han generado la violencia patrimonial y económica provocada por las políticas económicas que profundizan la brecha entre quienes tienen todo y quienes no tienen nada. No se puede hablar de migración sin hablar de economía y del Estado Policíaca


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2014 Theme Announcement

From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World:
Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Gender-Based Violence!

Positioning the 16 Days Campaign from November 25 (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and December 10 (Human Rights Day) rightfully stresses that gender-based violence is an international human rights violation. In the lead up to, and during, the 16 days of activism, participants will highlight the systemic nature of gender-based violence and militarism which encourages inequality and discrimination and prioritizes weapons spending over funding for quality education and healthcare and safe public spaces. The culture of militarism builds on and protects systems of power by controlling dissent and using violence to settle economic, political and social disputes. Militarism draws on and perpetuates patriarchal models of political, economic, and social domination of people by a small number of elites and privileges violent masculinity as acceptable behavior. The 16 Days Campaign focus on the intersections of gender-based violence and militarism is an effort to work toward a more equitable and peaceful world.

The intersectionality of age, class, gender, geographic location, race/ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation among other categories of analysis inform the ways in which women experience and respond to violence, inequality, and discrimination. They also affect the ways in which communities and the States respond since States’ relations with the people are mediated in part through the above categories. 

Take Action to End GBV and Militarism!

Integral to a world free of gender-based violence where all are able to experience freedom from fear and want is, in part, the recognition of the indivisibility of human rights, and that women’s rights are human rights. Within the contexts of the intersections of gender-based violence, militarism, and economic and social rights, and being mindful of the work of campaigners worldwide, the 16 Days Campaign has identified three priority areas for the 2014 Campaign:


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*** An Interview with Jackson Katz by Jeremy Earp
Fifteen Years After Columbine: We’re Still Asking the Wrong Questions
On April 20, 1999, high school seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold walked into the cafeteria and library at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, began shooting, and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher—and wounded dozens of others—before taking their own lives.
*** Kevin Powell, Toxic Masculinity Unmasked: 
The Santa Barbara Tragedy
What exactly is a man? This is the question that has been pounding in my head since first watching Elliot Rodger’s chilling “Retribution” YouTube video posted right before he went on his stabbing and shooting rampage in Isla Vista, California. 
*** Colin Adam Young, Men Care In South Africa
In the northern areas of South Africa’s Western Cape almost half of the population is jobless. Liquor stores in the towns provide a predictable outlet for people’s boredom and frustrations—and contribute to a range of social problems: fighting and aggression, substance abuse, domestic and sexual violence, child abuse and absent parenting. 
*** Dick Bathrick, Profeminist Men’s Work: The Early Days
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, small groups of men began to mobilize, joining the women-led movement to end violence against women. The sociopolitical climate in which the battered women’s movement gained momentum, had been powerfully influenced by the social justice movements that had simmered and exploded during the preceding decades.
*** Richard Hoffman, Love & Fury
Prize-winning poet, essayist, and fiction writer Richard Hoffman is the author of Half the House, a memoir about coming to terms with the childhood rape he suffered at the hands of his baseball coach. In his new memoir, Love & Fury (Beacon Press, June, 2014) Hoffman grapples with the legacy of his boomer-generation boyhood in a rustbelt Pennsylvania town. Along the way, he explores the often unspoken values men inherit and draw upon as they navigate their roles as husbands, sons, fathers, and grandfathers. Tracing five generations of his family’s history, focusing particularly on his complicated relationship with his father, “a man given to extremes of grief and rage, to violent turns of emotion,” Hoffman asks difficult questions about how poverty and shame, faith and disillusionment, and sex and exploitation, affect men’s daily lives.
*** Haji Shearer,  Fathering Mastery
It’s a great time to be a father!
For most of recent history, raising children has been the primary responsibility of women. In the last 30 years a new world has opened up for men to play more significant roles in bringing up the next generation. As more fathers became involved in raising our children, men realized what mothers have always known: children are amazing! Involved fathers report higher overall satisfaction in their own lives, not to mention the myriad benefits that an involved father brings to his children.
*** John A. McCarroll, Male Privilege Redefined, Not Negated
The sort of language used to assert men’s dominance over women has a pretty recognizable pattern across the cultural landscape. Men, we are told, are in charge of things because they have something women (supposedly) lack: physical strength, honor, higher cognitive facilities, or the mystique of the male organ itself. Women, sadly “lacking” these qualities, need to be “protected” from the all-consuming lusts of strange men.

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UPDATED: This Special Collection offers information about the intersection between domestic violence and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It provides advocates and other professionals with tools to screen for TBI within the context of domestic violence as well as presentations, articles, and other relevant resources on the topic.

The purpose of this collection is to: 1) increase knowledge and understanding of TBI within the context of domestic violence, 2) provide tools to advocates and other professionals to screen domestic violence survivors for TBI, and 3) highlight best practices.

The NRCDV provides a wide range of free, comprehensive, and individualized technical assistance, training, and specialized resource materials and projects designed to enhance current intervention and prevention strategies. To suggest additional resources we should include in this collection or for ongoing technical assistance and other resources, please contact the NRCDV Technical Assistance Team at 800-537-2238, TTY: 800-553-2508, nrcdvTA@nrcdv.org, or via our online TA form.




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Condenadas a penas de entre 30 y 40 años por delito de aborto

AmecoPress. El martes 1 de julio a las 19 horas está convocada una concentración frente a la Embajada de El Salvador, -Castellana, 178-, para expresar la solidaridad con las 17 mujeres presas por delito de aborto en El Salvador. Estas mujeres han sido condenadas a penas de entre 30 y 40 años y algunas de ellas ya han cumplido hasta 12 años de cárcel y han agotado los recursos legales. 

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About this manual 

This manual is intended primarily for victim service agency staff and other social service providers, who will administer the Trafficking Victim Identification Tool (TVIT) to clients who are potential trafficking victims. Law enforcement, health care and shelter workers will also find it helpful in improving trafficking victim identification, especially in conjunction with appropriate training or mentoring. 
The manual content is based on results of research conducted by the Vera Institute of Justice, which collaborated with leading legal and victim services agencies in the United States, to produce the validated screening tool and best practices for identifying trafficked persons, and on other expert sources in government and non-governmental agencies. Vera’s research found that the TVIT instrument is highly reliable in predicting both labor and sex trafficking in women and men and among foreign- and U.S. born victims. The screening tool can be used in its short version (consisting of 16 core questions, plus questions 
specific to migration for the foreign-born) without loss of predictive ability, or in its longer form, depending upon the situation and purpose of screening. As with any kind of information gathering from victims of crime, it is essential that screening for trafficking be done with care. 
SEE ALSO, BACKGROUND STUDY ON TRAFFICKING ID TOOL - Improving Human Trafficking Victim Identification— 

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Systematic undercounting of sexual assaults in the US disguises a hidden rape crisis.



Earlier this month, a 911 dispatcher in Ohio was recorded telling a 20-year-old woman who had just been raped to “quit crying.” After she provided a description of her assailant, the caller went on to say, “They’re not going to be able to find him with the information that you’ve given.” This incident had its viral moment, sparking outrage at the dispatcher’s lack of empathy. But it also speaks to the larger issue of how we are counting rapes in the United States. Sixty-nine percent of police departments surveyed in 2012 said that dispatchers like this one, often with little training, are authorized to do the initial coding of sexual assault crimes.

That’s important, because miscoding of such crimes is masking the high incidence of rape in the United States. We don’t have an overestimation of rape; we have a gross underestimation. A thorough analysis of federal data published earlier this year by Corey Rayburn Yung, associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, concludes that between 1995 and 2012, police departments across the country systematically undercounted and underreported sexual assaults.



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A divided Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Monday that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees.

In an opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell that the Obama administration has failed to show that the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act is the "least restrictive means of advancing its interest" in providing birth control at no cost to women.

"Any suggestion that for-profit corporations are incapable of exercising religion because their purpose is simply to make money flies in the face of modern corporate law," Alito wrote, adding that by requiring religious corporations to cover contraception, "the HHS mandate demands that they engage in conduct that seriously violates their religious beliefs."

The Affordable Care Act contains a provision requiring most employers to cover the full range of contraception in their health care plans at no cost to their female employees. The Obama administration had granted an exemption for churches and accommodations for religious hospitals, schools and nonprofits, but for-profit companies were required to comply with the coverage rule or pay fines.


"The Court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield..." --Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, dissenting in Hobby Lobby

Read Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Scathing 19-Page Dissent In Hobby Lobby Birth Control Case, (scroll down linked page)

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MÉXICO, 25 jun 2014 (IPS) - “Solo quiero salir de todo esto”, repite a IPS entre frecuentes suspiros la joven mexicana Yakiri Rubí Rubio Aupart, que desde diciembre de 2013 enfrenta un juicio por el asesinato de su violador.

Yakiri, de 21 años, vive en el populoso barrio de Tepito, una de las zonas más peligrosas de la capital de México.

La tarde del 9 de diciembre, iba a reunirse con su novia cuando fue interceptada por dos hombres en la calle, que la raptaron, amenazándola con una navaja, la subieron a una motocicleta y la llevaron a un hotel, según la versión que ella ha defendido durante el proceso.

Según su testimonio, los dos hombres la golpearon. Uno de ellos, Miguel Ángel Anaya, de 37 años y 90 kilos, la violó, mientras su hermano, Luis Omar Anaya, salía a fumar. La joven se defendió e hirió a su agresor en el vientre y el cuello con su propia navaja. El hombre comenzó a desangrarse, pero tuvo tiempo de salir del hotel y huir en su moto.

Ella también salió corriendo del hotel y pidió ayuda a unos policías. Sangrando y semidesnuda llegó a una oficina del Ministerio Público (fiscalía), a tres cuadras del lugar.

Mientras esperaba que la atendieran varias heridas, una de ellas de 14 centímetros en un brazo, llegó su segundo agresor y la acusó de asesinar a su hermano por un pleito de amantes, algo que su condición de lesbiana desmonta, según su defensa.

Yakiri fue trasladada a una prisión de mujeres ya sentenciadas, acusada de homicidio calificado, un delito penado con cárcel de 20 a 60 años.


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The Young Feminist Wire interviewed Momal Mushtaq, founder of  an online platform called The Freedom Traveller. The goal of The Freedom Traveller is to “connect and empower female travelers, especially from the countries where freedom of movement for women is restricted, with a platform where women of all nationalities and beliefs can actively network, share knowledge and resources, and map their experiences of travel.”

“For women to be empowered and able to thrive, they must be able to move. People talk about mobility, but they’re not talking about women’s mobility. At the individual level, when we talk about women’s mobility, we’re talking about being able to drive a car or go out at night, to be able to carry their goods to the market to earn a livelihood, to be able to swim to safety in a flood or tsunami. – Jan Peterson, Chair Huairou Commission”

Listen to the interview below to learn more where the idea for  The Freedom Traveller came from, why it’s important to talk about young women’s freedom of movement and how you can get involved.

What to learn more about Momal Mushtaq’s inspiring work and entrepreneurial spirit? She will be speaking on a panel at the Global Media Forum on July 1 2014. The Panel is called “Participation through self-education: A fishbowl session on how digital literacy enables young people to become change-makers”. The panel is hosted by the organizers of the Digital Participation Camp, an international initiative that draws young people together once a year to live, learn and work collectively to create new websites, apps and campaigns for social good.

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The National Rifle Association is fighting proposed federal legislation that would prohibit those convicted of stalking and of domestic violence against dating partners from buying guns, according to a letter obtained by The Huffington Post.

Federal law already bars persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing firearms. S. 1290, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), would add convicted stalkers to that group of offenders and would expand the current definition of those convicted of domestic violence against "intimate partners" to include those who harmed dating partners.

Aides from two different senators' offices confirm that the NRA sent a letter to lawmakers describing Klobuchar's legislation as "a bill to turn disputes between family members and social acquaintances into lifetime firearm prohibitions." The nation's largest gun lobby wrote that it "strongly opposes" the bill because the measure "manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as 'domestic violence' and 'stalking' simply to cast as wide a net as possible for federal firearm prohibitions."



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When it comes to human trafficking, our tendency is to think of it is an issue far detached from our life, something that happens to other people. Nothing can be farther from the truth: Human trafficking victims are being exploited right now in our barrios, under our own noses.

The fact that these victims often go unnoticed screams of the vital need to educate our community, not only as to how to identify a potential situation but also on how to protect our loved ones from falling prey in these situations and where to seek help.

My guests in this discussion will be two veterans in our community's fight against this modern-day social malaise:
• Ana Isabel Vallejo, Co-Director/Attorney at VIDA Legal Assistance and former Coordinator at the Human Trafficking Academy, St. Thomas University School of Law
• Rocío Alcántar, Supervising Attorney at the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)
• Teresita Chavez-Pedrosa, Lawyer, Journalist and Professor

We'll discuss:
• The Impact of Trafficking in the Latino Community
• How trafficking overlaps with other issues, such as immigration
• Ways to combat it in our communities
• Resources and organizations helping to prevent it and to protect victims.


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