Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


BUENAVENTURA, Colombia — Described as Colombia’s horror capital, this costal city is a denizen of drug trafficking, gang violence and turf wars primarily between right-wing paramilitary networks and leftist rebels. Soldiers patrol the streets as part of the government’s attempt to crack down on the dangers, while abductions and sexual violence remain rampant as girls are regularly raped.

In the first half of 2014, for example, 11 women were killed and dismembered by gangs. Twenty assassinations were registered in January 2014 alone. Unemployment runs high — some sources say as much as 63 percent — while wages are dirt-low in this city of mostly Afro-Colombians.


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On Friday, Nov. 27, a shooter entered a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, killing at least 3 and injuring several others.

This attack, as well as other recent arson attacks on Planned Parenthood clinics, have come after the highly publicized release of heavily edited videos by a sham organization run by extremists who will stop at nothing to deny women legal abortion services.

These attacks on clinics are part of a long history of ideologically-driven violence. They're perpetrated by an extreme minority that's committed to ruling through fear and intimidation.

Let's call this what it is—domestic terrorism. It's time for an investigation to get to the bottom of this.

Add your name to tell the Department of Justice to direct the FBI to investigate these attacks as domestic terrorism.


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It has been said that ‘Men are afraid women will laugh at them, and women are afraid men will kill them.’ How do you feel about this statement? In this episode our men discuss how they relate to women, adding a much needed male point of view to the discussion surrounding gender equality.

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On Dec. 7, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a case regarding alleged sexual assaults by a Dollar General manager against a tribal minor, a 13-year-old who apprenticed in a store on Choctaw tribal lands in Mississippi. While working in partnership with non-Indians remains an important part of what tribal governments do, ensuring the welfare of tribal members is an essential function of their power. This case has the potential to undermine the authority of tribes to do both.

Background on the Significance of this case here


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En los espacios públicos todo es cuestión de poder. Un poder masculino que nos excluye. Caminar por la calles resulta siempre difícil y asqueante, obvio, para nosotras las mujeres.

Nada fuera de las casas nos pertenece. La dominación del hombre se impone sobre la eterna subordinación de la mujer a través de piropos, silbidos, miradas, sonido de besos y masturbación pública. Eso es acoso callejero y hoy en día es una conducta que hemos normalizado.

El hombre controla nuestros cuerpos de una u otra forma allá afuera. Se impone sobre nosotras reduciéndonos a objetos sexuales o se perfila como el principal protector y garante de nuestra seguridad. Sea como sea, el poder sobre nuestros cuerpos les pertenece a ellos, para bien o para mal. Como si no fuéramos dignas de los espacios públicos y al salir a las calles nos lo recordara.


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Title: Girls and the Juvenile Justice System Policy Guidance

Corporate Author: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
US Dept of Justice


Annotation: After identifying the risk factors that have led to the growing proportion of girls and young women involved in the juvenile justice system, this paper reviews the policies and resources of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP’s) for addressing the needs of this population.

Abstract: Currently, nearly 30 percent of juveniles arrested are girls or young women; their share of arrests, detainment, and court cases has steadily increased over the past two decades. Factors in these girls lives that have increased their risk for involvement with the juvenile justice system include experiences of violence; trauma; poverty; and racial, ethnic, and gender bias. OJJDP’s policy is to process girls through the juvenile justice system only when they pose a serious threat to public safety. In managing this small proportion of girls and young women, OJJDP is committed to reducing reliance on secure placement while increasing gender-related and culturally responsive, trauma-informed, and developmentally appropriate programs and services for this population. The overall prevention approach of OJJDP is a national commitment to creating healthy social environments with family, peers, community, and educational institutions. OJJDP resources for enabling these efforts include technical assistance, grants, research, and data collection that are available to States, tribes, and local communities. The features of each of these resources are briefly described in this paper. Specifically, OJJDP has identified eight focus areas for funneling its resources to States, tribes, and localities. These focus areas are briefly described.

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Title: Safeguarding Children of Arrested Parents: An Overview

Corporate Author: International Assoc of Chiefs of Police

Annotation: This Part 1 of a two-part Training Key on safeguarding the children of arrested parents presents an overview that defines key terms used in the discussion and outlines the legal obligations that govern the actions of officers when managing the arrests of parents with children.

Abstract: The overview expands on what research has shown, i.e., that children of all ages are vulnerable to potential trauma following the arrest of a parent, although reactions may vary by age. Given the potential harms to children occasioned by the arrest of a parent, failure to respond appropriately to these children can make law enforcement agencies and their officers civilly liable when officers are not trained to take reasonable measures to safeguard these children. Although the U.S. Supreme Court does not provide an affirmative right to government aid, the Court has established two exceptions that may create a law enforcement officer’s duty to protect citizens. One exception relates to “state-created danger.” Under this exception, a duty to protect may exist if an officer or other government operative leaves a person in a more dangerous situation than the one in which he/she was found, creating a previously non-existent danger or increasing the danger.“ This requirement could apply to officer’s duty to protect children of a parent in the course of the parent’s arrest. This paper also discusses the scope of the problem of harm to children occasioned by the arrest of a parent, and a real-life example of such harm is provided. Suggestions are offered for partnering with community child welfare organizations to address this problem. 20 notes


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El arresto de una joven de 22 años en Temuco por el delito de aborto consentido demuestra una vez más que las autoridades chilenas no tienen tiempo que perder para avanzar con legislación pendiente para despenalizar el aborto, dijo Amnistía Internacional hoy.

La joven fue arrestada el martes 10 de noviembre y está siendo investigada debido a una denuncia de personal de la salud del hospital donde ella habría llegado con una hemorragia tras el uso de Misoprostol, un medicamento a veces usado para interrumpir el embarazo.

Según la información recibida por Amnistía Internacional, a la joven se la ha impuesto un arresto domiciliario parcial y firma mensual en Carabineros como medidas cautelares.

“Criminalizar el aborto es una violación a los derechos humanos de las mujeres y niñas”, señaló Ana Piquer, Directora Ejecutiva de Amnistía Internacional Chile.

“Es imperativo que a esta joven se le levante el arresto domiciliario y se le dé la atención médica que pueda necesitar en el futuro”.


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Document URL: PDF  

Annotation: Based on data obtained from 1,205 individuals (hundreds of current and former gang members, schools, law enforcement agencies, and victim service providers), this is the executive summary of a study that examined the nature and extent of street-gang activities as facilitators of sex trafficking in San Diego, CA.

Abstract: Producing an estimated $810 million annually, sex trafficking is San Diego’s second largest underground economy after drug trafficking. The study found that at least 110 gangs are involved in the commercial exploitation of individuals for commercial sex trafficking. Gang members composed 85 percent of pimps/sex-trafficking facilitators. The sample of sex traffickers in prison who were interviewed for this study was composed of approximately the same number of Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. Based on the interviews conducted for this study, clients of commercial sex are from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds. Recruitment into commercial sex was determined to be happening on high school and middle school campuses. The study used mixed methods in collecting and synthesizing data. They included a Survivor Services Dataset from a prostitution first-offender diversion program, law enforcement incident reporting, school focus groups, and interviews with individuals involved in or knowledgeable about sex trafficking.

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On May 7, 2014, the SFPD formally adopted a department general order requiring officers to consider the well-being of the children of an arrested parent. This article outlines the four-step process through which the SFPD developed and implemented its policy. While the following approach was successful for the SFPD, each law enforcement agency has a unique set of circumstances it must consider when developing a policy suitable for its own department, its members, and the communities it serves. However, SFPD’s approach may serve as a template for other agencies’ efforts to create or adapt policies for protecting children of arrested parents.


SEE ALSO: CHECKLIST: Safeguarding Children at the Time of Parental Arrest: Law Enforcement Pre-Arrest/Arrest Checklist

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from IntLawGrrls

From “casas de la memoria” in Guatemala, Peru, and El Salvador to an upcoming international colloquium in Spain entitled “From Past to Future: Memory and the Process of Transition,” the development of collective memory – an enduring and shared memory of events – is taking center stage as one path toward healing the wounds of a tattered national conscience and preventing the recurrence of mass atrocities. But to what extent is collective memory compatible with judicial systems, which tend to be very individual-centered?

An annual online symposium co-hosted by Opinio Juris and NYU Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP) that went live this morning is exploring this very question. The focus of the symposium is The (Re)collection of Memory After Mass Atrocity and the Dilemma for Transnational Justice, my article that was recently published in Volume 47, Number 4, of NYU JILP.

The impetus for this article arises from the challenges I encountered in working with survivors of mass atrocity. The indivisibility of their memory struck me, as did the healing and bonds it generated. As I began to examine the literature on collective memory, I realized that I was not alone in this observation. Scholars from disciplines ranging from sociology to clinical psychology have written about and documented collective memory and its cathartic effects.

My article explores the tension between the preservation of collective memory and another impulse that follows mass atrocity: the desire for justice. Because many judicial systems are heavily influenced by notions of individualism, they are by design ill equipped to accommodate collective memory. Traditional rules of evidence and professional conduct often exhibit a single-minded focus on individual representation by replicating models that assume one client who autonomously makes legal decisions without consulting his or her community. Bound by these rules, attorneys must disrupt or even dismantle collective memory, thereby retraumatizing their clients.

In this article, I offer an alternative. I believe that human rights attorneys should instead endeavor to preserve and promote collective memory. For that reason, I urge a fundamental rethinking of the law’s preference for individual memory in the context of transitional justice. I believe that the inclusion of collective memory would better serve the goals of transitional justice by facilitating a more complete understanding of the collective harms of mass atrocity and possibly advancing reconciliation.

Today and tomorrow, Opinio Juris will feature comments on my article from four distinguished scholars:

• Mark A. Drumbl is the Class of 1975 Alumni Professor of Law and Director of the Transnational Law Institute at Washington & Lee University.
• Naomi Roht-Arriaza is Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Hastings College of Law (and a fellow IntLawGrrl! –Ed.).
• Ruti Teitel is Ernst C. Stiefel Professor of Comparative Law at New York Law School.
• Johan D. van der Vyver is the I.T. Cohen Professor of International Law and Human Rights, Emory University School of Law.

Tomorrow, I will respond to their comments. I welcome you to join the conversation by posting your thoughts here.

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After abusive tweets to 12-year-old TV show contestant, thousands of women and girls take to social media to share experiences of harassment and assault

Contestants in Brazil’s 2015 Junior MasterChef TV show.

 Contestants in Brazil’s 2015 Junior MasterChef TV show. Sexual tweets directed against a young participant have opened up a national debate. Photograph: Carol Gherardi/Band TV

Thousands of Brazilian women and girls have joined an online campaign to share their experiences of harassment and assault after abusive and sexually explicit tweets directed at a 12-year-old contestant on the country’s Junior MasterChefsparked a national debate on the issue.

More than 82,000 stories have been shared on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms in response to comments posted after the opening episode of the programme, which aired on 20 October.

The remarks were aimed at 12-year-old Valentina Schulz. Comments included: “If there’s consent is it paedophilia?”; “She’s gonna be a porn star at 12”; “This sexy girl is to blame for paedophilia”, and “Valentina doing those dishes: what a bitch”.

The slew of online comments prompted Think Olga, an NGO working for women’s rights, to create the hashtag #primeiroassédio (first harassment), encouraging women to tell stories about the first time they had been assaulted.

Stories of catcalling, inappropriate touching, abuse and rape were quickly shared online, and an analysis of 3,111 tweets found that the average age at which girls were first assaulted was just nine.


SEE ALSO: Brazil's tough laws on violence against women stymied by social norms

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In 2012, an estimated 6.9 million women in developing regions were treated for complications resulting from unsafe abortion, according to new research by Susheela Singh and Isaac Maddow-Zimet of the Guttmacher Institute. Their article, “Facility-based treatment for medical complications resulting from unsafe pregnancy termination in the developing world, 2012,” published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, highlights two alarming realities: the very large number of women who experience complications from unsafe abortions and the significant costs that women, their households and governments incur as a result of treating these complications.

Using data from 26 countries, the researchers estimated that seven out of every 1,000 women aged 15–44 in developing regions were treated for complications resulting from unsafe procedures. Because many women who experience complications do not receive medical care for them, the actual number of women injured by unsafe procedures is likely far greater. Previous research has estimated that around 40% of women requiring treatment do not receive the care they need.


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Guttmacher Institute Analysis...


• The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lay out a new roadmap to improve the lives of people throughout the world over the next 15 years.

• Sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights issues are currently featured on the SDG agenda, but opportunities exist to expand their presence at both the global and national levels, by establishing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)–specific indicators to measure progress toward the SDGs.

• The United States has a major role to play over the next 15 years—through the lending of technical expertise and financial investment—to make SRHR priorities related to the SDGs a reality.

At the United Nations (UN) General Assembly gathering in September 2015, member states held a special summit to consider and adopt a global development agenda for the next 15 years, a plan of action for “people, planet and prosperity” entitled the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).1The SDGs are ambitious in their size and scope, consisting of 17 goals and 169 targets that are applicable to all countries, rich and poor equally, and take into account the economic, social and environmental challenges of our world. They differ from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that preceded them by focusing not only on meeting the needs of the world’s poor but also on sustainable development—that is, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”2 This expansive approach involves all sectors of society and a host of topics, including ending hunger, promoting access to efficient energy sources, enhancing economic growth and employment, promoting health and well-being, and achieving gender equality.


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 Nov 7, 2015

Gritos contra la violencia machista en una marcha histórica y masiva en Madrid. Han llegado de toda España para decir 'basta ya' al asesinato de mujeres a manos de sus parejas o exparejas. Decenas de miles de personas exigen que la lucha contra la violencia machista sea una cuestión de Estado, con más medios para que no se produzca ni una muerte más.

    ARTICLE: Una multitud participa en la marcha contra la violencia machista                                                                                                                                         Miles de personas junto a representantes de todos los partidos piden en la capital para que la lucha contra la violencia machista sea una cuestión de Estado

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    Canada's Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs has a new title, a new leader and a new stance on a potential inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women.

    Following her swearing-in for the post, Carolyn Bennett said the issue was "hugely important" and she wanted to promptly begin her work on the issue -- but not before consulting with the families of victims.



    Canada's new justice minister

    Canada's diverse new cabinet

    Finding Our Missing Aboriginal Women

    Being a Good Feminist Is Being a Good Indian

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    Madrid, 29 octubre. 15, AmecoPress. El 7 de noviembre de 2015, a las 12h, mujeres y colectivos feministas de todo el territorio español marcharán juntas a Madrid para exigir que la lucha contra las violencias machistas sea una Cuestión de Estado. Les acompañarán organizaciones políticas, sociales y culturales, gentes diversas que decidan apoyar esta movilización. La Marcha saldrá desde el Ministerio de Sanidad en el Paseo del Prado hasta Plaza de España.

    Desde que fuera lanzada la convocatoria se ha venido invitando a toda la población civil a que se sume a esta Marcha, ya que la erradicación de las violencias machistas y las violencias hacia las mujeres es una cuestión que atañe a toda la sociedad. Desde entonces, fotos con el mensaje “7N: yo voy” han inundado las redes sociales.

    Activistas, integrantes de grupos, mujeres y hombres a título individual, se han manifestado a favor de esta gran movilización que denuncia la “inacción por parte de la justicia y de los gobiernos” frente a las violencias machistas y reclama que toda la sociedad y sus organizaciones e instituciones se comprometan en la lucha por su erradicación.

    "Madrid será la tumba del machismo"


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    “Women on the Run” was based on interviews conducted with 160 women recently forced to flee their homes in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – the “Northern Triangle of Central America”, or (NTCA) - and parts of Mexico to escape growing violence in their communities.

    They described in detail how criminal armed groups terrorize populations to establish control over large areas of these countries, and how women in particular are targeted by specific and extreme forms of gender-based violence.

    “Everything affects you because there a woman is worthless,” explained Lana, one of the women interviewed for the report. “It is as though your life is not worth anything. They rape. There is no limit. There is no authority. There is no one to stop them.”

    While governments in the region have made efforts to address root causes of violence, people continue to flee. The region has some of the highest murder rates in the world, especially of women.

    While some of the women flee towards the United States, many others escape to neighboring states in Central America and Mexico where applications for asylum from people fleeing the three NTCA countries and parts of Mexico – have skyrocketed thirteenfold since 2008.

    According to U.S. government statistics, 82 percent of 16,077 women from these countries who were interviewed by U.S. authorities in the last year were found to have a credible fear of persecution or torture and were allowed to pursue their claims for asylum in the United States.  


    For more information, please visit: womenonthe.run

    For more information on this topic, please contact:

    Brian Hansford, Senior Public Information Officer, hansford@unhcr.org, 202.243.7623

    Chris Boian, Public Information Officer, boian@unhcr.org, 202.243.7634

    #womenontherun womenonthe.run 

    El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have some of the highest homicide rates in the world, especially for women. Each day, more and more people are forced to flee the region to seek safety. This is a looming refugee crisis. 

    It is the role of the United Nations Refugee Agency to work with governments to provide protection and solutions for refugees around the world. To better understand the crisis that is growing in the Americas, UNHCR spoke with 160 women like Alba, who shared their horrifying stories of persecution to US authorities and were allowed to pursue their cases for asylum. Many mothers and their children flee their homes to protect themselves from serious harms such as murder, extortion, and rape at the hands of the maras, who are criminal armed groups that control large parts of the region. Their reach surpasses the governments’ ability to respond and protect their own citizens. These are the stories of refugees.




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    Deputy Ben Fields of the Richland, SC police department is seen on video body slamming a teenage girl for refusing to leave class. This happened in school and in front of other students and the teacher. Turns out, Deputy Fields has a reputation for brutality towards students in Spring Valley High. Criminalizing the behavior of Black students in school does not help them or the school. This is not just about a bad apple, but a bad way of thinking about an entire segment of this society.We must stop the school-to-prison pipeline by ending the use of police to solve normal childhood behavioral issues.That's why I signed a petition to Nikki Haley, Governor, Daniel E Johnson, Richland County Solicitor, and School Board, Richland County, SC.Will you sign this petition?


    MORE HERE...

    'Officer Slam' Threw Teen From Her Desk Over Cellphone, Lawyer Says

    She had refused to leave class because she "thought it was an unfair punishment."

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    Como una inspirada familia mexicana-estadunidense encontro la manera de honrar una venerada tradicion cultural y los derechos de su nina...todo en un dia festivo memorable!


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    Since the 1990s, federal law has barred those convicted of domestic abuse from legally buying guns. But existing law suffers from a "stalker gap," a "boyfriend gap" and a "restraining-order gap." Individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses are not barred from passing background checks and buying guns. In addition, abusers who are not married, do not live together or do not share a child -- those in dating relationships -- aren't covered by the ban.

         More controversially, although abusers subject to permanent restraining orders cannot legally possess or purchase guns, no such prohibition applies in situations where only a temporary order is in place. In other words, the protections are lowest at precisely the point when women are in the greatest danger.

         The numbers demonstrate both the gender gap in the nature of violent crime and how deadly these loopholes may be.

         As to the gender gap: Women are less likely than men to be the victims of violent crime, but when they are, the perpetrator is far more likely to be someone they know. Between 2003 and 2012, one-third of female murder victims were killed by a male intimate partner, compared with 2.5 percent of men, according to figures analyzed by the Center for American Progress.

         More than half of these killings were committed with guns. The numbers are staggering: 6,410 deaths, more than the total number of U.S. troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

         Indeed, according to a study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, having a gun in the house increases the risk of intimate-partner homicide by eight times compared to households without guns -- and 20-fold when there is a history of domestic violence.


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    Annotation: This bulletin consolidates current knowledge on best practices for interviewing children in cases of alleged abuse, based on recommendations from several major forensic interview training programs.

    Abstract: Individual characteristics, interviewer behavior, family relationships, community influences, and cultural and societal attitudes determine whether, when, and how a particular child will disclose abuse. Although the literature cautions against duplicate interviews, some children require more time to become comfortable with the process and the interviewer. Encouraging children to provide detailed responses early in the interview improves descriptions later in the interview. Interviewers should ask open-ended questions and allow for silence or hesitation before moving to more direct, focused prompts. Although focused questions may encourage greater detail in a child’s responses, they may also encourage erroneous responses if the child feels pressured to please the interviewer. Other suggestions are to conduct the interview as soon as possible after initial disclosure; record the interview electronically; hold the interview in a child-friendly environment; and consider the child’s age, developmental capabilities, and culture. Suggestions are also offered on building rapport with the child.


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    “My mom raised me to be a feminist," Trudeau said during the Up for Debate seminar on women’s issues in September. "My father raised me, he was a different generation but he raised me to respect and defend everyone’s rights, and I deeply grounded my own identity in that, and I am proud to say that I am a feminist.”

    At the top of Trudeau’s list is a pledge to launch an inquiry into the nearly 1,300 murdered and missing Aboriginal women, such as Winnipeg girl Tina Fontaine, whose body was found in that city’s Red River.

    “I believe that there is a need for a national public inquiry to bring justice for the victims, healing for the families and to put an end to this tragedy," said Trudeau on his first full day as prime-minister designate. "That’s what we will do. We will work with communities and with engaged stakeholders to ensure that we get moving on this quick


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