Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


Members of the Red de Artistas Únete artists network, which organised a “no to gender violence” flash mob on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Havana, Cuba. Credit: Jorge Luis Baños/IPS

HAVANA, Dec 31 2015 (IPS) - Activists and researchers dedicated to the study of gender violence in Cuba insist on the need for a comprehensive law to protect the victims and prevent the problem, which was publicly ignored until only a few years ago in this socialist Caribbean island nation.

Legislation is necessary “because even when the ideal in our society is justice and equality, there are social expressions of violence against women that have been kept invisible, which contributes to the impunity enjoyed by the abusers,” psychologist Valia Solís told IPS.


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It is an early start for 42-year-old Magdalena Urbano Blas. Every weekday morning, her alarm clock goes off at four o'clock.

She prepares lunch for her two children, 10-year-old Diego and Viviana who is about to turn 15. She kisses them goodbye and her father walks her to the bus stop.

Her journey to work as a house-keeper involves three buses and takes two hours from her home in the south of Mexico City.

Magdalena works eight hours a day, cleaning a wealthy family's apartment and looking after a toddler.

After work, she makes the long journey back in the evening, only to start all over again before dawn the next day.


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Film Synopsis:

Zara, a successful African doctor living in Wales is determined to stay away from her childhood memories and this now threatens her commitment to marry Alex, a gentleman she truly loves. Her mother, a missionary to Africa, has been unable to get Zara to go with her for her yearly medical aid trips to Africa. When her mother falls ill and unable to make a crucial trip and Zara discovers there is a strong possibility her long lost daughter might still be alive in Africa, she steered in a new direction to face and conquer her darkest fears. Her trip to Africa becomes inevitable.

Back in Africa, thirteen- year old Halima’s poor parents make her marry Sani, an old 60 year old man. With no idea of sex or its intricacies, she goes through a dreadful ordeal as her new husband repeatedly rapes her. Pregnant and after the delivery of her child, young Halima suffers a condition known as Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF). A health nightmare suffered by over 800,000 other women just like her, she is ostracize and abandoned by her husband, family and community. It is a period of rejection, isolation and despair for Halima. This story is full of intrigues, suspense, unbelievable surprises and the joy of reconciliation and the power of the human spirit that is guaranteed to put a smile on people’s face.


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On a cold, rainy night in Tokyo -- Japanese schoolgirls line the streets.

Shivering in short skirts they pass out fliers for "JK" or "joshi-kosei," cafes in which adult males pay for the company of girls as young as 16.

    "Most are in their 30s, 40s and 50s," says 18-year-old Honoka.

    The girls, all dressed in their actual high school uniforms, earn about $8 dollars an hour to socialize and serve food and drink to men often more than twice their age.




    Japan bans possession of child abuse images but law excludes anime

    South Korea, Japan Reach Deal On Women Forced Into Sexual Slavery

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    Lejos de contenerse, la problemática mantiene a la capital como un punto de origen, tránsito y destino de la trata de personas

    Lejos de contenerse, la problemática de la prostitución en la Ciudad de México crece a otras zonas distintas a las tradicionalmente conocidas y mantiene a la capital como un punto de origen, tránsito y destino de la trata de personas.

    Se calcula que en la capital del país hay 250 mil mujeres y niñas en situación de prostitución, cifra superior por ejemplo a las 145 mil personas que usarán al día la Línea 6 del Metrobús o igual a la tercera parte de las que se mueven en la Red de Transporte de Pasajeros (RTP).

    Del total de mujeres que ejercen esta actividad, el 88% no son originarias de la Ciudad de México; nueve de cada 10 empezaron a ser prostituidas desde los 12 años y el 99% son explotadas por redes de proxenetas y padrotes.

    Un diagnóstico elaborado por la Coalición Regional contra el Tráfico de Mujeres y Niñas en América Latina y el Caribe indica que las mujeres son traídas a la Ciudad de México de estados como Chiapas, Oaxaca, Puebla, Guerrero, Tabasco, Quintana Roo y Veracruz.

    El estudio, presentado en 2012, también refiere que son traídas de países del centro y sur de América como Chile, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador y Argentina, aunque también de Europa del Este y Asia como Rumania, Bulgaria, Rusia y China.


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    Families are best to address radicalization before it escalates into violence

    Edit Schlaffer and Ulrich Kropiunigg feature the research on concerned Mothers and the implementation of the Mothers School against extremism model in the Marhall Center publication per Concordiam.


    » Download


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    La violencia de género es la violencia del patriarcado

    Esclarece aspectos conceptuales clave para entender los basamentos que sostienen este problema social y que es necesario visibilizar para poderlos desmontar y enfrentar

    La Habana, 15 dic. 15. AmecoPress.- “La violencia de género tiene género y es masculino, porque se ejerce para legitimar y defender el poder y el dominio patriarcal”, asegura Clotilde Proveyer Cervantes, profesora del Departamento de Sociología de la Facultada de Filosofía e Historia de la Universidad de La Habana y precursora de los estudios sobre esta materia en Cuba.

    Personalmente comprometida con los esfuerzos por poner fin a la violencia contra las mujeres, Proveyer Cervantes esclarece aspectos conceptuales clave para entender los basamentos que sostienen este problema social y que es necesario visibilizar para poderlos desmontar y enfrentar.


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    This training bulletin is the first in a series developed from the law enforcement perspective, to improve the investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults perpetrated against people with disabilities. This information is designed to be helpful for any professional whose work intersects with the criminal justice system, to ensure that people with disabilities who are victimized have equal access to information, programs, and services - and that they are treated with fairness, compassion, and respect. Everyone involved in the criminal justice and community response system plays a critical role in providing that access and fair treatment.

    Responding to Victims with Disabilities

    dispatchingofficerTypically, police officers are taught to approach victims with disabilities and the investigation "like they would in any other case." The hope is that victims who have a disability will be treated with the same respect as other victims, and this is an important goal we all need to support.  However, when training for law enforcement focuses solely on respect, police officers are left wondering what they should actually do when they are assigned to investigate a crime against a person with a disability. This training bulletin series is designed to provide the information, resources, and referrals that officers and investigators need to improve the response to crime victims with disabilities, particularly those who have been sexually assaulted.


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    NOTE: Video content doesn't get started until 16 minutes into video

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today a new guidance from the Justice Department designed to help law enforcement agencies prevent gender bias in their response to sexual assault and domestic violence, highlighting the need for clear policies, robust training and responsive accountability systems.

    Note, the video for this program has not yet been captioned.  Please check back shortly for the captioned version.

    An unedited transcript compiled from captioning is available[external link] while this video is being close captioned.

    Press Release

    The Guide PDF: Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

    Attorney General’s Remarks

    Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta’s Remarks

    Principal Deputy Director of the  Office on Violence Against Women Bea Hanson’s Remarks

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    The human rights experts concluded that the country falls far behind most others.

    Lt. Gov Kay Ivey/Guillermo Padres Elias/Flickr

    A delegation of human rights experts from Poland, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica spent 10 days this month touring the United States so they can prepare a report on the nation's overall treatment of women. The three women, who lead a United Nations working group on discrimination against women, visited Alabama, Texas and Oregon to evaluate a wide range of U.S. policies and attitudes, as well as school, health and prison systems. 

    The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America. They found the U.S. to be lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas, including its 23 percent gender pay gap, maternity leave, affordable child care and the treatment of female migrants in detention centers.

    The most telling moment of the trip, the women told reporters on Friday, was when they visited an abortion clinic in Alabama and experienced the hostile political climate around women's reproductive rights. 


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    For over two decades we’ve had a close-up view of the inner workings of our Sheriff’s Dept. through the eyes of our clients.  The experiences of the women, mostly young, immigrant women of color, have all along revealed severe civil rights flaws permeating the Sheriff’s Department.

    Despite all efforts toward reform from the outside, - whether through petitions, protests, firsthand accounts, or the decades of lawsuits, - the Sheriff has mostly responded by burrowing deeper into defensiveness and defiance of human rights, bunkering behind the impunity that’s been granted by a succession of roll over DA’s, a lapdog press that won’t dig, a Board of Supervisors that writes the checks and sings praises, and a public finding refuge in disbelief.

    The Visible Fin of the Shark that Lurks Below

    Now, not at all surprisingly, comes an October 5th, 2015 lawsuit that reads like a shocking dispatch from the violent rampages of a third world totalitarian regime


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    "I was jogging but my feet froze when I saw her." 

    That's what one bystander in Lebanon said upon seeing a young girl in a wedding dress posing with what appeared to be a groom old enough to be her grandfather.

    This shocked reaction was one of many captured in a video released this week by Lebanese women's rights organization Kafa -- a video that also shows many pedestrians stopping to congratulate the man on his marriage. 

    For four years, Kafa has been campaigning against Lebanon's reservations to adopting Article 16 of the United Nations' 1979 Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which protects women's and girls' choice in marriage. Article 16 of CEDAW mandates that countries grant men and women equal rights to choose their spouse, enter into marriage and manage familial affairs.

    The photo shoot -- and resulting video -- was a social experiment Kafa staged to gauge Lebanese people's attitudes toward child marriage. "Kafa" is the Arabic word for "enough."


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    Taking the Lead: Sexual Violence Survivors Forging Hope in Colombia follows the stories of sexual violence survivors and women human rights defenders dedicated to breaking the silence around sexual violence in Colombia. These survivors and defenders mobilize by using art therapy, community gatherings and the media to speak out about sexual violence and urge justice for perpetrators. Their work is gaining momentum across the country, with survivors calling loudly for a world where women’s bodies are not used as battlefields. Together, they are forging hope in Colombia.

    LEARN MORE: http://www.stoprapeinconflict.org/joi... 

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    La Plataforma 7N reivindica que las reacciones tras la marcha del patriarcado han sido terribles

    Madrid, 09 diciembre. 15, AmecoPress. La Plataforma 7N pide a los partidos políticos que incluyan en sus programas electorales las reivindicaciones expresadas en el manifiesto de la Marcha 7N. Para ello ha redactado una carta en la que expresan su deseo de acabar con la desigualdad de género y erradicar la violencia de género.

    La plataforma reivindicativa del 7N asegura que después de que 90 ayuntamientos del Estado aprobara la moción para la Plataforma 7N, las reacciones del patriarcado han sido terribles desde el mismo día de la marcha. Por ello han hecho público una carta dirigida expresamente a los partidos políticos para que incluyan en sus programas electorales las reivindicaciones exigidas:

    “Nos dirigimos a su agrupación por ser una de las que aprobaron la moción elaborada por la Plataforma 7N, a fin de lograr el apoyo a la Marcha Estatal contra las Violencias Machistas, adquiriendo así los compromisos incluidos en la misma para la lucha y erradicación de las violencias machistas.


    las reivindicaciones expresadas en el manifiesto de la Marcha 7N:

    • La consideración de las violencias que padecemos las mujeres como terrorismo machista y, como tal, el tratamiento de éste como una cuestión de Estado, incluyéndose como prioridad en la agenda del gobierno y de los grupos parlamentarios de la oposición, arbitrando medidas urgentes y calendarizadas, con presupuestos y recursos acordes para luchar contra él.

    • Sostener todos los días del año, todos los años, los recursos personales, materiales y políticos para la igualdad y para la prevención y atención jurídica, social y psicológica a las víctimas de violencia machista, cumpliendo el art. 19 de la Ley Orgánica 1/2004, estableciendo un sistema estable de financiación estatal, autonómica y local a largo plazo.

    • Ofrecer la atención estable y de calidad, en condiciones de amplia accesibilidad, confidencialidad, protección y anonimato, que incluya la rehabilitación, evaluación y seguimiento. Gestión pública directa de los servicios para la igualdad y contra la violencia de género.

    • Contribuir a la promoción de la igualdad y contra la violencia de género en todos los centros y en todas las etapas educativas, cooperando con la comunidad escolar y visibilizando a las mujeres en todos los contenidos educativos y académicos.

    • Sensibilizar contra el sexismo en la actividad cultural, de organización de festejos, de seguridad y convivencia y todas las actuaciones y servicios de competencia pública y obligar al cumplimiento de la legislación al respecto en aquellos de competencia privada.

    • Erradicar el sexismo, la segregación, el acoso y los estereotipos sexuales en todas las actuaciones y servicios, la publicidad sexista que perpetúa los roles y estereotipos que fomentan la violencia contra la mujer.

    • Ofrecer una atención especial a las mujeres con discriminación múltiple y otros colectivos agredidos por la violencia machista, como mujeres con diversidad sexual, migrantes, con diversidad funcional o sensorial dependientes, en situación de desempleo o en riesgo de exclusión social, con adicciones y no incurrir en la victimización múltiple en los procesos de atención.

    • Arbitrar las medidas necesarias para fomentar la participación de la sociedad civil, en particular las organizaciones de mujeres en el proceso de prevención y asistencia.

    Las mujeres tenemos derecho a una vida libre de violencias. Es nuestro derecho, por eso no dudamos que atenderéis, con el mismo compromiso que aceptasteis aprobar la moción anterior, estas exigencias con la urgencia que merece.”




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    Daniel Holtzclaw

    "All I could think was, he was going to shoot me, he was going to kill me."

    The day after former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw was found 
    guilty of rape and a slew of sexual assault charges, two of his victims spoke out publicly.

    "He just picked the wrong lady to stop that night," said Jannie Logins, the victim who triggered the investigation into Holtzclaw after she reported him.

    Logins, who said she still lives with the trauma of the assault every day, described being pulled over by Holtzclaw and being forced to perform oral sodomy.


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    National Survey Finds That Police Hostility and Bias Remain Problems for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

    The shooting deaths by police of unarmed African-American men and the violent treatment of Sandra Bland have focused national attention and outrage on the problem of police racial bias and brutality. A new national survey finds that the same kind of police bias often affects police responses to sexual assault and domestic violence.

    Over 900 advocates, service providers, and attorneys who work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence responded to a national survey regarding policing and domestic and sexual violence.  Responses from the Field: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Policing describes what they shared with us.

    Advocates identified police inaction, hostility, and bias against survivors as a key barrier to seeking criminal justice intervention.  Eighty-eight percent (88%) said that police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence. Over 80% of respondents believed that police relations with marginalized communities influenced survivors’ willingness to call the police.  Respondents told us that many police are biased against women of color, immigrant women, and poor women. They are biased against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender survivors. They are biased against young survivors of sexual assault, believing that rape is really just “regret sex.” They are biased against sex workers and those who suffer drug addiction.




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    About the Film - Made Available online HERE Until 2/14/2016 by PBS

    India's Daughter is the story of the brutal gang rape and murder in Delhi of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh, which sparked protests and serious debate about gender inequality across India.

    From the earliest age, Jyoti wanted to become a doctor, but her father had no hope of affording her education. She persuaded him to put what little money he had managed to save for her marriage to cover the cost of admission to medical school. To support herself, Jyoti worked night shifts at a call center, sleeping just three hours a night over the course of four years.

    On an early December evening in 2012, Jyoti joined a male friend for an evening out at the movies. After the show, they caught a bus to make the trip home. On board, six men beat Jyoti’s friend and, for almost an hour as the bus circled the Delhi streets, raped and tortured Jyoti mercilessly, then dumped her on the roadside. Jyoti clung to life for two weeks, but succumbed to her extensive injuries after seven surgeries.

    The details of Jyoti’s horrific rape and murder captured India’s attention, and demonstrations erupted throughout the country as women and men alike took to the streets in outrage. Through interviews with Jyoti’s family and friends, victims’ rights advocates, as well as from the assailants, their lawyers, and their families, India’s Daughter paints a complicated picture of a country struggling to embrace modernity while wrestling with the rampant effects of extreme poverty and patriarchal attitudes towards women.

    The Filmmaker

    Born in Israel, Leslee Udwin (Director/Producer) began her career as a stage actress in England. She started making films in 1986; her many credits include Sitting Targets, based on her own experience with one of Britain’s most notorious criminal landlords, in which she co-starred with Jonathan Hyde and Phyllis Logan; the award-winning docudrama Who Bombed Birmingham?, starring John Hurt, about two 1974 bomb attacks in Birmingham that left 21 dead and six innocent men wrongly convicted and which led to their release after 17 years of imprisonment; the BAFTA Award-winning comedy-drama East Is East; the romantic comedy The One and Only; the satiric comedy Mrs. Ratcliffe’s Revolution; and West Is West, the sequel to East Is East. She is the founder of the production company Assassin Films. In 2000, Udwin was awarded the London Critic’s Circle Producer of the Year Award, was named No 2 Most Impactful Woman of 2015 by The New York Times (2nd to Hillary Clinton), and she recently received the Anna Lindh Human Rights Prize (which was won by Madeleine Albright in 2013). She also regularly lectures on the power of film to educate and open hearts and minds. Leslee is now working as an activist on the solution to the global problem India's Daughter identifies. She is advising the UN Human Rights Office on a global human rights education initiative which will bring "education of the heart and not just of the head" to world schools on a compulsory basis and from the first day of entry of a child into school. 


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    In 2002, the Boston Globe uncovered widespread sex abuse in the Catholic Church, leading to a nationwide scandal. The journalists behind the report join HuffPost Live to discuss the movie "Spotlight," which tells the story behind the investigation. 





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    Investigating Nigeria's notorious baby farms and the criminals who abuse and exploit women for profit.

    It is understandable why a desperate childless couple might do anything to have a baby, but those who exploit their unhappiness for profit are not so easy to forgive.

    In this deeply disturbing episode of Africa Investigates, Ghana's undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas and investigative reporter Rosemary Nwaebuni team up to identify and expose some of those those behind Nigeria's heart-breaking baby trade.

    It is a scam that exploits couples desperate for a baby and young pregnant single mothers - often stigmatised in a country where abortion is illegal except in the most dire medical emergency. It is also a trade that international NGOs have identified as sinister and out of control.

    Filming undercover, the team find bogus doctors and clinics offering spurious fertility treatments in return for large amounts of money. In their guise as a childless couple, Anas and Rosemary are falsely diagnosed by one dodgy clinician as being unable to conceive children.

    When the footage is reviewed by an official from Nigeria's Ministry of Health, he is appalled at the way vulnerable people are being conned. "You should not allow these people access to the public," he says.

    But worse is to come. The team go on to uncover orphanages and clinics that act as brokers for illegal baby sales, by which naive, greedy or simply desperate young mothers are "persuaded" to hand over their newborn children for cash.


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     “Aunque sea de forma sutil, aún hay muchas letras sexistas”

    El reguetón, el rap gangsta y en México la música banda se distinguen por su letras machistas. Es un mal que ha estado presente en la música popular desde hace mucho tiempo y del que ni siquiera la aparentemente inocua música pop queda exenta

    Madrid, 01 nov. 15. AmecoPresss.- Que se repita un patrón, una idea o cualquier otra cosa hace que guste más y se acepte como lo bueno y lo normal. Así reza la Teoría de la Mera Exposición, un fenómeno psicológico según el cual las personas tienden a desarrollar preferencia por aquello que les es familiar. Ahí reside, precisamente, el peligro de las canciones sexistas: que si se repiten lo suficiente sus mensajes y estereotipos pueden llegar a calar en la sociedad. De ello se muestra convencida Carmen Díez, profesora de la UPV/EHU, especialista en género y antropología feminista.

    ¿Hasta qué punto es importante la música para la sociedad?

    La música siempre ha sido muy importante en cualquier tiempo y lugar. Sirve para muchas cosas, incluso para terapia. Pero lo que realmente ha sido y es la música es una poderosa fuente de creación de emociones. Cuando escuchamos una canción de nuestra infancia nos evoca esas vivencias de nuestro pasado, aunque no recordemos conscientemente haberla escuchado. Y puede transmitir infinidad de mensajes. Es más, como elemento de comunicación tiene más fuerza que otros medios como la televisión, porque es más profundo.

    ¿Qué ocurre entonces cuando la música transmite letras sexistas?


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    This holiday season, please help us in our fight to secure safety and justice for all women and girls!

    Women's Justice Center doesn't receive any government funds. This is intentional so that we can fully advocate for women wherever their rights are violated without having to worry about losing funds.

    This means we depend completely on individuals like you to carry on. So this holiday please join us with your support!

    Yes, we're tax deductible! We're experienced! And we're passionate about ending the violence!

    Thank you and have a happy, stress-free holiday!

    And as a little something for you, we'd like to introduce you to three of our neighbors from the Bennet Valley neighborhood of Santa Rosa, CA our hometown, a mother mountain lion standing guard while her two older cubs quench their thirst.

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    Kristin Bantle, a sixteen-year veteran police officer, received notice of her termination from the Steamboat Springs, Colorado Police Department on August 10. Five days later she had her first court appearance on a contrived charge of “attempting to influence a public official.” Those events constitute official retaliation against Bantle for publicly criticizing the SSPD’s “culture of fear and intimidation” and its “militaristic” approach to law enforcement. Her trial on a fourth-degree felony charge is scheduled to begin on December 1.

    Bantle has rejected several proposed plea deals, the terms of which she believes would have prevented her from warning the community about  “a paramilitary police department” for which excessive force is standard operating procedure, and abuse of individual rights is commonplace. She outlined her concerns in a March 25 letter to the Steamboat Springs City Council. She was not the first or only former SSPD officer to go public with concerns about the department. Former Detective Dave Kleiber, who resigned in 2013, had provided an even more detailed critique of the SSPD in a March 9th open letter to city residents. 

    Both whistleblowers now find themselves targeted for prosecution. The charges against Bantle, who was removed from her duties as a School Resource Officer last Spring — a few weeks after contacting the City Council — are related to omissions in a job application she filed with the Routt County Sheriff’s Office a few years ago after she had become disillusioned with the SSPD. Kleiber, who now works as a private investigator, learned in July that the County Prosecutor’s Office may prosecute him for alleged perjury during a 2013 criminal trial.



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    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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