Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

How direct costs of Tennessee's most violent crimes are weighing down our economy and tearing down a gender, with recommendations for prevention.

Partial Table of Contents:

A Tally: The Economic Impact of Violence Against Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Challenges to Collecting VAW Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Costs to Taxpayers, Our Communities & the Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Crimes Against Women & Criminal Justice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Violence and Children’s Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“The Intersection Between Domestic Violence and Sex Trafficking in Children” . . . . . . . . . .
Medical & Mental Health Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Social Service Providers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Workplace Inefficiency & Violence . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 
How Violence Impedes Growth and Economic Stability. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
What Victimization Means for an Entire Gender. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Hidden Costs of Inaction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Total Estimated Cost of Violence Against Women. . . . . . . . . . . 
 
Recommendations Toward Prevention . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A.-D. Education & Prevention. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
E. Recovery-Oriented Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
F. Control-Oriented Offender Counseling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
G. Healthcare Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I.-J. Community Awareness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
K.-L. Trafficking Rehabilitation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
M. Collaboration and Best Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
N. Faith-Based Outreach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 
Domestic Violence in Tennessee. . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Size of the Problem. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Victims and Offenders in Detail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Underreporting and the Psychology of Domestic Violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 
Human Sex Trafficking in Tennessee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Emerging Awareness and the Victimization of Minors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Lucrative Business of Human Sex Trafficking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“How Women Are Lured Into Selling Their Bodies for Sex” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Victims as Traffickers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
Where We Are: Human Sex Trafficking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 

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La periodista colombiana Jineth Bedoya fue secuestrada, torturada y violada hace trece años por unos paramilitares cuando realizaba una investigación periodística. Hoy, desde el periodismo y también como activista, es la voz de las miles de mujeres que han sufrido y sufren la violencia sexual en Colombia. Según Intermón Oxfam serían casi medio millón las mujeres víctimas de esta lacra del conflicto armado colombiano.

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Legal Action

Legal Momentum to Represent Women Sheet Metal Workers

On December 22, 2013, Legal Momentum filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought by the EEOC against Vamco, a New York State contractor. The suit alleges that a class of women sheet metal workers were treated unfairly and unjustifiably terminated because of their sex. Legal Momentum represents four women in the class who had years of experience with welding and sheet metal work.

Legal Momentum Files Amicus in Housing Discrimination Case

Legal Momentum filed an Amicus Brief in the United States Supreme Court in the case of Township of Mt. Holly et al. vs. Mt. Holly Gardens et al. on behalf of Legal Momentum and several other civil rights advocacy organizations. Tim Casey, director of Legal Momentum's Women and Poverty program, and staff attorney Jelena Kolic wrote the brief. Casey was counsel of record.

The amicus brief was about housing discrimination against victims of domestic violence, the majority of whom are women. The Court could have decided the issue of whether the Fair Housing Act authorizes “disparate impact” challenges to policies that do not explicitly discriminate on the ground of race or sex, but which have an unjustified disproportionate racial or gender impact. However, the case was settled before the Court could hear it.

Amicus Curiae Brief Filed in Lozano vs. Montoya Custody Case

The case centers on whether, under international law, a child who was abducted and relocated to the United States by her mother must be returned to her father in the U.K. after residing in the U.S. for more than one year. Legal Momentum and the other organizations filing the Amicus brief argue that concealment for purposes of safely escaping domestic violence is sometimes essential because the risks of violence against women and children are greatest after separation from the abuser, and abusers often attempt to recapture their victims—in which case the risks to victims’ health and safety increase significantly—and therefore the Court should not extend the one-year limit and the child should not be returned to the U.K.

Legal Momentum to File Amicus Brief in Montana Rape Case

In the last issue of this newsletter, we reported on Lynn Hecht Schafran’s work with NOW’s Montana and Pennsylvania chapters to file a complaint with the Montana judicial disciplinary board against a judge who had not only given a mere 30-day sentence to a teacher who raped a young teenager, but also made awful comments about the victim.

The Montana Attorney General has since filed an appeal on the ground that the sentence was illegal. Legal Momentum, along with the NOW chapters and west coast women’s advocacy organization Legal Voice, and a local cooperating attorney, is filing an amicus brief on other aspects of this case—including violations of the code of judicial conduct—and will sign on. In December the Montana Supreme Court approved the motion to file the brief.

Legal Momentum Co-Authors Amicus in Case on Domestic Violence and Guns

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court heard arguments in U.S. vs. Castleman, for which Legal Momentum co-authored an amicus brief. This case centers on whether a gun trafficker who abused the mother of his child should be able to legally buy guns. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) urged the Supreme Court to uphold federal laws—and those state laws like Tennessee’s—that were enacted to ensure that domestic violence abusers are prohibited from possessing guns. (Read more here.)

“The only appropriate action in U.S. v. Castleman is to follow the clear and common sense language that prohibits domestic violence abusers from possessing firearms,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV and Legal Momentum board member.

 

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Late evening of October 16, at least two people in a Santa Rosa neighborhood were simultaneously dialing 911 as they were suddenly alarmed by witnessing a woman in her nightgown and robe fighting and screaming to keep from being forced into a car by multiple abductors. 
 
By the time police arrived on the scene, the car the woman had been forced into had left. The victim’s husband had gotten their 3 children into a second car and had also left or was about to leave. 
 
According to the police dispatch report (CAD), the officers were informed the husband claimed that they (the husband and the other abductors) were taking Daria (not her real name) to rehab. Without any further investigation, the officers walked away from the scene of the crime and canceled the call. 
 
And that was the end of it!  
 
Despite multiple credible independent witnesses to an in-progress forced abduction of a woman fighting and screaming to get away, none of the responding officers opened an investigation. None of the officers wrote up a crime report, nor an incident report, nor any kind of report at all. None of the officers even issued a BOLO on the cars. None of the officers did anything except walk away.
 
And that was only the beginning of Daria's struggles against a cascade of police refusals to act, a struggle that continues to today.
 
 

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Please, PASS This ON to OTHERS
 
SANTA ROSA, CA is RECRUITING a NEW POLICE CHIEF!
 
Santa Rosa, CA, located 70 miles north of San Francisco, is currently searching for a new police chief to head the 163 officer Santa Rosa Police Department.
 
SEEKING CANDIDATE WITH PROGRESSIVE POLICING PHILOSOPHY,  ...SOMEONE LOOKING FOR A CHALLENGE
 
Santa Rosa is a liberal community of 160,000 people, but our police force has remained stubbornly stuck in the old days. It’s been unwilling to integrate its ranks, plagued with sex discrimination lawsuits, fatal officer-involved-shooting lawsuits, deplorable violence against women statistics, and an array of backward practices and policies. 
 
     Here are three links links for our outline of some of the problems:
          Letter of Complaint: http://justicewomen.com/lettersrpdkidnap.pdf
                Brief History: http://justicewomen.com/srpdurgentalertflyer.pdf      
                   Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifPuznnYE9M  
 
If you like the challenge of creating positive change, if you have an open, progressive, and inclusive policing philosophy, this could be the job for you. The people of Santa Rosa want change. We need and will support a police chief who can lead the way!
 
WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU?     Look at google maps and you’ll see! In Santa Rosa you’ll have vast wild lands, the stunning Pacific coast, glorious rivers, diverse community, great universities, scores of parks, world class dining, plush gardens, plus the whole San Francisco Bay area all right at your doorstep. 
 
CONTACT: The city of Santa Rosa has hired the executive search firm of,
Ralph Anderson and Associates, Tel: 916.630.4900
Recruiting Agent, David Morgan, 
 
WE ARE: Women’s Justice Center. We’d be glad to answer any questions you may have. You can call us at (707) 575-3150.

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Sweden's innovative sex-trade laws criminalise clients, not prostitutes. The result: a 70 per cent drop in business. Joan Smith jumps in a squad car with local police to find out how it works – and whether Britain could follow suit

 Once I arrested a priest and he told me I'd ruined his life. I told him, 'I haven't ruined your life, you have.'"

I am sitting in the back of an unmarked police car on the small island of Skeppsholmen, to the east of Stockholm's picturesque old town. Above us is the city's modern art museum but it's a dark February night and we're not here to appreciate culture. "They park up there," says the detective in the front passenger seat, pointing to a car park at the top of the hill. "We wait a few minutes and then we leap out, run up the hill and pull open the doors."

What happens next is a textbook example of the way Sweden's law banning the purchase of sex works in practice. The driver of the car, who's brought a prostituted woman to the island to have sex, is arrested on the spot. He's given a choice: admit the offence and pay a fine, based on income, or go to court and risk publicity. The woman, who hasn't broken any law, is offered help from social services if she wants to leave prostitution. Otherwise, she's allowed to go.

"Buying sex is one of the most shameful crimes you can be arrested for," explains the detective, Simon Haggstrom. He's young, black, and his appearance – shaved head, baggy jeans – suggests a music industry executive rather than a cop. But he's in charge of the prostitution unit of Stockholm county police and he's proud of the fact that he's arrested more than 600 men under the Swedish law: "We've arrested everyone from drug addicts to politicians. Once I arrested a priest and he told me I'd ruined his life. I told him, 'I haven't ruined your life, you have.'"

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Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, ANITA reveals the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power. Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, the film is both a celebration of Anita Hill's legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side that fateful day 22 years ago. Anita Hill courageously speaks openly and intimately for the first time about her experiences that led her to testify before the Senate and the obstacles she faced in simply telling the truth. She also candidly discusses what happened to her life and work in the 22 years since.

Contemporary Interview with Anita Hill about her upcoming documentary, Anita (interview starts with an ad)

Anita Hill Movie Facebook Page

 

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The U.S. Supreme Court this week heard arguments on a case that could put a serious dent in the ugly business of child pornography.

In federal court in Texas, Doyle Paroline was found guilty of possession of child pornography. Among the photos he possessed were two images of an 8-year-old child known as “Amy.” Amy’s images have been distributed for years in child pornography circles, causing her to suffer injuries the judge said were worth millions of dollars in restitution.

The Supreme Court has never before addressed the issue of how much restitution a victim of child pornography should receive from a person convicted of possession. Though federal law is clear that a victim “shall” be compensated fully for her injuries, the court now has to decide whether full compensation means the relative responsibility of each individual possessor for his portion of the harm, or that each individual is fully responsible for the whole amount of a victim’s entire damages.

In tort law, making each individual fully responsible for the whole amount is known as “joint and several” liability. It ensures that injured victims get the money they need, especially in cases where injuries are not easily divisible. For example, in asbestos cases, where the cause of a plaintiff’s injuries is often connected to multiple manufacturers, the injured person is entitled to receive the entire damage award from only one manufacturer, even if their role was relatively minor.

Criminal law is different, but restitution for crime victims is usually analyzed using tort law principles, because at the time restitution is being decided guilt has already been determined.

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Two years ago, the Women’s Law Project and nine other organizations committed to the enforcement of Title IX sent a letter to then-Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali requesting that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) perform a compliance review of Penn State under Title IX, the federal law that requires schools to take steps to prevent and remedy the effects of sexual harassment and sexual assault so that students are not denied access to an education. Last week, on January 23, 2014, Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, announced in a letter to Rodney Erickson, the President of Penn State, that OCR will finally examine the University’s handling of sexual harassment and sexual assault complaints.

The advocates’ letter, dated December 12, 2011, was signed by the Women’s Law Project, California Women’s Law Center, Legal Voice, Equal Rights Advocates, Equity Legal, National Women’s Law Center, Legal Aid Society—Employment Law Center, Women’s Sports Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, and the Southwest Women’s Law Center. The advocates’ request came in response to reports that the University had failed to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual abuse by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. The advocates specifically requested a review of Penn State’s policies and procedures relating to sexual harassment and violence and its handling of past student complaints of such misconduct by student athletes in light of evidence that Penn State, like other universities, has applied a double-standard in its disciplinary process that unduly favors student athletes who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

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New York is the country's fourth-largest hub for human trafficking. Laura discovered its brutality firsthand 

 

This article originally appeared on Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

It’s part of the game. Because you got to establish a certain thing. You got to establish some fear in that female in order to get that respect. You have to really show that girl — if you told that girl you was gonna kill her, when it come time to [fighting], you have to almost kill her, to beg her to say, “Daddy, no please don’t kill me.” You have to be that serious.

– Bishop Don “Magic” Juan, interview with VladTV.com, April 2013. (See video at end of post) 

(*Editor’s note: “Laura Abasi,” “DJ,” and “Quinn” are not the characters’ real names. All other names in the story are real.)

In early spring of 2004, Laura Abasi stepped out the passenger side of a white Mercedes coupe and onto a red carpet. Laura, 21, didn’t have much time to get ready for the event, an album premiere party at an entertainment studio on Manhattan’s west side. It didn’t matter. DJ had walked into her room about 30 minutes before they had to leave and thrust a shopping bag at her. She slipped on its contents—a knee-length, multi-colored, long-sleeved wrap dress and strappy black stiletto heels. Both items fit perfectly. DJ knew her size—her body—better than she did.

At the party, DJ strode into a thicket of artists and music industry execs flitting around the crowded studio. DJ was Laura’s pimp, and he had purchased her outfit for the occasion. He knew some of the famous faces at the party through his boss, a Billboard chart-topping rapper. DJ introduced Laura to his boss and his wife, and maybe two other men in suits. Of course, DJ referred to Laura as “Amber,” her professional alias. She hadn’t heard “Laura,” her given name, since she was a teenager.

DJ’s boss knew he was a pimp. He had even cast DJ as a pimp in a recent music video, but MTV cut the scene when producers realized DJ wasn’t acting. If anyone else at the party understood or even wondered about DJ and Laura’s relationship, they didn’t indicate it.

“This is Amber,” DJ said.

Laura had turned her first trick on February 1, 2000, for a pimp named Quinn. The Kenyan-born, 5-foot-11 high school dropout thought she would become a model. At 18, she was old for a “green” prostitute—pimps usually “break” girls before they reach 14. And, with her doctor father and middle-class upbringing, Laura had seen more Volvos and college pamphlets than most trafficking victims ever would. Laura’s family emigrated to the U.S. when she was a baby and eventually settled down in a suburban part of Queens.

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This document is a starting point for analyzing family issues that affect a large percentage of female inmates; a variety of resources, legal and otherwise, are cited to help further research about these issues. This document provides information to administrators in developing policies and practices to address the issues common in female offender populations by providing the legal framework in which authorities made decisions and the contextual information around those decisions. This document is the first of a two-part series on legal issues affecting corrections with regard to justice-involved women. It specifically focuses on reproductive health issues; pregnancy management, particularly with regard to obstetrics and gynecological health issues; pregnancy-related security considerations; visitation; the effect of parental incarceration on both the incarcerated mother and child; and how these issues must inform reentry planning. This document is recommended as a reference for commissioners of correctional departments and their legal staff, wardens, sheriffs, and other prison and jail administrators; community correctional officials; service providers; and stakeholders, including advocates for inmates. 248 endnotes

SEE FULL DOCUMENT PDF

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Mount Pleasant, NY, January 24, 2014,  Police Chief, Brian Fanelli, arrested with charges of possession of child pornography http://ow.ly/sVku3 
 
Baltimore MD, January 24, 2014, officer, Lamin Manneh, age 32, pled guilty: went over state lines to operate prostitution business http://ow.ly/sViih 
 
Denver, CO, January 23, 2014,  sheriff's deputy, Paul Della Rosa, 52,  gave 3 teen girls alcohol during overnight visit; filmed them at pool, lay in bed w them http://ow.ly/sVhS1 
 
Henderson Co, NC, January 18, 2014,  Deputy Daniel Lindsey, age 27, arrested;  charged with three felony counts of sex offense with a student http://ow.ly/sTajg 
 
Windermere, FL, January 22,2014, police chief Daniel Saylorfound guilty; accused of false testimony to help his friend later convicted of raping children http://ow.ly/sT1q3 
 
Benton, AR, January 22, 2014,  police officer, Lt. Monte Hodge,  arrested, charged with rape http://ow.ly/sSYAx 
 
Raleigh Co, NC, January 22, 2014, Deputy Randy Burgess, sentenced to 1 yr home incarceration following his guilty plea to domestic battery against his daughter http://ow.ly/sTcqc 
 
Polk County, Florida: January 23, 2014. A Sheriff’s Office deputy, Julio Jose Garcia,  was arrested and accused of forcing arrested women to take their clothes off and let him touch them. http://ow.ly/sSXHd
 
Lake County, Florida: January 23, 2014, A deputy, Matthew Donnelly , has been arrested on sexual battery charges. The victim says the officer groped her and made inappropriate comments during a traffic stop. The officer’s dash cam was allegedly turned off for about 22 minutes during the encounter. http://ow.ly/sSY3W
 
Phoenix, Arizona: January 20,2014, A police officer,  Justin LaClere, has resigned after being arrested by detectives in connection with a sex crime investigation. The investigation involves a sex act between the officer and a 17-year-old girl. investigation http://ow.ly/sOmII
 
Nelson County, North Dakota: January 17, 2014, A sheriff, Kelly Janke, resigned to avoid being charged with stalking a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair. http://ow.ly/sQndL
 
Linden, Utah: January 17, 2014, A police officer, Joshua Boren, shot and killed his wife, mother-in-law and his two young children, then himself. http://ow.ly/sOo5F
 

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According to the US Census, Latin@s account for 16.3% of the total population. Because of theincreasing growth of the Latin@ population, more and more domestic violence programs are becoming aware of the importance of improving their outreach efforts. Advocates are increasingly understanding that outreach to Latin@ communities goes beyond a translated brochure or Spanish poster. Successful Latin@ outreach programming must be culturally appropriate, incorporating services that are respectful of and responsive to cultural and linguistic needs (OMH, 2001). This type of approach honors and respects the diverse beliefs, experiences, languages and goals of those receiving services.

Outreach to a specific population must be well planned and should include input from members of that community regarding their specific needs. In some cases programs lack the necessary foundation to ensure that their well-intended efforts are successful. In order to develop a successful outreach to Latin@ communities dv programs should consider the following:

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SEE ALSO:  Improving Services and Outreach to the Latino Community 

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New Actors, New Money, New Conversations

A Mapping of Recent Initiatives for Women and Girls

The third report in a new research series on resources for women's rights organizing from the Association for Women's Rights in Development, this publication presents the results of our mapping of new donors making major commitments to work with "women and girls", to better understand this trend and its impact on women's organizations.

By Julia Miller, Angelika Arutyunova, and Cindy Clark

Investing in women and girls as ‘smart economics’ has become a favored strategy in development and philanthropy over the past several years, resulting in a host of campaigns and initiatives—including from actors in the private sector that had not previously been seen as “development” players—dedicated to supporting girls and women. With AWID’s long history in research, analysis and advocacy around resources for women’s rights organizing, we sought to understand how this trend was impacting women’s organizations, given the important role they play in advancing sustainable, long term change for women around the world.

Building on the latest Where is the Money for Women’s Rights report, “Watering the Leaves, Starving the Roots,” and as part of a three part interrelated research series on women’s rights organizing, the  purpose of this report is to contribute to filling a gap, particularly among women’s rights organizations, in understanding the current landscape of the corporate sector and other actors that are new to supporting women and girls, and the role they are playing in shaping related funding discourse and practice. This report is not an exhaustive account of these actors’ involvement in development funding, but it unpacks some of the most visible trends impacting women and girls – the ‘tip of the iceberg’ as it were – and offers important considerations for women’s rights organizations interested in influencing and engaging with these trends.

Download PDF

Read online

 

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Madrid, 22 ene. 14. AmecoPress/RSE.- "La igualdad de género es un mito". Así arranca el artículo que Beyoncé ha escrito para el "Informe Shriver", una investigación liderada por la ex de Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, para denunciar las discriminaciones de género.
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Beyoncé asegura que "la igualdad se alcanzará cuando hombres y mujeres reciban igual salario e igual respeto". La cantante lamenta: "Hoy en día, las mujeres constituyen la mitad de los trabajadores estadounidenses, pero la mujer media gana sólo el 77% de lo que gana un hombre medio. Pero a menos que las mujeres y los hombres digan que esto es inaceptable, las cosas no cambiarán.

" Beyoncé se muestra optimista y convencida de que el cambio es posible. Además de la cantante, el "Informe Shriver" cuenta con el apoyo de numerosos nombres conocidos. Entre ellos, se encuentran las actrices Eva Longoria, Jada Pinkett Smith y Jennifer Garner; la política Hillary Rodham Clinton, y las académicas Anne-Marie Slaughter o la misma Maria Shriver.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is launching an initiative to combat sexual assault, particularly on college campuses, turning the spotlight on a problem that has devastated millions of Americans yet rarely receives such White House attention.

Obama planned to sign a presidential memorandum Wednesday creating a task force to protect students from sexual assault, with a new White House report declaring that no one in America is more at risk of being raped or assaulted than college women. The report, "Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action," says that 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted at college but that only 12 percent of student victims report the assault.

ARTICLE CONTINUES HERE

FULL REPORT, Rape and Sexual Assault, a Renewed Call to Action, PDF HERE

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KOLKATA, Jan 13 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A 20-year-old woman in eastern India was gang-raped by 13 men on the orders of a village court as punishment for having a relationship with a man from a different community, a senior police officer said on Thursday.

The woman, who is now recovering in hospital, told police she was assaulted by the men on the night of Jan. 20 in Birbhum district in West Bengal.

Police said that her male companion was tied up in the village square, while the assault on the woman happened in a mud house.

"We arrested all the 13 men, including the village chief who ordered the gang rape. The accused have been produced in court which remanded them to jail custody," Birbhum's Superintendent of Police, C. Sudhakar, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Here is the truckload of reasons why safety activists should be working to stop the Campus Sex Violence Elimination Act from taking effect in March. This law was snuck in under the VAWA authorization, and now it's time to take a much closer look.

(WOMENSENEWS)-- I've already written about some of the problems with the Campus Sex Violence Elimination Act. But now that SaVE, as the law is called, is scheduled to take effect on March 7 this fight is getting serious.

I'm partnering with a group of activists around the country, including the "Godmother of Title IX" Bernice Sandler, to obtain a court ruling regarding the constitutionality of SaVE before it takes effect.

We hope to persuade a judge that aspects of SaVE are unconstitutional because they sweep away central provisions of a federal civil rights law that was designed to provide victims of campus sexual assault (and other forms of gender-based violence) with a means of holding offenders and schools accountable.

SaVE effectively overturns Title IX's longstanding regulatory mandate requiring schools to adopt "prompt and equitable" policies and procedures to ensure effective justice for victims of gender-based violence.

The law was introduced to Congress in April 2011 and at first SaVE looked good. Soon after the bill was filed, however, several good provisions were removed and harmful provisions were added.

When the harmful changes were made, advocates started to object, after which SaVE was slipped into theViolence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Since VAWA is a big funding law, the move silenced many groups that desperately needed to see it passed to get VAWA money.

 

Some argue that SaVE doesn't hurt Title IX because it amended the Clery Act, not Title IX itself. But this view is silly because Congress has wide authority to amend any federal law, indirectly, by changing a different but related statute. It's a sneaky way to reform laws without provoking those who will be affected by the harmful changes.

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Geneva —

A two-day meeting to support women’s participation and voice in the Syrian peace process, convened in Geneva by UN Women together with the Government of the Netherlands, ended today with a statement by Syrian women civil society members and activists.

 

Photo: UN Women
Approximately 50 Syrian women surround UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, (centre-left) and UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi (centre-right) at the conference in Geneva. Photo: UN Women

The Outcome Statement calls for support of the political process, urging all parties to transcend their differences to reach an agreement for a free, pluralistic and democratic Syria that respects human rights, including the rights and equality between men and women; and for decision-makers to respect Syrian women’s right to full political participation in all matters related to shaping the future of their country. 

“We cannot remain silent regarding events in Syria, such as daily death, massive destruction, starvation, displacement of hundreds of thousands of families (in Syria and abroad); and the spread of terror, violence, ongoing detentions, acts of kidnapping, destruction of infrastructure and the spread of disease, particularly among children,” said Sabah Alhallak, who together with Kefah Ali Deeb, Rafif Jouejati and Delsha Ayo, were selected by approximately 50 women from inside and outside Syria who participated in the meeting to address the media on their behalf.

SEE SUMMARY AND FULL TEXT OF RECOMMENDATIONS

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Operation Candid Camera: Rialto Police Department’s Body-Worn Camera Experiment ~ January 2014 Police Chief Magazine

STUDY EXCERPT: Discussion

In this experiment, the department tested for the first time the effect of body-worn video cameras on self-awareness and, ultimately, socially desirable behavior. The cameras were hypothesized to increase police officers’ self-consciousness and, therefore, increase their compliance to rules of conduct, especially concerning use of force. The findings suggest a more than 50 percent reduction in the total number of incidents of use of force compared to control-conditions, and nearly 10 times less citizens’ complaints than in the 12 months prior to the experiment.

SEE FULL STUDY

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SEE ALSO:

National Institute of Justice Study  on Police Attitudes Toward Rape and Rape  Victims

 
Police often explain their paltry clearance rates in rape cases with familiar refrains that only add insult to injury. These cases, they say, "are difficult to prove", "are 'he said, she said'", "have uncooperative victims", etc. But a  2010 National Institute of Justice study** of sex crime detectives and front line officers from multiple police agencies puts the blame squarely where it should be, and confirms what we have long observed.
 
The NIJ study finds that, indeed, police have learned to give "politically correct" answers about sexual assaults. But as the following excerpt from the study abstract makes clear, the
mind set of most police is still locked and loaded against sex crimes victims, and worse, it’s stubbornly unwilling to change.
 
Quoting from the NIJ study abstract:
 
"Still, the findings from administering the rape scale to the officers indicate that despite many years of training, a large number of police officers still hold attitudes and opinions that undermine their ability to treat rape victims well. The officers were almost unanimously opposed to changing to a system of investigation and case processing that gives priority to protecting victims." ........
 
"Among the police officers in this study, there was virtually no interest in and some strong resistance to examining innovative and improved ways of investigating and managing rape cases. The dominant theme in current investigative techniques is the presumption that victims are lying and the initial job of the investigators is to expose it." (emphasis
ours)

See abstract and link to pdf of full study text here:

** Police Investigation of Rapes - Roadblocks and Solutions,

 

 

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La campaña 2014 del Mes de Conciencia sobre la Agresión Sexual (SAAM) se centra en la sexualidad saludable y l@s jóvenes. Este abril, usa tu voz para tener un impacto en nuestro futuro.

Esta campaña brinda herramientas sobre la sexualidad saludable de adolescentes y cómo propiciar la participación activa de jóvenes. Entérate de cómo puedes jugar un rol en promover una base saludable para las relaciones, el desarrollo y la prevención de la violencia sexual. La campaña SAAM 2014 involucra a personas adultas para que apoyen un desarrollo juvenil positivo y alienta a jóvenes a ser activistas a favor del cambio. En inglés.

SAAM 2014: Adolescentes saludables

Visión general del desarrollo sexual adolescente

Prácticas óptimas para involucrar a jóvenes como socios y socias en la prevención de la violencia sexual

Estrategias para hacerse aliad@s de jóvenes a fin de prevenir la violencia sexual

Sexualidad saludable y segura: Hablemos de lo que tú quieres y necesitas

Cómo convertirte en agente de cambio social: Guía para activistas jóvenes

VER RECURSOS

 

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