Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

 

La red de “Promotoras para la prevención de la violencia de género” se presentó en el Tercer Encuentro que la Red de Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe celebró bajo el lema “Por nuestro derecho a vivir una vida libre de violencias”

 

Madrid, 22 septiembre. 15, AmecoPress. El momento de tomar la decisión de salir de la espiral del maltrato, separarse del agresor y denunciar la violencia es muy complicado. Tal vez el más frágil en todo el proceso que sigue una mujer para volver a tomar las riendas de su vida. Los agresores huelen el fin de su imperio y suelen acrecentar los signos de su dominio. Ellas se enfrentan a trámites y cambios que desconocen y para los que no se sienten preparadas. Si además, se trata de mujeres inmigrantes, la vulnerabilidad aumenta. Por ello, es fundamental la promoción de redes sociales de apoyo para el acompañamiento de mujeres inmigrantes que sufren violencia de género.

“En muchos de nuestros diagnósticos, constatamos que faltan redes sociales para apoyar la decisión de denunciar”, afirma Tatiana Retamozo para explicar una iniciativa reciente, impulsada desde la asociación de mujeres Amalgama –incluida en la Red de Mujeres Latinoamericanas y del Caribe en España-: una red de “Promotoras para la prevención de la violencia de género”.

CONTINUA

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Tribal Law and Policy Institute Logo Tribal Law and Policy Institute
 
This is a guide for Native-American tribes interested in drafting or revising tribal laws under the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) sentencing- enhancement provisions or the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization of 2013, which pertains to Special Criminal Domestic Violence Jurisdiction.
 
Abstract: The guide focuses on the tribal code and rule changes that may be required should a tribe decide to implement the increased tribal authority in either or both statutes. It identifies and discusses the concerns and issues that must be addressed in implementing these provisions, and examples are provided for tribal codes and tribal court rules (February 2105). Regarding the drafting of a victim-centered approach to domestic violence against Native-American women, the guide includes exercises, examples, and discussion questions that assist tribes in customizing their laws to meet community needs. The guide also addresses the drafting or revision of victim-centered tribal criminal law on sexual assault and stalking.. Sample language and discussion questions are designed to help tribal community members decide on the best laws for their community. In addition, assistance is provided to tribes and tribal organizations that have received grants under the Children’s Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities, which addresses issues related to child abuse and victimization. Illustrative examples, narrative, and discussion questions are provided.

GUIDE PDF ONLINE

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About This Series
 
The Catholic Church has long been under fire for covering up priests' sexual abuse of children, and for transferring perpetrators among parishes rather than turning them over to law enforcement.
 
Now, GlobalPost investigates a new, international side to the scandal: The church has allowed priests facing credible sex abuse allegations in the United States and Europe to get a new start by relocating to poor parishes in South America.
 

 

SEE ARTICLES

 

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The Challenge

One of the fundamental challenges to the credibility of sexual assault victims is that many – if  not most – make statements to the law enforcement investigator or others that are incomplete, inconsistent, or just plain untrue. There are a number of reasons for this. In this Promising Practices article, we explore the causes of such problems with victim statements and identify ways to overcome the challenges that they pose for a sexual assault investigation. 

SEE DOCUMENT

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Image result for battered women's justice project

This webinar is hosted by the Battered Women’s Justice Project and is open to the public.

PRESENTERS:
 
Rocio Molina, NIWAP, Shelli Sonnenberg, Boise Police Dept, and Cannon Han, APIIDV
 
EVENT DETAILS: September 29, 2015, 1:00-2:30 CT
 
DESCRIPTION:
 

This webinar will address language access at crime scenes and how decisions law enforcement make regarding interpretation at the initial crime scene can impact the case long-term. Attendees will consider issues to be aware of when communicating with limited English proficient (LEP) individuals when securing the scene and best practices for communication using qualified interpreters during crime scene and criminal investigations once the scene has been secured. Faculty will share helpful language access resources and discuss concrete, real-life scenarios where officers must decide, in an instant, and over the course of the criminal investigation what the best language access resource might be for serving LEP victims and witnesses

.REGISTER HERE

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The women claim their bosses assaulted them on the job.

A federal jury has awarded a total of $17 million to five women who were fired from a produce packing company in Florida after their bosses allegedly raped and sexually harassed them on the job, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Thursday. 

The women claim that their former bosses at Moreno Farms in Felda, Florida, raped, groped and sexually harassed them, and then fired them for resisting their sexual advances. Sandra Lopez, a migrant worker from Chiapas, Mexico, charged that Omar Moreno, the owner of the farm, dragged her away from the factory into his trailer one day and raped her for half an hour. Two more women said Moreno or his brother, Oscar, raped them, and another two women said the men attempted to rape them and regularly made sexual comments toward them. 

The EEOC filed suit against Moreno Farms in August of 2014, and a federal jury awarded the women a hefty sum on Thursday: $2,425,000 in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages. The Moreno brothers closed the plant when the federal government zeroed in on them, The Miami Times reported, and they have not responded to a legal summons. 

“The jury's verdict today should serve as a clear message to the agricultural industry that the law will not tolerate subjecting female farm workers to sexual harassment and that there are severe consequences when a sex-based hostile work environment is permitted to exist," said Robert E. Weisberg, regional attorney for EEOC’s Miami District Office. 

 
SEE ALSO: 

Selected List of EEOC Pending and Resolved Cases Involving Farmworkers from 1999 to the Present

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EXCERPT: The chances of getting shot by a female cop are slim, and it’s not just because there are so few women in police departments. Data show that female cops discharge their firearms at rates far below their male counterparts, face significantly fewer civilian complaints and are less likely than men to resort to unnecessary physical force when arresting someone.

The evidence is not just statistical. As a veteran female officer explained recently, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid damaging relationships with her colleagues, “I’ve never been in a fight on my own, because I never had to. I’ve only been in fights instigated by my male counterparts.”

Studies also show that female police officers are more inclined to view their job as a public service than men do and are better at communication, de-escalation and trust building — all hallmarks of community policing.

“All the things people are saying they want in their police forces, women are already naturally good at,” said Penny Harrington, a former police chief of Portland, Oregon, and a co-founder of the National Center for Women and Policing (NCWP), in a phone interview this week.

Law enforcement is one of the least gender diverse of any public-sector profession, with male officers accounting for more than 88 percent of the nation’s municipal police forces. Discussions of diversity in policing have focused almost exclusively on hiring more minority officers — which, for all its potential benefits, has been shown to have a negligible impact on levels of excessive force.

If we’re serious about curbing police violence, a good place to start would be to increase the recruitment and promotion of female cops. Unfortunately, the last concerted effort to reduce gender disparities in policing fizzled out in the absence of sustained political pressure.

SEE FULL ARTICLE

 

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Un rápido ejercicio revelador sobre la desigualdad en los Estados Unidos y el papel que juega la violencia para mantenerla

 
Este ejercicio, que dura cinco o diez minutos, puede ser utilizado por grupos de cualquier tamaño para revelar rápidamente las comunes percepciones erróneas
sobre las desigualdades en los Estados Unidos. Le siguen algunas notas para alentar conversaciones acerca de cómo estas desigualdades se relacionan
con la violencia y, en particular, la violencia contra las mujeres.
 

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When member countries of the United Nations agreed to the Millennium Development Goals 15 years ago, advocates for stronger rights for women and girls were disappointed as governments (and the Vatican) balked at reasserting the bold promises of the international conferences of the 1990s in Cairo and in Beijing. Later campaigns, inside and outside the UN, have forced a particular focus on girls because of the persistence of detrimental practices such as forced or early marriage and genital mutilation, often combined with little or no schooling.

As the formal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals approaches in late September, there is relatively wide, though not universal, agreement that this time more serious commitments could lead to more meaningful action for women. The question is how much the lives of the millions of poorest, most powerless minor-age girls will change.

What comes next for the goals will be a relatively short period beginning in the autumn when national governments and their statistical experts are expected to decide on their respective countries’ development priorities based on national data. Their reports will then go to the United Nations Statistical Commission, which will assign indicators to the 169 targets connected to the 17 goals. No small job. Indicators are measuring instruments for determining progress or lack of it over the next 15 years. When indicators emerge, it will be possible to see how much emphasis and unambiguous wording will be assigned to expanding the rights of women and girls.

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SUMMARY

(August 2015) "Family planning saves lives" is a simple health prescription that resonates globally. A critical challenge is to ensure that policies and programs embrace the well-established benefits of enabling women to choose whether and when to become pregnant—actions and values that are integral to human rights. Policymakers should be asking, "What do human rights mean in relation to family planning, how do we incorporate them into our country family planning and development plans, and why is that important?"

This brief, drawing from human rights treaties and covenants that have the status of international law, clarifies key human rights principles and outlines policy actions that must be taken to ensure that voluntary family planning programs result in contraceptive use based on full, free, and informed choice. It is also consistent with the rights and empowerment principles of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), a global partnership that grew out of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.

Direct Link to Full 8-Page 2015 Policy Brief: http://www.prb.org/pdf15/family-planning-rights-brief.pdf

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Organizadores de la multitudinaria convocatoria aseguraron a LA NACION que sigue sin haber estadísticas oficiales y hay irregularidades en la ley de Protección Integral contra las mujeres; destacan el cambio cultural "reflejado en el aumento de las denuncias"

El 3 de junio de este año, cerca de 300 mil personas en la Plaza Congreso se manifestaron para pedir políticas contra los femicidios. Sin embargo, a tres meses de la marcha "Ni Una Menos", en la Argentina se sigue asesinando a una mujer cada 30 horas. Continúa sin implementarse la ley de protección integral contra las mujeres, no hay un registro de cifras oficiales y el porcentaje del presupuesto asignado a esta temática es insignificante, según denuncian organizaciones sociales.

"Todo es responsabilidad del Estado. Tienen que proteger a las mujeres, no puede dejar que las maten", aseguró a LA NACION Ingrid Beck, una de las organizadoras de la convocatoria.

"El cambio más fuerte fue cultural, que es lo que suponíamos que iba a tardar más tiempo. El problema tiene mayor visibilización. Ya no se habla de violencia doméstica, sino machista. El tema está en la agenda pública", resaltó la periodista de la revista Barcelona.

Por su parte, Ana Correa, otra de las organizadoras de la movilización, resaltó que "hay más concientización y esto se ve reflejado en el aumento de las denuncias por violencia de género".

FALTA DE CIFRAS OFICIALES

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Melissa Farley - Prostitution Research & Education, San Francisco, California
Jacqueline M. Golding - University of California, San Francisco
Emily Schuckman Matthews - San Diego State University
Neil M. Malamuth - University of California, Los Angeles
Laura Jarrett - Chicago, Illinois
 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence, online publication August 31, 2015
 
Abstract
 
We investigated attitudes and behaviors associated with prostitution and sexual aggression among 101 men who buy sex and 101 age-, education-, and ethnicity-matched men who did not buy sex. Both groups tended to accept rape myths, be aware of harms of prostitution and trafficking, express ambivalence about the nature of prostitution, and believe that jail time and public exposure are the most effective deterrents to buying sex.
 
Sex buyers were more likely than men who did not buy sex to report sexual aggression and likelihood to rape. Men who bought sex scored higher on measures of impersonal sex and hostile masculinity and had less empathy for prostituted women, viewing them as intrinsically different from other women. When compared with non-sex-buyers, these sefindings indicate that men who buy sex share certain key characteristics with men at risk for committing sexual aggression as documented by research based on the leading scientific model of the characteristics of non-criminal sexually aggressive men, the Confluence Model of sexual aggression.
 
______________________________________________________________________
 

 

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Officials say this is a first-in-the-nation team.

NEW YORK, Aug 26 (Reuters) - New York state is launching a specialized police unit to help crack down on sexual assault on college campuses, but some victims' advocates are wary, saying law enforcement has not been effective in tackling the issue in the past.

A law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month allocates $4.5 million for what officials have said is a first-in-the-nation police unit that will train college officials and local police units to respond better to sexual assaults on campus.

The law, which has been touted as the most progressive in the country, also requires all colleges in the state to implement a uniform definition of affirmative consent, distribute a students' bill of rights and adopt a policy that grants victims immunity for drug and alcohol violations.

The U.S. Department of Education is currently investigating 131 schools for violating federal law in their handling of sexual assault allegations, and New York leads the country with 20 schools on that list. Vice President Joe Biden called campus sexual assault an epidemic when the White House launched a task force to address the issue in 2014.

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Responding to one of the key demands from AWID’s members and constituencies, we offer this searchable donor list to make it easier for feminist and women’s rights organizations to connect with the right kind of funders. Women’s rights and feminist organizations are sparking powerful changes across the world, yet AWID’s Where is the Money for Women’s Rights (WITM) research consistently shows that women’s rights organizing is significantly underfunded. This tool attempts to bridge the information gap on funding sources and make it easier for women’s rights and feminist organizations to find funders working in their countries, regions, or supporting issues and populations they are working with.

 
To search for funders, select options in any or all of the dropdown menus. You may only select a country or a region, not both.
 
This is a dynamic tool that will be updated regularly. If you have feedback, funder information to add or questions on this tool, please contact fundher@awid.org.
 
 
 

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Title: 

 

Prospective Examination of Whether Childhood Sexual Abuse Predicts Subsequent Sexual Offending

Journal: JAMA Pediatrics  Volume:169  Issue:1  Dated:January 2015
Author: 

Cathy Spatz Widom ; Christina Massey

 

Document URL: PDF   
Publication Date: 

January 2015

 

Annotation: 

This study empirically examined the commonly held belief that sexually abused children grow up to become sexual offenders and specialize in sex crimes.

 

Abstract: 

Childhood sexual abuse has been assumed to increase the risk for sexual offending; however, despite methodological limitations of prior research, public policies and clinical practice have been based on this assumption.

The current study found that individuals with histories of childhood abuse and neglect were at increased risk for being arrested for a sex crime compared with control individuals (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 2.17; 95 percent CI, 1.38-3.40), controlling for age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Specifically, individuals with histories of physical abuse (AOR, 2.06; 95 percent CI, 1.02-4.16) and neglect (AOR, 2.21; 95 percent CI, 1.39-3.51) were at significantly increased risk for arrest for sex offenses; whereas, for sexual abuse, the AOR (2.13; 95 percent CI, 0.83-5.47) did not reach significance.

Physically abused and neglected males (not females) were at increased risk and physically abused males also had a higher mean number of sex crime arrests compared with control individuals. The results did not provide support for sex crime specialization.

Thus, the widespread belief that sexually abused children are uniquely at risk to become sex offenders was not supported by prospective empirical evidence. These new findings suggest that early intervention programs should target children with histories of physical abuse and neglect.

They also indicate that existing policies and practices specifically directed at future risk for sex offending for sexually abused children may warrant reevaluation. This prospective cohort study and archival records check included cases and control individuals originally from a metropolitan county in the Midwest. Children with substantiated cases of physical and sexual abuse and neglect (aged 0-11 years) were matched with children without such histories on the basis of age, sex, race/ethnicity, and approximate family social class (908 cases and 667 control individuals). Both groups were followed up into adulthood (mean age, 51 years). The court cases were from 1967 to 1971; the follow-up extended to 2013. Criminal history information was collected from Federal and State law enforcement agency records at three points in time and from State sex offender registries. 

 

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Description: 

The serial perpetration hypothesis — which suggests that a small number of men perpetrate the vast majority of rapes, and that these men perpetrate multiple rapes over time — has played an important role in the field of rape prevention as a model of sexual violence, especially raising awareness of rapists who have not been identified by the criminal justice system. A 2015 study published in JAMA Pediatrics, A Trajectory Analysis of the Campus Serial Rapist Assumption, raises questions about the serial perpetrator hypothesis.

Although it is clear that a subset of perpetrators do commit multiple acts of rape over time, the research suggests that most perpetrators do not chronically offend over time. Instead, perpetrators are much more heterogeneous in terms of their risk factors, methods of coercion, and pattern of offending over time.

SEE STUDY PDF HERE

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Most take place inside the home and are anything but random.

It felt like a summer of mass shootings.
 
You probably heard about the killings in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white gunman opened fire inside a historic black church, and the shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, where a man targeted moviegoers inside a darkened theater. Or the shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where an armed attacker sprayed a military recruitment center with bullets.
 
Here’s one you may not have heard about.
 
On Aug. 8, David Conley allegedly broke into his ex-girlfriend Valerie Jackson's house in Houston, Texas, and killed her, her husband and her six children, methodically shooting each one in the head. Jackson had recently dumped Conley and reunited with her husband after Conley allegedly smashed her head into a refrigerator. When she reconciled with her husband, she changed the locks on her house. So Conley climbed in a window.
 
Although they get the lion’s share of media attention, public mass shootings like the ones in Charleston, Lafayette and Chattanooga aren't representative of the typical mass shooting in the U.S.
 
Most are like the one Conley allegedly committed. The majority of mass shootings in the U.S. take place in private. They occur in the home, and the victims are predominantly women and children.
 

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Juveniles

 

10. Recidivism of Juveniles Who Commit Sexual Offenses
 NCJ Number:  248993
 Author:  Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky
 Publication Date:  07/2015
 Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
 
11. Assessment of Risk for Sexual Reoffense in Juveniles Who Commit Sexual Offenses
 NCJ Number:  248994
 Author:  Phil Rich
 Publication Date:  07/2015
 Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
 
12. Effectiveness of Treatment for Juveniles Who Sexually Offend
 NCJ Number:  248995
 Author:  Roger Przybylski
 Publication Date:  07/2015
 Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
 
13. Registration and Notification for Juveniles Who Commit Sexual Offenses
 NCJ Number:  248996
 Author:  Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky
 Publication Date:  07/2015
 Abstract   PDF   Find in a Library
 

 

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The Police Executive Research Forum calls out "missed opportunities" for ratcheting down conflicts.

WASHINGTON -- Many recent controversial police shootings could have been avoided, even though they may have been legally justifiable, according to a report issued by a top law enforcement organization this week.

The Police Executive Research Forum, a research and policy group whose members include commanders from the largest U.S. police departments, said officers generally receive far too little training in de-escalating conflict and often are embedded in a culture that encourages them to rapidly resort to physical force.

Many recent high-profile police shootings have been legally justified, but there are sometimes "missed opportunities to ratchet down the encounter, to slow things down, to call in additional resources," Chuck Wexler, executive director of the group, wrote in the report. 

It's no wonder. Disengagement and patience, the report found, are "sometimes seen as antithetical" to traditional police culture.

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EXTRACTO:

La integrante de la Campaña abolicionista “Ni una mujer más víctima de las redes de prostitución” sostuvo ante SEMlac que “los Estados no deben reprimir a las personas en prostitución, tampoco penalizar el ejercicio individual de la prostitución. Deben establecer políticas públicas para que las personas no deban sumirse en esa violencia, impulsar los cambios culturales para que la sexualidad sea consensuada, libre y placentera para ambas partes. Lo que NO puede hacer el Estado es, justamente, lo que propone Amnistía Internacional, ya que se convertirían así en Estados proxenetas”.

La figura de “Estado proxeneta”, redunda -según D´Angelo- en un Estado que “regula sin el objetivo de proteger; sino para asegurar un negocio millonario que se basa en el sometimiento. Requiere que los gobiernos acepten y legalicen la industria de la explotación sexual, también deberá haber una aceptación social, por eso la confusa propaganda: ´proteger violando´. Vuelve a poner a cuerpos vulnerados como variable de ajuste de las crisis que genera el neoliberalismo”.

AI se refiere a la prostitución como: trabajo sexual consentido entre adultos. La integrante de la Campaña Abolicionista “Ni una mujer más víctima de las redes de prostitución” cuestiona las expresiones: “trabajo sexual” y “trabajadoras sexuales”.

LEER MAS

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El 27 de julio de 2015 fue dada a conocer la sentencia del juicio por el caso Arroyo Navajo, 697 años y seis meses fue la sentencia dictada tras ser declarados culpables de los delitos de trata de personas y homicidio agravado en razón de género.

Luego de 23 años de impunidad en los asesinatos cometidos contra mujeres y niñas de la entidad, los cuales suman más de mil 500 mujeres, se dictó la primera sentencia que se vislumbra como un acercamiento en la búsqueda de acceso a la justicia para los familiares de las víctimas.

 

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"We want the number of reports from sexual assault survivors to go up, but the prevalence to go down."

Close to half of residential four-year colleges nationwide reported zero sexual assaults from 2011 to 2013, according to a new analysis of federal data shared in advance with The Huffington Post, something sexual assault advocates and experts consider a troubling sign.

"If you see a school with zero reports, then it suggests that at that school, no one's comfortable reporting it," said Lara Kaufmann, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center. 

Forty-five percent of colleges nationwide reported zero sexual assaults during the two-year period, while another 19 percent reported only one or two, according to the analysis, which was conducted by market research firm Fractl and published Monday on PsychGuides.com. A total of 71 percent of schools reported three or fewer instances of assault.

 

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Amnesty has voted to support pimps and sex buyers rather than people in prostitution – 90% of whom are not “voluntary sex workers” but people who ended up in prostitution as a last-ditch survival alternative and who urgently want to escape it.
 
Please support groups that provide for and advocate for what women in prostitution tell us they want: EXIT SERVICES and ABOLITIONIST POLICY.
 
Here are just a few of many groups who need your support:
 
For example YOU CAN SUPPORT abolitionist groups led by survivors of prostitution such as AWAN (Aboriginal Women’s Action Network) (Canada), SPACE International (Ireland), Buklod (Philippines), Bagong Kamalayan (Philippines).
 
For example YOU CAN SUPPORT groups offering services with an abolitionist perspective on prostitution such as Apne Aap (India), Breaking Free (USA), CATW-Asia Pacific (Philippines), Eaves (UK), Embrace Dignity (South Africa), Miramed (Russia), Organization for Prostitution Survivors (USA), Vancouver Rape Relief (Canada), Ruhama (Ireland), Solwodi (Germany), Stigamot (Iceland), Women’s Support Project (Scotland).
 
AND YOU CAN SUPPORT groups advocating abolitionist policy and research: CAP (France), CLES (Canada), CATW (USA), PRE (Prostitution Research & Education) (USA).
 
The press have quoted factual errors and Amnesty leaders have lied or misspoken. See a statement from 214 scholars and researchers from 20 countries who rejected Amnesty International’s policy of decriminalized pimping, sex-buying, and brothel keeping. Instead, based on what is known about prostitution, all of us support the Nordic model law on prostitution that decriminalizes ONLY the prostituted, providing them with exit services and support. The Nordic law criminalizes sex buyers and pimps. PRESS RELEASE, PETITION & SIGNERS. Signers are from Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Norway, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA, and Venezuela.
 

ImpunityInternational

Without inequality prostitution would cease to exist.

Petition to designate AI as Men’s Rights Extremists.

Poor and ethnically marginalized women in Indian prostitution object to AI proposal.

If it supports decriminalized prostitution, Amnesty can no longer claim to defend human rights.

UK Guardian calls Amnesty International call to legalize prostitution: “incoherent,” “divisive,” “distracting.”

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 John Salveson didn’t give up his obsession with the Catholic Church easily. There were polite letters in the early 1980s, asking that the priest who molested him when he was a teenager be removed.

His bishop wrote back, but the priest remained, transferring parishes through the late ’80s, according to a grand jury report. “Sincerely yours in Christ,” the bishop closed his letters.

Later, Salveson led a group that advocated for church reform. But by the mid-2000s, he had grown discouraged and shifted his focus to pushing for stronger laws and enforcement.

Prompted by Pope Francis’s trip to Philadelphia this fall, Salveson has renewed his activism toward the church, calling for the pontiff and other participants in a global Catholic meeting on family issues to discuss child sex abuse by clergy members and wear black ribbons to represent “the darkness that infects the souls of survivors,” he said.

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SEE ALSO: MO--Victims diss bishop's apology

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August 11, 2015

Dear Amnesty Delegates, 

We write to you as the members of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's
Shelter, a collective of front-line anti violence workers and
feminists and Canada's first rape crisis centre. Since 1973 we have
responded to over 40,000 women escaping male violence. We work toward
women's liberation globally and to end all forms of male violence
against women, including prostitution.
 
We strongly urge you to retract the resolution on "sex work" that was
voted in this morning, August 11th, 2015. We are extremely alarmed by
the disregard of mounting criticism by feminists, survivors of
prostitution, anti-violence workers, abolitionists and other allies in
the fight for women's liberation.
 
Amnesty International's decision to support the decriminalization of
all aspects of prostitution promotes the subordination of women and
legitimizes the buying and selling of women and girls. As you already
know, the majority of those sold into prostitution globally are women
and girls, and women of colour, Aboriginal women, and women living in
poverty are grossly overrepresented. Those who are responsible for the
buying, selling and trafficking of women are overwhelmingly men. This
fact alone reflects the stark power imbalance between men and women
that this industry flourishes and thrives on.
 
Amnesty International's insistence that it "considers human
trafficking abhorrent in all its forms" while promoting the
decriminalization of pimps and johns displays a refusal to recognize
the reality that the male demand for women's bodies fuels the global
trafficking of women.
 
As an organization that claims to promote the human rights of
marginalized people globally, you are making a grave mistake. This
decision is harmful to women in prostitution and promotes the power
and impunity of pimps and johns to continue their war on women and girls.
 
The decision to call for the decriminalization of men who buy and sell
women supports and encourages a capitalist multi-billion dollar
industry that is inherently patriarchal, colonial, classist, and
racist. In adopting this resolution, Amnesty International will help
legitimize the exploitation and abuse of women and girls worldwide.
 
Sincerely,
 
The Collective of Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter,
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
 

SEE ALSO: UPDATED: Sweden's Prostitution Solution, Why Hasn't Anyone Tried This Before?

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"When Men Change" tells the story of four men who changed the way they think about gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and violence. In recent years, there has been increased interest in exploring how men can contribute to promoting gender equality and preventing violence against women and girls. As the evidence base grows, now is the time to answer the question: “What works to engage men in achieving gender equality?”
 
This film, produced by Promundo, illustrates what interventions have proven to be effective when engaging men and boys in advancing gender equality and preventing gender-based violence, from the health sector to the workplace.

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