Womens Justice Center

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias



On Sept. 26, dozens of students at a Mexican teachers' college went missingafter a protest in the city of Iguala. They were last seen being hauled off into police vans and haven't been heard from since.

While searching for the missing students, investigators have uncovered a string of mass graves, police working for drug cartels and government officials at the helm of criminal operations.

While overall violence in Mexico has decreased in recent years, the current investigation has once again put the spotlight on the ruthless force of the drug cartels, brutal behavior by state security forces, and rampant corruption that are haunting parts of the country.

Here are 11 numbers that will help you understand the security situation in Mexico.


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TitleUnderstanding Public Knowledge and Attitudes towards Trafficking in Human Beings. Part 1
Publication TypeWorking Paper
AuthorsSharapov, Kiril
Place of PublicationBudapest
SeriesUP-KAT Research Papers
Full Text

Despite Europe being a major thoroughfare for human trafficking and exploited labour that enables many European consumers to live ‘the good life’, research presented in this paper shows that many citizens do not understand human trafficking, nor do they see it as a problem in their everyday lives. Over the last decade, human trafficking has become a policy priority for governments in all European countries, for non-governmental organizations that provide services to victims of trafficking, and for researchers attempting to assess its magnitude. However, little is still known about how many people are trafficked into and exploited within Europe, and how many people are exploited across national economies without being trafficked in the first place. Little is also known about public understanding of human trafficking and public attitudes towards this phenomenon.

This study addresses a gap in knowledge in this field and highlights differences in the levels of awareness of human trafficking among the general public in Great Britain, Ukraine, and Hungary. It relies on representative surveys of public understanding and attitudes towards human trafficking in these countries, which represent one of the many trafficking routes from Eastern into Central and Western Europe. The surveys were completed between December 2013 and January 2014.

Publication cover: 

File attachment: 



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Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Inter American Commission on Human Rights

Caso 12.626 - Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales), Estados Unidos (Seguimiento de recomendaciones) / 153 Período de Sesiones - Lunes 27 de octubre de 2014

Petitioners present testimony detailing the United States’ failure to implement changes to domestic violence laws and policies or investigate the failures in Ms. Lenahan’s case in the three years since the IACHR decision. The U.S. government responds. MORE BACKGROUND INFO AND LINKS

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Un panorama hemisférico a veinte años de la adopción de la Convención de Belém do Pará - Lunes 27 de octubre de 2014

Auspiciado por la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) y por la Comisión Interamericana de Mujeres (CIM) / Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA)


Relatora Especial de Naciones Unidas sobre la violencia contra las mujeres, sus causas y consecuencias 

Presidenta, Comisionada y Relatora sobre los derechos de las mujeres de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

Secretaria Ejecutiva de la Comisión Interamericana de Mujeres (CIM)

Coordinadora de Investigación de Corporación Humanas Colombia

Lunes 27 de octubre de 2014

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Sweden’s leading feminist lobby regards surrogate motherhood as a revival of serfdom for women. - 

The Swedish Women’s Lobby strongly opposes surrogate motherhood. Our position is that surrogacy is a trade with women’s bodies and children, as well as a threat to women’s basic human rights and bodily integrity.

Surrogacy is presently not legal in Sweden. However there is no legislation that regulates the fact that Swedish citizens use surrogate mothers abroad, and that their children have been brought to Sweden. In the last couple of years the issue has been up for debate and the Swedish government is examining whether surrogacy should be legalised. The results of its investigation will be presented in a few months.

Last year, the Swedish Medical-Ethical Council commented on the proposal. A majority of its members declared that they were positive towards legal altruistic surrogate motherhood in Sweden.

The Swedish Women’s Lobby has reacted to this position. We have expressed concern about an unproblematic understanding of altruistic surrogacy, as well as the fact that the Ministry of Justice is handling the investigation. There is a lack of a women’s human rights perspective. The Swedish Women’s Lobby has been active in the public debate around the issue and has written several letters to the Ministry of Justice as well as the Social Ministry and the Medical-Ethical Council.


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The best summer of her life is only the beginning for 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis. With the support of her family and passion for sports, Mo’ne stands for girls who want to play with the boys. She embodies the spirit that drives an athlete to push further, work harder, and overcome challenges. Are you ready to listen to her open letter, America?

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from feministing....

Halloween always reminds me that there are things far scarier than ghosts and goblins, things like racism and misogyny that persist when the costumes are packed away and November 1st rolls around.

ICYMI, yesterday more photos surfaced of couples costumed as Janay and Ray Rice for Halloween, complete with blackface and bruises. Still others — including a white child, also in blackface — dragged blow-up dolls behind them. The hashtags that appeared alongside the photos on Twitter and Instagram? #hilarious #BestCostume #funny #lmfao #hitabitch #shewasknockedupnowshesknockedout and, inexplicably, #domesticviolenceisnotfunny #butmycostumewas.  

The message couldn’t be clearer: in 2014, violence against black women is seen as nothing more than a joke. As Wagatwe summed up on Twitter, “Yet another reminder of how black women are not seen as humans, but props (see: black blowup doll) and our pain & trauma as punchlines.” As Janay Rice herself said, “It’s sad, that my suffering amuses others.”

Read More »


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Women and girls abducted by the Islamist group Boko Haram are forced to marry, convert, and endure physical and psychological abuse, forced labor, and rape in captivity, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The group has abducted more than 500 women and girls since 2009, and intensified abductions since May 2013, when Nigeria imposed a state of emergency in areas where Boko Haram is most active.

(London) – Women and girls abducted by the Islamist group Boko Haram are forced to marry, convert, and endure physical and psychological abuse, forced labor, and rape in captivity. The group has abducted more than 500 women and girls since 2009, and intensified abductions since May 2013, when Nigeria imposed a state of emergency in areas where Boko Haram is most active.

The new 63-page report, “‘Those Terrible Weeks in Their Camp’: Boko Haram Violence against Women and Girls in Northeast Nigeria,” is based on interviews with more than 46 witnesses and victims of Boko Haram abductions in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states, including with girls who escaped the April 2014 abduction of 276 girls from Chibok secondary school. Their statements suggest that the Nigerian government has failed to adequately protect women and girls from a myriad of abuses, provide them with effective support and mental health and medical care after captivity, ensure access to safe schools, or investigate and prosecute those responsible for the abuses.


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Con un marco importante de asistentes se llevó a cabo el lunes 8 de septiembre la presentación de la “Guía de Buenas Prácticas para el abordaje de niños/as, adolescentes víctimas o testigos de abuso sexual y otros delitos. Protección de sus derechos, acceso a la Justicia y obtención de pruebas válidas para el proceso” La disertación estuvo a cargo de los Dres Tony Butler, especialista en asuntos relacionados con la protección de niños y agresiones contra la integridad sexual, y Mariano Nino, coordinador de UNICEF.

Esta guía fue elaborada en forma conjunta por JUFEJUS-ADC-UNICEF. Durante la jornada se entregaron ejemplares de la misma

La conferencia será emitida en los próximos días a través del Canal Online del Centro de Capacitación “Justicia de Todos”


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Sonoma County, like many communities around the country, is putting together policy for the use of law enforcement body cameras in order to enhance accountability in law enforcement contacts with the public. In his initial interim policy, our Sheriff has arbitrarily decided to withhold this protection from victims of violence against women. In this 6 page position paper we lay out our reasons for disagreeing strongly with this denial of equal protection 



Experience of Criminal Justice System Abuses by Gender, Info-graphic

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In the past few years, campus sexual assault has dominated headlines from The New York Timesto USA TodayRolling Stone to The Nation. Just last month, the White House released the It’s On Us anti-sexual assault campaign. All throughout, student activists have invoked the promise of Title IX to demand that their universities support sexual assault survivors and keep campuses safe, equitable, and just for all.

In all the buzz, though, there’s been little attention paid to other pervasive forms of gender-based violence also protected against under Title IX — including campus dating (or domestic) violence. ICYMI it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so it seems as good a time as any to talk about what we’re not talking about, and to work to ensure that the conversation lasts beyond October 31st. 

In their Title IX coverage, most media outlets have reported on dating violence poorly or not at all, either choosing to focus on brutal, sensationalized intimate partner homicides (and almost always those of straight white women), or erasing relationship abuse from campus dating violence survivors’ stories altogether (repackaging it as an isolated “attack,” just one prolonged “rape”). The White House refused to include dating violence in the rollout of the It’s On Us campaign, claiming that it would prohibitively “complicate” the issue. Prominent anti-rape survivors and activists have not infrequently suggested to me that dating violence simply isn’t as serious as gang rape and sexual assault.


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Las azotan si no ocultan sus tobillos, si lavan la ropa en ríos, si se asoman a los balcones. Y eso no es todo 

Basado en información de la Asociación Revolucionaria de las Mujeres de Afganistán (RAWA), el diario español "ABC" elaboró una lista de 29 prohibiciones que los talibanes imponen a las mujeres afganas. 

Ello en aplicación estricta y radical a la Sharía, o ley islámica. "Con este listado de violaciones de los derechos humanos más básicos, los talibanes aseguran que solo quieren crear ambientes seguros, donde la castidad y dignidad de las mujeres sean por fin sacrosantas, tal y como recogen las creencias pashtunes sobre la vida en purdah (práctica para ocultar la vida femenina en público). Es decir, la creación de un estado sacralizado alrededor de las mujeres supone, para ellos, odiarlas, tratarlas como animales y someterlas durante toda la vida", señala "ABC".

Esta es la lista de las 29 prohibiciones:

1- Completa prohibición del trabajo femenino fuera de sus hogares, que igualmente se aplica a profesoras, inginieras y demás profesionales. Solo unas pocas doctoras y enfermeras tienen permitido trabajar en algunos hospitales en Kabul.

2- Completa prohibición de cualquier tipo de actividad de las mujeres fuera de casa a no ser que sea acompañadas de su mahram (parentesco cercano masculino como padre, hermano o marido).

3- Prohibición a las mujeres de cerrar tratos con comerciantes masculinos.

4-Prohibición a las mujeres de ser tratadas por doctores masculinos.

5- Prohibición a las mujeres de estudiar en escuelas, universidades o cualquier otra institución educativa (los talibán han convertido las escuelas para chicas en seminarios religiosos).


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Basta! is a project that begun in Santiago, Chile by Ediciones Asterión a few years ago. A group of women writers wanted to use the power of words to try and stop violence against their gender in Chile, or at the very least, bring more awareness to it. Over time, the project has grown to other countries and continents and now, it has come to the U.S. We are currently working on the U.S. anthology and we want to invite you to participate.

Send us 3 short stories (minifiction) of no more than 150 words each on the topic of violence again women (English or Spanish) and a short bio. We are reaching out to Latinas in the U.S. to contribute to our anthology and we would like you to be one of the women highlighted in this book.

Each contributor will received 2 copies of the book in appreciation for their participation in the anthology.

The book will be published by the Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, in Fall of 2014.

For more information, please contact Dr. Emma Sepulveda at emmas@unr.edu or Iris West at iwest@unr.edu

Deadline for submission is October 31, 2014.


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If you are involved in a family law case involving children and there has been domestic violence, here is important information about a law that affects you. It's a very good, easy to understand, two page summary of current California Family Court law and court policies on the question of domestic violence and custody.



Abusers Getting Custody Here

Beware Family Court: What Victims and Advocates Should Know

California Protective Parents Association

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Two alleged victims of underage sex trafficking in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit Thursday against Backpage.com, accusing the company of assisting in the abuse that occurred approximately 2,000 times by allowing pimps to advertise sex with minors on its website.

The civil complaint, filed in federal court in Boston, asserts that the purported victims, identified in court papers as Jane Doe No. 1, now 17, and Jane Doe No. 2, now 20, were sold for sex in Massachusetts and Rhode Island more than 1,900 times combined when they were from 15 to 17 years of age.


Their attorneys at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray wrote in the complaint that the illegal services were advertised in the escorts section of Backpage.com, which the plaintiffs allege “took various steps to sustain the impression” that the site is “a safe and effective vehicle for transactions involving young girls and boys.”


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Two women narrate their ordeals. “You will hear of a wife murdered before you hear another one come forward.”

Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she’s looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband’s career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children’s financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands’ attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.

“We’ve told agents about it, called the NFL Players Association when things were really, really bad,” Smith-Williams recalls. “They would say, ‘Oh, we’re really sorry that you are going through this. We’ll look into it.’ But you never heard back. There’s no one available for the wives.”


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II Seminario Internacional de Violencia contra las Mujeres: Feminicidio

La violencia machista es la principal causa de muerte entre mujeres de 15 y 44 años en todo el mundo

Madrid, 16 oct. 14. AmecoPress. Con la sala llena de gente –sobre todo mujeres- comenzaba el II Seminario Internacional de Violencia contra las Mujeres: Feminicidio, convocado por Alianza por la Solidaridad junto a otras organizaciones internacionales para debatir sobre los avances y retos en América Latina y Europa para conseguir que las mujeres disfruten el derecho a una vida libre de violencia.


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Para las niñas que viven en las regiones tribales del norte de Pakistán, la lucha por la educación comenzó mucho antes del día en que miembros del radical movimiento Talibán balearon en la cabeza a una estudiante de 15 años de edad, y sin duda continuará por mucho tiempo. 

No obstante, la noticia de que a esa joven, Malala Yousafzai, quien hasta el incidente residía en el valle de Swat, en la norteña provincia de Jyber Pajtunjwa, le fue concedido el premio Nobel de la Paz el 10 de este mes, recargó las energías a quienes luchan contra la férrea oposición de los talibanes hacia la educación de las niñas.

"Le pedimos a Malala que gaste fondos para promover la educación en las FATA": Yasmeen Bibi.


Habitantes de esta región dijeron a IPS que cuando Malala sobrevivió al atentado contra su vida el 9 de octubre de 2012, la joven se convirtió en un ícono de la situación de terror que se apoderó de la existencia cotidiana en esta zona.


Al concederle  el premio de la paz más prestigioso del mundo, compartido con el indio Kailash Satyarthi, el Comité Nobel envió un firme mensaje a todas las personas que permanecen atrapadas en zonas donde la educación está subordinada a los peligros de un conflicto armado, según los expertos.


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MOVING WOMEN FORWARD. It’s what we do. It’s what we believe in. We’ve dedicated our entire 40th year to talking about and pushing this concept – what must we do to advance the economic and educational opportunities of women and girls?

To see where we must go, we often have to sit down and look at where we’ve been. Fifty years ago, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. In the Act was an important provision – Title VII, which prohibits discrimination based on gender and sex. How has this law worked? What impact has it had on women of color, poor women, and single mothers? We know Title VII hasn’t enabled us to close the gender wage gap, for example. But we know too that Title VII has paved the way for important advances against sexism at work and in school.

Our new report, “Moving Women Forward: On the 50th Anniversary of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,” shines a light on this important player in women’s history. Despite the bright spots in the law made since Title VII’s passage, we find that there are still three persistent barriers to women’s economic security: sexual harassment and violence, pay discrimination, and pregnancy discrimination. The first installment of this three series report focuses on sexual harassment and is out now. It includes specific recommendations for how advocates, government agencies, and employers can all lift up the economic opportunities of women.

It also includes never-before read client stories, including Luisa’s:


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On the worst night of her life, Nicole Beverly was beaten almost unconscious by her husband and then forced to sit beside him as he loaded and unloaded his gun, threatening to kill her. “I was sure I was going to die,” she told The Huffington Post.

Paralyzed with fear, it took her five months to tell anyone about the abuse and seek help. One crisp Michigan morning she did, filing a restraining order and fleeing with her two children. But after Beverly was granted the order, she was horrified to find out that the gun her husband had used to terrorize her remained in his possession.

Under the 1996 Lautenberg amendment to the Federal Gun Control Act, people who are subject to permanent domestic violence restraining orders can’t own or buy guns. (The law generally doesn’t apply to dating partners or temporary restraining orders, although there are legislative efforts underway to change that.)

But Michigan -- like most states -- doesn’t have a law requiring people with domestic violence restraining orders to actually surrender their firearms to authorities. Without a mandatory state process in place to remove his guns, Beverly's husband was left armed and dangerous.


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Revenge can masquerade as justice, but it frequently ends up perverting it.

EXCERPT: “Do not seek revenge and call it justice.” —Cassandra Clare

“It is essential that justice be done; it is equally vital that justice not be confused with revenge, for the two are wholly different.” ―Oscar Arias

1. Revenge is predominantly emotional; justice primarily rational.Revenge is mostly about “acting out” (typically through violence) markedly negative emotions. At its worst, it expresses a hot, overwhelming desire for bloodshed. As perverse as it may seem, there’s actual pleasureexperienced in causing others to suffer for the hurt they’ve caused the avenger, or self-perceived victim (cf. the less personal Schadenfreude).

Justice—as logically, legally, and ethically defined—isn’t really about “getting even” or experiencing a spiteful joy in retaliation. Instead, it’s about righting a wrong that most members of society (as opposed to simply the alleged victim) would agree is morally culpable. And the presumably unbiased (i.e., unemotional) moral rightness of such justice is based on cultural or community standards of fairness and equity. Whereas revenge has a certain selfish quality to it, “cool” justice is selfless in that it relies on non-self-interested, established law. At least obliquely, the two quotes below are suggestive:

“But men often mistake killing and revenge for justice. They seldom have the stomach for justice.” ―Robert Jordan

“Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.” —Pope John Paul II

2. Revenge is, by nature, personal; justice is impersonal, impartial, and both a social and legal phenomenon. The driving impetus behind revenge is to get even, to carry out a private vendetta, or to achieve what, subjectively, might be described as personal justice. If successful, the party perceiving itself as gravely injured (though others might not necessarily agree) experiences considerable gratification: their retaliatory goal has been achieved—the other side vanquished, or brought to its knees. Just or not, the avenger feels justified. Their quest for revenge has “re-empowered” them and, from their biased viewpoint, it’s something they’re fully entitled to.


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75% of Ebola deaths are women. They are the caregivers.

The deadliest Ebola outbreak on record is sweeping West Africa, with over 3,400 lives claimed already. The disease is spreading faster than ever before, with the World Health Organization estimating that 20,000 additional cases will be reported by November. And women are being affected most severely; in fact, 75 percent of those who have died from Ebola are women.

"Women have been affected in so many, many ways. Even though the disease of course affects both men and women, women are at a disadvantage -- period," says Marpue Speare, Executive Director of Women NGOs Secretariat of Liberia (WONGOSOL). "Women are on the front lines. They are the caregivers."

Global Fund for Women is acting quickly to provide crisis support to some of our long-standing grantee partners in Ebola-hit communities in Liberia, and through these groups, we learn how women are being disproportionately affected by the outbreak.


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Preventing Sexual Violence on College Campuses: Lessons From Research and Practice

Author: Sarah DeGue ; Dawn Fowler ; Allison Randall
Corporate Author: Ctr's for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
United States of America



Publication Date: May 2014
Pages: 39

Based on lessons learned from research and practice, this three-part presentation identifies proven strategies for preventing sexual violence on college campuses.



Part One discusses evidence-based strategies for the primary prevention of sexual violence. Tables list specific colleges with accompanying descriptions of their program for preventing sexual violence.

Only two programs have rigorous evidence of effectiveness for preventing sexual violence.

Both were used with middle/high school students, but may provide useful models for the development of college-level prevention strategies.

Other strategies that hold promise are building relationship skills, organizational policies or practices that improve safety, addressing social norms and behavior with messages from trusted people, and training students to intervene as bystanders. Part Two reviews prevention activities implemented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its rape prevention and education program. Just over 125 college and university campuses across the United States have affiliations with this program in order to facilitate the implementation of sexual violence prevention strategies and activities. Part Three describes campus prevention activities funded by the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Violence Against Women.


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The human rights sections of theInternational Studies Association, theAmerican Political Science Association, the European Consortium for Political Research, and the International Political Science Association are pleased to announce the fourth joint international conference on human rights, on the theme “Human Rights and Justice,” to take place 8 – 10 June 2015 at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. The conference will take place immediately before the annual meeting of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (11 – 13 June), also in The Hague.

This joint conference will ask researchers and policymakers from academia, think tanks, IOs and NGOs to deal with various aspects of justice and human rights. Papers should highlight how and to what extent human rights in all aspects and levels of governance, law and decision making allow or deny access to justice. This may include questions regarding whether and to what extent the international human rights regime can address adequately the challenges of human rights implementation and justice, as well as how regional, national, and local mechanisms may address human rights challenges. Paper and panel proposals that also address the issues such as climate justice, transitional justice or cyber justice as well as access to justice and global distributive justice are welcome. Some of the questions to be addressed at the conference include:


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The Police Department could adopt new rules tonight governing how officers deal with cases concerning domestic violence and children -- specifically when to call the Family & Children Services division.

Several activist groups involved in the process commend the department for taking big strides in handling domestic violence inside and outside the force, but they worry that blunt efforts to protect children by alerting the division, also known as Child Welfare, too often could have a chilling effect on already-reluctant victims of domestic violence. In some communities, activists say, any interaction with child welfare workers raises fears of having children taken away.

The new rules, known as general orders, act as a standing order to officers and define how they must operate when responding to domestic violence calls. According to a draft of the rules, police are to call Child Welfare if one of seven criteria is met.


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Though national focus is often on the racially biased ways boys of color are treated, girls of color face many of the same risks from the cradle through adulthood which impact their life chances for success. Like boys, girls of color who enter the juvenile justice, child welfare, education, and other systems often arrive traumatized and experience more trauma from the way they are treated inside systems.

recent report by the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. and the National Women's Law Center, Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity, details the barriers to educational success for these girls: stereotyping and perception; under-resourced schools; unequal access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning opportunities; overly punitive school discipline practices; the challenges of early pregnancy and parenting; and discrimination from school personnel. It also highlights sexual harassment, violence, and trauma and their harmful impact.

The level of gender-based violence girls experience and the way supposed "child-serving" systems treat girls of color compounds the harms they face. Systems often fail to see them as trauma survivors -- treating them instead as complicit in their victimhood, threatening, or unable to be rehabilitated. The story of mass incarceration and racial inequality is incomplete without understanding and acknowledging gender-based violence and the gender-specific burdens girls of color face as they attempt to survive these systems and succeed.


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