Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

For the first time in decades, El Salvador’s cruel blanket ban on abortion is under threat. The country has become a symbol in the global fight for reproductive justice, very publicly denying young women life-saving abortions and incarcerating people who experience miscarriages. The El Salvador government has gone so far as to stop chemotherapy for pregnant women with cancer, and delay care to women with diagnosed ectopic pregnancies until their fallopian tubes burst. Last month, a teenager who became pregnant after repeated sexual assaults was sentenced to 30 years in prison for delivering a stillborn baby.

Now, after years of feminist organizing, El Salvador’s parliament is considering a bill that would legalize abortion in cases of rape, threat to the pregnant person’s life or when the fetus is unviable. After a series of public hearings and debates, the bill has notable support, but is still facing significant opposition from an organization called Sí a la Vida – which is funded by U.S. anti-abortion advocates.

The Guardian reports that Virginia-based non-profit Human Life International has been financing Sí a la Vida since 2000, just a few years after they successfully pushed for the full criminalization of abortion in El Salvador. Human Life International’s mission is to “provide training and tools needed to combat the Culture of Death and build a Culture of Life” – aka spreading the horrific criminalization of pregnant people. In a 2001 article titled “How to Export Pro-Life Activism” the real life inspiration for the Handmaid’s Tale then-president of Human Life International talks about the pharmaceutical industry’s supposed attack on fertility, why contraception is the same as abortion, and details HLI’s work to get El Salvador’s ban on abortion written into the country’s constitution.

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SEE ALSO:

BERNIE’S MEDICARE-FOR-ALL PLAN MUST INCLUDE ABORTION COVERAGE

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(CNN)Heather Heyer dedicated her life to standing up for those she felt were not being heard, her family and friends said. She died fighting for her beliefs and campaigning against hate.

"She was very strong in what she felt and she spoke with conviction," Heyer's close friend and co-worker Marissa Blair told Chris Cuomo on CNN's "New Day."

"She would never back down from what she believed in. And that's what she died doing, she died fighting for what she believed in. Heather was a sweet, sweet soul and she'll never be replaced, she'll never be forgotten."

    Thirty-two-year-old Heyer was killed Saturday when a car plowed into a crowd of counterprotesters gathered to oppose a "Unite the Right" rally of white nationalist and other right-wing groups. Nineteen others were injured in the incident.

    A 20-year-old man from Ohio, James Alex Fields Jr., is being held and could face a second-degree murder charge in Heyer's death.

    'Passionate about justice'

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    Note: Once again, suspect's domestic violence against his mother, reported to police twice, should have been a red flag! --- admin  

    Judge denies bail for man accused of ramming car into Charlottesville protesters

     

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    "The Incest Diary" is a shocking, highly literary new memoir of child sexual abuse.

    THE INCEST DIARY by Anonymous.Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 144 pp., $18.00.

    Sexual abuse in families is not rare. Yet it is almost made invisible by the layers of stigma in which it is wrapped, which are so dense as to be opaque. Consider The Incest Diary, a memoir by an anonymous woman that describes her father’s abuse of her from early childhood through adulthood. The abuse is violent and persistent. She describes his acts upon her child’s body in detail. When I saw this title in the catalog from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, I could not understand what it was doing there. FSG is a literary outfit, not the publisher of misery memoirs for the prurient.

    Such was my prejudice, and such is the prejudice of a society that thinks the victims of abuse do not quite have the right to their own experiences, including the right to turn them into literature in whatever way they please. The critical reception has demonstrated this assumption amply. In her cruel review in the Telegraph, Allison Pearson wrote that “the reader who would like it best is a pedophile,” because the book describes what pedophiles do to children. In the Times, Dwight Garner wrote, “This book offers more sensation than perspective.” He also called some of the author’s descriptions “porn lingo.”

    The crimes committed against the author of The Incest Diary have so wholly shaped her sexuality that she comes to ambivalently enjoy these encounters, and to place the rest of her sexual life in relation to them. She writes about an orgasm she has with her father that is more powerful than any she subsequently experienced in a twelve-year marriage. So yes, she writes about her father’s “big hard cock.” Porn lingo such words may be, but they are the truth about the formative role that the abuse has played in her sexuality. How can one be polite, when what one means is “big hard cock?” Should she not use the word “pussy,” because she’s talking about her dad touching it? And if those words are what it takes to communicate the truth in writing, then what other words can she use?

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    In the first of a four-part series, Al Jazeera examines the accusations of sexual abuse and exploitation against the UN.

    UN peacekeepers are sent to the most war-ravaged countries on Earth, ostensibly to help them transition to peace. 

    But some stand accused of committing crimes against the very people they are supposed to protect. 

    According to a recent investigation by the Associated Press (AP), between 2004 and 2016, the United Nations received almost 2,000 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against its peacekeepers. 

    The UN says it has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, but survivors, activists, lawyers and human rights organisations say such crimes have been allowed to continue with impunity. 

    Through conversations with UN peacekeepers and officials, gender experts, academics, researchers and activists, as well as through an investigation of UN data, in this four-part series, we try to navigate these competing accounts to answer the question: How did some peacekeepers become predators? 

    In part one, we examine the history of accusations against the UN.

    UN peacekeepers are sent to the most war-ravaged countries on Earth, ostensibly to help them transition to peace. 

    But some stand accused of committing crimes against the very people they are supposed to protect. 

    According to a recent investigation by the Associated Press (AP), between 2004 and 2016, the United Nations received almost 2,000 allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse against its peacekeepers. 

    The UN says it has a zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation and abuse, but survivors, activists, lawyers and human rights organisations say such crimes have been allowed to continue with impunity. 

    Through conversations with UN peacekeepers and officials, gender experts, academics, researchers and activists, as well as through an investigation of UN data, in this four-part series, we try to navigate these competing accounts to answer the question: How did some peacekeepers become predators? 

    In part one, we examine the history of accusations against the UN.

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    La falta de solidaridad y de compromiso con las personas refugiadas contribuye al incremento de la violencia en las rutas y una vez más, mujeres y niñas son las más perjudicadas

    Madrid, 27 julio 2017, Amecopress. El 30 de julio se celebra el Día Mundial contra la Trata de Personas. Diversas ONG llevan años exigiendo la aprobación de una Ley Integral que obligue al cumplimiento de aspectos fundamentales que hoy solo son recomendaciones para las autoridades. Las organizaciones denuncian que se siga abordando como un problema de extranjería –y más concretamente de persecución de la inmigración ilegal- y no desde el enfoque de derechos humanos, y que se sostengan estereotipos que dificultan la lucha contra diversas formas de explotación. A ello se suma que la falta de solidaridad y de compromiso con las personas refugiadas está contribuyendo a incrementar la violencia en las rutas y una vez más, mujeres y niñas son las más perjudicadas.
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    “El punto central de todo estudio de la trata debe ser el reconocimiento de que vulnera numerosos derechos humanos”, afirma Teresa Fernández, abogada especializada en temas de trata de la organización Women’s Link. “Además, hay que tener en cuenta que la trata constituye una forma violencia de género y, por tanto, es una forma de discriminación por género prohibida por la normativa internacional, regional y nacional”.

    Teresa es autora, junto Carmen Miguel Juan, de un artículo titulado ‘La judicatura como garantía de protección de los derechos humanos de las víctimas de trata’, en el que argumentan cómo el enfoque de derechos humanos supone para los Estados que el epicentro de su respuesta radique en los derechos humanos de las mujeres y niñas que puedan o estén siendo explotadas, en su protección y asistencia. Así, las víctimas de trata deben de ser consideradas como sujetos y titulares de derechos y no como meros instrumentos para el correcto desarrollo del procedimiento penal o como inmigrantes en situación irregular.

    Asumir este punto de vista implicaría que todas las medidas que se tomen deberían de ser sensibles al género, es decir, tener en cuenta el distinto impacto que tienen las normativas y medidas contra la trata en hombres y mujeres. Una respuesta integral por parte del Estado requiere también que se incluyan acciones específicas que garanticen los derechos de las niñas y niños quienes tienen derecho a medidas especiales de protección en razón de su condición de menores. Según datos de la Estrategia de la Unión Europea para la erradicación de la trata de seres humanos, el 80% de las víctimas de trata son mujeres, de las cuales un 12% son niñas y, en relación con la trata para la explotación sexual, el 96% son mujeres: de ahí la necesidad de abordar este fenómeno desde una perspectiva de género y de infancia.

    Sin embargo, los derechos consagrados en nuestra legislación no siempre se cumplen. Existen casos denunciados por Women’s Link que ponen en evidencia las debilidades de un sistema en el que una vez más, las mujeres son las mayores perjudicadas, mucho más si son inmigrantes y pobres

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    Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff whose extreme stance on illegal immigration made him a household name, was convicted Monday of criminal contempt of court for ignoring a judge’s order to stop detaining people because he merely suspected them of being undocumented immigrants.

    U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton wrote that Arpaio had shown a “flagrant disregard” for the court’s command and that his attempt to pin the conduct on those who worked for him rang hollow.

    “Not only did Defendant abdicate responsibility, he announced to the world and to his subordinates that he was going to continue business as usual no matter who said otherwise,” Bolton wrote.

    A Justice Department spokeswoman said Arpaio faces up to six months in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for October 5. Arpaio’s attorney said he would appeal in order to get a trial by jury. He had been convicted after a trial in front of Bolton.

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    The Gonzales sisters — Katheryn, 8, Rebecca, 10, and Leslie, 7 — were kidnapped by their father and murdered in Colorado in 1999. (LEW SHERMAN/SPECIAL TO THE DENVER POST)

    When my client told me her abusive ex-boyfriend had shown up after a long absence, beaten her and kidnapped their children, I assumed the police would respond quickly and issue Amber alerts. But a D.C. police officer refused even to write a report, dismissing the complaint as a “private family matter” and opining, “What safer place for the children than with their dad?”

    We were met with similar indifference from the child-abduction unit supervisor, who pondered, “Isn’t possession nine-tenths of the law?” (No, it’s not.)

    The reaction of the judge in the family court’s domestic violence unit was equally alarming. She incorrectly questioned whether she had jurisdiction, now that the children were several states away. And when she learned that my client had declined her ex-boyfriend’s marriage proposal, and that he’d texted that if she wanted to see their children again she would agree to marry him, the judge said, “Aw, it sounds like he’s just heartbroken.”

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     A Summary of the Suggestions from the National Roundtable Discussion on Sexual Assault in Indian Country

    Annotation:  This is a summary of suggestions from a National Roundtable in which a multidisciplinary group of professionals with expertise in developing, implementing, or improving a sexual assault response in tribal communities met to address this issue.
    Abstract: 

    The goals of the discussion were 1) to learn about tribal efforts to develop a coordinated, systemic response to sexual violence; 2) to highlight strategies to aid other tribal communities in developing or improving their response to sexual violence; and 3) to provide Federal, State, and local responders to sexual violence in Indian country with information on creating strategies to address sexual violence in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. This report on the Roundtable highlights key strategies for addressing challenges in responding to sexual assault identified by the tribes represented in the Roundtable discussions. It also provides examples of actions taken by tribal communities. The proposed strategies are intended to address the following nine challenges: 1) getting started in addressing the problem and sustaining efforts, 2) building tribal infrastructure, 3) promoting partnerships, 4) fostering respect for AI/AN sovereignty and culture, 5) reducing victim stigma and shame, 6) meeting victims’ needs, 7) recognizing differences in response to vulnerable populations, 8) improving SANE-SAFE efforts, and 9) improving the tribal justice process. In its concluding statement, this report advises that the highlighted strategies should not be viewed as the only ways to facilitate effective responses to sexual assault in tribal communities. Most strategies are briefly introduced rather than explained comprehensively. They are intended to assist tribal leaders in their discussions of each strategy’s usefulness for their particular tribal community. Appended listing of roundtable participants and observers, a listing of resources, and 40 notes

    FULL PDF FREE ONLINE HERE

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    Comunicado de la Asociación de Mujeres Juezas de España

    La organización denuncia la desigualdad en las condiciones laborales de las empleadas del hogar y reclama el reconocimiento de los derechos de las personas cuidadoras no profesionales

    Madrid, 20 julio. 17. Amecopress. La Asociación de Mujeres Juezas de España –AMJE-, ha emitido un comunicado para reivindicar que los trabajos de cuidados, remunerados y no remunerados, a cargo mayoritariamente de mujeres, deben estar en el centro de las políticas laborales y sociales. En el texto aseguran que la sostenibilidad de la vida no puede comportar la exclusión o limitación de los derechos de miles de mujeres, cuya actividad es cuidar de las personas -menores, mayores, dependientes- y realizar trabajos domésticos.
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    El trabajo sumergido y en precario de las empleadas del hogar

    En primer lugar, el comunicado de la AMJE se centra en el sector de las empleadas del hogar, un sector laboral invisible, desprotegido y carente de representación. Su bajo estatus socioeconómico, el estigma de una actividad considerada no productiva o infravalorada y las peculiaridades del lugar de trabajo hace que sean particularmente vulnerables a la explotación y a las malas condiciones de trabajo.

    El sector del empleo doméstico en España ha sido históricamente desterrado de una gran parte de los derechos laborales, en comparación con otros colectivos similares y sigue siéndolo. En nuestro país el 95% de las personas afiliadas a la Seguridad Social en el Sistema Especial de Empleados de Hogar son mujeres -408.000 frente a 20.500 hombres-. El 45% de las personas afiliadas son extranjeras -187.000-. El Instituto Nacional de Estadística (INE) considera que en España un 14’4% de los más de 17 millones de hogares de nuestro país cuenta con una persona trabajadora regular que presta algún tipo de servicio doméstico, por lo que se puede concluir que un 70% de las personas presta estos servicios en economía sumergida, sin reconocimiento alguno de derechos.

    Según explica el texto, la Ley 27/2011 que integró el Régimen Especial de Empleados de Hogar como un sistema especial del Régimen General de la Seguridad Social, posibilitó una mejora de sus derechos, aflorando más de 140.000 personas que fueron dadas de alta durante el año 2012. No obstante, por Real Decreto Ley 29/2012, de 28 de diciembre se dio, de nuevo, un paso atrás trasladando, en determinados supuestos, la obligación de alta y recaudación a las propias trabajadoras, lo que ha supuesto un estancamiento de las altas en seguridad social de estas trabajadoras. De otro lado, la reforma introducida por Real Decreto 1620/2011 de 14 de noviembre, que modificó la relación laboral de carácter especial del servicio del hogar familiar, se quedó a mitad camino en la equiparación de sus derechos.

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    La Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (Unesco) publicó nuevas orientaciones de base empírica en lo tocante al papel crucial que desempeña la educación en la prevención de los embarazos precoces y no deseados, así como en la atención sobre cuestiones vinculadas con éstos.
     
    La publicación de las notas técnicas “Early and unintended pregnancy: Recommendations for the education sector” (Recomendaciones del Sector de Educación de la Unesco para la prevención de los embarazos precoces y no deseados) coincide con la Cumbre de Planificación Familiar de Londres que tuvo lugar el 10 de julio de 2017, en la que la Unesco ratificó su compromiso de apoyar la contribución de los sectores nacionales de la educación para erradicar el VIH/sida y su contribución a una mejor salud y bienestar para todos los niños y jóvenes y, en particular, para las niñas.
     
    Los países en vías de desarrollo representan 95 por ciento de los nacimientos entre las madres adolescentes, y las niñas tienen 5 veces más probabilidades de convertirse en madres cuando tienen un bajo nivel educativo. Los embarazos precoces y no deseados tienen efectos perjudiciales en la vida de las niñas adolescentes en términos de salud, situación socioeconómica y rendimiento escolar.
     
    Los riesgos fundamentales son la expulsión de la escuela y del hogar, la estigmatización por parte de la familia, la vulnerabilidad ante la violencia, la mayor pobreza y la mortalidad entre las madres y complicaciones de salud. De hecho, las complicaciones vinculadas al embarazo y al parto constituyen la segunda causa de mortalidad entre las adolescentes de 15 a 19 años de edad, con unas 70 mil adolescentes afectadas cada año.
     
    UNA MAYOR ESCOLARIZACIÓN CONLLEVA A REDUCIR LA FECUNDIDAD
     
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    Legislative action has long played an important role in the movement to end gender-based violence, often as a critical component of the grassroots activism of survivors, advocates, and other people committed to mobilizing to end gender-based violence (ICADV 2009). In order to have widespread impact and improve the laws, policies and systems that affect victims of gender-based violence, engaging in advocacy with legislators and policymakers at the local, state, and national level is essential.

    Legislators and policy makers rely on hearing from constituents and community members about ways that laws can be improved to better address domestic and sexual violence. Through legislative advocacy and “lobbying,” domestic and sexual violence organizations can work to “improve policies that are responsive to the needs and realities of survivors as well as their children and families” by connecting legislators to the needs and lived experiences of survivors in their communities (National Latin@ Network).  Lobbying is recognized as “a key way that nonprofits can advance their mission, amplify the voices of their supporters, educate policymakers, and protect their values" (Bolder Advocacy). As Nayantara Mehta writes, “Getting involved in the legislative process and having a say in policy discussions is not just an appropriate role for nonprofits; it is vital. If nonprofits are not speaking on behalf of their often-vulnerable communities, chances are nobody else is either.” (Mehta 2009).

    Nonetheless, domestic and sexual violence organizations may hesitate to participate in legislative advocacy due to concerns about or limited understanding of the restrictions on 501(c)(3) nonprofits’ lobbying activities. While some activities, such as endorsing or opposing particular candidates for public office, are strictly prohibited, Congress specifically created rules that permit nonprofit organizations to engage in lobbying, as long as it does not constitute a “substantial part” of the organization’s activities. Additionally, nonprofits can also participate in other advocacy focused on influencing public policy, described in more detail below.

    This collection is designed to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations interested in participating in legislative advocacy. Resources include materials describing the specific federal regulations limiting lobbying activities of 501(c)(3) nonprofits; details on the ways in which these organizations can participate in lobbying activities; specific information on legislative advocacy for domestic and sexual violence organizations; and useful advocacy tools and tips.

    SEE COLLECTION

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    Our current clients include several mothers fleeing violence in Central America who eventually made it into the U.S. after being illegally turned away. We work with survivors of extreme domestic violence and persecution at the hands of transnational criminal organizations, known as “maras,” were turned away at the border by officials with statements such as “There’s no asylum for people from Honduras…” or “You can’t get asylum because you’re scared of your husband.” These statements are patently false, of course, and the precedential Board of Immigration Appeals decision, Matter of A-R-C-G-made clear that individuals fleeing domestic abuse can meet the asylum definition.

    Today several groups filed suit against the U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security and the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency for turning away asylum seekers, contrary to domestic and international law.

    Along the U.S.-Mexico border, asylum seekers arrived from all over the world to present themselves to CBP to ask for protection. The right to seek asylum is enshrined in Article 33 of the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees, which came into being in 1951 and was expanded by the 1967 Protocol. The United States signed the Protocol in 1968, enacting domestic law to implement the international agreement in 1980.  The U.S. is thus bound by the terms of the Protocol and the Convention itself, including, critically, the principle of non-refoulement — non-return of individuals to a place where they would  face persecution on account of one of the five protected grounds.

    In recent years, however, CBP has been routinely turning away vulnerable asylum seekers, forcing them to return to Mexico without allowing them to pursue their right to claim asylum.  This illegal practice has worsened as CBP officers became emboldened following the election and inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. President. Indeed, in January 2017, several groups filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security’s Offices of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Inspector General, alleging systemic abuses at the border. In March, the U.S. government failed to even show up to defend their practices before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, a session which included testimony from multiple groups on the illegal turning away of asylum seekers at the border.

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    From left: Backpage.com chief executive Carl Ferrer, co-founder James Larkin, chief operating officer Andrew Padilla and co-founder Michael Lacey are sworn in on Capitol Hill on Jan. 10 before a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee hearing into Backpage.com's alleged facilitation of online sex trafficking. All invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. (Cliff Owen/AP)

    A contractor for the controversial classifieds website Backpage.com has been aggressively soliciting and creating sex-related ads, despite Backpage’s repeated insistence that it had no role in the content of ads posted on its site, according to a trove of newly discovered documents.

    The documents show that Backpage hired a company in the Philippines to lure advertisers — and customers seeking sex — from sites run by its competitors. The spreadsheets, emails, audio files and employee manuals were revealed in an unrelated legal dispute and provided to The Washington Post.

    Workers in the Philippine call center scoured the Internet for newly listed sex ads, then contacted the people who posted them and offered a free ad on Backpage.com, the documents show. The contractor’s workers even created each new ad so it could be activated with one click.

    Workers also created phony sex ads, offering “fresh young sweet simple girl” or “Little Angel Seeks Daddy,” adding photos of barely clad women and explicit sex patter, the documents show. The workers posted the ads on competitors’ websites. Then, when a potential customer expressed interest, an email directed that person to Backpage.com, where they would find authentic ads, spreadsheets used to track the process show.

    For years, Backpage executives have adamantly denied claims made by members of Congress, state attorneys general, law enforcement and sex-abuse victims that the site has facilitated prostitution and child sex trafficking. Backpage argues it is a passive carrier of “third-party content” and has no control of sex-related ads posted by pimps, prostitutes and even organized trafficking rings. The company contends it removes clearly illegal ads and refers violators to the police.

    The discovery could be a turning point in the years-long campaign by anti-human trafficking groups, and Congress, to persuade Backpage to stop hosting prostitution ads, which many teenage girls have claimed were used to sell them for sexual exploitation. Lawsuits and criminal prosecutions of Backpage in the United States have nearly all failed because Backpage cites in its defense the federal Communications Decency Act, which grants immunity to websites that merely host or screen content posted by others.

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    SEE ALSO:

    Congresswomen press Sessions to investigate sexual ads at Backpage.com

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    “We will not be intimidated into silence.”

    By Alanna Vagianos

    Women’s March organizers have announced that they will host a protest against the NRA. 

    The protest, which will be held in Virginia on July 14, is in response to a recent ad published by the NRA which insinuates that “law-abiding” citizens need to arm themselves against violent anti-Trump protestors. The ad, which featured conservative talk-show host Dana Loesch, was widely criticized, with many people calling out the NRA for publishing such a dangerous and outrageous video.

    Included in the backlash was an open letter from Women’s March co-chair Tamika Mallory, written to the Executive Vice President of the NRA, Wayne LaPierre. In her letter, Mallory demanded that the NRA take down the dangerous ad and apologize to the American people. 

    Only July 1 ― only three days after Mallory published her open letter to LaPierre ― the NRA responded with another equally disturbing ad. This time, the four-minute clip titled “We Don’t Apologize For Telling The Truth” features conservative talk-show host Grant Stinchfield defending the [NRA’s] original ad from the “violent left” and specifically calling out Mallory.

    “I’m talking to you Tamika Mallory. You wrote a letter to the NRA on behalf of the Women’s March claiming our ‘Clenched Fist of Truth’ ad was an attack on minority communities ” Stinchfield said in the video. “You call it dangerous and demand it to be taken down? I’m here to tell you not a chance.”

    Watch the full NRA ad featuring Stinchfield below. 

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    Document URL: 

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    Annotation:  This second edition of “Free To Tell the Truth” updates Pennsylvania judges on the nature of and judicial means to counter the intimidation of witnesses and court personnel in efforts to influence the outcome of court proceedings.
    Abstract:  This bench book is intended as a reference source for the Pennsylvania judiciary in identifying the body of law in Pennsylvania and other jurisdictions that addresses intimidation as a means of influencing court proceedings. It also identifies the forms of witness intimidation and jury interference, and recommends best practices for protecting court proceedings from intimidation. Among the forms of intimidation examined are actual or attempted physical violence or property damage; explicit threats of physical violence or property damage; economic threats against victims, particularly in domestic violence cases; and indirect or implicit threats. The latter may include anonymous phone calls or internet postings, publicly communicating the fact of a particular witness’ cooperation with the prosecution, or repeatedly driving past the residence of a witness. Even in the absence of specific conduct or threats of intimidation, the prevalence of organized criminal activity and violence in a community instills fear in witnesses that they are at risk of being targeted for death or violent attacks. A lengthy list of various forms of witness intimidation are outlined. This is followed by descriptions of eight measures judges can authorize to create a safe and secure courtroom. Another chapter focuses on judicial responses to witness intimidation in terms of both prevention and punishments. Recent relevant case law is appended.

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    By Diya Uberoi and Beatriz Galli in  SUR International Journal on Human Rights, 24 (Dec 2016)  [Special Issue on “Women: Movements, Successes and Obstacles"

    ABSTRACT

    The years have seen a rise in the use of conscientious objection (CO) as means to deny women their sexual reproductive health rights. While states have an obligation under international human rights law to protect the freedom of thought, conscience and religion of people, they also have obligations to protect the right to the highest attainable standard of health and other fundamental rights. Over the years, International and regional human rights bodies have indicated the need for CO to be limited so as to protect women’s rights.

    As a means to balance both rights of medical service providers to exercise their moral beliefs and to protect the right to health of women, countries around the world have also sought different ways to regulate the use of CO. Whereas in some countries, some developments have been made to regulate CO so as to protect fundamental rights of women, in others, few guidelines exist in order to ensure availability of services for women in case refusals are made. This article provides an overview of policies regulating CO in Latin America. It considers the regulation of CO under both international law and under various state laws within the region. It suggests that if women’s reproductive rights are to become a reality, then there is a real need that states as well as international and regional human rights bodies continue to find ways to clarify frameworks around CO, so that grounds of conscience do not become an excuse to deny women realisation of their fundamental rights.

    Direct Link to FREE FULL TEXT:  http://sur.conectas.org/en/refusing-reproductive-health-services-on-grounds-of-conscience-in-latin-america/

    Overview.  English edition.    Spanish edition.    Portuguese edition.

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    https://gnb-test.imgix.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Young-girl-portrayed-in-Mexico-Photo-credit-Curt-Carnemark-World-Bank.jpg?crop=faces&w=901&h=506.8125&fit=crop&fm=pjpg

    Portrait of a young Mexican girl. 23% of girls in Mexico are married before the age of 18. Photo credit: Curt Carnemark | World Bank.

    23 June 2017 - When we think about child marriage we might think of South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. New research by the Ford Foundation and Investigación en Salud y Demografía (INSAD) brings Mexico – a country with the 8th highest number of child brides in the world – into the spotlight.

    “Studies like these are enormously useful because they provide concrete evidence that this really is a problem in the Americas as well” Hillary Anderson, The Inter-American Commission of Women

    The study is based on data from the 2015 intercensal survey, as well as interviews with 17 girls and 15 community actors and experts. We recap some of the key findings.

    Child marriage is not decreasing in Mexico

    Child marriage is common in many areas of Mexico. Nearly 1 in 4 girls (or 23%) are married or in a union before the age of 18, a rate that has been stagnant for almost 30 years. Living in rural area is a risk factor. In 14 of the 32 states, the report found that 30% of girls in rural settings were married before 18.

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    SEE ALSO:

    Quinceanera Expo: (english)

    Quineanera Expo: (espanol)

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    EXCERPT: 

    It is a sign of the gender blindness of IHL and ICL that until now, it was not clear whether the sexual abuse of children by members of their “own” armed group can, in fact, be a war crime.

    By answering that question in the affirmative, the ICC Appeals Chamber has made an enormously important contribution to international criminal law.

    SEE FULL ARTICLE

    SEE ALSO:

    ICC extends War Crimes of Rape and Sexual Slavery to Victims from Same Armed Forces as PerpetratorIn "International Criminal Law"

    The Ntaganda Case, Prosecutorial Discretion at the ICC, and the Recognition of Sexual Violence against MalesIn "IntLawGrrls"

    Ntaganda surrenders in RwandaIn "Democratic Republic of the Congo"

     

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    Cada ocho horas, al menos una niña se convierte en madre en Guatemala, antes de cumplir 15 años. Es una cifra estremecedora, pero la realidad podría ser mucho peor debido a que desde 2012 las cifras se vieron distorsionadas por fallas técnicas en la medición, reducción de la cobertura e interés político de mostrar mejoras.

    Yasmin es mamá de dos niños a sus 16 años. Viven en la aldea Mojarrillas, Monjas, Jalapa, su condición de vida es pobre y no utiliza ningún método de planificación familiar. (Foto Prensa Libre: Érick Ávila).

    Entre el 2006 y el 2016, 122 mil niñas y adolescentes, entre 10 y 17 años se han convertido en madres, pero ese número podría alcanzar casi el cuarto de millón debido a la anómala disminución de los registros que provocada a partir de 2012 por la política de salud del Partido Patriota.

    El ministro de Salud entre 2012 y 2014, Jorge Villavicencio, negó que los datos hayan sido alterados, pero reconoció que  el sistema informático de la cartera “tiene dificultades”, lo que podría explicar “algún mal registro” durante ese período.

    La reducción de casi el 30 por ciento, según Villavicencio, fue resultado de una política de prevención impulsada en ese período.

    Implementar un protocolo de alerta al identificar casos de alto riesgo y el haber reconocido el trabajo de las comadronas en las áreas de Salud  influyó directamente en la reducción de mortalidad materna y embarazos en niñas y adolescentes, según Villavicencio.

    La estrategia citada por  el exfuncionario contrasta con casos registrados en Salud desde el 2012, cuando bajó la cobertura que se ofrecía a través de organizaciones cercanas a comunidades de difícil acceso, y para 2013 los contratos con las oenegés que prestaban este servicio fueron cancelados.

    CONTINUA

    Trump signs global gag rule

    SEE ALSO:

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      This study examined the effect on a number of outcomes related to the arrest, prosecution, and conviction in cases of intimate partner violence (IPV) both before and after officer use of body-worn cameras (BWCs).
    Abstract: 

    The perceived benefits that generally accompany officers’ use of BWCs include the ability to increase transparency and police legitimacy, improve behavior among both police officers and citizens, and reduce citizen complaints and police use of force. Less established in the literature, however, is the value of BWCs to aid in the arrest, prosecution, and conviction of IPV offenders.

    The current study found that compared with posttest non-camera cases, posttest camera cases were more likely to result in an arrest, have charges filed, have cases furthered, result in a guilty plea, and result in a guilty verdict at trial. These results have several implications for policing, prosecuting, and convicting in IPV cases. 56 references (Publisher abstract modified)

    SEE ALSO:  Use of Police Body Cameras in Cases of Violence Against Women and Children

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    More Central American women are fleeing their homes, crossing borders to escape domestic violence in the region with the most female murders in the world

    In the end it was a cup of coffee laced with poison that compelled Josefina Nieto to run for her life.

    Nieto, 41, fled Guatemala with her youngest son last summer after surviving years of sexual, physical and emotional abuse from her husband, who she married at the age of 12.

    A few months earlier, Nieto, a midwife, had obtained a restraining order against her husband and asked for a divorce after he falsely accused her of having an affair.

    Her husband, a 52-year-old teacher and former police officer, was briefly detained after flouting the restraining order but returned home after paying a small fine. He warned her against going back to the authorities – “Till death do us part,” he said.

    With no safe house or family to turn to, Nieto squatted in an abandoned house for several weeks with the two youngest of her five children until they were evicted by police. Out of options, they were forced to return home.

    Just a few days later, Nieto was taken to the hospital after drinking a poison-laced cup of coffee prepared by her husband.

    Even then the authorities didn’t arrest him, and instead advised Nieto to get a divorce.

    CONTINUES

    “I 

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    In case after case, men practice violence against their families before lashing out at the public.

    In the wake of Wednesday’s attack on members of Congressat baseball practice in Northern Virginia, we’ve resurfaced this story. HuffPost has previously written about how men who attack the public often have a history of abusing those closest to them first. And in the U.S., most mass shootings are related to domestic violence. The suspect in Wednesday’s shooting― James Hodgkinson ― appears to fit this tragic pattern. He was previously arrested for domestic battery after allegedly assaulting his teenage foster daughter, though the charge was later dropped.

    SHERIFF'S 2006 REPORT - HODGKINSON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (2 Counts Domestic Battery, Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, 2 Counts of Battery, Criminal Damage to Motor Vehicle)

    Questions: With multiple witnesses and the abundance of corroborating physical evidence, who dismissed this case and why? With all the media attention to this case how is it that the journalists are failing to dig into and answer these questions?

    SEE ALSO: 

    Domestic abuse can portend terror violence

     

     

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    Uber announced the recommendations Tuesday, prepared from a report by former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., hired by Uber to address mounting criticism of the company amid a wave of workplace scandals. The full report is being withheld from the public and the bulk of the company's 14,000 employees worldwide.

    SEE REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS HERE

    BACKGROUND ARTICLES:

    Uber board member cracks ‘inappropriate’ joke about women at company event on sexual harassment

    Uber fires more than 20 employees after sexual harassment investigation

    Uber diversity report paints overwhelmingly white, male picture

    Everything we know so far about Uber's sexual harassment scandal . (SLIDES)

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