Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

Abstract: The myth ‘cry wolf’ continues to pose particular problems for campaigners, policy makers and practitioners. This paper subjects this myth, and the way in which it has been debated, to critical scrutiny with a view to suggesting an alternative and better way of challenging the presumption both in theory and in practice that women ‘cry wolf’. In reflecting on lessons learned that presume believability in establishing rapport from the treatment of children in sexual offence cases the paper suggests that such practices can maximise efficacy in the treatment of women in cases of rape. It concludes that by leaving accusatory language behind, complainants, practitioners and judicial parties may experience more successful pathways to truth.

OPEN ACCESS DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

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Police Investigation of Rapes - Roadblocks and Solutions, scroll down linked page for study abstract and link to full document.

From the National Institute of Justice study abstract:

 

"Still, the findings from administering the rape scale to the officers indicate that despite many years of training, a large number of police officers still hold attitudes and opinions that undermine their ability to treat rape victims well. The officers were almost unanimously opposed to changing to a system of investigation and case processing that gives priority to protecting victims." ........

"Among the police officers in this study, there was virtually no interest in and some strong resistance to examining innovative and improved ways of investigating and managing rape cases. The dominant theme in current investigative techniques is the presumption that victims are lying and the initial job of the investigators is to expose it." (emphasis ours)

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General session: Violence against women | Family violence
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Ambassador Carmen Moreno Toscano, Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women, Organization of American States
 
• Margarita Guille, Red InterAmericana de Refugios y Centros para Mujeres, Mexico
 
• Deborah D. Tucker, National Center on Domestic and 
Sexual Violence, USA
 
• Chair/Moderador: Aixa Alvarado Gurany, Directora de 
Orientación, Protección y Apoyo a Víctimas de Delitos 
y Testigos, Centro de Justicia Familiar de Nuevo León 
Monterrey

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Women across America who are seeking abortions are accidentally booking appointments at crisis pregnancy centers — pro-life, government-funded religious centers that don't provide abortions, but instead try to talk women out of terminating their pregnancies. VICE News investigated the misleading practices used by crisis pregnancy centers to draw in women with unplanned pregnancies, and the misinformation that is spread to discourage them from pursuing abortions.

 

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On the night of April 14, 2014, hundreds of schoolgirls at the Chibok boarding school in northeastern Nigeria awoke to the sound of gunfire. They saw men in camouflage approaching and thought soldiers were coming to save them from a militant attack, according to survivors' accounts.

Instead, more than 270 of the schoolgirls found themselves in the clutches of the Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Their abduction sparked global outrage and a huge campaign calling for their rescue, partly propelled by the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Sunday marks five months since the girls were kidnapped. Here's what has happened since.

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(

CNN) -- How to discipline the next generation is a hotly debated topic. In 2012, a national survey showed more than half of women and three-quarters of men in the United States believe a child sometimes needs a "good hard spanking."

 
Science tells a different story. Researchers say physical punishment actually alters the brain -- not only in an "I'm traumatized" kind of way but also in an "I literally have less gray matter in my brain" kind of way.
 
"Exposing children to HCP (harsh corporal punishment) may have detrimental effects on trajectories of brain development," one 2009 study concluded.
 
Harsh corporal punishment in the study was defined as at least one spanking a month for more than three years, frequently done with objects such as a belt or paddle. 
 
Researchers found children who were regularly spanked had less gray matter in certain areas of the prefrontal cortex that have been linked to depression, addiction and other mental health disorders, the study authors say.
 
 
Photos of son of football player Adrian Peterson after being 'disciplined' by Adrian Peterson
 

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Madrid, 11 sep. 14. AmecoPress. Tal día como hoy hace diez años, se aprobó la Ley Integral contra la Violencia de Género. Desde que un año antes, en 2003, se empezaran a contar los crímenes machistas han perdido la vida en nuestro país a manos de sus parejas o ex parejas más de 750 mujeres (entre 753 y 756, según fuentes utilizadas). Muchísimas. Es importante recordarlo y advertir que todas las reflexiones e intentos de mejora han de dirigirse a homenajearlas y a poner fin al sufrimiento de tantas mujeres que viven sometidas al maltrato –se calcula que en España superan la cifra de 600.000- y a la escalada de violencia que sigue arrojando muertes. Violencia contra las mujeres por el hecho de serlo.

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La Ministra de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad pidió ayer en las Comisiones de Igualdad del Congreso y del Senado “consenso” a los grupos parlamentarios para luchar contra esta lacra. Quiere reformar la Ley que recién cumple una década. Evidentemente, con 41 asesinadas en este año, 14 a lo largo del verano, todo el mundo defiende que “hay que hacer algo”. Pero no está claro que la opción esté en el cambio de la normativa mencionada. Y es que las normas sin recursos suficientes que garanticen su aplicación, pierden parte de su valor. Y eso está sucediendo sin duda.

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It’s the question every survivor of domestic violence is posed, often incredulously: Why didn’t you just leave? The reality is that leaving an abusive relationship is often a herculean task that endangers the woman and calls for resources that aren’t readily available.

In June, after The Huffington Post ran an investigative report on a woman allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, we received an outpouring of responses from domestic violence survivors who wanted to explain why they had stayed with their abusers. We spent the next three months interviewing these women. While they offered hundreds of reasons, ranging from the logistical to the deeply personal, some common themes emerged: Fear. Love. Family. Money. Shame. Isolation.

In this series, you will hear from six survivors of domestic violence about why they didn’t leave sooner. The stories — told in their own words — are as distinct as they are similar. One woman suffered a brutal week of abuse before fleeing. Others stayed for decades trying to make things work. Two women were shot, the bullets narrowly missing their hearts. Another endured years of incessant stalking.

SEE ARTICLE HERE

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Before they can reach the American Dream, many migrant women have to survive a Mexican nightmare. A staggering 80 percent of Central American girls and women crossing Mexico en route to the United States are raped along the way, according to directors of migrant shelters interviewed by Fusion.

That's up from previous reports by non-profit organizations like Amnesty International that estimate the number at 60 percent.

"Women and girl migrants, especially those without legal status traveling in remote areas or on trains, are at heightened risk of sexual violence at the hands of criminal gangs, people traffickers, other migrants or corrupt officials," the 2010 Amnesty International report stated. "...Many criminal gangs appear to use sexual violence as part of the "price" demanded of migrants. According to some experts, the prevalence of rape is such that people smugglers may require women to have a contraceptive injection prior to the journey as a precaution..."

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A case making its way through the courts in Washington State holds high stakes for trafficked children who have been waging a steep uphill battle against corporate behemoth Backpage.com for years. Three Washington State girls, seventh and ninth graders, are fighting back against the website that advertised them multiple times a day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The girls seek damages from Backpage.com -- believed to sell the most online prostitution ads involving children in the country -- for creating an illegal online marketplace and policing it in bad faith. After Backpage.com published their pictures and sales pitches about them, the girls, ages 13 and 15, were repeatedly raped by customers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ARTICLE CONTINUES

The Washington State Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

Amicus Briefs in Support of Child Respondents 

 

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ICRW
 

                                  MorePowertoHer1

Every year, more than 14 million girls are married before their 18th birthday. Instead of playing and learning, child brides as young as 10 years old are often subjected to a life of isolation, poor health and abuse. Child marriage not only violates a girl’s human rights, but it also stifles community, state and global development efforts to end poverty and gender inequality.

ICRW has been at the forefront of exposing the harms caused by child marriage, and identifying solutions to prevent it, for more than 15 years. In 2011, ICRW identifiedfive promising strategies to prevent child marriage. With this latest study, ICRW set out to discover how programs in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ethiopia and India are working to empower both girls at risk of child marriage as well as already-married girls, and how empowerment leads to changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices.

Based on four case studies of programs run by CARE (Ethiopia), BRAC (Bangladesh), Save the Children (Egypt) and Pathfinder International (India), ICRW’s findings show that girl-focused programs expand girls’ ability to make strategic life choices by providing them with access to critical resources.

The information, skills and social support that girls gain through these programs has helped to instill a transformation within them that enables them to envision themselves in roles other than those traditionally expected of them in strict, patriarchal societies. They also introduce girls to alternatives to marriage, such as school and livelihood opportunities, and enhance their ability to influence key ‘gatekeepers’ in their lives, such as parents, husbands or community leaders.


Download report »

 

 

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Luchadoras es un programa conducido por Lulú Barrera, dedicado a la vida de mujeres activistas, artistas, académicas y periodistas que dedican su vida a la promoción y defensa de los derechos humanos de las mujeres.
En esta emisión, Lulú entrevista en el estudio de Rompeviento Verónica Cruz Sánchez, directora de Las Libres.

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SheTaxis (known as SheRides in New York City) is a newly-launched app that will help women-only passengers find women-only taxi drivers. If you are a woman, the creators argue, it makes sense to use this car service, because taking taxis and Ubers driven by men can be dangerous. There is a whole lot of money to be made helping women adapt to this problem.

This approach to "keeping women safe" is based on the sex segregation model of harassment and stranger rape avoidance at the heart of women-only subway cars inJapan and women-only train compartments in India. It's the car version of a million "don't get raped" products, the latest of which is drug-sensing nail polish that women can paint onto their fingertips and dip into drinks. Most solutions advocating segregation or self-defense are variations of "shrink it and pink it" consumer product and public space design. Even Women.Com, a new social network designed as a (safe) space for women only, takes this approach -- that women have to take themselves out of spaces shared by men or risk the consequences.

The reason many feminists don't embrace these products and services enthusiastically is that, while they help individual women avoid rape, none of them prevents rape or other violence that it is often related to. They don't reduce terror, but diffuse it. They don't dismantle myths (like the relative risk of stranger sexual assault versus acquaintance and intimate assault), they capitalize on them. They not only operate within parameters that accept the violence, but commodify it.

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Publication cover

 

Interpersonal violence – in all its forms – has a grave effect on children: Violence undermines children’s future potential; damages their physical, psychological and emotional well-being; and in many cases, ends their lives. The report sheds light on the prevalence of different forms of violence against children, with global figures and data from 190 countries. Where relevant, data are disaggregated by age and sex, to provide insights into risk and protective factors.

General Information

Author:UNICEFPrice:FreeNo. of pages:206Publication date:September 2014Publisher:UNICEFISBN:978-92-806-4767-9

      PDF FREE DOWNLOAD HERE

 
                                                                                                For further information
Please contact: pubdoc@unicef.org

 

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Jennifer Norris testifies on Capitol Hill before a sparsely attended House Armed Services Committee hearing on sexual misconduct by basic training instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Editor's note: Mary F. Calvert won the 2013 Canon Female Photojournalist Awardfor this body of work and is showing it at the 2014 Visa Pour l'image in Perpignan, France. Calvert also just won the Alexia Foundation 2014 Women's Initiative Grantto help fund her related project, Missing in Action: Homeless Female Veterans.

Women in the US military are being raped and sexually assaulted by their colleagues in record numbers. An estimated 26,000 rapes and sexual assaults took place in the military in 2012, the last year that statistic is available; only 1 in 7 victims reported their attacks, and just 1 in 10 of those cases went to trial.

According to mental-health experts, the effects of military sexual trauma (MST) include depression, substance abuse, paranoia, and feelings of isolation. Victims spend years drowning in shame and fear as the psychological damage silently eats away at their lives. Many frequently end up addicted to drugs and alcohol, homeless, or take their own lives.

In 2013, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced the Military Justice Improvement Act, which was designed to change the ways the military prosecutes sexual-violence crimes and restricts commanding officer's power to set aside or overturn convictions for sexual violence. But in March 2014, the bill fell 5 votes short of the 60 required to avoid a filibuster.

In May, the Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military for fiscal year 2013 found that reports of sexual assault were up 50 percent. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has implemented a variety of measures to combat sexual assault, including the examination of gender-responsive and appropriate military culture, a review of alcohol policies and sales, the evaluation and improvement of sexual-assault prevention and response training for commanders, and encouraging more male victims to report sexual assaults.

But the violence of rape and the ensuing emotional trauma are still compounded by what victims see as the futility of reporting the attacks to their commands. 

SEE PHOTO ESSAY HERE

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AWID is excited to introduce a new manual for rights activists facing religious fundamentalist opposition to their work. This user-friendly resource manual brings together the innovative research and analysis produced by AWID's Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms (CF) program over the past six years, drawing on the experiences of hundreds of women's rights activists in diverse regions of the world.

This manual covers key areas of AWID’s research, including understandings of religious fundamentalisms; factors that lead to their growth; the impacts on women’s rights and human rights; and strategies used to counter religious fundamentalisms. It also includes concrete examples, visuals, and a series of discussion questions and participatory activities to encourage reflection on how religious fundamentalisms affect the day-to-day work of activists and how to strengthen activist responses.  

Our hope is that this manual will offer an accessible resource to inform and inspire dialogue, strategies, and advocacy on the issue of religious fundamentalisms. 

Note: This resource has been produced for rights-based activists and organizations only and is not meant for public dissemination. If you would like to request a soft-copy of this publication, please contact us at cf@awid.org

 

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 Clamor social y legislativo para endurecer castigos

El asesinato en febrero de 2013 de la periodista Hanaly Huaycho por su esposo, el teniente de la policía Jorge Clavijo, aceleró el trabajo en el Poder Legislativo para poner a punto una ley que liquidara, de una vez por todas, los asesinatos de mujeres en Bolivia.
 
Unas semanas después, el presidente Evo Morales promulgó la Ley 348 para Garantizar a las Mujeres una Vida Libre de Violencia, la cual, en uno de sus artículos aclara que “el Estado Plurinacional asume como prioridad la erradicación de la violencia hacia las mujeres, por ser una de las formas más extremas de dominación en razón de género”.
 
Al mismo tiempo agrega que “los órganos del Estado y todas las instituciones públicas adoptarán las medidas y políticas necesarias, asignando los recursos económicos y humanos suficientes con carácter obligatorio”.
 
La norma es clara y, si se analiza con detenimiento, cada uno de sus artículos va encaminado a poner un alto a la violencia doméstica, un mal enquistado en la sociedad boliviana desde tiempos inmemoriales, cuando las mujeres eran sólo un objeto más, propiedad del hombre de la casa.
 
Por unos meses reinó el silencio y aunque se registraron miles de denuncias por violencia doméstica, parecía que los casos de feminicidio habían pasado a un segundo plano, pero llegó agosto de 2014 y los indicadores aportados por las autoridades dejaron sobre el tapete la verdadera realidad.

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Domestic violence is a tragic feature of millions of women's lives. But in Thailand, new efforts are underway to better protect women from violence at the hands of their partners by training police cadets in investigating domestic violence. Produced by UNTV for UN Women, this piece follows one young woman cadet as she gets her first close-up look at a case of abuse.

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The National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) is a non-profit organization that brings together individuals or agencies working to establish or improve oversight of police officers in the United States. 

The Professional Standards Committee, on behalf of the Board of Directors, undertook an ambitious and important project to create detailed profiles of civilian oversight agencies/entities across the United States. The Committee’s goal was to compile profiles of oversight agencies representing different models of oversight, using a standardized set of criteria (adapted from the agency profiles found in CACOLE’s compendium of all oversight agencies in Canada). Each profile includes attachments and/or links to websites containing relevant original documents related to an agency’s scope, authority and operations. A major goal of this project was to provide individuals or groups who are establishing oversight with models of enabling legislation, regulations, procedures, etc. Below is the list of those profiles that have been prepared to date. Click each agency’s name to access its profile.

SEE ALSO: 

Making Civilian Oversight of Police Work for Victims of Violence Against Women and Children
Experience of Criminal Justice System Abuses by Gender, Info-graphic

 

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Lydia Cacho is an award-winning investigative journalist, writer and activist. Her reporting focuses on violence against women in her home country of Mexico. Her latest book is Slavery Inc.: The untold story of international sex trafficking.

In the West, slavery is often seen as a dark part of the colonial past. Although it’s illegal in all countries, it remains alive and well—and is growing dramatically. Impervious to recession, it forms a thriving part of the globalised sex industry run by organised crime. International trafficking of women and children for sex is a multi-billion dollar business that won’t be anywhere near ‘abolition’ until those who make money from its operations and buy its services think again about what being complicit in slavery means. 

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REPORT:

In 2012, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) published a national compendium of law enforcement strategies to reduce the demand for commercial sex. The following explores the merits of a demand reduction approach; discusses strategies commonly used in the United States; and provides helpful links to guidance, evaluations, and best practices for implementing demand reduction strategies in jurisdictions.

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Access the full report, A National Overview of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Efforts, including helpful implementation guidance.

The study also resulted in a user-friendly, publically available website containing this information and a database:www.demandforum.net.

 

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Annotation: 

 

This is a comprehensive overview of the prevalence of rape in prison, with a focus on Pennsylvania prisons, along with the features of prison culture and inmate attitudes that facilitate prison rapes.

Abstract: After a brief review of studies of the prevalence of rape in custodial facilities, both male and female, this paper notes that regardless of the accuracy of the statistics, it is clear that there is a pervasive fear of such victimization, and this dominates inmate social interactions in prison. The discussion of what constitutes sexual assault includes the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections definition, which is “any acts or attempts to commit acts which involve sexual contact, sexual abuse or assault, the intentional touching, either directly or through clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thighs, or buttocks." The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections prohibits any form of sexual harassment or sexual contact with an inmate. After reviewing the prevalence and features of prohibited sexual contact in prison, the paper considers characteristics of the prison culture that influence inmate sexual behavior. Prison culture has a defined social category known as homosexual, but all inmates who engage in same-sex behavior are not considered homosexual. Prison culture distinguishes the category of homosexual into groups known as “homosexuals,” “gays,” “queens,” and “straights.” These categories are defined. This is followed by a discussion of “sexual violence in the prison environment,” which states that first-person accounts suggest that many rape attempts are perpetrated against young, newly incarcerated individuals who lack experience with violence or prison culture. This section also discusses motivating factors for sexual behavior, consensual versus coerced or forced sex, protective pairing, and bartering and trading for sex. Other topics addressed in this paper are sexual assault among female inmates and juvenile inmates, victim reporting of sexual assault, common reactions of inmates to sexual victimization, and the characteristics of sexually aggressive inmates. 37 references

                           SEE UNDERSTANDING PRISON RAPE GUIDE PDF HERE

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Building Partnerships Between Rape Crisis Centers and Correctional Facilities to Implement the PREA Victim Services Standards

Annotation: 

This report summarizes key issues and suggestions from a forum that discussed how correctional facilities and rape crisis centers can cooperate in implementing the sexual-assault victim services specified in the standards for implementing the Prisoner Rape Elimination Act (PREA).

Abstract: Rape crisis center is a term that denotes the many community-based sexual assault victim advocacy agencies across the county; however, sexual assault victims in corrections may not identify their assault experience as being one that rape crisis centers address. Training is required in order for the staffs of both rape crisis centers and corrections facilities to understand the relevance of such a partnership for victims of sexual assaults that occur in prisons and jails. The forum discussions provide guidance on conducting such training. Partnering efforts should then begin with the common goal of safety and appropriate services for in-prison sexual assault victims. It would be useful for correctional systems to assist their facilities in identifying and reaching out to rape crisis centers for the purpose of developing agreements that specify the services that rape crisis centers can provide for sexual assault victims in correctional facilities. Two discretionary grant projects from the U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime are piloting efforts to implement PREA victim services provisions and more generally facilitate a victim-centered, coordinated approach to sexual assault in corrections. Appended listing of forum participants and forum agenda

                          SEE GUIDE PDF HERE

SEE ALSO:                  

  

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   Lanza AI campaña para exigir a las autoridades que actúen

Debido a que al menos seis de cada 10 mujeres migrantes son víctimas de violencia sexual durante su tránsito por México, Amnistía Internacional (AI) lanzó hoy la campaña “Paso Migratorio” a fin de visibilizar este flagelo.
 
AI explicó que la campaña tiene por objeto visibilizar los obstáculos que enfrentan mujeres, niñas y niños migrantes para ejercer sus derechos sexuales y reproductivos, durante su paso por el país.
 
Violencia sexual, embarazos no deseados, trata de personas, limitado acceso a servicios prenatales, nula información sobre anticonceptivos, escaso apoyo institucional e impunidad, son los principales problemas que enfrentan las migrantes en su tránsito por México, señalaron integrantes de la organización en conferencia de prensa.
 
Dijeron que AI busca implementar mecanismos de actuación en las estaciones migratorias que permitan identificar a mujeres, niñas y niños que hayan sufrido alguna violación, para que reciban atención adecuada, y “presionar” al gobierno federal para que establezca políticas públicas y estrategias con visión de género.

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