Womens Justice Center




















News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


 

On a Japanese island famous for long life expectancies, elderly women are at the forefront of the continuing protest movement against U.S military installations.

OKINAWA, Japan – For an entire year, 60-year-old Kumiko Onaga slept in a tent across the street from a U.S. military base on Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island. In the middle of the night, when trucks carrying construction material approached at the entrance gate of the base, she jumped out of her sleeping bag and tried to block the vehicles. Then, each morning, she drove home, showered and went to work as one of her town’s few women city council members.

“People know me as ‘the sleeping bag councilwoman,’” Onaga says with a smile, adding that more people know her by her nickname than her real name.

Onaga and others on Okinawa have long opposed the relocation of the contentious Futenma Marine Corps base to the remote fishing village of Henoko on the northern part of the island. Part of the plan involves the construction of military runways in the coral-filled coastal waters next to the base.

“We were forced to accept these bases,” says Kyoko Matayoshi, 66, who lives just over a mile from the Futenma base. She and many local residents say their biggest concerns are noise, pollution and safety.

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Document URL:  PDF   Full Document Free Online
Publication Date:  January 2017
Annotation:  This study replicated and extended research findings on subtypes of child maltreatment, childhood exposure to domestic violence, subsequent forms of victimization, and stress in relation to antisocial behavior, crime, and perpetration/victimization related to intimate partner violence in adulthood; also examined were protective factors for maltreated children and predictors of self-reported crime desistence.
Abstract: 

Findings of seven publications that were the products of this secondary data analysis provide additional evidence of the relationship between child maltreatment and adult antisocial behavior and crime. They also show instances in which this relationship is influenced by other variables, including those that pertain to the socialization of peers and partners.

Findings suggest the possibility that physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are linked differently to self-reported crime and that predictors and pathways differ at times on the basis of gender. In addition, several analyses show the risk-lowering effects of education variables (e.g., educational engagement, academic achievement, and high school graduation), suggesting the importance of incorporating perspectives on schooling and education in crime prevention and criminal justice policy. Data for this study are from the Lehigh Longitudinal Study, which is an ongoing prospective examination of children and families that began in the 1970s. The original samples consisted of 457 children. Just over 80 percent of the children, now adults, were assessed in 2008-2010 at an average of 36 years. Data on child maltreatment and related risk and protective factors were collected much earlier, beginning when participants were preschoolers (18 months to 6 years old). 21 references

https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/250506.pdf

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Taina Bien-Aimé
212-643-9895
media@catwinternational.org

International Human Rights Group Applauds Ireland for Law Targeting Buyers of Sex
Survivors of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Lead Groundbreaking Campaign

New York, Feb. 15, 2017 - The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) commends the Republic of Ireland for the historic passage of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill, which decriminalizes prostituted people and penalizes the purchase of sex. After years of intense efforts, the bill passed Ireland's lower house, Dáil Éireann, on Feb. 7 and was approved in the upper house, Seanad Éireann, on Feb. 14.
 
The new Irish law will help efforts to end demand by holding sex buyers accountable and will also ensure that prostituted individuals and survivors can access comprehensive support services. In addition, it strengthens national laws against sexual grooming, child pornography and sexual harassment in the Republic of Ireland.
 
Rachel Moran, founder and executive director of SPACE International (Survivors of Prostitution-Abuse Calling for Enlightenment), was a key Irish abolitionist activist who advocated for the law as part of the Turn Off the Red Light campaign, a coalition of direct service providers, survivor-led groups, women's rights organizations, labor unions, medical providers and other groups in Ireland.
 
"It's been six years almost to the day since I first spoke publicly in Dublin about the harm and damage of prostitution and the need for our government to do something about it," said Moran, also the author of "Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution." "With great relief, our government has formally responded to the Turn Off the Red Light campaign and voted overwhelmingly to criminalize the demand for paid sexual access to human beings. Ireland is now a hostile territory for pimps and traffickers, and a place where men can no longer legally use women's desperation to buy their way inside our bodies. This is a historic day that sends a message of hope." 
 
The Republic of Ireland follows the example of Sweden, the first country to legally recognize prostitution as a form of violence and discrimination against women in 1999. Norway, Iceland, Canada (with exceptions), Northern Ireland and, most recently, France have also enacted demand-focused, abolitionist laws to combat the multi-billion dollar sex trade and its economic engine, sex trafficking. This legal framework is known as the Swedish or Nordic model.
 
In enacting the new law, the Irish government upholds its international obligations under the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol). Respectively, these international conventions call on state parties to enact national legislation and policies that address the exploitation of prostitution of others and the demand that fosters the sex trade and sex trafficking, among other human rights violations.
 
"Passage of the Irish law is a testament to the survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking who tell us with immense courage about the unspeakable horrors they've endured at the hands of sex buyers, traffickers and pimps," said Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of CATW. "This victory belongs to them. Millions, mostly women and girls, continue to be exploited in the sex trade worldwide with unacceptable impunity, but today we applaud Ireland for honoring the tireless campaigners and for showcasing its vision of human rights and equality for all." 

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is one of the oldest non-governmental organizations working to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) of women and girls worldwide. CATW engages in advocacy, education and prevention programs, and services for victims of trafficking and CSE in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe and the Americas.
 
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Esperanza and Teodula were sterilised without consent more than 18 years ago and are still searching for justice in rural Peru. The Quipu project is their phoneline that allows victims across the country to share their shocking testimonies. These are the unwillingly sterilised women fighting for justice in Peru.

They are just two of the 300,000 Peruvians affected by the Family Planning Program promoted by Alberto Fujimori’s government in the mid-90s in Peru, which mostly targeted impoverished, rural, indigenous people. Despite several attempts to bring those responsible to justice, the crime of the forced sterilisations remains unpunished and there are still many Peruvians that denied it ever happened.

Esperanza and Teodula, together with other affected women, activists and artists, continue the fight for justice through the Quipu project. Esperanza and her local women's organisation have decided to fight for justice and create a communication project -a specially developed phoneline connected to the internet- that allows them to share their stories in their own words and be heard around the country and the world. The testimonies collected by the Quipu project have been listened to in more than 100 countries and help them to appeal to international law in their continuing search for justice.

Meanwhile, in October 2015, Keiko Fujimori (daughter of Alberto Fujimori) held a clear lead in the upcoming presidential elections despite having been investigated for corruption several times. 

Esperanza and the Quipu team travel across Peru to the regions that were most affected by the sterilisation campaign - isolated, rural and impoverished villages in the Andes and Amazon. As they meet more people and hear their stories, the real scale of the campaign starts to be revealed.

This short film follows the intimate journeys of these two peasant women fighting for recognition and women’s rights in a male-dominated society, while inviting others to join them in the hope that their voices will no longer be silenced.

Find out more about the Quipu project and hear more testimonies on their interactive platform - https://interactive.quipu-project.com...

Commissioned by the Guardian and Bertha Foundation
 

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An undocumented immigrant was detained last week in El Paso, Texas, after she received a protective order due to being an alleged victim of domestic violence — and she’s one of a number of the most vulnerable people who are being rounded up as part of President Donald Trump’s nationwide crackdown.

The not-yet-named El Paso woman, who was taken on Feb. 9, may have been tipped off by the her alleged abuser, who was already in custody, according to The El Paso Times. The Times cited a criminal complaint on file with the U.S. District Court in El Paso for a person with her name, suggesting she may have immigration and domestic violence issues in her own past. Nevertheless, El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal said she was worried that using protective orders to identify and deport people could scare domestic abuse victims away from coming forward.

“Our clients come to us at the lowest point in their lives,” Bernal told The El Paso Times. “Many of them are so frightened of coming to us because of possible immigration concerns.”

Bernal is not alone in those these fears.

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We preach against child-marriage abroad. But thousands of American children are wed annually.

Michelle DeMello walked into the clerk’s office in Colorado thinking for sure someone would save her.

She was 16 and pregnant. Her Christian community in Green Mountain Falls was pressuring her family to marry her off to her 19-year-old boyfriend. She didn’t think she had the right to say no to the marriage after the mess she felt she’d made. “I could be the example of the shining whore in town, or I could be what everybody wanted me to be at that moment and save my family a lot of honor,” DeMello said. She assumed that the clerk would refuse to approve the marriage. The law wouldn’t allow a minor to marry, right?

Wrong, as DeMello, now 42, learned.

While most states set 18 as the minimum marriage age, exceptions in every state allow children younger than 18 to marry, typically with parental consent or judicial approval. How much younger? Laws in 27 states do not specify an age below which a child cannot marry.

Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children — almost all of them girls, some as young 12 — were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older. Twelve states and the District of Columbia were unable to provide information on how many children had married there in that decade. Based on the correlation we identified between state population and child marriage, we estimated that the total number of children wed in America between 2000 and 2010 was nearly 248,000.

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Report by current and former police and prosecutors says Trump’s executive order threatens to ‘repeat the mistake’ of policies relying only on jail and prison

David Brown, the former Dallas police chief widely praised for his response to the killing of five officers last year, is a co-writer of the report.

 David Brown, the former Dallas police chief widely praised for his response to the killing of five officers last year, is a co-writer of the report. Photograph: Tony Gutierrez/AP

Dozens of senior law enforcement officials have urged Donald Trump to abandon his draconian crackdown on crime and to instead revive efforts to reform the criminal justice system.

In a report co-written by David Brown, the former Dallas police chief widely praised for his response to the killing of five officers last year, the officials said Trump should rethink his blunt law-and-order plans.

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SEE REPORT HERE

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El próximos 8 de marzo, numerosos colectivos y movimientos de mujeres han llamado a una huelga general mundial contra la violencia machista y en defensa de nuestros derechos.

Ya el pasado 21 de enero, millones de mujeres se manifestaron en EEUU y en todo el mundo contra el Presidente Trump, contra su discurso misógino, racista y homófobo. Meses antes, cientos de miles de compañeras protagonizaron una gran movilización en Polonia contra el intento del gobierno de derechas de prohibir el derecho al aborto y millones de mujeres llenaron las calles de las principales ciudades de Latinoamérica bajo el lema ¡Nos queremos vivas, ni una menos!

Desde el Sindicato de Estudiantes hacemos un llamamiento a todo el movimiento estudiantil, a toda la juventud, para que este 8 de marzo paremos las clases de 12.00 a 13.00h y nos concentrarnos en los patios de los Institutos y en los Campus para decir: ¡Basta ya de violencia machista! ¡En defensa de los derechos de la mujer! ¡Fuera Trump y todos los gobiernos que alientan el machismo y nuestra opresión!

La crisis del capitalismo ha golpeado duramente las condiciones de vida del conjunto de la clase trabajadora, pero dentro de ella, la juventud y las mujeres nos hemos llevado la peor parte. El capitalismo nos condena a las mujeres a una vida de precariedad con peores salarios y condiciones laborales, a sufrir doblemente las consecuencias de las políticas de la derecha y los recortes, a liderar los datos de desempleo, o a que se cargue sobre nuestros hombros el trabajo que deberían cubrir los servicios sociales como el cuidado de enfermos, mayores y niños.

También nos condena a sufrir las consecuencias últimas de un sistema que nos niega la independencia económica y la igualdad: la lacra de la violencia machista. Sólo en los últimos siete años 796 mujeres han sido asesinadas en el Estado español por este motivo y cada 8 horas se produce una denuncia por violación. Estos datos son solo la parte más cruel de la opresión que las mujeres sufrimos cotidianamente por el simple hecho de serlo.

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A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is an emotionally charged, eye-opening true story that represents the millions of unheard voices of refugees who risk everything in a desperate search for the promise of a safe future. Melissa Fleming sheds light on the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time and paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of the triumph of the human spirit.

Review

"Melissa Fleming's tale of a young Syrian woman's search for peace and safety is a book written for our times. On every page, loss and hope tangle. On every page, the human toll of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time is painfully, heartbreakingly brought home. This is an emotional read, at times painful, but it is above all a poignant tribute to hope, to resilience, and to the capacity for grace and generosity that dwells deep in the human heart." ―Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and And the Mountains Echoed

"I think Melissa Fleming is one of the most important people in the world. As the world's foremost advocate for refugees, she has worked tirelessly to put a human face on the greatest crisis of our time. There is no more important calling than this. Millions have been displaced by the wars in Iraq and Syria, and their situation is desperate. Yet everyone who has worked with refugees is amazed by their resilience and spirit. There is no better way to demonstrate this spirit than with the power of a single story. Melissa has found that story. The story of Doaa is dramatic, riveting, and ultimately hopeful. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea provides a portrait of the refugee crisis that cannot be matched by any amount of cable news coverage." ―Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York

"This poignant tale of survival and loss gives immediacy to the plight of Syrian refugees. Fleming’s skillful writing brings new vividness to Doaa Al Zamel’s dramatic story. This book amply demonstrates why Al Zamel has since become a symbol of hope for other refugees. Fleming should be congratulated for bringing [this] inspiring and illuminating story to the page." ―Publishers Weekly

About the Author

MELISSA FLEMING is chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She travels to war zones and refugee camps to give voice to the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes. She is frequently quoted in international media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. She first told Doaa's story on the TED stage and her talks are featured on TED.com.

MORE INFO

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A former school teacher from South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka has served as the Head of UN Women since 2013. Prior to that, she was deputy president to Thabo Mbeki and the most senior female politician in South African history. Under the apartheid regime, Mlambo-Ngcuka led a gender-equality organization. This interview took place in Istanbul, Turkey during the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.

SEE INTERVIEW HERE

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EVAWI Presents an
International Conference on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Systems Change
April 18 - 20, 2017
Hilton Orlando
Orlando, FL

As always, if you can't make the EVAWI conference the conference agenda, with its talk by talk outlines, is a great way to catch up on all the latest thinking and directions in ending violence against women.

SEE AGENDA HERE

CONFERENCE DETAILS HERE

 

 

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Women human rights defenders continue to be at the forefront of so many human rights struggles across the world. In increasingly authoritarian contexts, their very work to confront oppressive, discriminatory structures and address human rights violations subjects them to increasing threats, attacks and violence. 

Three years ago States at the UN General Assembly agreed by consensus that the protection of women human rights defenders is of paramount concern. With the involvement of defenders themselves, the landmark resolution - 68/181 - effectively developed a roadmap that outlines practical steps that governments can undertake to ensure that the rights of women human rights defender in their countries are respected and protected. This resolution presents a tool for women human rights defenders to claim their rights and their protection needs. 

With the support of the City of Geneva, ISHR is pleased to bring resolution 68/181 out from the vaults through its new publication, Recognising and protecting women human rights defenders: A Rough Guide to UN General Assembly Resolution 68/181. 

Download your copy here: roughguide_unresolutionwhrds.pdf (amended 14 December 2016)

Women human rights defenders face all of the same risks as human rights defenders generally, and can become targets of State agents and non-State actors. But further, women human rights defenders often face gender-specific threats and violence, such as rape, sexual violence, stigmatisation and discrimination, causing both physical and psychological harm.

We hope this rough guide assists women human rights defenders around the world pursue tangible policy reform in their countries. 

Official copies of the complete resolution are available:

English: whrdsresolutionenglish.pdf     French: whrdsresolutionfrench.pdf     Spanish:  whrdsresolutionspanish.pdf

Russian: whrdsresolutionrussian.pdf     Arab: whrdsresolutionarab.pdf     Chinese: whrdsresolutionchinese.pdf

Unofficial translations of the Resolution are also available:

In Portuguese: un_resolution_whrds_portuguese.pdf    Swahili: un_resolution_whrds_swahili.pdf    and Tamil: un_resolution_whrd_tamil.pdf

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WASHINGTON― A new law in Arkansas bans most second trimester abortions and allows a woman’s husband to sue the doctor for civil damages or “injunctive relief,” which would block the woman from having the procedure. 

The “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act,” signed into law last week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), bans dilation and evacuation procedures, in which the physician removes the fetus from the womb with surgical tools. D&E procedures are the safest and most common way women can end their pregnancies after 14 weeks of gestation, according to the American Medical Association.

A clause buried in the legislation states that the husband of a woman seeking an abortion, if he is the baby’s father, can file a civil lawsuit against the physician for monetary damages or injunctive relief ― a court order that would prevent the doctor from going ahead with the procedure. The woman’s parents or legal guardians can also sue, if she is a minor. The law states that the husband cannot sue the doctor for money in cases of “criminal conduct” against his wife ― namely, spousal rape ― but he could still sue to block her from having the abortion. 

State Rep. Andy Mayberry (R), who co-sponsored the bill, told The Daily Beast, “We’ve tried to account for all the worst case scenarios.” 

“They created a whole new right ― the right of a husband or family member to sue a doctor on behalf of an adult patient,” said Holly Dickson, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas. “I cannot begin to tell you what the intent was, but we have raised concerns about that provision and the entire rest of the bill, which is unconstitutional.” 

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Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin posted a striking photo on her Facebook account on Friday.

The image shows Lövin signing a law that will require the government to be tougher on fossil fuel usage, with the ultimate goal of phasing out fossil fuels by 2045. And in the photo, Lövin is surrounded by seven other women. 

Look familiar? 

In his third day in office on January 23, President Donald Trump didn’t just sign an anti-abortion executive order ― he signed it surrounded by a group of men. (It certainly was not the first image of its kind in U.S. history, but it was quite striking.) 

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in English and many other languages...

العربية DEUTSCH РУССКИЙ FRANÇAIS ESPAÑOL PORTUGUÊS 한국어 繁體中文日本語 NEDERLANDS ITALIANO עברית TÜRKÇE POLSKI ROMÂNĂ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ

Firma la Carta Mundial Abierta a Donald Trump

Con el veto a musulmanes, Trump ha demostrado que los peores temores sobre su presidencia se han hecho realidad. Suma tu voz a la carta abierta a continuación para unirte a la resistencia -- después compártela por todos lados: 

Estimado Sr. Trump: 

No hay nada de grandeza en esto. 

El mundo rechaza su incitación al miedo, al odio y a la intolerancia. Rechazamos su apoyo a la tortura, su llamamiento al asesinato de civiles y su fomento a la violencia en general. Rechazamos su menosprecio a las mujeres, a los musulmanes, a los mexicanos y a los millones de personas que no se parecen a usted, que no hablan como usted o que no le rezan al mismo dios que usted. 

Hemos decidido enfrentar su miedo con compasión. Frente a su desesperanza, preferimos la confianza. Y en vista de su ignorancia, nosotros escogemos la comprensión. 

Como ciudadanos del mundo, nos oponemos colectivamente a sus esfuerzos por dividirnos. 

Atentamente
[¡Suma tu nombre!] 
 

 

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Excerpt: 

In countries or states with adequate violence against women (VAW) legislation, we are convinced and we have demonstrated in thousands of cases that battered women’s shelters are mostly unnecessary. For the most part shelters can and should be phased out. They are unjustified on principle, and they are a huge financial and energy drag on the movement to end violence against women.

Women should not have to abandon their homes and neighborhoods as the price of getting free of the violence. We highly recommend that establishing skilled, independent and aggressive advocacy centers, unconnected to shelters and unburdened by the costs of maintaining a shelter, are a low cost best practice for stopping the violence while keeping women safe in their homes.

FULL TEXT HERE

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La Asamblea Constituyente de la Ciudad de México dio el último paso para garantizar en la Constitución Política capitalina el derecho de las mujeres a decidir sobre su maternidad al desechar una vez más la propuesta de incluir el “derecho a la vida”.
 
La madrugada de este domingo 29 de enero se desechó la propuesta del diputado del Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), Mauricio Tabe Echartea, de modificar el artículo 14 del texto constitucional para incluir el derecho a la vida desde “el momento de la concepción y hasta la muerte natural”.
 
Con la propuesta, de nuevo el PAN –apoyado por los Partidos Revolucionario Institucional (PRI), Verde Ecologista de México (PVEM) y Encuentro Social (PES) – trató de introducir esa frase tal como lo hizo el 6 de enero cuando intentó que quedara en el artículo 11 constitucional.
 
Después de tres horas de discusión, la reserva al artículo 14 –apartado que incluye el derecho a la ciudad solidaria, al cuidado, alimentación, salud, nutrición, vivienda, agua y saneamiento– se desechó tal como sucedió en días pasados con la propuesta de modificar el artículo 11.

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OVC and the Office on Violence Against Women collaborated to produce this four-video series, designed for criminal justice personnel, victim advocates, and allied professionals who work with victims of sexual assault in Indian Country. The videos—

  • increase awareness about the prevalence of alcohol used as a vehicle to facilitate sexual violence perpetration and the targeting of vulnerable victims, to include intoxicated persons, by sex offenders.

  • provide commentary on enhancing the investigation and prosecution of sexual violence crimes.
  • present case studies that illustrate best practices for responding to victims of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault and underscore the need for collaboration and a coordinated multijurisdictional response.

Video 1: Services and Support for Victims
This public awareness video addresses various types of support for sexual assault victims in Indian Country.

bulletDownload Video bulletView Transcript

Video 2: An Introduction to the Issues
This video provides an overview of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault in Indian Country, including prevalence, historical trauma, and responses.

bulletDownload Video bulletView Transcript

Video 3: Case Study — Winnebago and Video 4: Case Study — Navajo Nation
These videos provide information about trial techniques for and multidisciplinary responses to cases of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault.

Case Study — Winnebago

bulletDownload Video bulletView Transcript

Video 4: Case Study — Navajo Nation

bulletDownload Video bulletView Transcript

OVERVIEW PAGE WITH VIDEOS

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The Women's March on Washington occurs this Saturday, January 21, and is expected to be one of the largest political protests in recent U.S. history. Despite a somewhat rocky start (including a name change due to the fact that the protest's initial name, the Million Women March, echoed the names of two African-American protests against racism, 1995's Million Man March and 1997's Million Woman March), the march is shaping up to be one of the most important events of the American political year. But amidst the organizational frenzy, the growing protest momentum and the hopes that it will have a truly spectacular turnout, there have been bigger questions — questions familiar to anybody who's ever participated in a protest march: will it actually change anything at all? And what factors can actually make a protest march achieve any of its aims?

It's not a new worry. Concerns about the efficacy of protest marches have been around for an extremely long time, and not without reason — for every one protest that brought about clear change (Gandhi's Salt March across India in 1930, for instance), there are counter-examples of ones that fizzled out, or simply came up against literal or figurative brick walls.

But how do we define "effective" when it comes to marching? And what do social media, democracy, political organizations and a good dose of history have to do with whether or not they might work? Let's learn more about how marches create change — and why, in many cases, we have to wait for decades afterwards to find out if a protest was truly "effective."

What Actually Makes A Protest Create Change?

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We put this guide together a few years ago, but it's likely more needed today than ever!......WJC admin

Introduction
 

Part 1 ~ Why there's an urgent need to reinvent independent advocacy and activism to end violence against women

Part 2 ~ Getting Started: First Steps, Decisions, and Notes

 

The point is not that we need fewer organizations providing important social services for victims of violence against women and children. The point is that we need to create many more organizations that are free enough of restrictive funding to reignite the feminist fight and fire.

This guide is for anyone who wants to work to end violence against women and children. It's for those who want to strike out in new directions, forge new strategies, advocate without compromise, confront the patriarchal roots of the violence, and be independent of government funds. It's for those who don't have access to big money. It's for advocates who have done this work before but who feel restricted by the current crisis center models.  And it's for individuals who have never done this work, but who are burning to reignite the movement to end violence against women and change the world. And most especially, this guide is for those of you who have asked us to put together a few tips from our own experience establishing a low-budget, independent, activist center to end violence against women.

Whatever your ideas for advocating for individual victims or communities, and for securing non-violence and justice, we hope you consider the advantages and power of breaking out of the mold and of staying as independent as possible. 

Part 1 of this guide explains why we believe there is an urgent need to reinvent independent advocacy and activism to end violence against women. Part 2 lays out some practical nuts-and-bolts tips from our own experience getting started as an alternative, independent feminist center.  Our hope isn't that you'll necessarily copy what we've done. Rather we hope you'll see that it can be done, that it needs to be done, that you can do it in many ways, and that you can make a difference with minimal resources. 

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The following are media reports of police violence against women and children as tracked by the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project between January 5, 2017 and January 19, 2017. Most of the text is taken from the project website. But we have gone to the original article and inserted the name of the subject officers. We've done this to highlight the fact that the perpetrator officers are overwhelminly male.

In this segment out of the 23 incidents 22 of the perpetrators were male officers, this despite the fact that 13% of our police forces are female. 

If you're looking for an activist project and you'd like to help us do a more thorough job of exposing police violence against women please email us at                     mariecdesantis@gmail.com

  • Hanahan, South Carolina: An officer, Travis Charles Dodd, was suspended after his arrest for domestic violence. ow.ly/OL3s3088LDU
  • Cleveland, Ohio: An unnamed male officer was arrested for sexual assault against his ex-girlfriend in an off-duty incident. ow.ly/ViJZ3088McL
  • Chicago, Illinois: An officer, Eugene Ciardullo, 51, was charged with felony sexual assault against a minor. ow.ly/fZp73088Mmb
  • Quincy, Massachusetts: An officer, Keith A. Wilbur, surrendered after a four-hour standoff with a SWAT team following shots fired during a domestic disturbance. ow.ly/vO5y308a9zi
  • Update: Prince George’s County, Maryland (First reported 07-22-16): An officer, James Sims, pled guilty to taking ‘upskirt’ photos of an off-duty officer from another department. He is scheduled to be sentenced February 17.  ow.ly/XgCL308asoe
  • Concordia Parish, Louisiana: A deputy, Victor Butler, was charged with battery for a domestic incident involving a stun gun. He resigned after his arrest. ow.ly/3Vyy30858XZ
  • Timmonsville, South Carolina: A male officer, Chris Miles was arrested for domestic violence. ow.ly/xXcc3085orw
  • Update: Harris County, Texas (First reported 01-11-17): A now-former deputy, Andrew Sustaita, who had already been charged for sexually abusing a dog had child pornography possession added to his charges after the search of his home. ow.ly/LLr83085Hbf
  • San Pablo, California: A commander, Sidney DeJesus, was arrested for domestic violence. He is no longer with the department. ow.ly/1ESb307Wtvq
  • Bexar County, Texas: A deputy, Mathew Fernandez, was fired after he was arrested for domestic violence. ow.ly/GLsu307YIOE
  • Update: Wheeling, West Virginia (First reported 11-17-16): A now-former officer, Phil Redford, pled guilty to possession of indecent images of a child and was sentenced to probation. He had sex with a 17-year-old student at the school where he worked as a resource officer. ow.ly/hBI6307YKeE
  • Update: Cleveland, Ohio (First reported 10-14-15): An officer, Mister Jackson, pled guilty to attempted assault for biting his girlfriend during a fight while he was off-duty. He may retain his job. ow.ly/33HR307TOzI
  • Pinellas County, Florida: A deputy, John Farese, was arrested for domestic battery and witness tampering after an off-duty incident. ow.ly/D4CW307WspG
  • Update: Nashville, Tennessee (First reported 01-25-16): An officer, Mekisha Page, was suspended for one month after her criminal stalking charge was dismissed following an Alford plea. ow.ly/jdUz307Wua7
  • Austin, Texas: An officer, Michael Stone, was fired for breaking into ex-girlfriend’s home and misleading internal affairs investigation into the matter. The ex-girlfriend is also an officer in the department. ow.ly/Ozbm307TKFY
  • Midland, Texas: An male officer, Guadalupe Bretado, who was arrested for domestic violence and interference with an officer in performance of his duties has resigned. ow.ly/eCpt307TLel
  • Harris County, Texas: A deputy, Andrew Sustaita, was arrested for producing obscene material and sexually abusing a dog. He has been fired. ow.ly/RSm0307TLRq
  • Update: U.S. Secret Service (First reported 11-16-15): A now-former officer, Lee Robert Moore, was stationed at the White House agreed to plead guilty for attempting to sext a minor in Delaware. He was caught in a sting. The agreement allows him to be extradited to face even more serious charges in Florida ow.ly/PyzZ307TMPG
  • Update: U.S. Customs & Border Protection (First reported 09-12-16): An officer, Jose Luis Cota, pled guilty to accepting sexual favors and bribes for smuggling people into the United States. He resigned his post before the plea and is scheduled to be sentenced April 7. ow.ly/vrRT307TNn8
  • Update: St. Louis County, Missouri (First reported 01-07-16): An officer, Bret Russell, was sentenced to five years of probation after he pled guilty to assaulting his girlfriend during an incident off duty. He resigned and surrendered his law enforcement certification. ow.ly/G8t8307TNVf
  • Buffalo Valley Regional Police (Pennsylvania): An officer, Shaun Kuhns, was arrested for threatening the lives of his wife and children while intoxicated. ow.ly/WZ1Z307KCsJ
  • Collier County, Florida: A deputy, Vito Celiberti, was fired for using a law enforcement database to look up info on his then-girlfriend and then making false statements to cover it up. ow.ly/UC2g307KHFY
  • Update: Broward County, Florida (First reported 11-11-16): A deputy, Trazell McLeod, who was fired after his arrest for extorting sexual favors from a suspect has committed suicide. ow.ly/E00D307Ir8m

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The Vancouver Abolition Coalition applauds the brave women who revealed sexist attacks carried out by Detective Constable Jim Fisher. We also appreciate the officer who came forward with his/her concerns about Detective Constable Fisher. Revealing a powerful man’s sexism and violence is not an easy decision given the history of police response to women who report sexual assault. We urge the leadership of the Vancouver Police Department, including the Vancouver Police Board chaired by Mayor Gregor Robertson, to reconsider policies and practices that isolate women witnesses from independent feminist advocates. This isolation renders women and girls more vulnerable to authority figures during high stakes investigations and prosecutions.

The attacks reported to be carried out by Detective Constable Jim Fisher are not surprising and unlikely to be isolated incidents. The culture within the Vancouver Police Department has created an environment of permissiveness towards men who expect sexual access to prostituted women and girls. Detective Constable Fisher was responsible for investigating organized crime and human trafficking into the sex trade. He is especially well-informed about the latitude that the leadership of the Vancouver Police Department provides men with respect to prostituted women and girls. In 2016, the Vancouver Police Department made no arrests of men who purchase prostituted women or girls. The Vancouver Police Board refuses to recognize the enormous power difference between sex purchasers and women in prostitution – to the terrible disadvantage of women and girls targeted for prostitution recruitment.

Despite modernized laws that recognize the violence and exploitation carried out by sex-buyers, and that target them for arrest, (prostituted women are mostly not criminalized),. the Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Police Board cling to outdated and sexist policies that defend male entitlement to prostituted women. The invention of police-run public relations projects, such as the failed Sister Watch program in the downtown Eastside, consolidates police power over women in prostitution and hides police inaction on pimping and sex-buyers.

The Vancouver Abolition Coalition calls on the Vancouver Police Board to act on the analysis, articulated in the preamble of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (in effect December 5, 2014), that prostitution is deeply exploitative, sexist, and racist. We call on the Vancouver Police Board and Chief of Police to address the culture of sexism and racism that likely fostered Detective Fisher’s sense of entitlement to sexual access of women and girls whose rights he is supposed to defend. New policies, protocols, and modern leadership is needed to ensure that policing of male violence against women avoids delivering women and girls into the hands of a different set of exploiters.

Members of Vancouver Abolition Coalition:

The Aboriginal Women's Action Network (AWAN)

The Asian Women Coalition Ending Prostitution

EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating)

REED (Resist Exploitation, Embrace Dignity 

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter

Foy Allison Law        

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