Womens Justice Center

The Liberation of Women's Energy
Will Change the World. *

La liberación de la energía de la mujer cambiará el mundo

o provide advocacy, free of charge, for victims of rape, domestic violence, and child abuse, particularly in the Latina and other under served communities of Sonoma County. To provide advocacy training and community education. To promote more women and minorities in our law enforcement agencies. To commit to equal justice for all women and girls.

rindar una defensa gratuita a víctimas de violación, violencia doméstica y abuso infantil, particularmente en las comunidades hispanas y otras que no son atendidas adecuadamente en el condado de Sonoma. Proveer capacitación en defensa pública y educación comunitaria. Incrementar el número de mujeres y personas pertenecientes a minorías en nuestras agencias de aplicación de justicia. Comprometernos con la justicia igualitaria para todas las mujeres y las niñas.

News Round-up ~ Resumen de noticias


New study finds systemic problems in parental capacity assessments discriminate against women.

By Katie Hyslop,

When a woman flees an abusive relationship, we expect the justice system will protect her and her children.

But a new report finds in some British Columbian child custody cases allegations of spousal abuse are used to paint the mother as mentally ill or an "alienating" parent, and instead recommend visitation, or even custody, for the abusive parent.

"Troubling Assessments: Custody and Access Reports and their Equality Implications for BC Women" is a new report released today by West Coast LEAF, a women's legal education and advocacy organization. The report looks at what are known under the Family Relations Act as Section 15 reports: parental capacity assessments conducted during child custody and access cases.

Often a useful tool for getting a third-party, outsider's view of parenting abilities, the report found they could also be biased against and dangerous for vulnerable women with abusive ex-partners.


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Miami-Dade County has become the first in the United States to recognize that the protection from domestic violence is a fundamental human right.

Titled Resolution Expressing The Board’s Intent To Declare That The Freedom From Domestic Violence Is A Fundamental Human Right – it was passed, unanimously, by the Board of County Commissioners on July 17.


At a recent clinicians’ conference sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools, Professor Goodmark and I led an “affinity group” of approximately 20 clinicians interested in initiating Domestic Violence and Human Rights Resolution Projects in their cities, municipalities, and states. 
Moving forward following the resolution’s unanimous passage, Miami Law’s Human Rights Clinic students hope to engage local police departments and other government agencies to help realize and implement the resolution’s stated goal: to join world leaders in declaring that domestic violence is a human rights concern, and that local governments act as the first line of defense. 


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El próximo lunes día 6 de agosto se lanzará en Santa Rosa el Frente Abolicionista Nacional, un frente federal que tiene por finalizada abolir la trata de personas y la prostitución. Desde General Pico viajan funcionarias municipales e integrantes del Movimiento por los Derechos de las Mujeres. El lanzamiento se realizará en la sede de UTELPa, sita en Av. Belgrano 243 a las 17 horas.

En el lanzamiento estará presente la abogada Marta Fontenla Integrante de la Campaña Abolicionista “Ni una mujer más víctima de las redes de prostitución”.

El Frente Abolicionista Nacional resume sus principios en la siguiente declaración:

Por cuanto para el abolicionismo la prostitución y la trata de personas afectan la dignidad humana y los derechos de las personas en prostitución:


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“Alejandra, Ninfómana, mamadas profundas, posiciones estremecedoras, sin límites y sin apuros, llámame. Quiero sexo!…” Últimas Noticias (02/08/2012).

Todos los días, este medio impreso privado de tiraje y circulación nacional, en sus clasificados, tiene páginas llenas de anuncios de promoción directa, oferta y comercialización de la prostitución. Recientemente, a color y con fotos bastante sugerentes. Vale decir que es el periódico de la familia del actual candidato presidencial de la derecha. Libertad de expresión, ética en el ejercicio del periodismo, medios comprometidos con el desarrollo del país, entre muchas otras expresiones que este diario y otros como él erigen frecuentemente, son las que se nos vienen a la mente al revisar esta sección de sus cotidianos clasificados. Profundas contradicciones en el discurso simbólico y directo de la derecha. Cuando se trata de dinero y ganancias, no importa aprovecharse también de esa mercancía en que se convierte el cuerpo de la mujer.



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EDITOR: Watching the evening news makes me crazy. Basically, the “news” reports crimes committed by men, as opposed to women, but God forbid that anyone points that out. Forget about whether the perpetrators are rich or poor, sane or schizophrenic, black, white or brown, Muslim, Jewish or Christian, tea party or Democratic, and observe their gender.

If men stopped shooting, raping, assaulting, trafficking, bombing, torturing, kidnapping, molesting, committing gang violence and war crimes, there would be no news.

It may be fine for male bears and lions to kill their offspring, but men have assault weapons and gas ovens. As a woman, I'm tired of being lumped in with the “lone gunmen” of the world. As a person, I wonder how we'll fix the ageless global problem of male violence if we can't talk about it.

Watch the news from this perspective and see if you agree.




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On 4 July 2012, Farida Afridi, Executive Director of women’s rights organization Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (SAWERA), located in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) region of Northwest Pakistan, was shot to death outside her home by two armed men on a motor bike who subsequently fled the scene. According to reports she had been facing threats prior to her death for working to help women and her murderers are believed to be affiliated with extremist elements in the region. Ms. Afridi’s murder is not the first such incident in the region. In December 2011, Zarteef Khan Afridi (not related to Farida), a coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, was similarly murdered and his death was reportedly followed by a statement by an extremist organization that those found working on developmental issues would be killed. A suspect has been arrested in Farida’s murder but the perpetrators in Zarteef Khan Afridi’s case remain at large.

CONTINUES Information and Action Page

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At the International AIDS Conference (IAC) held in Washington, DC, on 22–27 July 2012, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, managed by UN Women on behalf of the UN system, turned the spotlight on the inextricable link between HIV and violence based on gender.

This issue was the focus of a panel discussion cosponsored by UN Women and the World Health Organization (WHO) on Gender-Based Violence and HIV/AIDS: Taking Stock of the Evidence and Setting an Implementation Agenda.The Chief of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, Meryem Aslan, presented a policy paper titled “Effective Approaches to Addressing the Intersection of Violence against Women and HIV/AIDS.” The document includes a set of key recommendations for action, based on the findings from programmes supported by the UN Trust Fund around the world.

CONTINUES with link to full document

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Women have been substantially involved in the Occupy movement since the beginning, but some expressed that important women’s issues have been pushed to the outskirts. Occupy has been largely organized and propelled forward by white men and male-dominated ideas of confrontational kinetic action. General Assemblies revolved around one speaker at a time, making it impossible for all voices to be heard, and would focus more on planning action than on finding common ground. Early on, when Occupy was hammering out a Declaration of the Occupation, a few women and people of color found the original document blind to issues of gender hierarchy and racism. The woman who blocked the offending wording said, “Why are we going to create a system that just re-creates all these oppressions?”


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By Carol E. Tracy, Esq. and Terry L. Fromson, Esq., Women's Law Project

The Women’s Law Project (WLP) commends the Department of Justice (DOJ) on its ground-breaking consent decree with the City of New Orleans, which addresses gender bias in the police response to and investigation of reports of sexual assault and domestic violence.  This consent decree followed the March 2011 publication of the DOJ’s report on its investigation of the NOPD.  The WLP identified the NOPD as one of the many police departments which have chronically failed to respond to rape complaints whenWLP testified before a Congressional committee in September, 2010. 



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The Western Australian Government has for the first time conceded there were "fundamental failures" in the way the police and government agencies handled calls for help from a woman who was in mortal danger from her violent husband.

Andrea Pickett was murdered by her estranged husband, Kenneth Pickett, in January 2009, after he had made repeated threats to kill her.

Ms Pickett’s family fought for two years for an inquest to take place in order to highlight the systemic failures which allowed her husband to carry out his threats.


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from Women's Law Project, Nikki Ditto, WLP Intern

Wednesday, August 1st  is an important day for women’s health. After this date, all new insurance plans must cover certain women’s preventive health services, including contraceptives, without co-pays or deductibles. This represents an essential change in access to health care for women. Women, who have long been subjected to denial of access to insurance coverage for essential health services are more likely than men to forgo needed health care due to cost.  The number of women who can access these benefits will continue to expand as older plans lose their “grandfathered” status and become subject to the ACA’s preventive health services requirements.  For now, many college and university students will benefit if they receive health insurance through their schools, as those plans usually begin their health plan years around the start of the school year.  Other insurance policies that are renewed with substantially different content (usually on January 1st) will also comply with the new law.


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Fifty police officers across the UK have been arrested as part of a crackdown on suspected paedophiles who pay to access child pornography websites, detectives revealed today.

The officers were among 1,300 people arrested on suspicion of accessing or downloading indecent images of children - some as young as five - from US-based Internet sites.

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Despite the widespread notion that women and children have a better chance at surviving a shipwreck because they will be saved first, a new study finds that that's just wishful thinking.

The captain, crew and male passengers are more likely to survive maritime disastersthan women and children, finds a new study by economists at Uppsala University in Sweden.

When it comes to abandoning ship, "it appears as if it's every man for himself," said lead researcher Mikael Elinder in a statement.


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Emite 27 recomendaciones

CIMAC | México, DF.- El Comité de Expertas de la Convención sobre la Eliminación de Todas las Formas de Discriminación Contra la Mujer (CEDAW, por sus siglas en inglés) expresó su profunda preocupación por los riesgos a los que se enfrentan periodistas y defensoras de derechos Humanos (DH) mexicanas en su labor cotidiana y por la demora de las autoridades para atender los casos de agresiones contra éstas, por lo que le pidieron al gobierno mexicano garantizar su vida e integridad.



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Creasie Finney Hairston, Ph.D. and William Oliver, Ph.D.
This report examines a significant, understudied facet of domestic violence in America: the distinctive experiences of African American women and their African American male intimate partners when those partners are transitioning from prison into the community. The report provides practitioners and policymakers with a better understanding of the challenges that African Americans face in the confluence of intimate partner violence and prisoner reentry.


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Before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations 

The Next Ten Years in the Fight Against Human Trafficking: Attacking the Problem with the Right Tools 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Excerpt: It is not acceptable for police to abuse, arrest, and extort money from women under the cover of 
ostensible “anti-trafficking” sweeps.  Roundups where dozens of women are swept into prisons, 
only to be released when their pimps pay off a bribe, have absolutely nothing in common with 
effective and professional policing.  Donors and NGO’s that work with local police can and should 
condemn such behavior, which hurts innocent women and sets back the anti-trafficking cause.  

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Call for Communications:

The International Indigenous Women's Forum and the Indigenous Women's Watch against Violence have the honor to share you the opportunity to submit communications (complaints/appeals/petitions) to the Commission on the Status of Women containing information relating to alleged violations of human rights that affect the status of women in any country in the world.


The Commission on the Status of Women considers such communications as part of its annual programme of work in order to identify emerging trends and patterns of injustice and discriminatory practices against women for purposes of policy formulation and development of strategies for the promotion of gender equality.



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Pese auge del delito, no hay registros confiables

Por Guadalupe Cruz Jaimes

México, DF, 24 jul 12 (CIMAC).- El Distrito Federal está rezagado en la detección de casos de trata de personas y en la atención a las víctimas de este delito, quienes aún son criminalizadas por la falta de capacitación de los servidores públicos. 

Alicia Mesa Bribiesca, representante en México del Observatorio Latinoamericano contra la Trata, indicó que lo hecho en la capital del país contra este delito “no es significativo, ni puede interpretarse como parte de un avance sustancial”. 

El DF es considerado como una de las entidades federativas del país donde más se comete trata de personas, y también como un lugar de contacto desde donde las víctimas son llevadas a otros estados. Por ello la Ciudad de México es considerada un “foco rojo”, junto con Guerrero y Quintana Roo.



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Adolescent girls – where do they go ‘missing’ in emergencies?

Posted by Katie Tong, Adolescent Girls in Emergencies Specialist at Plan International

17 July 2012: They could well be invisible.  Instead they are there crying out for attention but are not heard.

During emergencies adolescent girls are part of that group of people that get the wrong kinds of attention. They face heightened risks of sexual violence, early marriage, unwanted pregnancies, and are forced or coerced into transactional sex – that is using sex that is given in exchange for payment for food, rent or other bills.

As an aid worker I have seen firsthand the devastating impact that the lack of attention and care on reproductive health can have on crisis-affected women, especially adolescent girls.



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The Perfect Shade of Change: Resources for Sexual Violence Preventionists Creating Safe and Healthy Communities
from National Sexual Violence Resource Center
Publish Date: 

This information packet provides guidance to prevention practitioners at local, state, tribal, territory, and national organizations to work more effectively toward the goal of eliminating sexual violence in their communities.  There are six elements to the packet:



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Much has been written in the English-speaking world on the topic of sex trafficking, but little is known about what researchers elsewhere have produced on this topic. An exhaustive literature search was conducted to locate publications on this topic from Latin America. A total of 74 publications were located and put through a systematic content analysis. 

Four main discernible patterns were noticed: (1) the vast majority of the publications were produced by individuals affiliated with international or non-government organisations; (2) the production of trafficking-related literature sharply declined after 2007; (3) of the small number of studies involving empirical data, most were qualitative in nature; and (4) the literature was primarily focused on the sexual exploitation of children. 

The discourse on sex trafficking in Latin America appeared to be dominated by advocacy groups. There were few scholarly articles, suggesting limited attention from the academic community. Despite limited empirical data, many Spanish-speaking authors made claims on the nature and extent of sex trafficking, with articles citing one another as source of evidence. This review finds a great need for the involvement of the academic community and for dispassionate and empirically grounded research on sex trafficking.


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 A National Overview of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Efforts

To combat prostitution and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, criminal justice 
interventions and collaborative programs have emerged that focus on reducing demand for 
commercial sex. ...
In October 2008 the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awarded a grant to Abt Associates Inc. to conduct a study, entitled A National Assessment of Sex rafficking Demand Reduction Efforts, intended to fill these gaps.  The project was designed to develop a descriptive overview of antidemand tactics employed throughout the United States and to provide practitioners with actionable information to assist them in starting, improving, or sustaining initiatives.   
To share what has been learned, the project has generated several key products, one of which is the 
present report,  A National Overview of Prostitution and Sex Trafficking Demand Reduction Efforts, which summarizes the research activities and presents Findings.  Others include a website, entitled  DemandForum.net, designed to expand upon the overview provided in this report and to provide assistance to practitioners and others in the form of information about the range of models and program structures implemented, obstacles faced, and how they can have been overcome.  The website launch is planned for May, 2012.  

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AlterNet / By Nicholas Powers

Boys and men in America inherit a popular culture of indiscriminate vigilante rage.

Early morning July 20, we cheered the new Batman movie as a thousand miles away a crowd watching the same film screamed as a gunman, barged in, flung a smoke bomb and began shooting. In San Francisco, we left the cinema laughing at the stupid politics of The Dark Knight Rises. In Aurora, Colorado, 12 were killed and 59 wounded as the shock spread to the nation in the morning news. Already one truth stands out; the shooting is not isolated but like a mirror reflects the dark logic of the film, itself a reflection of America’s romance with violence. 

.....It’s not that we have sick young men among us. It’s that we have inherited and actively recreate a culture that gives them a vocabulary of indiscriminate vigilante rage. And then we allow guns to flow freely in the name of the Second Amendment. No wonder when they speak they speak in bullets.



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Por Helda Martínez

BOGOTÁ, 5 jul (IPS) - Nunca se sabrá si fue la culpa, el remordimiento, el miedo o la perturbación mental lo que llevó al suicidio a Jhon Jairo Echenique, detenido en la caribeña ciudad colombiana de Cartagena de Indias tras haber sido acusado de apuñalar y quemar a su exnovia, de 19 años.

Angélica Gutiérrez, estudiante de la Facultad de Derecho, fue atacada en su casa. Malherida, gritó pidiendo auxilio mientras el victimario huía. Vecinos la llevaron a un hospital, donde falleció. Las sospechas se centraron en su exnovio, Echenique, quien fue apresado y horas después se ahorcó usando las mangas de su camisa.


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By Helda Martínez

BOGOTÁ, Jul 11 2012 (IPS) - Nobody will ever know if Jhon Jairo Echenique decided to take his own life out of remorse, fear or mental illness. But the suicide followed his arrest for the stabbing and burning with acid of his 19-year-old former girlfriend Angélica Gutiérrez.

A law student, Gutiérrez was attacked at home. Neighbours took her to hospital where she died. Echenique, the prime suspect, was arrested in the Caribbean city of Cartagena de Indias in northern Colombia. Hours later, he used his shirt to hang himself in his cell.

The tragedy unfolded over the Jun. 30 – Jul. 1 weekend in Cartagena, a city of one million people where, so far this year, five women have been murdered and 213 injured in attacks, leading to the arrest of 196 men, according to police statistics


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