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Violence Against Women Features

(From Women's eNews)

  • Another Gang Rape in India Puts Focus on Survivors The new rape law in India steps up punishment of rape, stalking, voyeurism and acid attacks; a big achievement for safety activists. But they say it's not enough to focus on the perpetrators. The government also needs to help people who survive these attacks.
  • CNN Steubenville Coverage Did More Good Than Harm The sympathy the news outlet poured on the two young men after they were sentenced for rape was hard to take. But CNN's sustained coverage, along with the bravery of the 16-year-old victim and citizen activism in this case, may help change rape culture.
  • Indian Activists Put Parliament on Rape Watch PJ Kurien, deputy chairman of the Upper House of Parliament, faces rape charges in the reopening of a 17-year-old case. He is among the lawmakers who resume session today under the new scrutiny of women's safety watchdogs.
  • India's Anger at This Horrifying Rape Goes Very Deep The screams of Damini--as this particular victim is being called-- are breaking the silence of women across castes and class. In demonstrations, India's young people are expressing their pain. The global community needs to hear them.
  • Lawmaker's VAWA Slight Sparks Online Ire Tennessee Republican Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. has sparked a surge of internet outrage after he told reporters this week that men can handle violence "a little better than a lot of women.'
  • To Stop Violence, Men Must Come Off the Sidelines The screams of Damini--as this particular victim is being called-- are breaking the silence of women across castes and class. In demonstrations, India's young people are expressing their pain. The global community needs to hear them.in.
  • U.S. Violence Data Bolsters Case for Passing VAWA The lame-duck Congress has two weeks left to renew the Violence Against Women Act. Safety advocates say new data about a stunning drop in intimate-partner violence is good reason for lawmakers to speed passage.
  • Domestic Violence is Terrorism With More Victims Domestic abuse is a form of terrorism that comes from within our own society, says Lucy Berrington in this news analysis, resulting in mass casualties and extremely high costs. But for its victims, no big-budget homeland security effort exists.
  • New Yorkers Walk to End Ritual Cutting of Girls A 9-year-old girl in New York had her clitoris cut off with a razor without any anesthesia. Female genital mutilation is a big problem in this city. We're shining a spotlight on the issue Sept. 15. Come out and hear from U.S. survivors.
  • Philippine U.S. Consulate Faces Trafficking Heat Filipina trafficked by a Kuwaiti diplomat spoke out last week about her abuse. A New York advocacy group that helped her win a settlement is staging a Sept. 21 demonstration to prod her country's U.S. consulate to help victims like her.
  • Women Violated in War Denied Memorials Japanese officials are trying to remove a small monument to Korean "comfort women" in New Jersey. Rochelle Saidel says these and other women violated by war are still being denied official recognition.
  • Volunteers in Uganda Defuse Household Violence The effects of a 2012 project continue to be felt in northern Uganda. Some volunteers are local leaders who have learned counseling is better than 12 strokes of the cane to resolve household disputes. Story provided by our partner, Global Press Institute.
  • Elizabeth Warren: Tell Us About Rape and Harvard The Massachusetts senatorial candidate joined the chorus of politicians denouncing Akin's rape comments. To get out in front on this issue, Elizabeth Warren should talk about defective rape laws across the U.S. and problems at Harvard.
  • Database Spotlights Gaps in Campus Rape Policies Justice for survivors of campus rape is often weakened by administrators leery of attracting negative press. The Campus Accountability Project confronts this with an online, free, searchable database compiled by students that shows how well a school responds.
  • Cameroon Rape Victims Confront Legal Gauntlet Rape victims in Cameroon can get medical treatment at hospitals and file a police report to set a case in motion, but providing evidence to prove that rape occurred can be difficult. Others don't report incidents at all because of poverty or shame.
  • Taboos Undercut Nepal's Marital Rape Law Many women in Nepal say they didn't know that involuntary intercourse within marriage has been outlawed. Women's advocates say those who are aware would rather call it a form of domestic violence than marital rape.
  • In Lebanon, Violence Between the Sheets Is Legal Lebanon's parliament recently dropped a bill to criminalize violence against women. Paola Salwan Daher says activists have pursued the matter as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence that culminates on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.
  • Rebuttal: Male, Female Aggression Don't Equate Monica Henry takes issue with a recent article spotlighting Murray Straus' research finding that women initiate "a large proportion" of domestic assaults. Given the known problems with his research methods, why give him the spotlight?
  • Bangladesh Rape Victims Say War Crimes Overlooked Bangladesh is celebrating 40 years of independence, but two sisters who were both victimized by massive, brutal war-time rapes are in no mood to celebrate. They say their lives have been ruined and perpetrators have never been brought to justice.
  • Short Funds Crimp Tribal Women's Safety Law A federal law passed in July was supposed to benefit American Indian and Alaskan Native women who are disproportionately vulnerable to abuse. But tight funding and immunity for non-Indian men are two major limitations.
  • To Prevent Violence, Insist Men Stop the Abuse A recent editorial about a domestic violence murder case in Massachusetts placed the onus on stopping this violence on women. Rob Okun says the responsibility lies with men too, and that it's time for men to speak up.
  • To Prevent Violence, Insist Men Stop the Abuse A recent editorial about a domestic violence murder case in Massachusetts placed the onus on stopping this violence on women. Rob Okun says the responsibility lies with men too, and that it's time for men to speak up.
  • Bride's Death in China Spurs Anti-Violence Bill The death of a young Chinese bride in 2009 under the fists of her husband shocked the public about the lack of protection for victims of domestic violence. Now, lawmakers have a national anti-domestic violence bill to consider.
  • Gender Violence Now a 'Public Matter' in Brazil Domestic violence incidences in Brazil have decreased slightly during the past decade, but a slight dip is not what advocates had in mind. A 2006 law defined domestic violence clearly, with unexpected consequences.
  • Gender Violence Now a 'Public Matter' in Brazil Domestic violence incidences in Brazil have decreased slightly during the past decade, but a slight dip is not what advocates had in mind. A 2006 law defined domestic violence clearly, with unexpected consequences.
  • Barbara Sheehan's Murder Defense Left Out All This The murder trial of a N.Y. policeman's abused wife drew California attorney Tanya Brannan across the country to witness a milestone case. She wonders if more expert testimony might have helped win more leniency for Barbara Sheehan.
  • Gadhafi Said to Order Forces to Rape Villagers Victim testimonies and recovered material from Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists point to the widespread use of rape as weapon of war in Libya. Hundreds of women have given testimony; some of which has reached the International Criminal Court.
  • 'City of Joy' Celebrates Survival, Love and Funding Valentine's Day came early for Jurate Kazickas at a celebration in early February in the Democratic Republic of Congo marking the opening of the City of Joy, a recovery sanctuary for rape survivors. Eve Ensler was radiant at the center of it all.
  • Most Rape Cases Are About Consent, Not DNA The backlog of untested rape kits causes continuous outcry among women's advocates. Wendy Murphy says this focuses on the wrong issue because most rape cases are about consent, not who did it.
  • Stalking Victim Presses for Employment Protection An anti-stalking bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee imposes tougher punishment on offenders and expands the definition of the crime to include online privacy intrusions. But one victim says it lacks a crucial component: employment protection.
  • Rape Victims' Privacy is Matter of Law, Not Shame Rape victims' right to anonymity has surfaced in the case of Julian Assange, with two leading exponents of women's rights taking different sides. Wendy Murphy says both arguments miss the main point: protecting a rape victim's constitutional right to privacy.
  • Congo Rapes Spotlight New 'Conflict Minerals' Law The recent mass rapes in a mineral-rich area of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo underscore the urgency of a new U.S. law to certify consumer goods free of "conflict minerals" tied to the violence. The law may be hard to enforce but supporters have high hopes.
  • Raped Cheerleader's Suit Misses Title IX Complaint Title IX has been pigeon-holed as a sports-equity law for schools. Wendy Murphy says an unconscionable case of sex harassment against a Texas cheerleader shows how this widespread misunderstanding of the law hinders justice.
  • Congo-Angola Mass Rapes Draw Scant Notice Some mass rapes attract more outrage than others. Two recent atrocities-- separated by just a couple of months--suggest U.N. peacekeeping jurisdiction can decide the degree to which the violations of hundreds of girls and women are noticed.
  • Puerto Rican Women Face Rising Tide of Violence Puerto Rico's pioneering 1989 law against domestic violence is clouded by the U.S. territory's leadership in intimate-partner killings found in a recent survey. Critics say government budget cutbacks are making matters worse.
  • Congo Rapes Put U.N.'s Wallstrom in Hot Seat Margot Wallstrom, U.N. envoy on sexual violence in conflict, was slow to learn of mass rapes in the DRC in July, which were carried out despite U.N. peacekeeping patrols. Now her first task as leader of the U.N.'s response is finding out exactly what happened.
  • Health Reform Offers More Care to Abuse Survivors Health care reform promises to protect domestic violence survivors from insurance companies that consider abuse a pre-existing condition. Some advocates say what is really needed is a public plan that helps victims leave their abusers.
  • Trafficking Victims at U.N. Highlight Need for Recognition Survivors of human trafficking spoke at the U.N. recently as part of a new institutional effort to have their input on policymaking. Panelists said a major problem was not being seen as trafficking victims when they suffered their ordeals.
  • Guinea Rapes Test U.N.'s Stronger Promises to Women In recent weeks, the U.N. has bolstered a groundbreaking, but largely symbolic, resolution passed in 2000 that identified women's rights and roles during war. Recent public rapes in Guinea now pose a crucial test of their strength.
  • Love and Peace: Let's Help Teens Put Them Together An $18 million "Start Strong" initiative to prevent teen dating violence kicks off today--during Domestic Violence Awareness Month--with activities to help teens confront the issue. Please join this life-saving push.
  • Death Threats, Via Text Msg, Scare Congo Reporters Three female radio reporters in Bukavu, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, have received death threats via a cell phone text message. That's spreading a chill in a city where three male journalists have been killed since 2007.
  • U Visas Speed Up for Immigrants Who Flee Abuse For nearly a decade, visas that could help battered immigrant women were held up by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' failure to issue implementation regulations. Now the backlog is shrinking fast.
  • Clinton Leaves Her Mark on Congo's Rape Zone In the aftermath of Hillary Clinton's recent trip to the Democratic Republic of Congo, women's rights and safety activists in Congo and Uganda reflect on the hope she leaves behind in one of the world's worst rape zones.
  • Violence Survivor Lobbies to Open VAWA's Books A survivor of domestic violence is speaking out about what she calls the lack of accountability for how public anti-violence money is allocated. In her own case, she says no public funding was available to help her when she needed it.
  • Britain's Low Rate of Rape Convictions Blasted Analysis of the most recent statistics about rape convictions from British authorities indicate that, despite government initiatives, only 7 percent of rapists are convicted and in some areas these rates are going down.
  • Safety of Afghan Women Comes Up for Question Today's congressional hearing on maternal mortality in Afghanistan, says Rita Henley Jensen, should also help remind the world of the range of threats to women's safety through the troubled nation.
  • Anti-Violence Advisor 'Thrills' Allies in Field Lynn Rosenthal is being asked to counsel Obama and Biden on curbing violence against women. While some yawned at news of another White House advisor without a budget, she is stirring hope in a hard time for domestic shelters.
  • Stronger Action Urged to Stop Conflict-Zone Rape In response to the heavy toll of sexual violence in war-torn regions, a gathering of international leaders on Wednesday pressed U.N. member states for more concrete steps to aid victims and hold perpetrators accountable.
  • Spousal Rape Laws Continue to Evolve Remnants of the "marital rape exemption" still exist in many states' laws, even though all 50 states now criminalize spousal rape. Plea bargains can also lead to more lenient sentencing. Caroline Johnston Polisi looks at how these laws have changed.
  • Rape Crisis in East Congo Tied to Mining Activity The acute crisis of sexual violence in eastern Congo is being tied to illegal mining interests in the region, which help finance the warring and competing factions that are perpetrating a worsening rape epidemic.
  • Rapes Soar in Eastern Congo's Culture of Impunity Military operations and rebel reprisals in eastern Congo have fueled a rise in sexual violence this year, but perpetrators face minimal consequences. An effort to drive out rebel groups has only contributed to the problem.
  • New Fighting Escalates Rape in Eastern Congo Military operations and rebel reprisals in eastern Congo -- plus corporate mineral interests -- have fueled a surge in sexual violence since January this year. Activists are pushing to hold rapists and companies accountable
  • Violence Funds Not Sheltered From Budget Cuts A study on shelters finds they help survivors meet a wide range of needs and advocates are lobbying for more funds to run them. But they worry that shelters and anti-violence programs won't be spared from recession-related spending cuts in Congress.
  • V-Day Spotlights Congolese Women Torn by War For its 10th anniversary campaign V-Day is focusing on women in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo whose bodies have been torn apart by armed men's sexual violence. Beneficiaries include Panza Hospital and UNICEF.
  • Stalking Case Could Expand Harassment Protections A case linking gender violence and workplace stalking is under Supreme Court review and could determine if stalking by a non-employee qualifies as sexual harassment. Advocates say the case also highlights a lack of protection for victims.
  • Rape Victim Presses Case of Police Abuse in Japan In Japan, rape is often kept hush-hush. But the high-profile case of one rape victim is challenging the silent treatment and raising questions about police practices. 'Jane,' as the victim is known, is suing police who required her to re-enact the crime.
  • Sweden Steps Up DNA Collection for Rape Cases Sweden is responding to its low rate of prosecuting and convicting rapists by helping victims and clinicians collect DNA evidence. It's also adding street lighting, to the frowns of critics who point out that most rapes are committed indoors.
  • Kenya's Rape Probe Falters After Lawyers Drop Out Kenya's investigation of rapes committed during post-election violence is foundering. Rights groups question whether an all-women police task force set up to investigate the violence is little more than a ruse, and female lawyers have dropped out.
  • Band of Congo Radio Reporters Aid Rape Victims In eastern DRC, a group of female journalists is managing to change the cultural acceptance of rape. Despite safety risks and chronic equipment problems, the members are persuading rural rape survivors to tell their stories and learn their rights.
  • FGM Asylum Cases Forge New Legal Standing Women have been winning U.S. asylum to avoid female genital mutilation in their homelands. But in 2007 three denials challenged that trend. One of those cases now under review could clarify their legal standing.
  • R.I. Offers Lesson Plan on Teen Dating Violence Rhode Island schools are beginning a unique commitment to teaching students about the widespread dangers of dating violence. The effort depends on help from advocacy groups whose education programs are being hit by state budget cuts.
  • Mass Stigma Scars Congo's Rape Survivors A psychologist in a Congo hospital says decades of war have produced a rape-friendly culture with a double standard, Dominique Soguel reports today. While perpetrators go unpunished the victims, including children, are ostracized. Amnesty International has issued a new warning.
  • Bhutto Protegee Tackles Sex Harassment in Pakistan A second-term member of the Sindh provincial assembly is pushing Pakistan's first effort to outlaw sexual harassment in the workplace. Two years ago her draft bill fizzled, but this time she thinks it could become law within a month.
  • Rice Raises War Rape, Zimbabwe at U.N. Sessions Sect. of State Condoleezza Rice moderated a U.N. Security Council debate on a U.S. resolution on wartime rape and led a second session on Zimbabwe, calling for more international pressure on President Mugabe.
  • Jarquin Headlines Violence Against Mexican Women Soledad Jarquin Edgar had a "change of vision" in 1998 and turned her activist brand of journalism toward women's issues. A decade later, she churns out the only print publication in the Mexican state of Oaxaca exclusively focused on women's rights.
  • Tanzania's Missing Girls Rarely Raise a Murmur Poverty and tradition help fuel a potent business in human trafficking in East Africa, where a girl can sell for $20. Most kidnapped children are not as lucky as Saffi, who returned after her mother bought TV ads. Many disappear without much notice.
  • Zimbabwean Makes Case for U.S. Anti-Violence Aid The International Violence Against Women Act would require the U.S. to respond to a critical outbreak of gender violence within 180 days. Zimbabwean Betty Makoni explains why women in her country need the bill to be made into law.
  • In Somalia Refuge Rapes Left to Clan Justice The Somalia town of Galkayo is known as a refuge from the violence to the south, Zoe Alsop reports. But girls and women who are separated from their clans know little safety: An 8-year-old was raped and her mother must keep working with the man who did it.
  • Web Sites Steer Visitors to Domestic Safety Web pages for those escaping domestic violence are coming online all the time. One new site offers a chilling photo gallery. Another caters to those suffering violence from a law enforcer.
  • Paraguay's Traffic Hub Imperils Female Teens Trafficked girls and women from the Paraguayan interior are among the merchandise in the triple-border shopping region with Argentina and Brazil. Advocates try to help traumatized survivors find "some way to live."
  • Thousands of Chileans to March Against Femicide Safety advocates in Chile are planning nighttime marches across the country to protest the growing number of women killed by domestic violence; President Michelle Bachelet has proposed related legislation to be debated in coming weeks.
  • Kenya's Maternal Wards Deliver Abuse With Babies
    Kenya's maternal death rates are among the highest in the world, despite its relative prosperity, health care reforms and U.S. funding. Beatings of women in labor in hospital maternity wards are common, as are rejections of women without funds.
  • Indian Tribunal Pushes for Sexual-Violence Inquiry
    A citizens' report in India highlights the sexual violence suffered last March by villagers in Nandigram and calls for a special trial of local authorities, Aparna Pallavi reports. Despite media coverage of the report the government has not responded.
  • Beat a Woman? Play On; Beat a Dog? You're Gone
    Football superstar Michael Vick is in big trouble for his role in a dog fighting ring. Sandra Kobrin agrees he's in the wrong, but wonders at the outrage deficit when it comes to the guys who beat their wives and girlfriends and stay in the game.
  • Health Activists Link Spread of HIV-AIDS to FGM
    Female genital mutilation and the feminization of HIV-AIDS are slowly being linked, especially in the three African countries--Somalia, Djibouti and Sudan--where the most extreme FGM is predominant.
  • 'Honor Killing' in Italy Spurs Quest for Justice
    After a Pakistani woman was slain by relatives in Italy, an immigrant women's advocacy group moved into action to make the murder the last "honor killing" in Italy and also deflect anti-Muslim sentiment stirred by the crime.
  • Iraq Refugee Crisis Engulfs Women Silenced by Rape
    An Iraqi woman who survived a rape before she and her family moved to Lebanon is finding a way to talk about her ordeal. But aid workers say that in the major Iraqi refugee communities of Syria and Jordan this war wound goes unmentioned.
  • Services Converge for Battered, Addicted Women
    Domestic violence agencies that once screened out women with substance abuse problems are beginning to open their shelters and work with addiction authorities to help women reach safety and sobriety at the same time.
  • Rights Group Lashes U.S. on Status of Iraq Women
    The international rights group Madre chastises the Bush administration for supporting Islamist groups and allowing an erosion of women's rights in Iraq. Rape allegations directed at Iraqi forces are focusing the debate on U.S. involvement in Iraq.
  • Mexico Replies to Juarez With Anti-Violence Law
    Mexico has implemented sweeping national legislation aimed at stamping out widespread violence against women. Advocates see the law as a response to the scores of unsolved Juarez slayings and hope it will end an era of impunity.
  • Domestic Violence Case Makes International Claim
    Attorneys in the U.S. are using international human rights law for the first time to seek protection for domestic violence victims and their children. The Inter-American Commission case concerns police failure to enforce a protection order.
  • Gateways to Safety Scarce for Navajo Women
    A Navajo safe-house network for those fleeing domestic violence, two shelters and a new police training program put band-aids on what a local police officer calls an epidemic.
  • U.N. Women Primed for Stronger, Central Agency
    A U.N. report urges the creation of a single women's agency with higher standing. The study follows another U.N. report on global violence that may spur the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign starting Nov. 25.
  • Women's Silent Pleas Are Heard by Seattle Facility
    Seattle has opened the first transitional housing facility in the United States for deaf domestic violence survivors, with special alarms to signal for help. Fourth in "Dangerous Trends, Innovative Responses" eight-part series.
  • Therapist Spared Arrest in Air Force Rape Case
    Three years after dozens of sex-assault allegations engulfed the Air Force Academy the only case to proceed to a court-martial could be poised for dismissal after U.S. marshals refused to arrest the accuser's civilian therapist.
  • Iraqis Push to Prosecute Rape in War Crime Trials
    Women are lobbying the Iraqi tribunal--the court trying the war crimes of Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime--to prosecute crimes against women. Iraqi women involved in the effort are concealing their identities out of fear of retribution.
  • Assault Risk Rises in Jammed Post-Katrina Homes
    As the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina nears, crowded post-storm housing conditions worry police and advocates about rising risks of domestic violence and sex assault. A Louisiana project is preparing a report on preventing disaster-related violence.
  • Ensler Turns New York Into Anti-Violence Showcase
    New York City is in the middle of a 16-day, 60-event festival produced by V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. An emphasis on women in war zones provides a preview of the group's fundraising intentions for 2007.
  • Guatemala Pressed to Investigate Surge in Killings
    A U.S delegation is traveling to Guatemala this summer to raise awareness of the murders of 2,000 women since 2001. Rights advocates draw parallels to the widespread killings of women in Juarez, Mexico.
  • Hip Hop Women Recount Abuse at Their Own Risk
    A few women who have survived abusive relationships with rap stars are breaking the silence about domestic violence. But a "no snitch" rule is still widely observed in the hip hop music world.
  • Iraq Women's Report Calls Violence Enemy No. 1
    Violence against civilians and widespread infrastructure damage are making it difficult for Iraqi women to agree about the U.S. occupation or concentrate on pushing for a role in the reconstruction process.
  • Bukharbaeva Exposed Uzbek Massacre to World
    Uzbek journalist Galima Bukharbaeva was one of three journalists who covered a government massacre of protesters last year. Now she wonders if she can ever cover her home country again.
  • Soldier Verdict Spotlights Rape in Ugandan Camps
    A judge in northern Uganda has ordered the army to pay two girls who say they were raped by soldiers in an internally displaced persons' camp. The decision spotlights rights workers' charges of rampant rapes in these camps.
  • New York's Rape Statute Challenged as 'Archaic'
    New York's five-year statute of limitations on rape is one of the shortest in the country and political momentum is building in New York to strike it down. Some see the law as a remnant of a legal tradition that did not take rape seriously.
  • Boat Ride Reveals Undertow of Thai Sex Trade
    Molly Ginty spent a day interviewing a local prostitute and her American client while boating off the coast of Thailand, a nation where 2.8 million sex workers serve the tourist trade. She found the scales of their partnership off balance.
  • Films on Widow Abuse Survive Their Own Ordeals
    Films coming out in the U.S. on the problem of widow abuse in India have generated their own sagas. The director of "Water" had her effigy burned in 2000 while "White Rainbow" opened in India last year amid floods and a cholera outbreak.
  • Kenyan Activists Push New Sex-Assault Law
    A bill in Kenya's Parliament calls for longer prison terms for rapists, but stops short of chemical castration, a punishment that some advocates sought. The bill follows strong media coverage of a wave of rape cases, but appears to be languishing.
  • Columnist Dishes Dangerous Logic About Rape
    A recent opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal promotes the idea that men are essentially violent and women just have to learn to deal with it. Media critic Jennifer L. Pozner calls it a dangerous response to the problem of sex assault.
  • Argentine Experts Study Juarez Murder Remains
    In May a team of Argentine forensic experts is expected to identify the remains of some of the 400 women murdered in Juarez, Mexico, since 1993. Survivors of the dead, however, are losing hope that official complicity will ever be thoroughly probed.
  • South Africa Rape Trial Dashes Hope for Change
    The high-profile rape trial of South Africa's former vice president Jacob Zuma alarms advocates for rape survivors, already upset by the weakening of a once-promising bill on sexual offenses.
  • Asian Pacific Women Find New Refuges From Abuse
    Asian and Pacific Islander immigrant women endure high rates of domestic abuse, and women in brokered marriages face special fears of deportation and destitution. A shelter in California and a new law on brokered marriages offer help.
  • Fight to End Mutilation Hits Gritty Juncture
    The international fight against female genital mutilation pushes African activists to a new juncture. After the ratification of an important African Union protocol, gritty local politics lie ahead.
  • Budget Falls Short for Domestic Violence Programs
    The president's spending plan for next year omits programs approved last year in the Violence Against Women Act. Anti-violence advocates challenge the cuts as political, saying the savings are too small to make a dent in the overall budget picture.
  • Programs for Batterers Changing Their Focus
    A new domestic violence program in Texas signals a shift in the treatment of batterers. Increasingly, ex-offenders are leading recent offenders to confront how their own decisions to use violence are linked to an underlying belief in male dominance.
  • Responders Learn to Spot Signs of Strangulation
    Non-lethal strangulation is a common but often invisible crime against battered women. New research and investigative techniques are helping to bring it into the courtroom and make it a felony in a growing list of states.
  • Activist Fears for Cambodia's Trafficked Women
    Karoline Kemp traveled to Cambodia to interview women and girls who have survived the sex trade for a radio documentary to be broadcast soon on public radio stations in North America. Memories of the women she met stay with her.
  • Thai Women's Safety Activists Welcome U.N. Study
    A landmark U.N. study of domestic violence--launched at the start of the current 16-day campaign--is giving hope to activists in Thailand. They say the grim statistics could help them fight a bill pending in Parliament.
  • Women's TV Network Targets Sex Trafficking
    Worldwide, over 800,000 women and girls are enslaved in the sex trafficking trade. Lifetime Television is hoping to draw attention to the dark realities of the industry with a mini-series.
  • Housing Buys Time for Women Fleeing Violence
    The Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. As lawmakers debate which programs to fund advocates say transitional housing is a top priority.
  • Texas Shelters Open Doors Wider During Storm
    Leaving a domestic violence shelter is tough at the best of times, but it's especially precarious during a hurricane. Using lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, 60 Texas shelters helped house women and children from 15 closed coastal centers.
  • Burmese Women Expose Rapes by Military Regime
    Burmese female activists working to expose the military regime's systematic violence against women, including rape as a tool of counter-insurgency, won an international women's rights award last week from the Gruber foundation.
  • Efforts to Track Rape Emerge Between Hurricanes
    Police at the Houston Astrodome were instructed to start accepting rape reports from women displaced from Louisiana. But now coastal Texas deals with its own evacuation while the New Orleans evacuees are being moved out.
  • Rape-Reporting Procedure Missing After Hurricane
    The rape report of New Orleans' singer Charmaine Neville is one of the few coming out of the beleaguered Hurricane Katrina area. Advocates for sex-assault victims say they are collecting plenty of stories, but no reporting process is in place.
  • New Centers Offer Battered Women Dozens of Services
    Latarya Coleman is just one of many women who has survived domestic violence only to face a bureaucratic maze of social services. Now, a federal pilot project is attempting to streamline the process by funding new "family justice centers."
  • Rapes in New Orleans Chaos Were Avoidable
    Officials say that lessons already learned in Florida could have reduced the suffering of storm refugees in Louisiana. Nancy Cook Lauer reports on the reaction to rapes and other assaults in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Feds May Fund Programs for Teen Dating Violence
    A recent study found 57 percent of teen respondents had a friend in an abusive relationship, validating the growing concern about teen dating violence. Now, Congress considers spending $15 million annually on a problem that goes beyond immaturity.
  • Sex-Assault Continues Unchecked in Congo
    In the jungles and border towns of eastern Congo, a civil war staggers on, largely ignored. So far tens of thousands of women and girls have been sexually assaulted during this humanitarian crisis, according to Human Rights Watch.
  • For Women, Violence a Universal Threat
    As the media buzzed about whether the U.S. would sign onto an important document, women at the actual U.N. meeting focused on violence against women around the world.
  • FGM in Kenya: Outlawed, Not Eradicated
    Djibouti has just ratified the African Union's Maputo Protocol banning female genital mutilation. But activists in Kenya, which outlawed FGM in 2001, warn that the engrained cultural practice is easier to outlaw than to eradicate.
  • Hirsi Ali Leaves Hiding to Spotlight Honor Killings
    Abigail R. Esman reports today from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, that many Muslim women in the Netherlands--long a haven of tolerance--have been the victims of honor killings. Others live in fear they will be next. After months in hiding, Parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali is risking her own life to try to stop the murders.
  • Chileans Facing Up to Domestic Violence
    In Latin America--as elsewhere in the world--domestic violence peaks duringthe holidays. The Chilean government has begun to face up to the problem,but advocates say stiffer laws are needed to prevent what new data revealis an epidemic rate of abuse.
  • Spouse Abuse Laws, Mores Changing in Bulgaria
    In the last decade, Bulgaria has begun to acknowledge domestic violence asa major problem. But, with no laws on the books and only a handful oforganizations working to aid victims, battered women have few places toturn.
  • Commentary: Saving Girls Should Top World Agenda
    Around the world, girls face the threat of violence, are victims ofinfanticide, denied healthcare, kept out of school, forced into sexualrelations and married without consent. Changing all this in 2005 deservesthe whole world's resolve.
  • Laci Peterson's Murder Dramatizes Common Danger
    Laci Petersen drew shocked attention to the idea of a man murdering hispregnant wife. However, a medical journal quietly reported a more shockingreality; that murder by an intimate partner is the leading cause of deathfor pregnant women.
  • Baby Girls Fill Pakistan's Public Cradles
    Baby girls are discarded in huge numbers in Pakistan and an outdoor "cradle program" for drop-offs merely stem the loss. Social workers trace the problem to parents--often middle class--who regard female offspring as financial liabilities.
  • Afghan Women Face Inequity, Abuse, Jail
    As Afghanistan holds its first democratic elections since the fall of the Taliban, the situation for women in the country remains dire. For many women, refusing to accept inequities like arranged marriages can mean jail time.
  • U.S. Success in Afghanistan Questioned by Experts
    As Afghanistan looks toward elections, advocates say the U.S. has betrayed its promises to women in the formerly Taliban-ruled country. The Bush administration denies the charges and cites the liberation of Afghan women in its re-election campaign.
  • Bulgarian Trafficking Victims Face Hard Homecoming
    Bulgaria is already seeing the outcomes of the first legislation passed to combat trafficking, a problem which affects tens of thousands of women in the Eastern European country. But despite these advances, public sympathy for the victims remains low.
  • Debate on Naming Rape Accusers Continues
    A columnist for the Poynter Institute has resigned over a decision by the institute delete the name of the Kobe Bryant's accuser in her column. The resulting uproar has caused many to look once again at how the media handles sexual assault cases.
  • Female Aid Workers in Iraq Growing More Fearful
    After the most recent kidnappings of aid workers in Iraq, female staff members of humanitarian organizations, such as Women for Women International, are experiencing growing apprehension about their own safety.
  • Georgetown Ruling Breaks Silence on Campus Rape
    A ruling by the U.S. Department of Education gives students at Georgetown University the right to speak openly about sex-assault cases that come under campus authority. Advocates say the decision will help break the silence about campus rape.
  • Miami Latinas Creating Haven from Abuse
    Advocates working against domestic violence say some of the hardest women to reach are migrant Latina women. One organization in Florida, which offers one-stop services and Spanish-speaking counselors, provides a model for outreach success.
  • Pakistan Mother of Child-Rape Victim Goes Public
    Rape-victims in Pakistan, faced with wide public condemnation and a judicial system that requires at least four male witnesses, rarely speak out. But a human rights group is pushing the rampant problem into the spotlight.
  • Turkey Doing Little to Protect Women's Lives
    Up to half of all Turkish women may have been victims of family violence. But as the European Union hopeful makes some major reforms, little progress has been made to strengthen women's safety and legal rights.
  • Suarez, Free from Prison, Pushes for Law Reform
    Advocates of Maria Suarez, a battered woman wrongfully imprisoned for 22 years in California, are pushing to reform state laws they say are more punitive toward women. They also want to change social attitudes about domestic violence.
  • Men Join Battle to End Violence Against Women
    In recognition of Father's Day, a contingent of notable men have signed a declaration opposing violence against women and girls. The declaration is one of many tools men are using to fight sexist attitudes that can lead to violence against females.
  • 'Comfort Women' Await Apology from Japan
    The aging women who suffered as sex slaves in Japan's World War II army--so called comfort women--are still hoping for an official apology. As time runs out for many of them, activists are working to provide them with mental and physical care.

  • Lack of Safety Regs Put Female Workers at Risk
    The downgrading of Clinton-era ergonomics-safety laws to voluntary guidelines has left workers in the heavily female health care field particularly prone to injury, according to advocates.
  • In Pakistan, Those Who Cry Rape Face Jail
    As Pakistan's president stalls on repealing the country's controversial Hudood Ordinances, female rape victims here continue to face the risk of being legally treated as adulterers, punishable by stoning.
  • Debate Roars Over Anti-Trafficking Funds
    The U.S. government is striking out at the global sex slave trade with new vigor, focusing on prostitution as the cause for the practice. Some critics say, however, the new plan misses the point and actually is a disservice to women.

  • U.N. Confers on Protecting Women from War's Toll
    As the 48th annual meeting of the U.N. Conference on the Status of Women winds down, participants are dismayed by the weak implementation of a 2000 resolution calling for special protection to women and children in conflict.

  • Isolation Awaits French Girls in Headscarves
    The French law banning headscarves and other visible religious symbols takes effect next September. But for some female Muslim teens who choose to wear the scarf, school is becoming such a zone of harassment that they are staying home.
  • Vagina Monologues Stir Up Cairo
    Proceeds of the first public staging of "The Vagina Monologues" in Egypt last week will go toward one of the few battered-women's shelters in the Middle East. The performances drew overflow crowds and some public censure.

  • Texas Ads Show the Real Face of Rape
    A public-awareness campaign against sexual violence in Texas features victims. "Speak Up. Speak Out." is serving as a national model for combating sexual assault and encouraging victims to seek help.

  • Group Aims Gun Laws at Domestic Violence
    Gun-safety laws--often ignored by law-enforcers and elusive for potential victims--are the focus of a national campaign to stem domestic-violence bloodshed.
  • Female Mutilations Slow, But Only Gradually
    Even though female genital mutilation is still rampant in Africa and other countries, the traditional practice is slowing under pressures from abroad and some successful local programs to educate people about the dangers of the practice.
  • Spain's Domestic Violence Fatalities Rising
    Spain has adopted a wide range of measures aimed at protecting women from domestic violence. But with the number of fatalities threatening to break records this year, Spanish women's groups say the legislation falls far short of what is needed.
  • Ex-Girlfriend Says Police Shielded Battering Cop
    The case of Mitzie Grabner shows why domestic-violence cases against law enforcers can be especially tough to prosecute. Advocates call the police report on her charges a cover-up and have pushed to reopen the case.
  • Women's Top Worry Is Domestic Violence
    A recent poll shows that abortion rights are no longer a prime worry of women. Instead, domestic violence and sexual assault have moved to the forefront of women's concerns.

  • Kenyan Women To Sue British Army for Alleged Rapes
    A group of women in northern Kenya are preparing to file a class action against the British military, alleging that they were raped over a period of 30 years by soldiers conducting exercises in the region.
  • Battered Wives Often Recant or Assume Blame
    Mabely Lugo, married to professional baseball player Julio Lugo, may not be a battered wife. However, she has just done what many battered wives do, which is recant the original story and take the blame for the man's violence toward them.

  • Study Indicates Jobless Abusers Most Apt to Kill
    A domestic-violence study concludes that a woman's risks of being killed are much worse when her abuser is unemployed. The study is also notable for bringing the term "femicide," usually reserved for usage about overseas crimes, into a U.S. context.
  • Suit Presses for 'Gender Symmetry' in Shelters
    A California man is suing shelters for battered women that denied him entry last year. The case against the already financially strapped shelters is supported by activists who favor more "gender symmetry" in attitudes toward domestic violence.

  • French Teens Demand Freedom from Violence
    "Neither Bitch nor Submissive," is the slogan that French activists are using to shock the public, mobilize officials and help girls who are being killed, beaten and oppressed in massive housing projects on the outskirts of many cities.
  • Police May Add Own Violence When Called to Homes
    More aggressive police response to domestic violence is not necessarily the cure for cases involving women of color, according to participants at a recent forum. They called for the development of community-based solutions and stronger legal protections.
  • Campuses May Be Developing Tactics to Hide Rapes
    Harvard University reversed its decision to make reporting a sexual attack on campus more daunting. Elsewhere, however, students receive little support for prosecuting their assailants and may be actively discouraged from pursuing a claim.

  • Women in Afghanistan Fear New Taliban-Like Rule
    A women's rights activist struggles to publicize the persecution of women in post-Taliban Afghanistan, where fundamentalist pressures are returning and the burqa is back.

  • In War-Riddled Congo, Militias Rape with Impunity
    As the five-year conflict rages on in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, women and girls continue be sexually assaulted by members of the many warring militias, the majority of whom are infected with HIV/AIDS.
  • U.N. Pact Sinks on Issue of Violence Against Women
    The U.N. commission on women found itself at a diplomatic impasse for the first time in its history over a document describing what steps nations should take to reduce violence against women and girls.

  • Japan's Battlers of Sex Abuse Confront Culture, Law
    A Japanese organization is offering for the first time advocacy services for victims of sexual violence. In doing so, the group confronts a culture that inhibits women from talking about their abuse and a legal system that is lenient on rape.
  • Better Treatment Sought for Domestic Violence Epidemic
    Mandatory reporting of domestic violence injuries puts Colorado doctors in conflict with their patients' safety and privacy rights, a new survey indicates. A better public-health prescription, say advocates, is routine screening.

  • New Ritual Replaces Female Genital Mutilation
    Female genital mutilation rites are beginning to be replaced by an alternative rite of passage in Kenya known as "Cutting Through Words." The new ritual includes a week of seclusion and lessons on adult life.
  • POWs Likely to Endure Sexual Assault
    Sexual assault is a very real threat for American prisoners of war in the Iraqi conflict, but little is known about how the military prepares to deal with that trauma.
  • Ashcroft Constrains Violence against Women Office
    Attorney General John Ashcroft is interpreting new anti-violence laws to mean that the head of the Justice Department’s efforts to protect women would not gain a significant measure of authority.
  • New Anti-Violence Campaigns Aim at Boys, Young Men
    A banner hanging in the San Francisco Giant's ballpark is part of a new trend in anti-domestic violence awareness campaigns: coaching boys in middle and high schools to unlearn bullying and abusive behaviors.
  • South Africa Begins Getting Tough on Rape
    South African prosecutors are adopting a hard-line stance against rape, instituting special courts to address the crime and studying the reasons behind the astounding breadth of the problem.
  • Abuse of Elderly Women on the Rise
    Women--who outlive men and are more vulnerable to sexual assault and domestic violence--are increasingly victims of elder abuse and neglect.
  • Execs Aware of Domestic Violence Costs
    Many chief executive officers of major corporations are aware of that their employees experience domestic violence, yet do little. Several pioneering corporations have developed programs to address the impact in employee's working lives.
  • Women Volunteer for Jail to Protest Court Sanction
    Women have volunteered to serve time in jail so that a women's service center can avoid a $500-a-day fine imposed by a judge. The fine would penalize the center for refusing to release records about a teen-age rape victim.
  • Young Africans Reject Genital Mutilation
    A young Ethiopian couple’s wedding became a demonstration against female genital mutilation. Also: The Spanish government has launched a project to protect African immigrants from the practice.
  • Harvard Is Sued for Its New Sex Assault Policy
    Harvard has a new, one-of-a-kind policy requiring students to provide evidence of sexual misconduct before administrators will investigate. One student thinks the rule is against the law and has filed a complaint with federal authorities.
  • Suspects' DNA Ignored in Central Park Jogger Case
    The reopening of the notorious Central Park jogger rape case is bringing renewed attention to the backlog of rape evidence kits that haven’t been evaluated--and the implications of such delays for victims.
  • Judge Rules Rape of Aboriginal Girl 'Traditional'
    An Australian judge ruled that a 50-year-old Aboriginal man's rape of a 15-year-old girl is not a serious crime, but traditional culture. Aboriginal feminists disagree, saying that violence against women is a result of relatively recent history.

  • Future of Afghan Women Debated at Forum
    A year after the historic meetings that led to the formation of Afghanistan's interim government, scholars and U.S. officials debate the future of the country's women.

  • Some Fear Pakistan Religious Right Is New Taliban
    Urban Pakistani women are concerned that gains made by the religious alliance Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal in national elections mean the beginning of a Taliban-like era in the country. The alliance’s female politicians insist they’re wrong.

  • Pakistan's Fiery Shame: Women Die in Stove Deaths
    Stove death is the bitter expression used to refer to the fiery punishment meted out to wives in Pakistan. In Islamabad alone, 4,000 women are believed to been set ablaze. Shehnaz Bokhari braves death threats to fight the practice.
  • Fit Calif. Moms Losing Custody to Abusive Dads
    New statistics indicate California fathers with a history of child abuse, domestic violence or criminal behavior often have been granted visitation and sole custody of their children in contested cases.
  • Report Indicates Gender-Related Violence Is Global
    An unprecedented United Nations report on violence and health is expected to be a powerful tool for advocates wishing to improve their nations' responses to domestic and sexual violence with new legislative and health care policies.

  • Battered Woman's Advocate Murdered by Companion
    An advocate for battered women in Maine is slain; her companion charged. The painfully familiar drama spotlights that three-decades of research and advocacy family violence has made, men, but not women, safer.
  • Afghan Women's Liberty Remains in Peril
    The Senate is scheduled to vote at the end of September on a $2 billion reconstruction package for Afghanistan, with specific allocations for the Women's Ministry and a Human Rights Commission, as well as a call for additional peacekeepers.
  • Young Afghan Women Setting Themselves Ablaze
    In Herat, at least four young women have killed themselves this year by setting themselves ablaze. Experts remain unsure why now, just as they are regaining their freedom, that they are embracing death.
  • Political Changes Reduce Kurdistan Honor Killings
    In the independent semi-state of Kurdistan, the repeal of an Iraqi law means fewer women are dying at the hands of family who they believe have shamed them. Some threatened women must now live in shelters, however.
  • Afghan Women Debate the Terms of Their Future
    Afghan women agree that they should play a role in the rebuilding of their country. They are divided, however, on what role Islam should play in the new nation--integral to the new government or a belief system guiding a secular state.

  • Landmark Domestic Violence Trial Begins
    A domestic violence case that could dramatically alter the way American law enforcement agencies handle batterers opens in San Francisco's federal court. At issue: a sheriff's department failure to arrest an abuser who ultimately murdered his victim.

  • Girl Soldier Tells of Rape, Forced Killing
    A Ugandan teen-ager who escaped her rebel-army abductors tells of the rapes and forced killings she endured in a plea for international leaders to rescue the children left behind. Plus update on CEDAW hearing.

  • Urban Design and Women's Safety Wed in Montreal
    The first-ever international conference on women's safety brought women from around the world together to share their innovative approaches to making cities more secure for women and girls.

  • Cable Network Pushes Anti-Rape Legislation
    As one part of its public policy agenda Lifetime Television, a cable network for women, is pushing laws for the prosecution of rapists. Oxygen, with a similar target audience, encourages support for women running for elected office.

  • New World Court to Judge Gender-Based War Crimes
    The new International Criminal Court will give women a place to seek justice for gender-related crimes committed against them in armed conflicts and as part of systematic violence or persecution.

  • Ghanaian Women Demanding Protection from Violence
    Violence against women in Ghana is on the rise, despite efforts by the country's president to reduce crimes against them. Recent spousal murders have Ghanaian women openly protesting and demanding more government action to end the violence.

  • Final Decision Expected in Nigerian Stoning Case
    A court's decision to execute a woman for adultery has fueled controversy over Nigeria's version of Islamic justice. Now an influential Islamic body hopes to stop the country's planned ratification of numerous U.N. conventions protecting human rights.

 


 

 
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