Slashed funding, strapped donors, underwater mortgages and high unemployment are all causing domestic violence victim's shelters in Florida to turn women away at a time when the need may is greater than usual.
Domestic violence has risen during the economic downturn, and services are eroding.
According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, 92 percent of victim service providers have seen an increased demand in the last year, while 84 percent reported that cutbacks in funding were directly affecting their work.
In Florida, the state’s 42 domestic violence shelters had to turn away 3,352 women in the last fiscal year, said Leisa Wiseman, director of communications and government affairs for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Female circumcision is performed on young women around the world, but particularly in Africa, on cultural and religious grounds.
The News International newspaper claims to have recorded a dentist in Birmingham, Omar Sheikh Mohamed Addow, describing how the operation could be performed, including details on how the clitoris could be pierced and clamped.
Reauthorizing the once-bipartisan Violence Against Women Act used to be a matter of Senate routine, but it has now gone the way of debt-ceiling negotiations — into the trenches of partisan warfare. Reading recent reports of the coming Capitol Hill showdown on the VAWA, you would either conclude that Republicans are broadening their assault on women, or Democrats have politicized the bill with various poison pills involving LGBT rights, immigration and Native American communities. What gets lost in both explanations is the merits of the actual changes.
While VAWA has not yet faced a full Senate vote, all Republicans on the Judiciary Committee voted in February against reauthorization. Democrats are clearly trying to use this to capitalize on the recent interest in Republican misogyny, which, legislatively speaking, has become mainstreamed in the party. Sen. Dianne Feinstein asserted on the Senate floor last week that “This is one more step in the removal of rights for women.” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot back Thursday, citing a Politico article to suggest Sen. Chuck Schumer “is sitting up at night trying to figure out a way to create an issue where there isn’t one … to help Democrats get reelected.”
Shyama Venkateswar, Ph.D., director of research and programs, National Council for Research on Women speaks to KPCC's AirTalk program (Pasadena, CA) about the renewal of the Violence against Women Act.
Shyama Venkateswar, Ph.D., Director of Research and Programs, was interviewed by Pasadena public radio KPCC on March 19th. AirTalk host Larry Mantle explored the controversy over reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and Republican resistance to expanding the law's provisions to recognize LGBT rights and immigrant women seeking asylum due to domestic violence. Shyama gave a spirited defense of the new proposals and called for greater oversight and analysis of the Act's impact on violence and prevention. Brava! Listen to the interview here: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2012/03/16/25648/vawa-and-gop.
The Violence Against Women Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation addressing domestic and sexual violence, was first enacted in 1994 and then reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. Among the measures the act has taken to protect victims and prevent abuse, the law strengthened the legal action taken against perpetrators of domestic violence and provided services, including rape crisis centers, hotlines, and community support programs, for its victims. Congress is now debating its reauthorization, as the law expired in September, and while it has received broad bipartisan support in the past it has recently come under political fire from some Republican lawmakers who object to provisions which Democrats have added to this year’s reauthorization. Critics specifically object to provisions which would expand the law’s coverage to illegal immigrants, homosexuals, and American Indians, who would have greater authority to persecute non-Indians who commit crimes against American Indian women. Republicans argue that these were purely political additions designed to induce GOP lawmakers to oppose an otherwise popular bill, giving Democrats more ammunition in their campaign argument that Republicans are “anti woman.” Furthermore, some conservative activists object to the law entirely, arguing that it does not cut down on—and might even increase—instances of domestic abuse while overextending the federal government’s jurisdiction. Should the Violence Against Women Act be reauthorized? Here is the Debate Club’s take:
The Defense Department received 3,191 reports of sexual assault last year, Panetta said yesterday. That’s 1 percent more than the 3,158 reported in the previous fiscal year and a 19 percent increase over five years, according to an annual review released in March.
“Because we assume that this is a very underreported crime, the estimate is that the actual number is closer to 19,000,” Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon. “I deeply regret that such crimes occur in the U.S. military, and I will do all that I can to prevent these crimes from occurring.”
Among the new measures to stop what Panetta called an “unacceptable” number of sexual assaults, the military will require its sexual-assault response coordinators and victim advocates to obtain nationally recognized certification and will extend confidential reporting and victim-support services to spouses and dependents.
Law enforcement officers beat their wives or girlfriends at nearly double the rate of the rest of the population, and trying to control that is not only difficult for the victims but potentially deadly, experts say.
Even advocates for battered women are reluctant to dive into domestic violence cases involving police for fear of alienating the agencies they rely upon for help in other abuse cases. Several local advocates declined to be interviewed for this article because of that concern, although more than a dozen publicly called Thursday for Mirkarimi to step aside temporarily while the case against him is resolved.
"The biggest problem for a woman reporting that she's been abused by her police officer husband or boyfriend is that nobody believes you," said Diane Wetendorf of Chicago, who wrote a nationally used victim handbook, "Police Domestic Violence."
Two years after an earthquake devastated Haiti, a report detailing the impact of sexual exploitation on displaced Haitian women and girls has been released. The report is authored by MADRE, the Commission of Women Victims for Victims (KOFAVIV), the International Women’s Human Rights (IWHR) Clinic at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law (GJC) and the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies at UC Hastings College of the Law (CGRS).
The drastic increase in sexual violence in displacement camps has been well documented since the disaster. But another face of the epidemic has emerged as a pressing issue: the sexual exploitation of displaced women and girls.