Tag Archives: Domestic Abuse

‘Shame on this President:’ With Shutdown, Trump Cuts Off Funds for ‘Vital Services and Protections’ for Women Who Face Abuse

“This shutdown is directly impacting the safety and lives of women and families across the country.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-24-2018

Photo: Fem 2.0

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) was among those condemning the government shutdown’s impacts on the safety of women and families, as funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expired at midnight on Friday as the shutdown went into effect.

Along with nearly 400,000 federal employees who face a furlough thanks to President Donald Trump’s decision to shut down the federal government, programs that support women who have survived violence may now face funding shortages due to the turmoil on Capitol Hill. Congress’s failure to negotiate a spending bill over the weekend left programs that rely on the law without federal funding until at least Thursday, when lawmakers reconvene. Continue reading


‘Mark of Shame on All Our Societies’: UN Finds More Women Killed by Domestic Violence Than Any Other Crime

50,000 women around the world were killed by family members or intimate partners in 2017

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 11-26-2018

A U.N. study found that violence perpetrated by family members or intimate partners is the leading cause of death for women worldwide. (Photo: CMY Kane/Flickr/cc)

In a quarter of the world’s countries, no laws exist protecting women and girls from what a new United Nations study says is the crime most likely to kill them: violence perpetrated by their intimate partners and family members.

Marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime on Sunday released a global study on homicide, focusing on gender-related killings, and revealed that out of 87,000 women who were murdered around the world in 2017, 58 percent of them were killed by family members or partners. Continue reading


Building “Feminism for the 99 Percent,” Women’s Strike Will Take Many Forms

‘March 8th will be the beginning of a new international feminist movement’

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-2-2017

“We halt our work to highlight just how meager, how lackluster, and how dysfunctional the world would be without us.” (Image: Women’s March)

Whether by walking off the job or boycotting “unseen” labor, women and allies around the world next week will stand up and speak out to say: Women’s rights are human rights.

Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the March 8 day of action is being promoted in solidarity by those who organized January’s Women’s March as well as a grassroots movement known as the International Women’s Strike (IWS). While both groups acknowledge that the election of President Donald Trump makes their call more urgent, their overlapping visions look beyond one administration—and reach further back into the past. Continue reading


Integrity? What Integrity?

One of the stories that our media likes to cover instead of covering news that really affects the human race reared its head again this last weekend. Yes, the incident known as Deflategate was back in the news, to the unspoken sighs of relief from media outlets all over the country who were suddenly freed of maybe having to run a story about something that mattered.

Yesterday, the penalties for those involved were announced by the NFL. They include Tom Brady getting a four game suspension, two team employees being suspended indefinitely and the team being fined a million dollars as well as losing draft picks.

There was the usual blathering from league spokesmen about how the people involved “compromised the integrity of the league and the game.” We would like to ask the league what integrity they’re talking about.

Ray Rice 2012. "Ray Rice 2012" by 1ravenscowboysnflfan - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Ray Rice 2012. “Ray Rice 2012” by 1ravenscowboysnflfan – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Continue reading


A tribute to Joan Kagezi: the murder of a human rights defender

Joan Kagezi was a lead prosecutor in high profile cases in Uganda, including against a former LRA commander and those accused of terrorism. She was shot dead in front of her children last month.

Joan Kagezi. Photo via Facebook

Joan Kagezi. Photo via Facebook

By Brigid Inder. Published April 25, 2015 by openDemocracy

On 30 March, at around 7.30pm, Joan Kagezi, Senior Principal State Attorney in Uganda, was murdered by unidentified assailants, who opened fire on her while she was driving home from work.

In the most ordinary of circumstances, Joan had stopped at a fruit stall on her way home when she was shot twice by gunmen on a motorcycle.  Three of her four children were in the car with Joan at the time of the attack and witnessed the brutal murder of their mother.

Joan was head of the Directorate of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) war crimes and anti-terrorism division and in this capacity she was, at the time of her death, the lead Prosecutor in a high profile terrorism case, involving suspects in the 2010 terrorist bombings in Kampala. The case was strong and Joan was formidable. Continue reading


If You Can’t Change Laws, Change Minds

Every once in a while we run across things that give us hope. This is one of those things. The following comes from States United To Prevent Gun Violence, an organization that uses a new approach to an old problem. The rest speaks for itself.

States United To Prevent Gun Violence opens a “gun store” in NYC as a hidden camera social experiment to debunk safety myths. Every gun has a history. Let’s not repeat it. From their website gunswithhistory.com:

“States United to Prevent Gun Violence is a national non-profit organization working to decrease gun death and injury and build healthy communities by supporting and strengthening state gun-violence-prevention organizations and nurturing new state organizations.

Together with our 28 state affiliates – and our combined 200,000 grassroots supporters – we are dedicated to making our families and communities safer through stronger laws, community education, and grassroots action.”



Trifecta for Anger

Loretta Lynch. Photo by US Government

Loretta Lynch. Photo by US Government

Human trafficking has become a major issue around the world. The United States is no exception. Members of Congress advanced a human trafficking bill which had bipartisan support, something of a rarity in itself.

The bill aims to address the human tragedy of trafficking, predominantly in the sex industry. Once rescued from their abductors and abusers, many women are in desperate need of medical services related directly to the crimes perpetrated against them. The bill would allow funds confiscated from and fees paid by the criminals to help offset the costs these needed services would incur.

Then the engine of progress came to a screeching halt. Someone actually read the bill and realized there was language similar to the Hyde amendment which would block funds for abortions, even though the funds do not come entirely from tax payer dollars. Continue reading


How Not To Celebrate International Women’s Day

Yesterday, while the national media was still busy with the 50th anniversary of the events in Selma, there was a large international event taking place that received limited coverage; International Women’s Day. There were marches all around the world as men and women took to the streets calling for an end to sexual violence and gender discrimination.

Li Tingting and Zheng Curan. Photo via Shanghaiist

Li Tingting and Zheng Curan. Photo via Shanghaiist

In the world’s most populous country though, the message from the government was anything but encouraging. On Friday, China detained at least 10 women’s rights activists who were planning a nationwide campaign against sexual harassment on public transportation. which would overlap with International Women’s Day. At least five remain in custody. Continue reading


The world’s girls: no voice, no rights

How can we address the global threat to women’s rights with no space for girls’ – or even women’s – voices at the UN? How will we design a post-2015 framework that responds to the needs of the most marginalized?

Written by Lyric Thompson. Published 02-16-15 in Open Democracy.

Malala Yousafzai. Photo via Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai. Photo via Malala Yousafzai

2015 is a milestone year that stands at the intersection of several major anniversaries for human rights and development. Perhaps most visibly, this is the 15th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and therefore the year world leaders will formally close out the Millennium Charter and adopt a new global development framework. For women and girls, it’s the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and its crucial policy framework, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

One would think, therefore, that 2015 would be a year in which the global community would come together and imagine new rights standards that will set lofty goals for the next generation. Yet so far, this does not seem to be the case. Rather, global leaders are taking a more cautious – or even overtly conservative – approach to negotiations on women’s and girls’ rights. Advocates must not only push governments to set new standards, but must ensure they simply affirm, or worse still, not lose ground on, old ones. Continue reading


Our Future Depends On Change: If Not Now, When?

Suffragists march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of over one million New York women demanding to vote. Photo public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Suffragists march in October 1917, displaying placards containing the signatures of over one million New York women demanding to vote. Photo public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Every few days, I get notices of petitions that are hoping to gain my signature. Most I consider to be frivolous and they are ignored. Then I saw this one:

“Now Republicans have gone too far. Last Thursday, House Republicans introduced legislation to require forced vaginal ultrasounds before receiving an abortion–or what many consider to be state-sponsored rape.

This unacceptable intrusion into a woman’s health decisions is offensive and has no place in America. Republicans are facing backlash from women for being too extreme, and they actually had to abandon another anti-abortion bill because of outcry within their own party. If we show them that attacking women’s health isn’t just bad policy, it’s bad politics too, we can get Republicans to drop this extreme bill. Will you sign the petition?”

After adding my name, I decided that despite my stance to not post much of my political views on my personal Facebook page, this made me mad enough that I posted it anyway, and added this comment:

8-26-1970 march in She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry. Photo by Diana Davies

“OK, this is why I am thinking we need a NATIONAL WOMEN’S STRIKE on August 26, 2015, on Women’s Equality Day. They keep saying they “Want to take our country back.” It appears that means they want to take it back to a time when women were dying from self-induced abortions gone wrong. Are you with me?”

Only one friend “liked” the post – a male friend who is a women’s rights advocate.

I was disappointed. I thought about the days between this and when my husband and I went to watch the film “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry.” I was convinced that a resurgence of the women’s movement is beyond overdue. Where were my friends?

Then it hit me. They are in the same place they have been for decades. They are apathetic and have removed themselves from broader perspectives to view life as being good so long as these two or three issues they really care about are not threatened. It results in a numbing and dumbing that allows other values to be eroded on a consistent basis, hidden behind the distractions of everyday life. Was the dress blue and black or white and gold?

One Billion Rising 2015- Salt Lake City. Photo @lmsorenson  https://twitter.com/lmsorenson

One Billion Rising 2015- Salt Lake City. Photo @lmsorenson

On August 26, 1920, women in the United States won the right to vote after a 50 year struggle for this basic American right.

50 years later, in 1970, the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the women’s liberation movement held the first nation-wide march for women, demanding  “Free abortion on demand, 24-hour day care for all mothers, and employment, pay, and promotion opportunities for women equal to those of men.” Events took place in over 90 cities across the nation.

To date, none of these demands have been met.

On the contrary, what we are seeing is a pull back on what little progress has been achieved for women since 1970. Most recently;

  • Partly due to the shame, stigma, and fear associated with reporting a sexual assault, more than half of sexual assaults since 2009 went unreported.
  • In the past year alone, more than 468 bills related to restricting women’s health and access to reproductive rights have been introduced in state legislatures.
  • Congress still constructs all-male panels to discuss women’s health and bars women from speaking to the committees considering women’s health issues.
  • Women earn on average 76% of what male co-workers earn, doing the same jobs. Women in minorities earn far less and experience higher rates of unemployment.
  • Domestic violence laws are being decriminalized to meet budget cuts for police departments, leaving battered women in those communities no where to call for help.
  • Women’s shelters and resource centers are targeted more than ever for decreased funding.
  • New legislation being introduced across the nation target birth control, single mothers and divorce as issues not to be tolerated.
  • Governor Walker cut funding to the Wisconsin State University system and removed the requirements to report sexual assaults on campuses.

In 1970, tens of thousands of women marched down 5th Ave in New York City, others surrounded the statue of Liberty, and the stock market ticker came to a screeching halt as women came out to make a statement. This was not done with the aid of social media, internet and modern technology. Today we have cell phones, the internet, email, Twitter, Facebook, networking and numerous other ways to communicate beyond what we had in 1970.

What would we ask for?

  • Unencumbered access in all states to abortion: it is legal. If you believe it is wrong, then don’t get one. But you do NOT have the right to limit someone else’s access. PERIOD.
  • Equal pay for equal work: currently at 72% of what male counterparts earn doing the same job with the same qualifications.
  • National child care program: so that women can obtain jobs and not have significant portions go toward child care expenses, thus lowering economic positions. Women should not be punished for being working moms.

How much effect would women have if they called for a national strike on Women’s Equality Day, August 26? Imagine the results if women today rallied together with the same impassioned voice as they did in 1970…