Category Archives: #BelieveWomen

De Pas: Shocking VAWA Statistics; US Senators, Do Your Job!

The statistics are shocking: A woman is murdered by a male, intimate partner with a gun every 16 hours; one in five women and one in 29 men are raped in their lifetimes; one in four women and one in seven men experience severe physical abuse by an intimate partner in their lifetimes; one in six women and one in 19 men experience stalking in their lifetimes; and these acts disproportionately impact women and members of underserved communities.

#VAWA is topic at Tuesdays With Tillis event on 4/9/19. Senator Tillis has an office at this Federal Building in Raleigh. Photo credit: Jacalyn Engler

                I am writing today to urge our community and our elected officials to support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with necessary enhancements and specific, targeted fixes. VAWA, for which authorization lapsed mid-February 2019, saves lives, supports families, and needs to be reauthorized promptly. A strong, bipartisan VAWA reauthorization bill (H.R. 1585) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 263-158. The Senate is currently working on its own bill, and it must be substantially similar to the House bill to:

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Some Inspiring and Some Maddening Documentaries to See

There are some excellent documentaries available. Here are a few, including “Seeing Allred” (about women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred), Equal Means Equal (unequal rights for women and girls in the U.S.), RBG (Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), Trapped (about TRAP laws limiting or stopping access to abortion clinics), and more.

1. Seeing Allred, About Women’s Rights Attorney Gloria Allred.

Seeing Allred” is a 2018 documentary about women’s rights attorney Gloria Allred. It shows what one woman can do. The film intertwines the stories of Ms. Allred’s life with her persistence in going after actor Bill Cosby with what ended up being 50 women willing to speak out about what he did to them.

This film may really change your perception about who Ms Allred is, but also about how telling stories can heal, and what one woman’s persistence can do.

Gloria Allred and the directors of the documentary about her at the 2018 National NOW Conference in San Jose, CA.

Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

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#StopTheBans Event Summaries from Around NC – May 2019

Here are some pictures and media on #StopTheBans events around the state. For specifics like date, time and location on each event that was in May 2019, see Find a Stop Abortion Bans Protest Near You! 5/21/19

One source of coverage of the noon rallies around the state, including Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Charlotte: Spectrum News in NC Organizations Rally Against Abortion Bans, 5/21/19.

Chapel Hill NOW – 21 May 19

Chapel Hill NOW president Geraldine Richards organized the #StopTheBans event in Chapel Hill. Ms. Richards and Durham NOW co-president Jennifer Albright were both interviewed by WRAL in Chapel Hill!

The reporter recognized that there were at least 9 #StopTheBans events planned around NC, which she got from NC NOW’s media advisory.

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Owens: There Is No Cycle Of Abuse

I wish I had a nickel for every time I hear the phrase “the cycle of abuse.” It’s constant. People say about victims,”she really needs to break the cycle!” (This makes me so angry! As if the victim could do that anyway, when she has no control of the abuse – its not HER behavior!)

Here’s what you need to know. There IS NO “cycle” of abuse. We don’t need to be using that term. If you use it, please stop.

DV Expert Julie Owens at Voices of Domestic Violence Town Hall in Winston-Salem on 4/11/19

The cycle theory of abuse is no longer used by professionals in this field because we understand DV much, much better after decades of work with victims, and learning from them.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #12 – 22 April 2019

NC_NOW_Legislative_Update_#12.22Apr19.v2 includes the summary and listing of NC Senate and House bills. Written by Robin Davis, NC NOW Vice President of Political Action.

Veto of Junk Science Anti-Abortion Bill, Some Good Bills, and a Fair Ruling

The good news is that Governor Cooper has vetoed SB359, The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.  The bill swept through the legislature last week at dizzying speed, and the Governor vetoed it almost as soon as it hit his desk.

 “Laws already protect newborn babies and this bill is an unnecessary interference between doctors and their patients,” the Democratic governor said in his veto message. “This needless legislation would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist.” 

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About the Violence Against Women Act

Congress is in the process of reauthorizing the 25 year old Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) this spring (April 2019). VAWA expired last fall, when Congress was distracted with other issues. Here is some background on VAWA and on changes to improve it in 2019. Sources at end.

What is going on with domestic violence right now?

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Help pass #VAWA in 2019

April is #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth and women, and women’s organizations including NOW are urging Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women’s Act, VAWA. The bill is #HR1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Learn about it here and see what you can do to help move #VAWA along.

HR1585 is a bipartisan bill to reauthorize VAWA for 5 years. It makes modest yet vital improvements that are necessary to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, and to hold offenders accountable. #VAWA gets reauthorized every 5 years. National NOW published an action alert on reauthorizing #VAWA19 on 3/15/19.

The National Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Violence answered some important questions about VAWA and #HR1585 for people, as follows.

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NC NOW Legislative Update #8 – 25 March 2019 – Modernizing Sexual Assault Laws

See whole legislative update at NC NOW Legislative Update #8.

This week [ending March 22, 2019] saw important actions on bills pertaining to sexual assault and rape.  SB46 (identical to HB29) passed out of the Judiciary Committee and now is in the Senate Rules Committee.  This bill appropriates funds to begin testing of the backlog of untested rape kits.  The bill will need to be heard by the Appropriations Committee, where it will be considered for inclusion in the budget.

North Carolina is the only state that does not permit a woman to revoke consent once sex has begun.  Senator Jeff Jackson has repeatedly introduced legislation to correct this omission in our law, and he has indicated that he will try again this session. He believes that this time the legislation has a real chance of passing.  His bill has not yet been introduced.

An important bill (HB393, Modernizing Sexual Assault Laws) has been introduced to tighten North Carolina law concerning how sexual assault is defined and prosecuted and to increase the chance that prosecution could result in a conviction. 

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2019 Raleigh Women’s March Speakers and Quotes

Quotes from some of the speakers and performers at the 2019 Raleigh Women’s March. Such impressive speakers and we would prefer to be able to capture each speech and performance, but here are some pearls of wisdom. Performers got their messages across in their own unique ways. 

Longtime activist Mandy Carter was one of our EmCees and also our speaker on LGBTQ issues.

Event emcees – Ashley Popio and Mandy Carter Photo Credit: Women Mobilizing NC

“I’ve been wondering how change happens. And I think the best way to describe it is the changing of hearts and minds and public policy.” – Mandy Carter

 

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Domestic Violence Awareness Town Hall – Full House, Shocking Truths, 2/18/19

The impetus for the Domestic Violence Awareness Town Hall was a restraining order against Rep. Cody Henson (R-Transylvania) that it took almost a year for his wife to get. But this story was the tip of the iceberg as experts and victims talked about the realities of violence against women, domestic violence in North Carolina, how things are worse for victims in small towns, and victims in different communities (like the African American community).

“Speakers emphasized the insidious nature of domestic violence as a crime that often goes unreported or unpunished and for which societal norms and laws often fail to remedy. ” As reported by Carolina Public Press, in “Domestic violence in spotlight during forum on lawmaker’s home turf,” 2/19/19.

Abigail Cooley from SAFE, Transylvania. Photo Credit: Ellie Wood

Expert’s words really surprised many attendees who had no idea how bad things are in North Carolina. Survivor stories were shocking and heartbreaking. 

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