Category Archives: safety for women

Peeples: Why is Evidence Ignored in Storage and Thrown Away?

NC may have the most untested rape kits in the nation (15,160 reported from 92% of law enforcement agency reports submitted). It is clear that too many rape kits are going unprocessed in NC and the NC General Assembly is not providing money to test or to track them, even in the face of this astounding backlog. It is also significant that none were reported from any universities (according to the report from Attorney General Josh Stein’s office). But when rapes are reported in NC, the state is falling down on the job – not processing the evidence and actually sometimes throwing away the evidence. Ignoring the evidence causes more damage in the long run, allowing rapists to run amok in NC and move on to other states. And there are many advantages of testing them as soon as possible.

“Every $1 spent on the analysis of a kit returns $81 from averted future assaults.”

The 81 to 1 savings is according to an article reviewing the research of two Stanford University professors published “Analyzing approaches to the backlog of untested sexual assault kits in the USA,” 3/5/18, Journal of Forensic Science. The article also states that the $81 may be a conservative estimate and it could go as high as $3,000 for every $1 spent. The professors estimate that there are around 400,000 untested sexual assault kits in the backlog in the U.S.A.

Sexual Assault Kits on display at NC NOW State Conference in 2017. Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

Their reviews of police data for jailed perpetrators suggest that the average number of assault victims per assailant is around 26. The cost of testing a kit ranges from $700 to $1500.

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Protect Reproductive Healthcare! Save Lives! 4/10/18

President Trump’s policies and Congress have had a disastrous affect on women and families in North Carolina, the United States and the world.  On Tuesday April 10 at 11:30 am, members and supporters of NC NOW (National Organization of Women), NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, El Pueblo, and Population Connection join Tuesdays with Tillis Indivisible ask that Senator Tillis respond with legislative support to remedy the repressive policies which cost women their lives.  

Join us as we concentrate on reproductive care and reproductive justice policies at the federal level.  Do you know there is a US policy which cuts off all US health funding for other countries as America tries to control other countries’ reproductive care?  It’s the Global Gag Rule, which President Trump instated and massively expanded in January 2017.  And Congress renews the heinous Hyde Amendment every year! The Hyde Amendment prohibits low income women, federal employees and their dependents and others from using their own insurance or Medicaid to cover abortions. This means Congress targets a range of women from getting a specific medical procedure via the Hyde Amendment – and has done so every year since 1976.

“The Hyde Amendment is nothing more than playing politics with the lives of those who traditionally have lacked access to quality, affordable care, such as poor women, rural communities and young people,” said Tara Romano, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.

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Rape Crisis Sensitivity Training in Fayetteville – March and May 2018

Upcoming ‘rape crisis sensitivity’ trainings in Fayetteville advertised at Fayetteville NOW’s Susan B. Anthony Celebration on 2/28/18. Become informed about rape and sexual assault, find out how you can help survivors.

Rape Crisis Volunteers of Cumberland County works closely with Fayetteville NOW. More on SBA Celebration and work that Fayetteville NOW and the Rape Crisis Center have done together on rape kits in next posts.

At a “Shine A Light on Sexual Assault” program in 2016, “Ze Surratt II, from the Cumberland County Rape Crisis Center, said the organization was founded in 1976 when there was a realization that sexual assault survivors needed additional assistance beyond police and doctors.” Read more about the event at Program seeks to assist survivors of sexual assault,” Fayetteville Observer, 5/1/16.  Surratt is still involved with the center, and with organizing these trainings.

Volunteers must attend both classes – one set in March 2018, and one set in May 2018. See more information on the flyer.

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Raleigh Women’s Rally calls for Gender Equality and More!

The Women’s Rally on Raleigh was a wonderful event! So Many People! Excellent speakers and performers! Inspiring Emcees! Perfect weather! Whether you were with us in body or in spirit (or both) here are things you may not know! 

WROR, Halifax Mall, 20 Jan 18 Photo Credit: Vicky DeGroote

“Residents from all over North Carolina gathered on Halifax Mall on Saturday for the Women’s Rally on Raleigh. There were musical performers, tables, and a diverse line-up of speakers meant to energize citizens into engaging with their government on issues that affect them and their communities,” from Women’s Rally on Raleigh draws several thousand to Halifax Mall” at http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article195785414.html

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Upcoming Events – January 2018

Welcome the new year with hope and ACTIVISM!

1. Monday, January 1, 2018 – Celebrating 2017 as A Year Of Resistance in Wilmington

Women Organizing For Wilmington are celebrating “2017: A Year of Resistance” on Monday, Jan 1, 2018. 12 noon at 102 N. Third Street. Rain or Snow! More at https://www.facebook.com/events/944526919027672/.

2. Help with the planning of Women’s March Anniversary events around NC

Winston-Salem meets every Monday, Raleigh meets every Tuesday up to the Jan 20, 2018 marches. Contact organizers through the events. See event listing at Women’s March Anniversary Events (2018) in NC

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Women’s Rally On Raleigh 2018 is ON!

Plan to join us at Raleigh’s women’s march anniversary event in 2018. A group of individuals and organizers are planning a women’s rally on Raleigh, with the theme of “Women Leading The Resistance!” on January 20, 2018.

women rally 2018

Date: Saturday, January 20, 2018
Time: 9am to 1pm
       Gather: 9:00 am
       Resistance music: 9:00am-10:00am
       Speakers begin: 10:00am
       Event ends: 1:00pm
Place: Halifax Mall, in Raleigh
Location: Green space next to the Legislative Office Building at 300 N Salisbury St (Where most of the Moral Monday rallies are held.)
For more information, go to https://womensmarchonraleigh.org/.
See some of the speakers at https://womensmarchonraleigh.org/rally-program/.

Our rally is timed as the one year anniversary of our giant march and rally in Raleigh and with the hundreds or thousands of other marches across the United States and around the world on January 21, 2017. Organizer Yevonne Brannon documented 13 marches in North Carolina alone! We will rally in solidarity with other women’s events that day, including those in Winston Salem, in Chicago, and in New York. 

Read more about our 2017 Women’s March On Raleigh at Women’s March On Raleigh was Huge! 1/21/17 and in earlier posts, at Women’s March on Raleigh: Women Mobilizing NC (12/25/16) and at Women’s March on Raleigh 2017 – Spread The Word! (1/1/17) and at Women’s March On Raleigh 2017 Press Release (1/11/17).

These are two of my favorite pictures from the Women’s March on Raleigh in 2017. The first shows some of my co-organizers leading the march.

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Fayetteville NOW: 2017 Annual Wreath Laying Honoring Past DV Victim

In 1974 Beryl Mitchell was murdered in Fayetteville by her active duty military husband. They had two young children. Until nine years ago her grave had no headstone. Then her daughter, Christine Horne returned to Fayetteville to dedicate a headstone for Beryl’s grave. At that time, some members of Fayetteville NOW (National Organization for Women) vowed to lay a wreath
on her grave each year in her memory.

Here are the specifics for the 2017 wreath-laying ceremony.
Date: Saturday, Dec 2, 2017
Time: 11am
Place: Lafayette Memorial Park and Mausoleum, 2301 Ramsey Street

Wreath and sign from 2016 wreath laying ceremony Photo Credit: Fay. NOW

Unfortunately Beryl Mitchell is not alone as a victim of domestic violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in the US,

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National Actions To Take NOW!

We have 3 actions to take on national issues. Oppose the House Budget which slashes trillions of dollars from healthcare, food and income assistance, education and more. Oppose HR 38 – giving domestic violence offenders the right to stalk and kill their intimate partners across state lines! Oppose HR 36 – another abortion ban.

Thank you to National Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Violence and to National Women’s Law Center for the information.

Action Alert 1: Tell your Rep. to vote “NO” on the US House budget: it slashes trillions from Medicaid, Medicare, food and income assistance, education, housing and more. It takes the money to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, and for corporations!

Monday-Wednesday, Oct 2-4: Call Your Rep and Say NO!

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DeVos vows to revoke and replace campus sexual assault guidelines

In 2011, the U. S. Department of Education issued some guidelines to colleges and universities requiring them to handle rape allegations swiftly and fairly.  The problem was being taken seriously at last.

Now in 2017,  Betsy DeVos claims that these guidelines  have “weaponized the Office of Civil Rights.” Specifically, she maintains that  enforcing women’s civil rights under Title IX is unfair to accused rapists. Her own acting head of Education’s civil rights office told the New York times that “90 percent” of campus rapes “fall into the category of ‘we were both drunk’.”  Of course, being drunk is no excuse if you injure or kill someone with your car.

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EME making rounds at NC College Campuses in Sept. 2017

College women today still need to worry about major issues – safety on and off campus, being treated fairly, being paid fairly, health care coverage, and what happens when they decide to have children. Many don’t realize that the only right guaranteed for women in the Constitution is the right to vote. Even today.

We recognize the continued struggle for women to gain full constitutional inclusion in American society. We are sure that the fix for these and other problems is through the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). We’re spreading the word about the problems that women face by bringing the documentary “Equal Means Equal” to the big screen at college campuses around NC from Sept 10-17. Look for your campus showing at http://www.nc4era.org/campus-movies-sept-10-17.html

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