Category Archives: Sexual Assault

Charlotte NOW: Trauma to Prison Pipeline Report, 2/7/18

Charlotte NOW had a great turnout for a very informative and inspirational meeting on the “Trauma to Prison Pipeline.” The groups speaking, “Changed Choices” and “Safe Alliance”, inspired Charlotte NOW with the work they are doing as well as made attendees realize how much work still needs to be done. The Title IX Coordinator for Charlotte/Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) gave a report on what is being done in our schools for girls experiencing trauma.

Charlotte NOW event picture - 2/7/18

A view of the event, Melissa Mummert from “Changed Choices” speaking. Photo Credit: Charlotte NOW

Prior to the speakers, attendees enjoyed a very dramatic reading of Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I Woman” speech and an update on Harriet Tubman becoming the first woman on the $20 bill.

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Fayetteville NOW’s 18th annual Susan B. Anthony event – 2/22/18

This 18th annual Susan B. Anthony event will honor Deanne Gerdes, Executive Director of Rape Crisis of Cumberland County RCCC, and Lt. John Somerindyke, of Fayetteville Police Department’s Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit. Gerdes and Somerindyke are being thanked for all they have done to further the progress of cold rape cases by initiating coordinating efforts with local legislators relative to untested rape kits.

Sexual Assault Kit from display at 2017 NC NOW Conference Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

Date: Thursday, Feb 22, 2018
Time: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Place: VFW Post 6018, 116 Chance St., Fayetteville NC
Registration: Use this form, which you can see below.

Fayetteville’s local weekly periodical, “Up and Coming” featured an article about the event, “Fighting for statewide sexual assault survivor justice: Gerdes and Somerindyke honored at Fayetteville NOW event.”

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Charlotte NOW: End The Sex Abuse to Prison Pipeline Forum – 2/7/18

Girls are affected by violence at an alarming rate in the US. Many of these girls are penalized for trauma induced behavior without receiving the wrap around services they need. Many of them end up in the school-prison pipeline. 73% of girls in the juvenile court systems are victims of sexual or physical assault.

The Charlotte NOW chapter leadership met with the Title IX Coordinator to learn what CMS has in place to help these girls. Their February 2018 meeting (Feb 7, 7-9pm, Unitarian Universalist Church) will focus on this initiative with a distinguished panel of guests, including Changed Choices and Safe Alliance, who are knowledgeable and active in this endeavor. They will share their knowledge and their experiences and what people can do to help. Please don’t miss this most informative meeting. And most of all, let’s show our support for these women who are making Changed Choices!

Charlotte NOW chose decriminalization of trauma as their focus for 2017/2018.

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A New Horizon Is Coming – Fayetteville Women’s Rally, 1/20/18

Fayetteville Chapter of NOW is sponsoring a Women’s Rally, on Saturday, January 20, 2018, at 1pm at the Downtown Market House in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 

We are commemorating the anniversary of last year’s historic Women’s March on Washington (2017), and more importantly, we are celebrating the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court Decision Roe v Wade (January 22, 1973).  It’s that historic ruling that declared women’s right to privacy, afforded via the 14th amendment (due process), extends and affords women the right to have an abortion.

Additionally, we ask women who believe and realize that they can make a difference to stand with us, to join us.  It will be the women (and the men who support us) working to dismantle the barriers that create the following.

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Stop the Assaults, Stop The Violence, #MeToo Event and Action

The President of NC National Organization for Women, Gailya Paliga, led #TuesdaysWithTillis on Nov 14, 2017, with the theme of “Stop the Violence, Stop the Assault/#MeToo.” It was chilly outside, but 45 people and 2 dogs protested anyway. This was Week #43 of the Tuesdays With Tillis protests and still going strong. The next week’s theme (11/21/17)  is DACA/Dreamers.

Sept 13, 2017 was the 23rd anniversary of the passage of VAWA, which is severely threatened with Donald Trump (who bragged about committing sexual assault) in office. The VAWA bill is gender-neutral and includes funding for rape crisis centers and hotlines, services for victims with disabilities, legal aide for survivors, and more.

Senator Richard Burr voted against reauthorizing VAWA in 2012, and Senator Thom Tillis isn’t on record yet. 

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What’s your #MeToo Story? Want to share?


According to CNN, “One fifth of Americans know someone who said #MeToo,” 11/9/17. “You don’t have to be a  young and beautiful film star to be harassed and humiliated.” Do you have a story to share? 

Tuesdays With Tillis Protester! Photo Credit: Stacie Borrello

Tuesdays With Tillis theme of #MeToo and sexual harassment/sexual assault. The topic is “Stop the Assaults, Stop the Violence.” Contact president at raleighnow.org if you have a story to share – which you could do in person, or by sending your story for someone else to read. Whether or not you want to share a story, join us to witness, and take action.

Date: Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017
Time: 11:30am-12:30pm
Place: 310 New Bern Ave, the Federal Building 

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Busy Week in Raleigh, Starting Today

Busy week in Raleigh starting on Tuesday, Nov 7. Important events on Nov 7, 8, 9 and 10! Plus topic for next Tuesdays With Tillis is #MeToo. Do you have a story to share?

Tuesday, Nov 7, 2017

Be sure to vote on 11/7/17 in most municipalities! Local elections is where people have the most say. And many elections in NC have hinged on a single vote. See “Your vote matters: 31 NC elections decided by 1 vote, 69 elections by 5 or fewer,” News and Observer, 10/24/17.

Photo Credit: Jacalyn Engler

The weekly Tuesdays With Tillis protest is 11:30am-12:30pm at 310 New Bern Ave, in Raleigh. The theme is Defeat the #TrumpTaxCuts. Tuesdays With Tillis at 11:30am at the Federal Building on New Bern in Raleigh. We have a great new sign! I love this protest, also because it is done in an hour. This is the 42nd week. Find on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/526075321078863/.

Raleigh NOW meeting on Nov 7, at 7:15pm, at Cameron Village Library in Raleigh (note: new location). Topics are pro-choice signature ad, and planning for the January Roe event. 

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Rape Culture Perpetuated by Politicians

Politicians contribute to rape culture. Never let statements like this go by. Found on facebook.

“Some girls rape easy.” – Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Wi), Oct 2012

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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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What you can do now to spread the word on danger of campus assaults

It’s time for some of our children and grandchildren to go back to school. Some are going to college, and that can be a very dangerous place for undergraduates. Studies have shown one in five college women and 5% of men have been sexually assaulted (note 1 and note 2). This problem is very real and close to home. On July 21, three N.C. State University (NSCU) students reported being sexually assaulted during a campus party. Raleigh police took this seriously and assigned a team of detectives assigned to the case, but more than 2 weeks later, there have not been any arrests (note 3). One way to protect undergraduates is by warning them and giving them guidance.

To help inform the community and help undergraduates know to protect themselves, Raleigh NOW held a screening of “The Hunting Ground” documentary at NCSU in Raleigh, cosponsored by WomenNC and NCSU’s GLBT Center. One of the main subjects of the film, UNC-CH graduate Annie Clark, led the post-film discussion. Annie Clark survived her assault, and refused to be ignored. She went on to co-found her own organization to combat campus rape, End Rape On Campus. The documentary presents the issue very well, and Annie Clark and her continuing fight to help others and improve the situation was inspiring.

Annie Clark running Q&A at screening of The Hunting Ground, on 8/8/17. Photo Credit: Catherine Evangelista

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