Category Archives: violence against women

October #StopKavanaugh Events – Women are Rising Up! 2018

We already know about three #StopKavanaugh this first week of October, 2018. And I know a lot of women and allies will get out and party when this unfit #SCOTUS nominee goes down, either for his history of sexual assault or his perjury during the 2018 and 2006 hearings. He should be disqualified based on his terrible behavior during the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing alone (see cartoon). We are counting on the FBI to do its job, and to help them, many of Kavanaugh’s former classmates have publicly contradicted what Bratt Kavanaugh said about his drinking, his temper, and the sexual things written in his yearbook.  Since he lied about those basic things, how can he believed on anything else.

Weekly rallies at Senator Thom Tillis’ office in Raleigh include this walk around the fence, so his staff can see us! Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg

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Insightful #BelieveWomen Posts on Social Media

Capturing some great posts about the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett #Kavanaugh testifying on Thursday, 9/27/18. Will the Senate Judiciary Committee actually take a vote tomorrow when only one of many accusations will have been heard in any way by the committee, and this one barely explored, not investigated. This is a crazy way to handle these accusations which are part of Kavanaugh’s job interview. As his potential employer, I’d be running like the wind to get away from him. But also, there are 5 major different accusations against Kavanaugh, each of which has other related witnesses. Just talking to the first woman, with no witnesses and no plans to talk to other people, is completely insufficient for any investigation. We need the FBI involved for a real investigation, and so there are consequences to lying.

Would like to mention how beautifully Dr. Ford has been handling it, and how badly Senator Chuck Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is handling himself. See “People Are Fed Up With Sen. Chuck Grassley Interrupting Women In Senate Hearing,” HuffPost, 9/27/18. The way #Kavanaugh behaved during his time will be the stuff of legends, and some of that behavior is referenced below.

Quotes:

If you don’t believe there’s such a thing as rape culture and that it still prevails in the US, please consider the fact that Mark Judge, who was involved in the sexual assault with Kavanaugh, is allowed to hide away in some luxury beach home during all this, while his victim, Blasey Ford, is forced to publicly relive what is undoubtedly one of the most, if not the most, traumatic events of her life in front of the whole nation in front of a panel of men whose sole goal is attack, degrade, and discredit her.  
– SS, Morrisville, 9/27/18

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Rally to Stop Kavanaugh, Urge Senator Tillis to Vote NO

Rally to Stop Kavanaugh, Urge Senator Tillis to Vote NO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

From: NC National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, Action-NC

CONTACTS:
Gailya Paliga, http://www.northcarolinanow.org, president at raleighnow.org
Lynne Walter, https://prochoicenc.org/, lynne at prochoicenc.org
Kevin Rogers, http://www.actionnc.org/, kevin at actionnc.org

Raleigh, NC, 9/26/18 – Local leaders and advocates will gather outside Senator Tillis’ office on Thursday, September 27th at 9:30 am to protest the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Following the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about Kavanaugh’s past sexual misconduct and claims by two additional women who have stepped forward with similar stories, local constituents will urge Senator Tillis to immediately signal opposition to the Supreme Court nominee and reject his confirmation to the Supreme Court.

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Jones: Make Rape Kit Testing a Priority

About 30 years ago, my sweet, elderly aunt for whom I was named was brutally beaten and raped in the country church where I was baptized and where five generations of my ancestors are buried. She had gone there on a Saturday morning to practice the organ selections for the next day. A neighboring farmer and family friend found her naked and barely alive on the church steps. She survived to bear witness in a courtroom where they acquitted her rapist. No DNA evidence was supplied. The following week, all of the witnesses that provided an alibi for her rapist received new cars from the car dealership belonging to the rapist’s father. Rape is usually a serial offense. Eventually, he was convicted after raping a young woman after her car broke down, stranding her on the highway. DNA evidence from a rape kit finally nailed him and thankfully, he is now in prison.

The young man who date-raped my little sister when she was in high school is still out there. A rape kit might have convicted him. We know that one in four rape kits results in conviction, a reason that former Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Tim McGinty, calls rape kits “the best bargain in the history of law enforcement.”

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You Can’t Believe this Terrible NC State Budget

Even just the titles of the listed articles give you an idea how terrible this state budget is. This is the state budget for which the NCGA leadership subverted the process so there can be no amendments or discussion on it. NC NOW Vice President of Legislation Robin Davis described how this was done and why  in the NC NOW Legislative Update for the Short Session #2. When she wrote it, most people, including Democratic lawmakers, had not even seen the budget yet! Now more people have seen it and many are angry and upset! These articles explain a few of the major issues being discovered in this budget that was written behind closed doors, and delve in if you dare!

There have been some amazingly scathing articles on the legislative leadership (Senator Phil Berger & Rep. Tim Moore) circumventing the normal budget process. Berger and Moore and their buddies are shutting out the voices of citizens and other lawmakers. Here are 2 of my favorites.

Rally on “Real Money For Fake Women’s Clinics”. Photo Credit: Michael Eisenberg

Cut from the NC budget: Democracy,” News and Observer, 5/26/18, at http://www.newsobserver.com/article211879774.html.

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Triad NOW Meeting – UN-CSW Report – 5/1/18

Triad NOW Monthly Meeting – May 2018

Date: Tuesday, May 1st
Time: 7 PM

Place: Parkway United Church of Christ
2151 Silas Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC 27103

In March 2018, five members from Triad NOW attended the 62nd UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York City. Part of the fun was that each of us have different issues we’re passionate about – climate change, ending violence against women, developing women leaders, women in the media – so we were attending different sessions and frequently didn’t see each other until dinner and a nightly debrief session! At our May meeting, we’ll share our ‘wow’ moments as well as ideas for Triad NOW and women in the Triad as a result of the multitude of sessions we each attended.

Not testing rape kits is a massive failure to take advantage of science

“Why are there so many untested rape kits in NC?” People have asked in response to an article on who initiated the rape kit inventory in NC and to posts about #endthebacklog and the documentary “I Am Evidence” that examines the problem of untested rape kits and is being shown on HBO at 8pm on 4/16/18.

The problem is there’s no rule on who foots the bill for rape kit testing across the country — it depends on the state and city you live in. 

According to “NC may have more untested rape kits now than any state. Advocates want answers.” News and Observer, 3/7/18,

“California and Florida currently are reported as having more than 13,000 untested kits.”

Looks like NC has a sordid history with not bothering to test them. According to the same N&O article on untested rape kits,

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NOW Charlotte Supporting County Opposition to 287g

NOW Charlotte was well represented at the Mecklenburg County Commissioner’s meeting on March 20, 2018, supporting county opposition to 287g. The federal 287g program is a collaboration between state or local law enforcement and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) federal program that allows local law enforcement to carry out immigration enforcement duties. The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has deported over 15,000 people in Mecklenburg County. NOW Charlotte signed onto an anti-287g letter that was signed by over 40 organizations demanding the end of the program.

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Rape Kit Inventory Initiated in Fayetteville, NOW Helped

Many North Carolinians learned that there are 15,160 untested ‘sexual assault evidence collection kits’ (SAECK) left in North Carolina on February 28, 2018. These kits, also known as ‘rape kits’ were inventoried as part of the 2017 state budget, thanks to a bill that was spearheaded by the executive director of a Rape Crisis center in Cumberland County, Deanna Gerdes. Prior to the inventory, no one knew how many untested ‘sexual assault evidence collection kits’ there were across NC. Gerdes worked with Lt. John Somerindyke, Fayetteville Police Department’s Special Victims Unit commander, who discovered the problem in the first place and leads a unit to solve these crimes.  Other key supporters were bill sponsor state Rep. Billy Richardson, D-Cumberland; Roberta Waddle, a long time officer of Fayetteville NOW and NC NOW; and Gerdes’ daughter, Kathryn. Attorney General Josh Stein announced the count on 2/28/18, and has great recommendations going forward what to do. NC is finally making progress on untested rape kits, thanks these heroes in Fayetteville.

Deanna Gerdes at Podium, SBA Celebration with Fayetteville NOW. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga

Gerdes and Somerindyke have talked about their journeys to getting this bill written and passed at a few events with NC NOW and the Fayetteville NOW chapters in the past 6 months. On Feb 22, 2018, the Fayetteville chapter of the National Organization for Women held their 18th annual Susan B. Anthony (SBA) Birthday Celebration, where they honored Gerdes and Somerindyke for their work on the passage of this bill. Some of their journey is captured in “Fighting for statewide sexual assault survivor justice: Gerdes and Somerindyke honored at Fayetteville NOW event,” which was the cover story in the 2/6/18 issues of Up and Coming Weekly, a community paper in Fayetteville. Gerdes and Somerindyke also did a workshop at NC NOW’s state conference last October on grassroots work to pass the auditing of the Sexual Assault kits. More about their workshop and the conference at “Mobilizing Women NOW – Totally Worth It! Summary.”

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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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