On Friday, 4/26/19, the House rolled out part of its budget. It includes an appropriation of 3 million dollars to test untested rape kits—Attorney General Josh Stein and Governor Cooper requested 6 million dollars. The anti-abortion Human Coalition, which funds crisis pregnancy centers, will receive 1.2 million dollars. Expect more budget information next week. For more information, see: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article229714994.html
It is always necessary to watch the budget bills because they often contain policy measures in addition to appropriations. For example, the House Education budget, released on Friday, April 26, contains a provision designed to prevent teachers from taking time off during a school day to go to the legislature to rally in support of educational issues, including their pay. The bill would require schools not to grant teachers a personal leave day unless they verify that a substitute teacher is available. Many school districts have closed schools on May 1 because there are not enough substitutes to fill in for the teachers who have taken a personal leave day to go to Raleigh.
Posted in abortion, budget, education, ncga interference, rape kits
Tagged abortion, budget, ncga int, ncga interference, r, Rape, rape kits
NC NOW members delivered the pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Monday, 3/25/19. The packets included a copy of the pro-choice signature ad that we ran in Indy Week in January (as we do every year), and a letter from NC NOW.
Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
Posted in Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, medicaid expansion, NC budget, ncga interference, rape kits, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, Sexual Assault
Tagged NC budget, ncga, rape kits, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, Sexual Assault
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.
The second NC NOW Legislative Update is available as of 2/11/19. Some bad news is the war on women’s reproductive rights has begun with the introduction of two threatening bills. Some good news is that bills were introduced to test the backlog of untested rape kits statewide, to address a problem of sexual abuse of children, and to address a domestic violence. Plus there are bills on Silent Sam controversy. The summary is here. Find the whole NC NOW Legislative Update at North Carolina NOW Legislative Update #2 – 11 February 2019.
The war on women’s reproductive rights has begun with the introduction of two threatening bills.
NC NOW’s Legislative Update for the first week of the 2019 long session includes ERA Advocacy Day, link to new legislators from both parties, talk of medicaid expansion, update on rape kit processing, and revival of ‘floaters’ as ways for Republicans to control committees.
The General Assembly reconvened on Wednesday, January 30 to begin this year’s session. Members were sworn in on January 9, and this link lists the newly elected members of both parties: https://www.ncallianceforhealth.org/2019-nc-general-assembly-session-convenes/
ERA Advocates at the NC General Assembly on 1/30/19. Photo Credit: Mike Oniffrey
Women are getting the women’s marches going around NC. We know of 4 women’s march and rallies so far. Note: two added after the fact – Black Mountain on 1/19/19 and Albamarle/Stanly County on 1/12/19.
Note: this post will be split up into original notice of upcoming marches and summaries of the marches at a later time.
1. Women’s March On Asheville 2019 – January 20, 2019, 11am-2pm, S Pack Square, Asheville NC 28801. The theme is “We Believe Survivors!”
Event at – https://www.facebook.com/events/316740779104600/
Women’s March On Asheville, 2018 Photo Credit: Women’s March On Asheville
Posted in #MeToo, abortion, ACA, Affordable housing, birth control, clinic violence, do your job, Equal Rights Amendment, health care, march, medicaid expansion, minimum wage, pro-choice, Rape, rape kits, reproductive rights, Roe v Wade, Rural women, Title IX, voting, Women's march
Tagged health care, medicaid expansion, rape kits, Rural women, safety for women, voting, women
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.”
Posted in campus safety, ignoring evidence, On Campus, Rape, rape kits, Sexual Assault, state budget issues, violence against women
Tagged campus safety, ignoring evidence, nc budget issues, Rape, rape kits, Sexual Assault
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.
NC NOW members delivered the pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our representatives in the NC House and NC Senate on Monday, 6/4/18. The packets included a copy of the pro-choice signature ad that we ran in Indy Week in January (as we do every year), and a letter from NC NOW.
NC NOW Members Deliver Pro-Choice Signature Ad Packets on Jun 4, 2018. Photo Credit: Gailya Paliga
This year the letter was somewhat focused on the terrible budget process which blocked input from all Democratic lawmakers and maybe some Republican ones as well. The letter also talked about inappropriate uses of taxpayer money in the budget. See the letter below.
Posted in abortion, CPC, do your job, NC budget, ncga interference, Rape, rape kits, signature ad, state budget issues, women
Tagged abortion, crisis pregnancy centers, NC budget, ncga interference, pro-choice, rape kits, signature ad
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.
Posted in abortion, budget, CPC, do your job, health care, planned parenthood, public education, Rape, state budget issues, tax giveaways, teachers, violence against women, women
Tagged abortion, CPC, crisis pregnancy centers, do your job, public education, rape kits, state budget, suicide, teachers, women