Tag Archives: safety

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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Learn about Campus Danger for Women, 8/8/17 at NCSU

I talked to a policeman at a campus visit to UNC-Charlotte in July. He was proud of talking a young woman OUT OF pressing charges of sexual assault. He said the police spoke with both students to reinforce that the consequences for the undergraduate and alleged attacker are dire. The woman decided she wasn’t absolutely sure anymore. The policeman was also proud of few if any cases prosecuted – not the same as assaults not happening. I was appalled. These sexual assaults are happening whether or not they are prosecuted.

Join us to screen and discuss “The Hunting Ground” at NC State University on August 8th. Learn what the policeman didn’t understand about sexual assaults on campus. Learn how to prepare yourself/your child/your niece/your grandchild. 

Also consider a self defense class for you and yours. I am.

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Update on Women’s Marches in DC and around US on 1/21/17

Organizing a national Women’s March on Washington in Washington DC has been an adventure. First, let us recognize that there is a lot of interest in protesting in DC. Asheville NOW filled a bus in less than a week. Charlotte NOW is filling one now. And there are about 20 buses from North Carolina alone. At first the organizers didn’t realize they absolutely needed permits, where to send the buses, etc. Then, when Alice Cohan, of Feminist Majority (formerly of National Organization for Women/NOW) jumped in to help get permits, they found out many groups tried for permits for that date and those places, and they were working through the process. Then things changed and all protesters were being blocked from using normal rally/protest sites like large sections of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as the Washington Monument, the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial! Now there is an update from that – we finally have a site. But here is some background on the process. Never discount a bunch of angry women!

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Picture from the March for Women’s Lives in 2004. Raleigh NOW delivered 3 buses and Mandy Carter of SONG delivered another from Durham. Our 4 buses traveled together to the national march.

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Pro-Choice Signature Ad Packets are ready!

Join us to deliver the Pro-Choice Signature Ad Packets to our legislators at their offices in Raleigh on Monday, 5/23/16.  We run our pro-choice signature ad in Indy Week every year to commemorate the Roe v. Wade anniversary.  Later during the year, we deliver packets including signature ads to our legislators to remind them of the many pro-choice residents of our state.

Members from around NC are delivering NC NOW’s pro-choice signature ad packets to all of our legislators on May 23, 2016. Please join us!  This year our packet includes a letter from NC NOW summarizing anti-choice legislation and the harm that HB 2 does, an article about anti-choice legislation signed into law in 2015, as well as an article about how disastrous HB 2 is for women.

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Roberta Waddle speaking out against HB465 on May 8, 2015, in Fayetteville NC. Part of “Don’t Break Your Promise” tour. Photo Credit: Hannah Osborne

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TPP Press Conference on 2/3/16 – pix plus

Here are some pictures from the press conference.  See the diversity and the number of organizations represented.  I am still hoping for a link to the speeches.

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Speaker: Ajamu Dillahunt, Black Workers For Justice
Photo Credit: Markatos Photography

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Documentary recommendations

Excellent documentaries to consider watching – alone or with a group.  A few local NC NOW chapters plan to show “The Vessel” as the annual Roe Event on Jan. 28, 2016.  CNN just showed “The Hunting Ground” nationally in the third week of November of last year.  Raleigh NOW screened Generation M: Misogyny in Media and Culture in 2012. 

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See “The Hunting Ground” for Free on TV! 11/22/15, 8pm

On Sunday, Nov 22, at 8pm, CNN will broadcast “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary on rape at universities all over the country. One of the schools “featured” is UNC-Chapel Hill.  Parents, grandparents and students need to see it!  Really, everyone should see this.  Let’s expose this problem, face it and fix it!

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See “The Hunting Ground” for free on TV on Sunday Nov 22, at 8pm!

You can read more about this problem and this film at https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/do-you-know-how-unsafe-universities-are-for-undergraduate-women/

Here’s the official synopsis for The Hunting Ground:

“From the makers of The Invisible War (2012) comes a startling exposé of rape crimes on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups and the devastating toll they take on students and their families. Weaving together verité footage and first-person testimonies, the film follows the lives of several undergraduate assault survivors as they attempt to pursue – despite incredible push back, harassment, and traumatic aftermath – both their education and justice.”

This is a good film to see with others so you can talk about it afterward.  If you want to find a screening party near you, check http://community.seeactstop.org/page/event/search_simple

If you want to host your own screening party, sign up at http://community.seeactstop.org/page/event/create

Or watch at home.  You can always blog about it later 😉

 

Breaking The Silence: A Town Hall Hearing on Women of Color in New Orleans

A major highlight of national NOW conference in New Orleans in June 2015 was the “Breaking The Silence: A Town Hall Hearing on Women of Color in New Orleans,” which was organized by Kimberlé Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum (AAPF).

These Town Halls are part of a national series of hearings to elevate what is happening to women and girls of color in the US.  The national focus is on crackdown, deaths and prison with black men and boys as primary focus. In fact, President Obama has introduced a ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ movement to focus solely on boys of color.  This Town Hall movement is to push back on the idea that only boys of color suffer because women and girls are being targetted more than anyone seems to realize.  Women and girls get to tell their stories – from victims, families of victims, and women who run support agencies and see the problem in a different way. They cover a range of issues – criminalization and mass incarceration to school push-out sexual assault and domestic violence. They also talked about how laws have changed in  New Orleans to make it much more dangerous for women and girls – punishing the victims. A panel of local decision makers serve as commissioners in this event, so they get to hear everything. Later they get asked about what they will do with this information.

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Photo credit: African American Policy Forum

This long table of people includes National NOW president Terry O’Neill and the ‘commissioners’.  To the right was a table with speakers.  The sets of speakers kept changing, and included victims and advocates for women and girls of color.

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Women’s Events to plan into your schedule now!

Women’s Events to put on your calendar.  Right now we have one a month, July through October.

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July 25, 2015 – Collaboration: The Key to Impact, NC Women Matter’s Bennett IV Conference at Bennett College in Greensboro, 9-4

Topic: How we can maximize our strengths to assure that women’s voices are heard. In addition to training on effective collaboration, there will be issue briefs on pay equity and paid leave, the status of ERA on North Carolina, undocumented immigrant issues, voting rights and challenges, the student debt crisis, and reproductive justice/domestic violence/sexual abuse.

NC NOW is leading a workshop on ‘What Does Meryl Streep Know That You Don’t” with NC4ERA and RatifyERAnc.

See more and sign up at http://ncwomenmatter.org/2015/06/17/bennett-iv-collaboration-the-key-to-impact/

July 25, 2015 – Get Ready to Run – Raleigh, Lillians List, 9am-1:30pm
Note: Get Ready to Run will be in Boone on July 18 and they may be in Dare County on July 29. Continue reading

ACTION ALERT: Senate MJIA vote on Tuesday: Contact Sen. Tillis ASAP

Please take this action to help women in the military.  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D- New York) will be offering her bill – the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015 – as amendment 1578 on the FY 16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2015. A vote on that amendment is expected on TUESDAY, June 16.  Call or email our US Senator Thom Tillis in Washington DC ASAP with the simple message:

Please vote for Sen. Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act of 2015 (MJIA). It is essentially the same as legislation from the 113th Congress, but Sen. Gillibrand has added improvements to address retaliation and obstruction of justice.  She will be offering this bill as an amendment to the defense authorization bill on Tuesday, June 16, 2015.  

Read more about MJIA at http://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/mjia

In NC, we can contact both of our Senators, but if you only have time for one, contact Senator Thom Tillis (per National NOW’s action alert).  

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In North Carolina, use this link to find Senator Thom Tillis and Senator Richard Burr.  https://northcarolinanow.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/how-to-contact-ncs-us-senators-burr-and-tillis/

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