Tag Archives: Sexual Assault

VAWA was Topic of 116th Week with Tuesdays With Tillis – 4/9/19

The weekly Tuesdays With Tillis protests continue into and beyond the 116th consecutive week of rallies around Senator Thom Tillis’ office in Raleigh. The topic on Tuesday, April 9, was the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). NC NOW President Gailya Paliga was one of the speakers, but messages about violence against women were also conveyed through song and chants. Karen Ziegler set the agenda and got discussion going on how “violence against women is a red line that runs through the Trump Administration.” There was also singing, chanting, marching, and interactive discussion of issues.

Photo Credit: Jacalyn Engler

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About the Violence Against Women Act

Congress is in the process of reauthorizing the 25 year old Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) this spring (April 2019). VAWA expired last fall, when Congress was distracted with other issues. Here is some background on VAWA and on changes to improve it in 2019. Sources at end.

What is going on with domestic violence right now?

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Help pass #VAWA in 2019

April is #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth and women, and women’s organizations including NOW are urging Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women’s Act, VAWA. The bill is #HR1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. Learn about it here and see what you can do to help move #VAWA along.

HR1585 is a bipartisan bill to reauthorize VAWA for 5 years. It makes modest yet vital improvements that are necessary to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, and to hold offenders accountable. #VAWA gets reauthorized every 5 years. National NOW published an action alert on reauthorizing #VAWA19 on 3/15/19.

The National Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Violence answered some important questions about VAWA and #HR1585 for people, as follows.

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Press Advisory for 2019 Raleigh Women’s March, 1/26/19

PRESS ADVISORY For Immediate Release

Raleigh, NC, 1/21/19

2019 Raleigh Women’s March

A Women’s March Anniversary Event More than 1,000 Women and Allies Expected

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Signature Ad Packet Delivery and Letter – 3/25/19

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

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NC NOW Legislative Update #8 – 25 March 2019 – Modernizing Sexual Assault Laws

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. 

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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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Inspiring “Seeing Allred” in Raleigh on 10/19/18

There is some great incentive to coming in to Raleigh the night before the NC NOW state conference – we’re screening “Seeing Allred,” a new documentary about Women’s Rights Attorney Gloria Allred.

The NC NOW State Conference is on Saturday, 10/20/18, with the theme of “Women Rising Up NOW!” To show what one woman can do, and in line with our conference theme, we are screening “Seeing Allred” for our event on Friday, 10/19/18, at 7pm.  Attorney Gloria Allred is an inspiration! The film intertwines the stories of her life and her persistence in going after actor Bill Cosby with what ended up being 50 women willing to speak out about what he did to them.

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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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#EnoughIsEnough Summit Report 4/25/18, By Lori Bunton

The National Organization for Women (NOW), in conjunction with the Feminist Majority Foundation, sponsored a one day summit and congressional briefing in DC, Enough.Is.Enough, to address sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and schools.  The goal of the summit was to have speakers from all walks of life-legislators, activists, academics and survivors-explore various facets of sexual violence in workplaces and in schools.  The speakers would address needed improvements in law and policy, recommendations for the most effective methods in preventing and dealing with sexual violence, and strategies to craft a more survivor-centric legal system.

Panel 2: Moving Forward Models: State Laws and Workplace Policies Photo Credit: Lori Bunton

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