Showing posts from March, 2012

Anti-Street Harrassment Week

March 18 - 24, 2012 was the first observedInternationalAnti-Street HarassmentWeek.  Individuals and organizations took the time to speak out about street harrassment.  First and foremost, let's label what we are campaigning against.  Street harassment is any action or comment between strangers in public places that is disrespectful, unwelcome, threatening and/or harassing and is motivated by gender.  This can be seen in cat-calls, leers, whistles, forced conversation, grabbing, touching, and even groping.  This is not a compliment, and does not feel good to the intended recipient.  It is an affront. Street harassment can sometimes interact with racism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism, which can make the comments even more hurtful.  In a 2008 study done by Stop Street Harrassment, it was estimated almost 1 in 4 women had experienced street harassment by age 12 (7th grade) and nearly 90% by age 19.

The Invisible War--a film, a movement, a call to action

There is a film making the rounds at independent film festivals and it brings up a sensitive and deeply buried issue--sexual abuse within the U.S. Military Ranks. This film, while in itself is a triumph, has also been credited with giving fuel to a civil suit brought against the Pentagon.

The Invisible War tells the stories of female military personnel who were sexually assaulted, raped, or harassed by other military personnel. The film was screened on Capital Hill the week of February 6th, with a standing room only audience including 2 Senators and 5 Congresspersons and their staff. Senator Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Jackie Speier introduced the film, with Senator Boxer assuring that "no one would leave the room unchanged." The filmmakers felt that the screening was a great success and hope to have more showings so that policymakers can see the real people that policies (or lack thereof) affect.

Military life has many hardships. The day-to-day work of a Soldier, Sai…

Expert Testimony Needed to Explain Victim Behavior

Content from the blog of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, (PCAR)

Joseph Amendola, attorney for former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, was in court Monday threatening to request that criminal charges against his client be dropped. Sandusky is charged with 52 counts of child sexual abuse involving 10 minors beginning in 1994.

Amendola, arguing before Judge John M. Cleland at a pretrial hearing in Bellefonte, Centre County, claims that he needs a more specific time frame from the alleged victims in order to better defend his client. If he does not get that information, Amendola says he will make a motion for all of the charges to be dropped. The trial is set to begin May 14.

Judge Cleland ruled that Amendola’s request is moot and cited nine Pennsylvania cases that have refined the standards and expectations for discovery in child sexual assault cases. Judge Cleland ruled that the Commonwealth has established greater latitude when the alleged crimes involve sexual…

People with Mental Health Issues More Likely to Experience Violence

Mentally Ill Often Targets of Violence By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today Published: February 27, 2012 Reviewed by Dori F. Zaleznik, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner
Action PointsThis meta-analysis of 21 studies found an increased prevalence of violence against adults with disabilities, particularly against those with mental illness.Note that there was considerable heterogeneity among studies, which were mostly conducted in higher-income countries.
One in four people with mental illness experiences violence of some type in a given year, a much higher rate than experienced by the rest of the population, a meta-analysis determined.
The odds of a person with mental illness experiencing physical, sexual, or domestic violence were 3.86-fold higher than among adults without any disabilities, although with a wide confidence interval that didn't reach statistical significance,…