NEWSFLASH: Hawaii’s New Gun Reform Laws Should Become the National Standard

Hawaii Governor David Ige signed three gun law reform bills into law Thursday, putting the state ahead of the rest of the nation in ensuring its residents are safe from gun violence. One law in particular also specifically addresses the intersection of gun violence and domestic violence.

Inside the Year’s Most Unbelievable Story Of Rape

Marie was just 18 years old when she was bound, gagged and raped at knifepoint in her own home by a masked intruder in 2008. When she reported her assault to her local police department in Lynnwood, Washington, she was charged with a misdemeanor for false reporting, a crime punishable by up to one year […]

The Truth About “Gang Girls” and Women’s Violence

A 1992 murder still haunts John Hagedorn. The criminal justice professor has spent more than nine hours interviewing the convicted killer, Jacqueline Montanez, and nearly half his life researching other women like her: women who turned to gang life after years of abuse at home. Convicted of first-degree murder, Montanez killed rival gang member Hector […]

Ending the Rape Kit Backlog: What’s the Price of a Survivor’s Peace of Mind?

A nationwide investigation spearheaded by USA Today has found that at least 70,000 rape kits sit untested in laboratories around the country. While Detroit and other cities have made headlines for their determination to clear rape kit backlogs (in Detroit’s case, only after the Department of Justice found its police department guilty of “negative, victim-blaming beliefs” in 2008) this […]

McKinney and the History of Policing Black Women’s Bodies

Last Friday, a white police officer in McKinney, Texas, Cpl. Eric Casebolt, responded to a call about an incident at a teenage pool party. While there, he grabbed—by the hair—bikini-clad Dajerria Becton, a 15-year old African American girl who was a guest at the party, wrestled her to the ground and held her there with […]

The Police Sex-Discrimination Case We Should Be Talking About

In December 2013, Colorado Springs’ Chief of Police Peter Carey introduced a physical abilities test (also known as a PAT) that all officers were required to pass. It involved push-ups, sit-ups and running exercises. The stated goal of the test was to create a “culture of fitness” on the force and to reduce work-related injuries, ostensibly […]

How to Defuse Police Violence

As the crisis continues to unfold in Baltimore and in communities across the country, it becomes increasingly clear that hiring the right types of police officers is imperative to improving police-community relations. In the Winter 2015 issue of Ms., I outlined why hiring more women officers would go a long way to reducing police violence. Below, find […]

Why Don’t We Talk About the Gender Safety Gap in the U.S.?

This week, John Krakauer’s book, Missoula, “a depressingly typical” story about college town rapes, was released. In a recent NPR interview, Krakauer describes his dawning realization about how many women in the United States have been sexually assaulted, most often by people they know. His prior lack of awareness about women’s experiences, either of being assaulted […]

Six Months After the Killing of Michael Brown

Michael Brown was gunned down by police in his Ferguson, Missouri, neighborhood six months ago today. Trayvon Martin, killed by a self-appointed “vigilante,” would have turned 20 years old last Thursday. Also last week: the 16th anniversary of the death of Amadou Diallo, who was shot at 41 times by NYPD when reaching for his […]

Detroit Fundraises to Test Rape Kits

In an unprecedented initiative, the cash-strapped city of Detroit has partnered with two nonprofits to raise $10 million for testing its huge backlog of rape kits and conducting further investigations of rape cases. Five years ago, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office discovered 11,000 untested kits in a Detroit police storage unit, a few of which […]