Congress Moves Forward on Rape-Kit Funding

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The U.S. Senate subcommittee on commerce, justice, science and related agencies showed its support this week for combating the backlog of untested rape kits by including $41 million in its 2015 fiscal year spending bill as part of a community-based sexual assault response reform initiative. This announcement comes on the heels of an earlier House […]

Unfairly Judged: Why Cecily McMillan Doesn’t Belong in Prison

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This story originally appeared at The Nation Pretend you have to choose a book: one is a lurid airport paperback written for people who don’t like to read, the story of a bad girl getting taken down a peg; the other is missing half its pages and it has a lot of footnotes. You’d choose […]

100 Serial Rapists Have Been ID’d in Detroit

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Five years ago, 11,000 untested rape kits were discovered in a police storage facility in Detroit. So far, just 1,600 kits have been tested, but that small number has yielded startling results: 100 serial rapists have been identified, and the DNA of 10 since-convicted rapists has been found. So what do these findings mean? Of […]

Underwear Under Siege

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Picture this: You’re on your way to work, it was particularly warm, so you decided to wear a dress. The train, subway or bus you are riding is crowded. You glance over to the man sitting in front of you and realize his camera is pointed up your dress. Disgusted, you contact the police for […]

I Wish the Pope Would Step Up

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The first time I spoke publicly about being repeatedly raped by a priest when I was between the ages of 14 and 15 was when we announced the settlement of my case—one week before I went to join advocates filing a complaint against the pope with the International Criminal Court at The Hague. I was […]

Remembering the Women Murdered in Albuquerque

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Five years ago, on February 2, 2009, investigators unearthed a mass grave on the west edge of Albuquerque, N.M. In it were the bodies of 11 women, some of whom had been missing for more than five years. The women had been murdered, then buried on the mesa. I reported half a dozen stories about […]

Rape Culture Taken Seriously: More Indictments in Steubenville

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Four more people have been indicted in the infamous Steubenville, Ohio rape case. All  are adults affiliated with Steubenville schools. The town of Steubenville drew national attention when a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by two of Steubenville High School’s football stars at a party in August 2012—a crime captured in part by social media. […]

California Bill to Help Sexual-Abuse Victims Sits on Governor’s Desk

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California Senate Bill 131, otherwise known as the The Child Victims Act, was passed by the state Legislature earlier this year–but it’s still sitting on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. He has until October 13 to sign the bill, veto it or let it pass into law without signing. The governor, a former Jesuit seminarian, is  […]

Abercrombie & Fitch Affiliate Discriminates on Five Fronts

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Twenty-two-year-old Umme-Hani Khan was a stockroom worker at a Hollister clothing store in San Mateo, CA, until she was fired in February 2010 for refusing to remove her hijab, or Muslim headscarf. Khan had been working at the Abercrombie & Fitch-owned retail outlet for four months, and complying with company “look policies” dictating the color […]

Hollaback App Helps Victims Tell the Mayor About Street Harassment

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For New York women tired of being cat-called and harassed in the street, there may be  a new solution. Speaker of the New York City Council (and mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn has partnered with Hollaback!, an anti-street harassment group, to create a smartphone app that would allow women to report incidents of street harassment directly […]