The Rusty Taste of Shame

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The new issue of Ms. magazine is “Blowing the Whistle on Campus Rape”–the title of the cover story by Occidental College professors Caroline Heldman and Danielle Dirks. Here, a professor at the University of Oregon joins the chorus of activists breaking the silence on sexual assaults—which 1 in 5 women students will experience in their […]

California Takes on Campus Rape — And So Does Ms.

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If a bill proposed in the California legislature passes and is signed into law, it won’t be enough for a campus sexual assault perpetrator to defend himself by claiming, “She didn’t say no!” Rather, he’ll have to prove that she said “Yes!” Co-authored by state Sen. Kevin de León, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) […]

Childhood Sex Abuse: Ending the Silence

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TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ABUSE What if every survivor of sexual abuse picked up the phone, called their abusers and confronted them like this woman did? (Or wrote an “open letter” in The New York Times like this woman did?) That would be a lot of calls. One in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys have […]

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 […]

Thank You, White House, for Taking on Violence Against Women

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President Obama’s administration has been plagued from the outset by Republicans’ persistent effort to chip away at women’s human rights. Two recent examples: In 2012, Republicans stalled the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act for the first time since it was signed in 1994. In 2013, 70 measures to restrict access to abortion were […]

Supreme Court Will Decide on Re-Arming Domestic Abusers

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For a domestic violence victim, whether her partner owns a gun can be the difference between life and death. One in four women in the United States experiences domestic violence in her lifetime, and these women are five times more likely [PDF] to be murdered when their intimate partners own a firearm. Putting a gun in […]

Utah Marriage Equality on Hold: What’s Next?

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UPDATE: Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s office has announced that the state will not recognize the same-sex weddings that have already taken place there. “Shameful. Game on,” said National Center for Lesbian Rights’ executive director Kate Kendell on Facebook. NCLR has announced it will be a co-counsel in the Utah marriage appeal. The news yesterday that […]

Tell D.C. Police to Take Rape Seriously!

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[TRIGGER WARNING: STORY ON SEXUAL ASSAULT LEGISLATION] Marissa was raped in Washington, D.C., two years ago. The detective sent to investigate told her that bringing charges against the perpetrator would ruin the rapist’s life. He told her that her “words said no, but what about the other signals she was sending?” He said she did […]

Looming at the Supreme Court: Your Boss May Want to Be Your Doctor

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Hobby Lobby is: A) A group of Washington, D.C., lobbyists who think the government should support hobbyists with tax breaks for scrapbooking, model train building and needlepoint B) An arts and crafts chain with more than 500 stores in 41 states C) A company that doesn’t want to offer its employees insurance for some forms […]

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. […]