Turkish Government Taking Unprecedented Steps Against
Facing pressure from women's groups and the European Union, the Turkish government has begun a major media campaign condemning all violence towards women, especially so-called "honor" killings. They will also set up hotlines, rescue teams, and town hall meetings in the Kurdish southeastern area of the country, where the rate of honor killings is particularly high. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a conservative, has spoken out against the archaic practice, telling the Organization of the Islamic Conference that honor killings need to be abolished from all Islamic societies.
Honor killings are murders performed by male relatives who feel that a female family member has tarnished the family honor with "unchaste" or "disobedient" behavior ranging from expressing the desire to work outside of the home to speaking up about abuse or rape. Last year, Turkish women's groups told Time magazine that approximately 70 women die each year in honor killings in Turkey, though many more go unrecorded. The Los Angeles Times estimates that "thousands of women have died, been attacked, or compelled to commit suicide in so-called honor killings."
Turkey has previously been denied integration into the European Union in part because of its poor treatment of women, Time reports. In response, the government opened the first legitimate women's shelter in southeastern Turkey in 2005 and now houses about 50 women, many in their early 20s and victims of rape. Last year, jail sentences for men who commit honor killings were stiffened, and it is now harder for those sentences to be reduced.
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .