Department of Justice Reports Increase of Rape, Sexual Assault, and Domestic Violence in US
According to a new Department of Justice (DOJ) report, the rates of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence in the United States have soared over the past two years. The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), a biannual report from the DOJís Office of Justice Programs, estimated at least 248,300 rapes and sexual assaults occurred in 2007, a 25 percent increase from 2005 levels. Estimates of domestic violence incidents rose by 42 percent between 2005 and 2007.
Incidence of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence increased the most of all violent crimes since 2005, while reported rates of most violent crimes, including robbery and aggravated assault, decreased.
The Office of Justice Programs used revised methods to collect data for the 2007 report, which may account for some of the differences from the 2005 analysis. In a Human Rights Watch statement, researcher Sarah Tofte said, "The new numbers indicate that previously, the government significantly underestimated the number of individuals affected by domestic and sexual violence in this country. Authorities should urgently adjust public policies, law enforcement, and provision of support services accordingly."
Media Resources: US Department of Justice 12/17/08; Human Rights Watch 12/18/08; National Crime Victimization Survey 2007
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .