The Department of Justice announced yesterday that it is launching an investigation into the handling of sexual assault reports at the University of Montana in Missoula. The investigation was prompted by the large number of sexual assaults; there have been 80 reported cases of rape at the university in the past three years. There have been 11 sexual assault reports involving students at the University of Montana in the past eighteen months. The Justice Department will probe complaints that the local police department failed to fully investigate and prosecute reports of sexual assault and discriminated on the basis of gender.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez, head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, said "there are a lot of women in the community who have strong concerns about the manner in which sexual assaults have been handled." He said the investigation will look into whether local law enforcement and university officials "acted promptly, fairly, and adequately to protect the interests of women" and said "our primary focus is not the number of reported allegations of sexual assault; rather, our focus is on the response."
University officials said they will cooperate with the investigation. Missoula County's chief prosecutor, Fred Van Valkenburg, blasted the investigation and defended his office. He called the investigation an "overreach by the federal government."
Media Resources: CNN 5/2/12; Reuters 5/1/12; NPR 5/1/12; Bloomberg 5/1/12; Huffington Post 5/1/12
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women.
Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .
10/21/2014 Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado - Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion.
In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67. . . .