UMD Set to Launch Sexual Assault Prevention Program
The University of Maryland, College Park is preparing to roll out a sexual assault prevention pilot program that could soon be mandated for all incoming students.
The program, dubbed Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP), will reach 300 to 600 of this fall's incoming freshman students. VIP gives students a comprehensive education on sexual assault and rape culture, including bystander intervention techniques that students can use on campus to eradicate sexual violence.
It's set to begin in late within the next month, and Maryland's University Senate will vote in October on whether or not to expand the pilot program to reach every new student. Activists expect a full mandate to be approved.
The program was created by sexual assault survivor Lauren Redding this past spring during her last semester at the university. Redding now works as the Feminist Majority Foundation's online communications associate and is leading the creation of FMF's first campus sexual violence prevention campaign.
Media Resources: The Diamondback 9/4/3013, 5/11/2013, 2/4/2013
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. . . .