A study commissioned by the German government has found that one in seven women in Germany is raped or sexually harassed at least once in her lifetime, yet only five percent report it to the police.
The regional officials who published the study estimated that between 150,000 and 300,000 women are victimized each year, with 75% under the age of sexual consent. Hesse state prosecuter Wolfram Schaedler said 83% of rape victims know their rapist, and that because many court proceedings are suppressed or delayed until at least two years after the crime, only 52% of suspects are ever indicted.
At a conference Sept. 7 in Saarbruecken, experts warned that repeated questioning and harassment by police and the legal system could lead to psychological disorders in rape victims. Saarland social affairs minister Barbara Wackernagel-Jacobs said that women often experience sexual violence for years before reporting it. "Only when perpetrators are no longer sure of the silence of their victims can violence be reduced."
Media Resources: Associated Foreign Press - September 6, 1997
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. . . .