NYC Establishes Civil Rights Remedy for Victims of Gender-Biased Crime
On November 30, a New York City Council Committee passed a new law that would allow victims of rape, domestic violence, and other crimes motivated by gender bias to sue the perpetrators in civil cases. NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is expected to sign the bill this week, making the city the first in the nation to establish this civil right for victims of violence against women since the May Supreme Court decision nullifying the civil rights remedy of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act See Feminist News, May 15, 2000). In that ruling, the Supreme Court declared that the regulation of crime was under the jurisdiction of the states and localities, not with Congress. New York City is the first to take steps to establish such protections for victims of violence against women since the ruling. The new measure allows women to bring suit up to seven years after an incident, and allows them to sue for lawyers’ fees and punitive damages as well as compensation. It requires plaintiffs to prove that the acts were motivated by gender bias; typical evidence in such cases includes anti-woman epithets and acts that “perpetuated stereotypes of women’s submissive role.” The New York Times reported that, while overall crime in New York City has been declining, incidents of domestic violence have remained steady.
Media Resources: New York Times - December 1, 2000
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .