Court Tries to Limit Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners’ Testimony in Rape Trials
The weight of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners’ (SANE) testimony in trials of rape is in question, as three judges in Virginia have ruled that SANE nurses may not draw conclusions regarding whether or not the sex that occurred was consensual or forced and may only testify about injuries noticed during sexual assault examinations. An appeals court in Pennsylvania overturned a rape conviction and ruled SANE nurses could not testify as experts in any case. Sexual Assault advocates and SANE nurses are enraged, as theses recent rulings have under cut SANE nurses credibility and expertise in rape examination, health care and human sexuality.
SANE nurses often provide crucial testimony in rape trials, using research that shows women’s bodies respond differently during consensual sex than during rape and certain injuries a victim. Nearly 500 SANE nurses programs exist across the country.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .