Academy of Pediatrics Urges Doctors to Ask About Sexual Assault
With recent data showing that adolescents have the highest national rate of rape, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that doctors ask their patients if they have ever been sexually assaulted. Data demonstrated that sexual assault rates for victims aged 12-19 were more than double the rates for victims aged 25 and older. The recommendations offer approaches to integrating the sexual assault question into annual check-ups, counseling referrals, and preserving rape and sexual assault evidence.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 383,000 women were the victims of rape or sexual assault in 1999, a slight increase from the previous year, and only 28.3 percent of those crimes were reported to law enforcement [Bureau of Justice Statistics National Crime Victimization Survey]. Almost seven in ten rape or sexual assault victims report that the offender was an intimate, relative, friend, or acquaintance.
Many feminist activists and anti-domestic violence groups across the nation have been raising awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault both in the U.S. and worldwide. One such group, called One in Four, has launched a 7-month walk across America, from San Francisco to Washington DC. The group, walking 20-30 miles each day, is calling for public funding for rape kits and exams for victims of sexual violence.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .