Phoenix, the sixth largest city in the country, has the worst record of solving rape cases among the nation’s big cities, reports the Arizona Republic. Citing the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the Republic reports that on average the Phoenix Police Department catches sexual assailants less than a quarter of the time, compared to a national average of fifty percent. Police department leaders and victim advocates say one of the highest factors contributing to Phoenix’s dismal record in solving rape cases is a lack of funding, which has left sex crime units understaffed and the department in need of modernized equipment. Despite a 35 percent increase in Phoenix’s population, chief of Maricopa County Attorney’s Sex Crimes Bureau Cindi Nannetti says the city hasn’t added a detective since 1988. Add to that the fact that many jurisdictions don’t have a computer database where detectives can see patterns and share information about serial rapists, and that federal grants funding detectives to work on “cold cases” has nearly dried up. Stephanie Orr, executive director for the Center Against Abuse and Violence, says there is a “tremendous apathy” in Arizona to spend money on enforcement, education and support programs.
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. . . .