Women Will Oversee Sex-Crime Cases in Philadelphia
In the first program of its kind, women's groups such as Women Organized Against Rape and the Women's Law Project will oversee police investigators assessing sexual assault complaints.
This committee of women will oversee police classifications of sexual assault complaints to ensure that statistics are accurate and cases don't get lost in the system.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last year the scandal that city police were not reporting thousands of sexual assault complaints. City police classified sex-crimes cases as "investigation of person" between 1984 and 1997 - thus keeping the cases out of the city's official crime tally.
Carole Johnson, executive director of Women Organized Against Rape, said "Many women believe if police don't report the crime, it doesn't matter. We work for the victims and hopefully that will encourage more victims to come forward."
The Feminist Majority Foundation's National Center for Women & Policing works to promote this type of community policing and also to increase the number of women in law enforcement and to improve police response to domestic violence.
Media Resources: The Associated Press - March 22, 2000, and Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .