Number of Reported Sexual Assaults in the Military Up in 2005
A report released this week by the Pentagon shows that reported sexual assaults in the military increased in 2005 by 40 percent over 2004. According to the report, much of the increase can be attributed to new reporting guidelines that were put in place following widespread criticism of the military’s handling of sexual assault cases in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait, as well as in the military service academies. A total of 2,374 sexual assaults were reported in 2005 in which either the victim or the alleged perpetrator was a member of the military. Of these cases, 274 resulted in punitive action against the alleged perpetrator and 352 were still being processed, according to the report.
The new reporting guidelines allow victims of sexual assault to report attacks and receive counseling and other services anonymously, according to the Washington Post. Previously, a victim could only receive help if she or he allowed an investigation to be initiated, which were not confidential, opening the victim up to potential retaliation or harassment.
“[Sexual assault] is the most underreported crime in our society,” Roger Kaplan, a Pentagon spokesperson, said, according to the Associated Press. “The key, at least in the military, is to make it less. We want victims to have treatment. And the more who come forward, the better chance we have of taking action and getting the offenders off the streets.”
Media Resources: Pentagon report 3/14/06; Washington Post 3/16/06; Associated Press 3/16/06
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .