Most folks would be happy if their neighbors got evicted after three different “disorderly behavior” instances in less than three months. No one wants to deal with that much partying, dog barking, or loud music, right? But a “three strikes” disorderly behavior ordinance in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is now being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of PA because instead of just evicting noisy nuisance neighbors, it is being used to evict innocent domestic violence victims for calling the police for help.
The ACLU filed this week on behalf of Lakisha Briggs, a domestic violence victim who called the police last year when her ex-boyfriend assaulted her; they arrived and arrested him. But police also told Briggs that if they kept returning to the residence over disorderly behavior calls, she would get evicted. Not surprisingly, Briggs was afraid to call the police regarding future incidents — including the time her ex-boyfriend attacked her with a brick — over fear that she and her three-year-old child would become homeless. And yet after a June 2012 attack from her ex-boyfriend that had Briggs airlifted to the hospital, police of Norristown threatened to evict them from their home because neighbors had called to complain. Keep reading »
The Department of Justice issued new national medical guidelines yesterday revising the 2004 standard of care for victims of sexual assault. Instead of focusing on the criminal justice aspect of evidence collection during the medical exams, the emphasis now is to support the victim’s health needs — including offering female victims yemergency contraception or information on how to obtain EC. The guidelines also encourage victims to undergo forensic evidence collection, even if she does not plan to report the rape to police immediately, and stipulates how evidence should be collected and what equipment should be used to do so. As explained by The New York Times, “The guidelines emphasize that the rape victim’s physical and emotional needs should take precedence over criminal justice considerations.” Keep reading »
Anti-trafficking advocates, LGBT organizations, lawmakers and public health advocates have gathered in Albany, New York today to push for new legislation about condoms. Yes, condoms.
Currently 39 million male condoms and two million female condoms are distributed for free in New York State. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, “Consistent and correct use of the male latex condom reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV transmission.” If used correctly, rubbers can also prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Yet having pockets full of condoms could also lead to a potential prostitution arrest by law enforcement, or even be used as incriminating evidence by prosecutors in trial. If trafficking victims, sex workers, LGBTQ persons and others are targeted by law enforcement, what is the incentive to have safe sex? Keep reading »
In case you had somehow forgotten just how bizarre and unrealistic the Barbie ideal actually is, this new infographic makes the whole crazy thing very, very clear. Check out all of the statistics at the source. [The Fashion Spot via Rehabs.com]
Meet Katelyn Campbell, a high school student council vice president, Wellesley College-bound senior, and sex education rabble-rouser who is filing an injunction against her principal for threats he made after she boycotted and spoke out against an abstinence-only sex-ed assembly at her school.
According to ThinkProgress.org, Principal George Aulenbacher at George Washington High School in West Virginia threatened to call up Wellesley College to complain that Campbell had “bad character” because she refused to attend the abstinence assembly and filed a complaint with the ACLU because the public school event was hosted by a conservative religious organization.
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