Week of October 1st
Sexual harassment cases
Anita Hill responded to Clarence Thomas’s claims in his recently release memoir in which he recounts his contentious confirmation hearings, in a New York Times opinion piece.
Hill said, “I stand by my testimony…I will not stand by silently and allow him, in his anger, to reinvent me.” Click here to continue reading the opinion piece.
Former Knicks executive Anucha Browne Sanders, was awarded $11.6 million in sexual-harassment suit earlier this week.
She was awarded “punitive damages in her claim against Knicks coach Isiah Thomas for harassing her, and against Madison Square Garden, L.P. and the chairman of Cablevision, the parent company of the Knicks and MSG, for allowing a hostile work environment and firing her when she complained.”
The Feminist Daily News reported earlier this week that the “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on Tuesday accused the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) of violating civil-rights law through a pattern of discrimination, harassment and retaliation against black and woman employees.” Its findings came after investigating discrimination complaints from two anonymous women firefighters. The LAFD must now implement drastic reforms or face a possible federal lawsuit.”

Campus Gets $1M to Lead UC Response to Violence Against Women

The University of California, Davis, was awared “nearly $1 million federal grant to help the UC’s 10 campuses improve their response to violence against women.”
UC Davis will lead the effort “to develop a systemwide strategic plan to enhance prevention programs and victim support services. The project will encourage adoption of comprehensive campus guidelines for responding to incidents and referring victims to campus and community resources. In addition, it will help to bring nationally recognized best practices and policies on violence against women to the campuses and to implement others developed at UC.”
Jennifer Beeman, the director of the violence prevention program at UC Davis said:

“We are looking forward to building upon and sharing the expertise we have gained through our long and productive collaboration with the federal Office on Violence Against Women. We want to work with other campuses to create a model intervention within the state of California.”

The project will collaborate with two major organizations. The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) “will bridge the project with rape crisis centers in communities surrounding campuses. The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training will help develop and deliver specialized training for law enforcement agencies on campuses.”
Sandy Ortman, director of special programs for CALCASA, commented on the experience of UC Davis and that the UC system has been encouraging women to report sexual assault incidents:

“UC Davis has the experience, the commitment to the issues — and a chancellor who understands the issues.
“Increased reporting of incidents against women can actually be a good thing. What it means is that you provide helpful, caring and appropriate services so women come forward. It speaks to the level of service being provided.”

VAWA Appropriations Update!
On Thursday, October 4th, the Senate passed the FY 2008 Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill and included an amendment that provides $10 million more to VAWA programs! The amendment provides:
· $5 million to partially restore the cut the Senate CJS Committee had previously proposed to Grants to Encourage Arrest and Enforcement of Protection Orders;
· $4 million for Engaging Men and Youth in Prevention Efforts; and
· $1 million for a National Resource Center on Workplace Responses to Assist Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence.
This year the Senate bill includes $418 million for VAWA programs within the Department of Justice. The House passed a $459 million funding bill. In addition, the Senate and House CJS appropriations bill contain $10 million for the Sexual Assault Services Act (SASP).
Both the House and the Senate will “conference” the two different appropriations bills together and work out their differences, pass the new version in both the House and Senate and then send the bill to the President for his signature. However, earlier this week President Bush vetoed the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP) and has threatened to veto any spending bill that provides more money than he had requested for a specific agency in his FY 2008 budget plan.
You haven’t missed your chance to make your voice heard. PLEASE take a few moments to contact your Senators and Representatives. Urge them to override a Presidential Veto! Tell your legislator about the financial need for rape crisis centers in your State to provide both prevention programs and direct services for victims.
Activists demand that Japan make reparations to sex slaves
Connie Kang, a Los Angeles Times Staff Writer reported, that activists are preparing for “a historic world conference in Los Angeles on the sexual enslavement of women and girls by the Japanese military.”
On Wednesday, former sex slaves and human rights activists from around the world “demanded that Japan issue an official apology and make reparations to the victims of Japan’s wartime crimes.”
A recently released documentary, TRADE, highlights “the dark world of human trafficking, a crime that exists in our own backyards…. In the film, a 13-year-old girl from Mexico City is kidnapped by sex traffickers, smuggled across the Rio Grande border and held prisoner in a “stash house” in New Jersey on a street that looks just like thousands of other streets in suburban USA. The girl represents one of an estimated 18,000 — 20,000 people who are brought to the United States and used for forced labor or sex, according to State Department figures.”
Designer Indicted in Sex Assault Case
The Associated Press
Reported that “celebrity fashion designer Anand Jon Alexander was indicted on 59 counts of sexual assault in a move prosecutors said Thursday would keep his accusers from having to testify at a preliminary hearing.” Alexander is suspected of meeting women on the Internet then assaulting them when they visited with him about modeling opportunities.
Prosecutors previously charged Alexander with more than 40 felony and misdemeanor counts involving 18 victims that included rape, sexual battery and committing a lewd act on a child. He pleaded not guilty to the earlier charges.