Week of Dec 22nd and Dec 29th
Department of Justice Reports Increase of Rape, Sexual Assault, and Domestic Violence in US
The Feminist Daily News Wire reported this morning about a recently released report by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The report said that the “rates of rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence in the United States have soared over the past two years.”
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Decreased Reporting of Sexual Assaults in Military Academies
The Feminist Daily News reported earlier today that, “sexual assault reporting rates within national military academies are low and have significantly dropped, according to the Department of Defense (DOD). The DOD released results from the Academic Program Year 2007-2008 Service Academy Gender Relations Survey in December. The survey indicates that at military academies, approximately 90 percent of sexual assaults are unreported.”
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Bay Area Women Against Rape looks for ways to raise money as cuts loom

OAKLAND — Bay Area Women Against Rape, held a fundraiser to raise money for programs and services that could be lost in the upcoming year. “The group raised $2,050 for direct client services, which includes about 4,000 calls for rape crisis services annually and the education of another 11,000 people annually through its programs…”

…BAWAR officials said they also raised awareness about restorative justice programs conducted inside state prisons — some of the “most compelling rape prevention work that the agency has done since its inception in 1971,” said Marcia Blackstock, BAWAR executive director.
“People often ask us to teach them how to prevent rape, and we have to say that we can’t,” Blackstock said. “It is impossible to prevent something you are not doing.” Blackstock said her agency can teach people how to lessen their risks, but “the only way rape will end is when rapists stop raping, hence our work with prisoners.”
At California State Prison Solano, BAWAR runs the Victims/Offenders Reconciliation Program, a group of violent offenders who acknowledge culpability and responsibility for their crimes and then work to understand the long-term emotional and psychological trauma the crimes have caused victims and their families.
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Women’s Caucus Puts Health at Top of Its ’09 List
By Rich Daly, WeNews correspondent
The Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues is lining up a solid bipartisan roster for the next session: female heart disease, human trafficking, sexual and domestic violence, women in the military, a backlog of DNA evidence in rape cases.
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Laws to Track Sex Offenders Encouraging Homelessness
By Karl Vick
LOS ANGELES — Upon release from state custody, Ross Wollschlager began an intensive search for a home, one that abided by the restrictions imposed on convicted sex offenders in California — and, in various versions, by about 30 other states. Obliged by law to return to Ventura County, the convicted rapist was forbidden to sleep within 2,000 feet of a school or a park.
Strict new laws aimed at keeping track of sex offenders after they leave prison appear to be having the opposite effect, encouraging homelessness in a population believed more likely to re-offend if cast into the streets without structure or family support, say prosecutors, police, parole officials and experts on managing sex offenders.
The issue is starkest in California, where the number of sex crime parolees registering as transient has jumped more than 800 percent since Proposition 83 was passed in November 2006. The “Jessica’s Law” initiative imposed strict residency rules and called for all offenders to wear Global Positioning System bracelets for the rest of their lives.
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States wrestle with how to fund federal sex offender law
By DIANE JENNINGS / The Dallas Morning News
An effort to create uniform nationwide standards for how to keep track of sex offenders has stalled largely because states being asked to comply with the new federal guidelines can’t or won’t pay the costs.
After Texas legislators convene in January, they’ll have to decide whether to comply with a new federal law that came without funding, or to stick with existing state statutes.