Police Cruelty, Violence and Rape in Tunisia

I found this article interesting because these bold women reached out to the community about their experiences with the local police forces. Under multiple dictatorships, it took a lot to expose the truths behind their local law enforcement departments.

Hamida Ajengui was 21 when she was arrested and taken to the department where she was hung upside down, stripped, beaten, and threatened with rape. The police in this country used shame as a way to get prisoners to see others being tortured and convincing them that they are worthless and life wouldn’t get any better for them even if they were released. The point of this experiment is to get all of these testimonies o the government during public hearings and exposing the corruption and violence within their government.


Alexander Herrera


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“SlutWalk” protest against sexual violence hits Jerusalem

I thought this article would be very relevant since we just read about slutwalks in our book “Some Men”

In this recent article it talks about how hundreds of people gathered the streets of  Jerusalem in protest of the prevalence of sexual violence in Israel and around the world.   Just like in our book “Some Men” the article states that slutwalks started in 2011 when a Canadian policeman stated “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.”  So Toronto activists organized the first slutwalk on April 3, 2011 in reaction to the policeman’s statement.

The first slutwalk in Israel took place in Tel Aviv in 2012 and has since continued. Event organizers for the event in Jerusalem explained that the goal of the event was to protest the idea that “women bring rape and sexual violence upon themselves by acting or dressing a certain way.”   One of the organizers stated that “We are here to protest the norm in which women cannot feel safe in the public area” referring to what protesters call victim shaming. Obviously this a global problem that is on the rise so my question is how far do you think protesters will have to go to get their voice heard? Not just in Jerusalem or Canada but across the world?


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Ending Impunity for Femicide in Latin America


In this article, a Model Protocol has been launched to guide prosecutions and investigations of gender-based violence, or in this case murders of women in Latin America. The protocol was designed to help states to address the violence and justify their cases as well as aiming to ensure women live free from all violence and discrimination. A term used often in the article, “femicide”, is new to me but not to the woman in Latin America. The Swiss Government has statistics stating that globally there are 65,000 cases of femicide annually. Increasing rates of violence against women have been reported world wide, but of the twenty five countries with the highest rates of femicide, over half takes place in the Americas. The women facing these violent acts in most cases are killed by men they know or had former relations with, family members, and even friends. Gangs and criminal groups are also targeting women with higher rates of organized crime, human trafficking, drug trafficking, and the lack of adequate, legal framework. Several countries in Latin America have altered codes around gender related killings and have adopted measures in eradicating gender based violence. “Impunity rather than accountability continues to be the norm in many contexts”. We can relate this to our readings in Some Men, and how accountability is questioned with where to go, who to please, and how to go about addressing the issues. This protocol is a way to collaborate efforts to address and challenge impunity in the killings of women.

Do you agree that impunity is the “norm” rather than accountability efforts? What other actions would assist the protocol in making it more successful? Do you think it will create great change for the women in Latin America, and globally?


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Why Don’t Women Report Their Attackers?

This article is about a study that was done about the percentage of women who actually report their attackers. This study showed that only a small “seven percent of women worldwide report gender-based violence against them.” This article points out that in countries like India there have been many things that should have sparked an interest in the topic, but simply haven’t. They talk about the strategies that have been used to spread, and advocate for this problem; some of them may need to be changed. They also report that very few women even report to a family member or friend, but it is more likely for this to happen. They study showed that it was more likely for the women to tell an unofficial source if the people were living in poverty. The article also speaks about how the women aren’t talking and reporting because they don’t get the support they need when they do. The doctors, police, and other official sources do not show that they care about the situation and are doing something about it.

As I was reading through the article I was thinking that what they women in the study were saying was true, especially from other countries. They don’t get the support they need. Instead they get sent home later to find out nothing happens. What needs to change to encourage these women to report? What needs to change for the official reporters to show they care, or are actually going to do something about the situation? Thoughts?

Taylor Lowman

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Banning Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria


Gender based violence is an issue that has been around for many years. This is a global problem that is raising attention in several areas around the world. According to Stella Mukasa, the assistant director of gender, violence and rights at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), “Globally, 35 percent of women have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime” (Mukasa, 2015). Gender based violence is a subject that can be found anywhere within a society no matter the religious beliefs, economic status, or location of the victim and perpetrator.

This article focuses on gender based violence in Nigeria and the passing of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill. The VAPP bill refers to the banning of the many forms of gender based violence and it is a major step for Nigeria’s females to end gender based violence once and for all. According to Mukasa this will not only be a positive change for Nigeria, but it can also be globally significant. Although legislative actions will be very helpful in the movement against gender based violence Mukasa also states that it is important to realize that this is not the only thing that can be done to prevent and stop it.

Ending gender based violence will take both legislative and societal measures. It is important for the citizens within societies to enforce that violence against women and girls is morally wrong. It is also vital that we work together to make our communities safe environments from violence and perpetrators of gender based violence. The article gives ideas of how to get the community involved in the effort to end gender based violence. These suggestions include working within school systems and the media to educate the public about this topic and show ways to prevent and stop it from happening, encouraging victims to report their perpetrators and take a stand, and addressing the stigma that surrounds talking about gender based violence. Although complete prevention of this issue may not be achieved it is also important to provide supportive services to females who have been victims of violence.

I found this article to be extremely beneficial when thinking about the topic of gender based violence and it made me think of the things that maybe I as a citizen could suggest to the community to give awareness to this topic. What type of community programs do you think can be suggested to give awareness to the topic of gender based violence? What would be included in this program? Types of services for victims?

-Kimberly Gaskins

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Be AWARE! You can help!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ariel-zwang/domestic-violence awarene_3_b_7424028.html


Do you want some good news?

We have all read about numerous domestic violence incidents involving celebrities lately, and seen plenty on the news.  But, is anything helping?  Is the assistance that society offers to victims doing any good?  Apparently, yes.  According to Ariel Zwang, CEO of Safe Horizon,( the largest anti-domestic violence organization in the country), domestic violence awareness is at an all time high.

This article relates some good statistics showing that we are indeed making headway in the fight against domestic violence and that the various assistances that communities have put in place are making a difference.

#PutTheNailinIt is a new public awareness campaign and fundraiser which asks the public to show their support for anti-domestic violence efforts at Safe Horizon. People are being asked to donate – any amount… even a dollar – and then paint their ring fingernail purple. Safe Haven, based in New York, believes this simple gesture will have a profound impact in enabling their organization to continue and expand work that is actually ending domestic violence.

What Works?

There has been a 63% reduction in incidents of domestic violence that do not result in death in the US since 1994 according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics . Additionally, between 1976 & 2005, there has been a 48% reduction in intimate partner homicides.

There are the seven interventions that – according to research — do work.

7 Things That Are Proven to End Domestic Violence

  1. Domestic Violence Shelters

2. Orders of Protection (aka Restraining Orders)

  1. Advocacy
  1. Legal Representation and Advocacy
  1. Hotlines
  1. Counseling
  1. Economic Empowerment

The information about the campaign is below… and be sure to link to the full article which gives many other details about the interventions.  Please take some time to consider whether or not this is something that you can support!

“It’s up to us all to keep domestic violence a social priority by pushing the discussion and by also supporting the solutions. On Sunday, June 14 starting at 3p ET,Investigation Discovery is supporting #PutTheNailinIt by dedicating an afternoon of programming that addresses this issue. Check your local listings at IDChannelFinder.com. Join the conversation on Twitter during the programming marathon to chat with domestic violence survivors and advocates. Be sure to follow @DiscoveryID, #InspireADifference and #PutTheNailinIt.” – Ariel Zwang, CEO, Safe Horizon


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Courtney Williams: post on the arrest of Chicago Bears player Ray McDonald



The article I chose was about the arrest of Chicago Bears player Ray McDonald. In the article the arrest of McDonald for domestic violence is talked about. McDonald, who was released from the 49ers in December for another case of domestic violence, was just picked up not to long ago by the Bears as a “second chance.” However, due to his recent arrest his second chance has been taken away from him and he has been released from the team.


The event that led to the arrest of McDonald occurred Monday at approximately 3:48am; McDonald got into an altercation with his ex-fiancé and assaulted her while she was holding their child. McDonald then fled the scene but was arrested around 6am at a friend’s house.


This case reminds me a lot of the Ray Rice case, which was discussed heavily in my social policy class earlier this year. The main perpetrator is a well-known football player who assaults his significant other, and almost gets away with it. As a matter of fact in McDonald’s case he did get away with it the first time. This is the second time McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence, and he has even gone to trial for an accused sexual assault. However, even after being released from one team he was picked up by another, proving that violence against women is okay in our society.


I believe the only reason both McDonald and Rice were cut from their teams is because of the uproar of society. The NFL is not interested in protecting women, but they are interested in protecting their players and doing what’s best for their teams despite the actions of the players. If it was not for society banning together to say “hey, domestic violence isn’t okay” I believe both Rice and McDonald would still be playing today.

Courtney Williams

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Art Against Gender Based Violence


On June 2nd, 2014 a group of artists gathered around to talk about how their work could advance the understanding and representation for victims of gender based violence. One of the main speakers, Stella Damasus, spoke on the matter that these artists have the power to speak out on subjects that are commonly taboo for common conversation. She states that in order to change a sense of comfort those with influence on media have to cause issues. They also go on to mention all of the benefits that media representation brings such as support and changing the minds of young generations for the better.

This article then goes on to mention statistics of gender based violence in Africa, one of the more common areas where all forms of gender based violence occur. And finally the artists explain how their works can change the norms of society by of course bringing fourth a new message in media and transcend barriers through the many diverse artists joining in this movement.

Hopefully their movement has picked up well in other countries as well as our own and is on the way to changing mindsets across the globe.

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Violence in Mexico

Sexual and gender-based violence is a growing issue in Mexico. Women are a main target to this growing problem and it is sad to say that 67% of women age 15 or older have experienced some type of violence and only 2% of crimes go punished by the judicial system. Being a Mexican American, my family in Mexico often times tell me about all the violence and problems going on, but they say that the government never does anything to stop it. The majority of the women who are victims of this are low income, illiterate, single mothers who are most of the time taking part in drug trafficking. These women are part of the lower level of the drug cartels were violence is a huge problem. Sometimes this is the only way these women receive any type of income, being that these women are the only providers for their family they see it as they have no other choice but to continue on with what they are doing. Mexican women run a high risk of being used for drug transportation or prostitution, making it difficult for them to simply walk down the street without the fear of being kidnapped by someone from the cartel. On my recent trip to Mexico this past December I didn’t notice that much violence (at least not were I stayed at), but the entire time I was there I was always cautious when walking outside, making sure I didn’t take out my cellphone or accidentally slip out an American dollar. My grandpa told me there are people watching you waiting for the right moment to snag your purse or your phone. My question is, with all the crime and violence going on and barely any of the crimes being punished by the judicial system; is there any hope for these women? What is your thought on the situation?




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Ending Violence Efforts


Gender-based violence is a global issue that is continuously growing all over the world. From discussing these matters with my friends and family, I realized that not many people are even aware of the many incidents or the awareness programs that are forming from the ongoing violence. In this article, domestic violence is the main topic of discussion and how the media is bringing all the attention in by using hash tags such as; #whyistayed, #whyileft, to better understand the victim’s situations, how they handled it, and that it is not their fault. It also talks about Safe Horizon, an organization to move victims from crisis to confidence. The organization launched a campaign, #PuttheNailInIt, for all to join hands by painting their ring finger nail purple to show they’ve donated and vowed to help end domestic violence.

I have never heard of the campaign but it sounds like a revolutionary movement. With social media taking over the lives of many, it seems that its a plus in this aspect. The best way to end violence is to make aware of the issues, provide access to help that is offered, and to let victims know they are not alone. Many people are subject to domestic violence, but their are so many people who want to help and support those in finding peace again. Productive efforts such as this campaign encourage others to act efficiently and the article provides statistics and ways that work to stop domestic violence.

My question for you, Is domestic violence gender-based? What efforts or organizations could you relate to the issue? Can you think of any other alternative approaches to ending domestic violence that aren’t listed?

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