Sexual Assault

Congress Has a Bone to Pick with the VA

Congress Has a Bone to Pick with the VA

By Elayne Weiss, Washington Legislative Office at 10:39am
Last month, the ACLU and the Service Women's Action Network, with support from the Yale Law School Veterans Legal Clinic, released a report documenting the discrimination experienced by military veterans who file disability claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by military sexual violence. Battle for Benefits: VA Discrimination Against Survivors of Military Sexual Violence analyzes new data obtained from the VA by SWAN, the ACLU, and the ACLU of Connecticut as a result of Freedom of Information Act litigation we filed three years ago.
My University Has Failed Me

My University Has Failed Me

By "Gabrielle" at 11:01am

I entered my first relationship during the beginning of my freshman year of college at Carnegie Mellon University. Everything was going just as I had hoped. I loved my classes and my new friends and I was dating another woman in my program. However,…

Battle for Veterans' Disability Benefits: VA Discrimination Against Survivors of Military Sexual Violence

Battle for Veterans' Disability Benefits: VA Discrimination Against Survivors of Military Sexual Violence

By Sandra S. Park, Staff Attorney, ACLU Women's Rights Project at 9:05am

Ruth Moore was raped by her supervisor while serving in the Navy. After she left the service, she fought for 23 years with the Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA") before obtaining disability benefits based on the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PTSD")…

Silent No More: A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About “Legitimate Rape”

Silent No More: A Rape Survivor Speaks Out About “Legitimate Rape”

By Rachel Marshall, Washington Legislative Office at 12:55pm

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a rape victim. This is not typically how I would introduce myself, but with the current national discourse, I can’t stand by silently anymore. You see, before my freshman year of college I was at a party where…

State Legislatures Full of Akins

State Legislatures Full of Akins

By Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 6:49pm

So much has been said about Rep. Todd Akin in the past few days and yet there’s so much more I still want to say. But I won’t (except for a little bit at the end) because, Todd Akin is just a piece of the story

ACLU Releases New Report on Widespread Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

ACLU Releases New Report on Widespread Police Brutality in Puerto Rico

By Ateqah Khaki at 10:18am

The ACLU today released a report that finds the Puerto Rico Police Department -- the second-largest police department in the U.S. -- is plagued by a culture of unrestrained abuse and brutality. The use of excessive or lethal force is routine among…

Justice Department Takes First Steps to Protect Kids from Rape

Justice Department Takes First Steps to Protect Kids from Rape

By Amy Fettig, ACLU National Prison Project at 11:41am

In 2003, Congress took an important first step in addressing a national tragedy: epidemic levels of rape and sexual abuse in our nation’s prisons, jails and youth detention centers. The Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), passed unanimously…

New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

New Federal Standards Offer Unprecedented Protections to LGBTI Prisoners

By Leslie Cooper, LGBT Project at 2:25pm

Yesterday the Department of Justice (DOJ) released the long-awaited National Standards to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Prison Rape. These standards – the first of their kind—create an historic opportunity to put an end to the epidemic of sexual abuse in prison, which disproportionately affects prisoners who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or have intersex conditions (LGBTI).

One Year Longer?  Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

One Year Longer? Why Won’t DHS Protect Its Detainees under the Prison Rape Elimination Act Right Now?

By Chris Rickerd, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:18pm

The Prison Rape Elimination Act was passed by a unanimous Congress in 2003, with regulations due by June 2010. It was clearly intended to cover all detainees, civil and criminal. Two years later, the Obama administration at last released the final implementing rules for PREA. Commendably, the Department of Justice reversed its prior position that PREA doesn’t cover all immigration detainees. Yet the Department of Homeland Security – despite an abysmal track record of preventing and investigating sexual abuse and assault in its facilities, which was recently exposed on PBS’s Frontline – got a 360-day extension on PREA compliance.

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