By Ashley Killough

Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden targeted House Republicans on Friday in the fight to renew the normally-bipartisan Violence Against Woman Act.

A New York congresswoman’s proposed bill would force the Pentagon to better protect service members against sexual and domestic violence.

The Military Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Act, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., would establish an Office of Victims Advocate within the Pentagon and create confidentiality protocols to protect the rights of victims under military law.

By Jill King Greenwood
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pennsylvania is the only state that does not allow expert witness testimony about victim behavior to be offered during sexual assault criminal trials, such as the upcoming proceedings against former Penn State football defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

A bill in the state Senate Judiciary Committee would change that, and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape wants to see the measure expedited into law.

By Niraj Chokshi

At least five states are weighing making it harder for rapists to get parental rights.

By Amelia Rosch

If a bill currently in the U.S. House of Representatives becomes law, women who conceive as a result of rape will not have to worry about their rapists trying to seek child custody.

By A. G. Sulzberger and Laurie Goodstein

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A bishop in the Roman Catholic Church has been indicted for failure to report suspected child abuse, the first time in the 25-year history of the church’s sex abuse scandals that the leader of an American diocese has been held criminally liable for the behavior of a priest he supervised.

Documents released yesterday show that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York authorized payments, some as much as $20,000, to priests who sexually abused children as a means of encouraging them to leave the ministry. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) announced the findings after discovering them in the minutes of a Milwaukee archdiocese finance council meeting held in March 2003. The archdiocese called the payments "signing bonuses."

As early as the mid-1950s, decades before the clergy sexual-abuse crisis broke publicly across the U.S. Catholic landscape, the founder of a religious order that dealt regularly with priest sex abusers was so convinced of their inability to change that he searched for an island to purchase with the intent of using it as a place to isolate such offenders, according to documents recently obtained by NCR.

By Amnesty International

By Daphne Bramham


The RCMP is trying to verify a list of 31 girls aged 12 to 17, who over a 10-year period are alleged to have been transported by their fathers and brothers between Canada and the United States for religious marriages to older men.



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