By Kevin Diaz
 

WASHINGTON - In a victory for Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, military contractor KBR has decided to drop a Supreme Court appeal in the case of a former company clerk who alleges she was raped by co-workers in Iraq.
 

The Pope's decision to issue a letter to Roman Catholics in Ireland to try to prevent further cases of child abuse by priests follows a wave of sex abuse scandals which have rocked the Church around the world. Here is a round-up of some of those events:


IRELAND


Two major reports into allegations of paedophilia among Irish clergy last year revealed the shocking extent of abuse, cover-ups and hierarchical failings involving thousands of victims, and stretching back decades.

By JIM DAVENPORT


South Carolina legislators Wednesday rejected plans to ban abortions in the state's health insurance plan in cases of rape or incest or when they're needed to protect a mother's health.


The late night debate and 57-54 vote came in the midst of discussion a $5 billion spending plan that left the House Ways and Means Committee last month with the abortion ban.


Democrats railed against it then and again Wednesday.

By Tracy Russo

 

On campuses, students face unique challenges. A victim of dating violence, domestic violence, or sexual assault may continue to live in danger if the perpetrator resides in the same dormitory or attends the same classes. On smaller campuses, a victim may wish to remain anonymous but may find this to be virtually impossible in such a small environment.

 

The Department of Defense today released the fiscal 2009 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military. 
 
 

Victims of rape and sexual violence worldwide are denied access to justice due to gender discrimination and assumptions about the sexual behaviour of victims of rape, Amnesty International said in two regional reports released on Monday.

 

To mark International Women's Day, Amnesty International released two reports looking at sexual violence in locations across the developed and developing world; specifically Cambodia and the Nordic Countries of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

 

By Rebecca Harshbarger

 

UNITED NATIONS, New York (WOMENSENEWS)--Isatu Kalokoh, a 32-year-old mother of three, lives in the far-eastern suburbs of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

 

In her community, 60 percent of the residents are women. Kalokoh is a housewife, but many of the women here making a living farming oysters, selling wood and working as petty traders of small retail goods.

 

Only about 100 women in her suburb can read, but a single female chief, elected over the resistance of many men, runs the community.

 

(This article first appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of Peace Corps WorldView, pp. 26-27.)

 

By Casey Frazee

 

The “Safety of the Volunteer 2007” report released by the Peace Corps Office of Safety and Security states that there were 253 incidents of rape, some form of physical or sexual assault, death threats or intimidation against Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) in 2007. That is roughly 3 percent of PCVs who served that year. When the statistics are compiled for 2009, I will, unfortunately, be among those numbers.

By Michael Bugeja

 

A college campus isn't the first place that comes to mind in a discussion about violent crime.

 

But research funded by the U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1 out of 5 college women will be sexually assaulted. NPR's investigative unit teamed up with journalists at the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) to look at the failure of schools — and the government agency that oversees them — to prevent these assaults and then to resolve these cases.

 

A Hidden Attack

 

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