Pope Benedict XVI has upbraided Irish Roman Catholic bishops over their handling of child sex abuse scandals.
 

He condemned abuse of children by priests as a "heinous crime", and said Irish bishops must act to restore the Church's "moral credibility".
 

During two days of meetings at the Vatican, the Pope reprimanded the bishops for a "failure ... for years to act effectively", a statement said.
 

Last year the Irish Church admitted covering up abuse for decades.
 

By Kimberly Hefling


WASHINGTON -- The sexual assault of employees of U.S. military contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan will be tracked by the Pentagon under a system it is setting up.


The tracking will likely begin this year, Defense official Gail McGinn said in a memo to the Pentagon's Inspector General included in a report released Friday.

By Rob Hotakainen


WASHINGTON — Megan's Law soon could go international.


The law, named after Megan Kanka, a 7-year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a neighbor in 1994, requires convicted sex offenders to be registered with the government, making it easier to track their whereabouts. Their names can then be put into databases, allowing the public to do a quick online check to determine where offenders reside.

Helena Merriman reports on a woman whose experience of sexual assault, while serving in the US Air Force in Afghanistan, turned her into a campaigner for the welfare of service women.


Marti Ribeiro was born into a military family.


Her grandfather and father were both in the Air Force - and all her life she had wanted to join the armed forces.


After she finished school she joined the Air Force Reserve and a few years later, in March 2003, she was deployed to Iraq.
 

By Laura Roberts


One in ten thought that dancing provocatively, flirting or wearing revealing clothing made them partly to blame.


Haven, the sexual assault clinics that commissioned the survey of 1,000 people of both sexes, said this prevailing attitude deterred victims from reporting the crime.


The study found that women were less forgiving of the victim than men with those aged between 18 and 24 most likely to judge.

Women who have been raped have much more difficulty in childbirth than their peers who have never suffered sexual abuse or violence, a new study shows.

 

"The challenging part seems to be in the second stage, when the baby is to descend and the woman should start pushing," Dr Lotte Halvorsen of the University Hospital of North Norway, who helped conduct the study, told Reuters Health in an email.

 

The Pentagon will begin providing emergency contraception (EC) at US military base health facilities worldwide, the Department of Defense announced yesterday.

Mike Martindale and George Hunter / The Detroit News


Detroit -- Some of the 10,500 rape evidence kits that have sat untested at the Detroit Police crime lab may soon be dusted off, thanks to a federal grant from a women's support group.

 

By Michael Smith

 

A novel emergency contraceptive is effective and well tolerated up to 120 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse, researchers said.

 

 

The finding makes ulipristal acetate the first emergency contraceptive to be effective for such a long period of time, according to Paul Fine, MD, of Planned Parenthood of Houston & Southeast Texas, and colleagues. They reported their findings in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

 

By Shari Roan

 

It's sometimes assumed that unmarried teenagers and young women become pregnant because they don't use contraception or because they want a baby. But the authors of a new study say there's another reason. Some women are coerced into pregnancy by their boyfriends. Young women even report that their boyfriends sabotage birth control to get them pregnant.

 

 

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