By Cheryl Wittenauer - The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Nov 19, 2008 11:16:38 EST
ST. LOUIS — Retired Army Sgt. Angela Peacock once was outgoing, competitive and athletic. These days, she barely functions, trusts no one and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder that prevents her from working.
She has gained 100 pounds and chain smokes. She lives alone in northern St. Louis County on a military pension and disability.

Texas has become a major hub for human trafficking, state officials said yesterday while proposing a more aggressive response to what a senior government official described as "modern-day slavery".
Nearly 20% of human-trafficking victims found nationwide have been in Texas, according to a report released by the attorney general, Greg Abbott. The 57-page report, mandated by the legislature in 2007, also identifies Interstate 10 as a major route through Texas for human-trafficking rings.

By Dominique Soguel
BUKAVU, Democratic Republic of Congo (WOMENSENEWS)--Billboards on the dirt roads here in the capital of South Kivu are trying to change the attitude.

"Life is sacred. Rape is a crime," the signs trumpet.
The shooting war officially ended in 2006 but rape remains widespread in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, especially outside the cities, where armed combatants of Rwanda's genocidal war and Congo's conflict continue to operate, said Dr. Aziza Aziz Suleyman, a sexual violence social worker.

The Roman Catholic Church has issued guidance for future priests to have psychological tests to weed out those unable to control their sexual urges.

A senior churchman said a series of sex scandals had contributed to the rewriting of the guidelines.

The authors said screening would help avoid "tragic situations" caused by what they termed psychological defects.

(Los Angeles, October 20, 2008) -- The Los Angeles Police Department should make it a priority to reduce its huge backlog in testing evidence in rape cases, Human Rights Watch said today after release of an audit that shows the number of untested rape kits continues to grow despite nearly $4 million in federal grants the LAPD has received for that purpose.
(To continue reading article, visit this Human Rights Watch link)

The Department of Justice granted over $114 million yesterday as part of its efforts to address and prevent violence against women across the country. The Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women released the funds to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US territories through its STOP (Service, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program.

By William H. McMichael

The director of the Pentagon’s program to prevent and respond to sexual assault in the ranks is not surprised at a government investigation’s conclusion that far more rapes and other sexual assaults are being committed than reports indicate.

It’s one of the nation’s most underreported crimes, period, said Kaye Whitley, director of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

by Remi Adeoye

(AP) Starting next year across the country, rape victims too afraid or too ashamed to go to police can undergo an emergency-room forensic rape exam, and the evidence gathered will be kept on file in a sealed envelope in case they decide to press charges.
(To continue reading article, visit this CBS News link)

A judge ruled on Friday that an alleged Halliburton/KBR rape case can go to court, rather than closed arbitration. Jamie Leigh Jones, a former employee of Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, filed a lawsuit against her former employers in May 2007, stating that she was drugged and gang-raped by a group of her co-workers in the KBR camp in Iraq's Green Zone in 2005.
(To continue reading article, visit this Ms. Magazine link)


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