Violence Issues to Watch
The AAUW member-adopted Biennial Action Priorities advocates “freedom from violence and fear of violence in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.”
The History of AAUW's Position on Gun Violence Prevention
NYS Fact Sheet: Protecting Women From Gun Violence
Updated: Ocotber 18, 2017
- NYC bill would give workers claiming domestic abuse paid leave - New York City employers would need to grant paid time off to workers who claim to be victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse or other “family offense matters,” according to legislation passed Tuesday by the City Council.
- Study finds 75 percent of workplace harassment victims experienced retaliation when they spoke up - In 2016, the EEOC released a comprehensive study of workplace harassment in the United States, which concluded that “anywhere from 25% to 85% of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.” It’s a strikingly wide gap, but one that is very substantial even in its most conservative estimate — statistically predicting one in four people are affected by workplace sexual harassment.
- Addressing Domestic Violence Through Racial Justice - From the outset, racism puts survivors of color at a disadvantage. Black women experience intimate partner violence at a rate 35 percent higher than that of white women, and about 22 times the rate of women of other races. Sixty percent of Black girls will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18. Beginning as early as elementary school, girls of color who have experienced trauma are over-policed and over-criminalized within school systems, leading to higher engagements with juvenile justice systems. These girls are victimized by sexual violence at an earlier average age, and for a longer average duration, than other forms of abuse. In fact, 90 percent of girls in juvenile justice systems are survivors of violence.
- 6 Ways to Talk to Boys About Violence - Violent acts in the U.S. are overwhelmingly committed by men. Maybe talking to boys about violence can change that. We need the definition of masculinity to reflect the diversity present in men beyond the narrow box they have now. Not only to reduce the level of male violence but to also support men in accepting all parts of themselves and expressing themselves fully—without being shamed.
- DiNapoli: Schools Not Enforcing Anti-Bullying Law - New York schools have not implement key elements of an anti-bullying law, an audit released Friday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found. “The Dignity for All Students Act was created to protect students but four years later, many schools remain unsure of what to do and make serious errors in reporting incidents of harassment and bullying,” DiNapoli said.
- North Tonawanda law punishes parents for their kids' bullying - A new anti-bullying law passed by the North Tonawanda Common Council last week is the first of its kind in Western New York and may be the first in New York. It places the legal on us on parents of minors who bully other kids, host parties where laws are violated, or who stay out after the city’s curfew.
- The Trump administration has already been rolling back gun regulations - With less public attention, the Trump administration has eased some gun regulations in recent months. Among them: The Army Corps of Engineers has filed notice in a court case that it is reconsidering a ban on carrying firearms on its land; the Justice Department narrowed its definition of fugitives barred from purchasing weapons; and the Interior Department lifted a federal ban on hunting with lead ammunition in national parks.
- My Word (and welcome to it): America’s Epidemic of Gun Violence (Sept. 28, 2017)
- At least 50 dead, more than 400 injured after shooting on Las Vegas Strip - Police said an estimated 406 people were taken to area hospitals after the shooting. Authorities did not immediately specify how many of the people were wounded by gunfire or injured in the chaotic frenzy. The shooting marked the latest outbreak of gunfire and bloodshed to erupt in a public place, again transforming a seemingly routine night into one of terror. The carnage surpassed the death toll of 49 people slain when a gunman in Orlando opened fire inside a crowded nightclub in June 2016.
- More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows - More firearms do not keep people safe, hard numbers show. Why do so many Americans believe the opposite? In 2015 a combined analysis of 15 different studies found that people who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not. This evidence has been slow to accumulate because of restrictions placed by Congress on one of the country's biggest injury research funders, the CDC. Since the mid-1990s the agency has been effectively blocked from supporting gun violence research. And the NRA and many gun owners have emphasized a small handful of studies that point the other way.
- Violence in US rises for second straight year, according to FBI data - Violent crime in America rose in 2016 for the second straight year, driven by a spike in killings in some major cities, but remained near historically low levels, according to FBI data released Monday. The FBI said it was the first time violent crime rose in consecutive years in more than a decade. Violent crimes such as shootings and robberies rose 4.1 percent in 2016 from the year before, with homicides climbing 8.6 percent, according to the figures. Violence increased 3.9 percent in 2015, while killings jumped by more than 10 percent.
- New study looks at children's exposure to gun violence - Are children who see movie characters use guns more likely to use them? One study from Ohio State University says it seems to increase the chances. The trigger of the play gun had a sensor on it to track how often it was pulled.The kids who saw the guns in the movie pulled 2.8 times, while kids who had seen the edited version with no guns pulled the trigger .01 times. Cook says monitoring kid’s media is one of the most important steps to lessening interests in guns. 32% of children in the study who found the gun reported it to the researchers.
- More Than 1,600 Women Murdered by Men in One Year: Study - The most common weapon used was a gun. The report, titled "When Men Murder Women," is compiled annually by the Violence Policy Center. Researchers analyzed data from 2015, the most recent year for which numbers are available. Study authors note that they examined “only those instances involving one female homicide victim and one male offender...the exact scenario — the lone male attacker and the vulnerable woman—that is often used to promote gun ownership among women.” What they found was that a gun in the home, generally bought to protect residents from intruders, was far more likely to be lethally used against a woman by an intimate partner, such as a boyfriend or husband. Report authors cite U.S. Department of Justice findings that show women are not only far likelier than men to be the victims of domestic abuse involving a weapon, they are attacked in their own homes more than any other location.
- Do Schools' 'Active-Shooter' Drills Prepare or Frighten? - Children around the country are increasingly receiving similar training as schools adopt more-elaborate safety drills in response to concerns about school shootings. That leaves schools with a profound challenge: how to prepare young students for the worst, without provoking anxiety or fear. Federal data show a growing use of school-shooter drills, though it doesn't distinguish between lockdown drills and responses like ALICE. In the 2013-14 school year, 70 percent of public schools drilled students on how to respond to a school shooting, including 71 percent of elementary schools, according to the most recent data available. In 2003-04, 47 percent of schools involved students in shooter drills.
- Plan to ease U.S. firearm export rules may relieve gunmakers facing sales slump - A move by the Trump administration to make it simpler to sell small arms abroad may provide some relief to gun makers American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger & Company in an industry grappling with a deep sales slump since the election of President Donald Trump. The expected relaxing of rules could increase foreign gun sales by as much as 20 percent, the National Sports Shooting Foundation estimates. As well as the industry’s big players, it may also help small gunsmiths and specialists who are currently required to pay an annual federal fee to export relatively minor amounts of products.
- Amid Hurricane Chaos, Domestic Abuse Victims Risk Being Overlooked - Natural disasters like hurricanes Harvey and Irma can displace people and leave them scrambling to find stability and routine. But during catastrophes, victims of domestic violence face a unique challenge: seeking safety from their abusers. Most evacuees are seeking shelter but domestic violence survivors face a “double whammy” of escaping the danger of their abuser and finding safety from the looming disaster, said Ruth Glenn, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Disasters leave physical and social environments in disarray and are likely to increase any person’s or family’s vulnerability to violence, according to the World Health Organization.
- 'They're Taking Our Kids': Teen Gun Violence Is Plaguing Cities Big and Small - Of the 10 cities with the highest rates of teen shootings, most had populations of less than 250,000 people. Among them were Savannah, Ga.; Trenton, N.J.; Syracuse, N.Y., Fort Myers, Fla.; and Richmond, Va. Chicago was the lone large-population city high on the list. Poverty and a sense of hopelessness in the most violent neighborhoods is a common thread. Syracuse, a university town that once cranked out air conditioners and televisions, now has a poverty rate of 35 percent. Social media accelerates the threats, and the danger. Teenagers whose brains are years from fully maturing are roaming the streets with a gun in one pocket and a smartphone in the other. "A juvenile with a gun is a heck of a lot more dangerous than a 24- or 25-year-old with a gun," said James Durham, the acting U.S. attorney based in Savannah.
- US gun makers battle 'Trump slump' as sales fall compared to 2016 - American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith and Wesson, reported a 48.5% decrease in firearms revenue compared with the same quarter last year. The NRA is pushing to de-regulate silencers, which muffle or suppress the sound of gunshots, arguing that they should be more widely used by shooting sports enthusiasts to protect against hearing loss. Silencers are currently strictly tracked, taxed and regulated under federal law. Gun control groups fiercely oppose the measure, raising concerns about whether silencers would be used in mass shootings and arguing that their broader use could make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs.
- School Police May Once Again Get Military Equipment Under Trump Policy Reversal - School district police agencies in at least 22 states used 1033 to acquire such equipment before the rules went into effect, public records show. Those rules prohibited the transfer of tracked armored vehicles, bayonets, grenade launchers, large-caliber weapons, and ammunition to local law-enforcement agencies. While they allowed qualifying local agencies to acquire certain other equipment from the Pentagon, they prohibited such aquisitions by police departments that exclusively serve K-12 schools.
- Do High-Profile Sexual Assault Cases Encourage Survivors To Report? - According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, making it one of the most underreported crimes. The National Institute of Justice says this is due in part to self-blame, shame and a lack of trust in the justice system.
- Gun dealers team up against suicide - “We’re up against something really difficult in the United States, because the key to success is proper storage, or removal of firearms from homes where somebody has a mental illness or is imminently suicidal,” said Jameson Hirsch, an associate professor of clinical psychology at East Tennessee State University, who researches suicide prevention but was not involved with this study. “(But) it’s such a tough sell... . You want to respect people’s rights.” Still, suicide attempts that involve a firearm are the most likely to end in death.
- Gun Access May Drive Higher Suicide Rates in Rural Areas - The rate of suicide in rural America appears to be significantly higher than in urban areas, a new study reports. And much of the reason may have to do with the greater prevalence of gun ownership in rural areas, the study authors said. "The reason that rural suicide rates are higher is because people in these areas are killing themselves with guns," said study lead author Dr. Paul Nestadt. He is a postdoctoral fellow in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's psychiatric epidemiology training program.
- Charlottesville Shows That States Must Amend Their Open-Carry Laws - Nothing in the Second Amendment gives anyone the right to carry a gun whenever and wherever one may choose. In the Supreme Court’s seminal opinion in the Heller case, the late Justice Antonin Scalia emphasized that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” State regulations, for example, prohibiting “the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings,” Justice Scalia explained, were undoubtedly constitutional. Lower courts have ruled that “sensitive places” include national parks, university football games, post offices, vehicles and aircrafts. If a university football game or a national park can be considered to be sensitive places where guns have no place, surely public assemblies, particularly those that might trigger strong emotions, are as well.
- Charlottesville mayor wants new laws to empower localities, suspend gun laws - Mayor Signer, a Democrat, also asked that localities be able to suspend some gun laws after his city was besieged by violence during a white nationalist rally last weekend. Signer issued a lengthy, six-page statement outlining what he views as the next steps for the progressive Southern college town reeling from the fallout of the violence, attention and outrage that has made Charlottesville the center of a national debate about Confederate history and white supremacy.
- What the Next Round of Alt-Right Rallies Will Reveal - Protests scheduled in nine American cities for Saturday will provide a sense of where the movement is headed. The alt-right has become an umbrella community for the American far-right, a loosely defined movement with a strong center of gravity online and which encompasses a large number of subnetworks.
- ACLU Will No Longer Defend Hate Groups That Protest With Firearms - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took a new stance on firearms Thursday, announcing a change in policy that it would not represent hate groups who demonstrate with firearms.
- When Male Unemployment Rates Rise, So Do Sexual Harassment Claims - Based on EEOC data on sex discrimination claims in each state and the District of Columbia between 2009 and 2016, as well as official government unemployment rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the same, my analysis shows that increases in men’s unemployment — but not women’s — leads to more sex discrimination claims in that state.
- Daaaaaaamn, Baby! The Language Of Street Harassment Is Universal - A survey commissioned by Stop Street Harassment, a nonprofit that works to document and end street harassment, showed that 65 percent of all women in the U.S. said they had experienced street harassment. Holly Kearl, the founder and executive director of Stop Street Harassment, says that common words and actions from street harassers are virtually the same across the entire U.S. — and even around the globe. "I was shocked to find women have similar experiences with harassment in different places of the world, not just regions in the U.S.," she said, noting that the language - and actions - is pretty consistent among all harassers. "I'm like, 'Is there some school [harassers] are all going to? What is going on?'"
- Girls Take Self-Defense Courses to Prepare for College - Nationwide, self-defense classes for women are becoming increasingly popular. At the Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn, for example, the number of people interested in self defense immediately following Donald Trump’s election hit a record high in the organization’s 42 year history.
- Bullying's Hidden Cost: Schools Lose Millions of Dollars When Kids Stay Home - When bullied children stay home to avoid hurtful relationships, schools lose tens of millions of dollars each year, a new study says. "Bullying is a big social problem that not only creates an unhealthy climate for individuals but also undermines schools and communities," Stephen Russell, professor and the chair of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, said in a news release. "We are interested in the economics of bullying and how it can affect a whole school system."
- Echoes of Gunfire Hurt Tender N.R.A. Ears - The annual tally of 30,000-plus gun deaths accounts for just a tiny fraction of the total shots fired, most of which miss their targets but terrorize neighborhoods. Yet the National Rifle Association argues, self-servingly, that noisy guns are a public health hazard. With the help of supporters like President Trump’s son Donald Jr., a gun hobbyist, it wants to roll back an 80-year-old federal law that tightly controls the sale of firearm silencers. Immune to irony, the N.R.A.’s congressional friends have introduced a measure called the Hearing Protection Act, which contends that the sound of gunfire is hard on the ears of gun owners.
- The DOJ’s Next Target - Next up: guns - In the first week of March, government lawyers made a similar about-face on the issue of gun safety, submitting a pair of little-noticed but revelatory motions in connection to cases in Georgia and Idaho. Those motions suggest the new administration and Jeff Sessions’ DOJ have already started to find ways to loosen the nation’s gun laws.
- Study Shows Bystander Intervention Training Reduces Sexual Violence in Schools - The results present a possible low-cost way schools can mitigate sexual violence. A new study shows that bystander intervention training can make a major difference in the amount of sexual violence in high schools.
- Survey: Bullying of Marginalized Students On the Rise - According to an extensive post-election survey of youth conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, the majority of teens have witnessed bullying since the November 2016 election. Over 70 percent of the 51,000 youth who participated in the study observed race-based bullying, and 63 percent reported seeing harassment based on sexual orientation. Even before the election, librarians have been asking how they can best support students who worried about harassment because of their race, religion, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
- Gun sales have dropped since Trump’s election, except among people scared of his administration - Sales of guns and ammunition in the United States have dropped precipitously since Election Day, according to FBI statistics, trade groups, gun shop owners and corporate reports, what many say is the result of electing a president who has vowed to protect gun rights. But that overall decline has been accompanied by some unusual growth: Gun clubs and shops that cater to black and LGBT clients say there has been an uptick in interest in firearms since November among those who fear that racial and gender-based violence could increase during Donald Trump’s presidency.
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