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Judge Denies Abused Woman Divorce, Citing ‘Traditional Values’

“In principle, in divorce cases, the first time one sues for divorce, it won’t be granted. [Marriage is] a traditional value,” said Judge Zhang Yanbin in the Chinese city of Chengdu, ruling against a woman’s petition for divorce. “We made the ruling to…
A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way on a heavily polluted day in Beijing, December 26, 2015.
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Top Aide Rob Porter Accused of Physically, Emotionally Abusing Former Wives

The latest scandal out of the White House this week – revolving around the administration’s decision to hire a top aide credibly accused of domestic violence – seems especially worrying in light of the administration’s larger record on women’s…
White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter (L) arrives aboard Air Force One with fellow senior staff and U.S. President Donald Trump for a summer vacation at his Bedminster estate, at Morristown Airport in Morristown, New Jersey, U.S. August 4, 2017.
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US Student Rape Victims Still Need Title IX

Eighty percent of female university students who have been sexually assaulted do not report it. I am one of them. Now, I fear that the US Department of Education will make it even harder for survivors like me to come forward. …
Protesters hold signs to raise awareness of sexual assault on campus at the Stanford University commencement ceremony in Palo Alto, California on U.S. June 12, 2016.
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When Sexual Harassment and Abuse Hits Close to Home

“Why would anyone do that?” My son asked this as he looked at the photo of Al Franken, Senator of our home state of Minnesota, posing with his hands over radio host Leeann Tweeden’s breasts as she slept, a stupid grin on his face. My son…
A boy looks at a writing on the ground during a protest in support of women's rights, in New York City, U.S. on October 7, 2017.
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More Resources for Review Boards Could Aid Those Wrongfully Discharged

Many US military personnel who reported being raped or sexually assaulted by other armed service members have been discharged on erroneous mental health grounds. But being assigned a mental disorder – one they were never even diagnosed with – has…
Gary Noling holding dogtags belonging to his daughter, Carri Goodwin, a rape victim who died of acute alcohol intoxication less than a week after receiving an Other Than Honorable discharge from the Marines.
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When members of the US military report a sexual assault up their chain of command, they often experience terrible retaliation from other military personnel. But a bill introduced into the US Senate today could help stem this harmful practice. …
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Sex without consent is a serious crime. Or so we thought. In the state of Oklahoma, consent to oral sex is apparently not required if your potential partner is passed out. In reviewing the case of a 17-year-old defendant and…
Oklahoma Capitol building.
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Twelve Central American mothers and children among the 121 detained over the weekend in immigration raids in Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina received emergency holds on their deportation Tuesday based on their attorneys' arguments that they were…
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The United States plays a critical role in protecting the human rights of women and girls affected by war by raising concerns internationally and funding programs that aid sexual violence survivors. But – and it’s a very big but – the 1973 Helms amendment…
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On April 24, the Chinese government’s willingness to examine domestic violence as a possible mitigating factor in sentencing will go on trial as a Sichuan court rules in the case of Li Yan, who was sentenced to death for murdering her abusive husband. Her…
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“I hope to be the last victim of China’s endless literary inquisition.” Today marks four years since Oslo’s City Hall reverberated with these words of Liu Xiaobo, along with his calm but fierce defense of the freedom of expression and his bedrock belief…
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Protests outside the White House are usually about the issue of the moment – Obamacare, same-sex marriage, Michael Brown. But the activists outside the White House today want to bring attention to an issue that has sadly endured for ages and mostly…
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A high-level Chinese official who’s overseen numerous rights abuses has come under official investigation. But hopes for real justice aren’t high. When the news broke today that the Chinese Communist Party will investigate China’s former domestic security…
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Do your thoughts belong to you? Not if you’re one of the five 9/11 defendants facing charges at Guantanamo. But that may have changed with a new ruling at a secret hearing on Monday. Lawyers are still trying to puzzle it out. Of the many…
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On our way to a barbecue dinner where the ceiling fell in, we blew a tire. The two events here at Guantanamo Bay were not related, nor were they exactly big news in a week when a fresh set of hearings is getting underway for the five men…