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Government Should Support Community Activists Working to Protect Survivors

Gladys Koskey, 48, has always kept her home in Trans Mara, southwestern Kenya, open to friends and relatives. But in the past decade, her home has also become an important refuge for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Gladys leads a group of…
Gladys Koskey helps a nine-years-old rape survivor who lives in her home with her writing.
News

Proposed Reparations Bill Chance to Compensate Post-Election Rape Survivors

This weekend, I received the sad news that Chepkorir had died. Chepkorir, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy, was raped in December 2007. The men who raped her beat her badly and she had been struggling with poor health…
News

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.
News

Widespread Sexual Violence during Kenya’s 2017 Elections

    Judith Wavinya*, 30, was walking home on a cool August night in her neighborhood of Dandora in Nairobi, after spending the evening with her sister. She had to get back home to her three children and to prepare for the new day –…
Judith Wavinya (not her real name), 30, was attacked by two men on the night of August 11, 2017, as she was walking home. They asked if she knew them, threatened her with knives, and took her to an isolated place where they beat her badly and one of them
News

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.
News

More Protection, Support for Victims Needed

Human Rights Watch research confirms that, once again, there was sexual violence against women and girls during the most recent post-election violence in Kenya. I interviewed over 50 victims and witnesses in Mathare, Kisumu, Bungoma, and Dandora.…
Kenya
News

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.
News

Protecting Children of Rape, the Invisible Victims of Conflict and Political Violence

Akinyi was only 11 years old when three men broke into her home in Kericho, Kenya, in December 2007, as post-election violence raged, and gang raped her and her mother. Akinyi became pregnant, but did not want anything to do with the baby girl she bore.…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
News
Liz Luras enlisted in the US Army because she came from a patriotic family – her father served in Vietnam and her grandfather fought in World War II – and to help pay for college. Her family, who lived in Oregon, couldn’t afford a car. To pay for her…
Liz on the day she spoke in front of Congress about rape in the military as part of Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN). Washington D.C. 2013 .
News
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. …
News
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.
News
Although it is more than eight years since hundreds of women were brutally raped during post-election violence in Kenya, the harrowing events of 2007/8 continue to affect survivors to this day. Destitute, in ill health and often…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
News
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…
News
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…
News
As a little girl, Ruth Riviera (not her real name) loved to step into her dad’s army boots and strut around the house with pride and self-importance. Her dad, a Non-Commission Officer in the US Army, was her childhood hero. She admired…
News
“We women must respect ourselves. You cannot stay with a man drinking until 3 a.m.” This was the response from Mary Wambui, a member of parliament, to recent protests by female legislators and women’s rights activists over accusations that Gideon Mwiti,…