SPEAKING UP:
The Family Violence Prevention Fund’s News & Tips for the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Communities

April 29, 2003, Vol. 9, Issue 7

“Speaking Up” is a project of the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Produced by PR Solutions, Inc., Washington, DC. Phone: 202/371-1999; Fax: 202/371-9142; E-mail: speakingup@prsolutionsdc.com.

Defense Task force on domestic violence calls for culture shift in the military

To better address domestic violence in the military, the Department of Defense (DoD) must establish a military culture that does not tolerate domestic violence, holds batterers accountable for their actions, and provides victims of abuse with the services they need. These are among the recommendations offered by the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence in its final Report, which is now available online.

The Report identifies ways to prevent and curb domestic abuse in the military and provide more timely and effective aid to victims. It contains approximately 200 detailed recommendations for how the DoD can prevent and improve its response to domestic violence. The Report’s executive summary also addresses other family violence issues including child abuse, as well as sexual assault. Members of Congress are looking at the Task Force as a model as they consider how to further investigate sexual assault in the military and at the Service Academies, and the best ways to improve the DoD’s response to sexual violence.

“This Report is the result of painstaking, difficult work to bring together two communities that have had few formal ties in the past,” said Deborah D. Tucker, Task Force Co-Chair and Executive Director of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. “Our mandate was urgent to find ways to protect victims of domestic violence in the military and in military families, and to ensure that the military does much more to stop domestic violence. If these recommendations are implemented with adequate resources and continuing guidance from experts, they offer the promise that members of military families will face fewer domestic assaults and homicides.”

In the past, advocates have been deeply dissatisfied with the military’s response to domestic violence, criticizing the various Services for not taking the issue seriously, failing to provide the services and support that victims need, and failing to punish service members who abuse their partners. The Family Violence Prevention Fund, National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Miles Foundation, which provides services to victims of domestic and sexual violence associated with the military, were among the organizations that worked to convince Congress to create the Task Force and/or commented on its previous reports.

It was, in part, this pressure from the community that spurred Congress to charter the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence in October of 1999 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000. The Task Force was commissioned to help the Secretary of Defense prevent domestic violence in the military whenever possible and respond more effectively to abuse when it does occur.

The Task Force was composed of 24 members 12 from the Military Services and 12 of the nation’s leading domestic violence experts and battered women’s advocates. It included survivors of domestic abuse among both its civilian and military members and modeled cooperation by selecting a civilian and a military Co-Chair. Tucker’s counterpart is Lt. General Garry L. Parks, the Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps. Together they led the Task Force in developing the recommendations, meeting more than 15 times over three years and visiting military installations in the U.S. and overseas.

Task Force Recommendations    Back to Top

Task Force recommendations focus on prevention and early intervention and call for the creation of programs that address the needs of military families experiencing domestic violence. They include:

- Culture Shift:

The Department of Defense should create a military culture that does not tolerate domestic violence, holds offenders accountable for their actions and punishes criminal behavior. The Task Force calls on the military to provide victims with the services they need while ensuring confidentiality, and train commanding officers, law enforcement and others on how to handle allegations of domestic violence in military families.

- Victim Advocate Program:

Each Military Service should create a strong Victim Advocate Program, giving victim advocates sufficient support, stature, autonomy, access to commanding officers and authority to intervene in crises and provide case management and safety planning services to victims of abuse. Victim advocates may be local battered women’s programs that are under contract to provide these services. Victims of abuse often do not seek help because they fear that their privacy will be violated, and that they will harm the career of a family member in the Service. The Task Force recommends that victim advocacy programs have provisions for nondisclosure to enhance victims’ safety, encourage voluntary reporting of abuse and ensure confidentiality whenever possible.

- Domestic Violence Intervention Process Model:

The Department of Defense should implement a domestic violence intervention process model to serve as a guideline for responding to incidents of domestic violence. The Task Force recommends a domestic violence intervention process model with specific protocols for victim advocates, commanding officers, law enforcement personnel and offender intervention. Each of the protocols provides a description of the recommended intervention process and includes guidance for responding to domestic violence.

- Assessment and Intervention Teams:

The Department of Defense should replace the existing Case Review Committee structure with newly created Domestic Violence Assessment and Intervention Teams that will provide feedback regarding victim safety and offender intervention to commanding officers within 48 hours of when a domestic violence incident occurs. These Teams should be managed by the Family Advocacy Program and should ensure that danger/lethality assessments are conducted with victims and children as soon as violence occurs or is reported.

- Fatality Reviews:

To increase system and command accountability, the Task Force recommends creation of a fatality review process. Examining domestic violence homicides and suicides can provide valuable information that can help deter future such incidents. The Department of Defense should: institute an annual fatality review summit; instruct the Services to establish, train and maintain on-call multidisciplinary fatality review teams; and instruct military installations to include fatality review provisions in their domestic violence agreements with civilian jurisdictions that call for reciprocal participation in fatality reviews as needed.

- Training and Prevention Programs:

The Department of Defense should implement institution-wide training and prevention programs, including general public awareness campaigns and trainings for chaplains, law enforcement and health care personnel, senior enlisted and commanding officers.

- Accountability for Offenders:

In 2001, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum stating that domestic violence will not be tolerated in the Department of Defense. The Task Force calls on the Department of Defense and the Military Departments to intensify their efforts to prevent domestic violence by ensuring that the institution, not the victim, is responsible for holding perpetrators of domestic violence responsible for their actions. Whenever possible and appropriate, the focus should be on domestic violence prevention rather than punishment after a crime has occurred, but offenders must be held accountable for all criminal conduct through punishment, deterrence and, when possible, rehabilitation. Commanding officers or others should monitor and supervise offenders to ensure compliance and progress during any mandated intervention programs.

- Strengthen Collaboration Between Military and Civilian Communities:

The Department of Defense should ensure cooperative relationships between military and civilian organizations to develop a coordinated response to domestic violence. The Task Force calls on the military to work with local civilian communities, as well as national civilian agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to promote domestic violence prevention and intervention in the military.

- Evaluation:

The Department of Defense should continuously evaluate the results of its domestic violence prevention and intervention efforts, and use this information to improve existing policies.

“If these recommendations are implemented fully and with adequate resources and care, fewer members of military families will experience violence and those who do face abuse will get more help more quickly,” Tucker added. “The Task Force takes an essential first step by making these recommendations, and it is up to leaders at the Department of Defense to make implementation a priority. But I have every confidence that they take our work seriously. The military members of the Task Force are already exercising leadership in setting up training and asking for policy changes within their Services. Civilian members of the Task Force will continue to support and assist the Department in the implementation of our recommendations.”

House Armed Services Committee    Back to Top

Task Force Co-Chairs presented the recommendations to the House Armed Services Committee, Sub-Committee on Total Force in March. “The Task Force believes that domestic violence is best dealt with by having a consistent, coordinated community response,” said General Parks at the hearing. “It is important for everyone associated with the military to know what domestic violence is, its dynamics and risk factors, effects on victims or children who witness domestic violence, and consequences for offenders.”

The Task Force’s charter ends at the end of April and Tucker told the Sub-Committee that the final Report gives the DoD “philosophic guidelines” for addressing domestic violence. Tucker discussed the core principles: respond to the needs of victims and provide for victim safety; hold offenders accountable; consider cultural factors; consider the context of violence and provide a measured response; coordinate the military and civilian response; involve victims of domestic violence; and provide early intervention.

Both Co-Chairs underscored the importance of domestic violence training for commanding officers so they can hold batterers accountable and send the message that domestic violence will not be tolerated in the armed services. Creating a military culture that takes domestic violence seriously and does not tolerate abuse “starts with training and education to understand the basics of domestic violence,” General Parks said. The military will give officers the tools they need to properly handle incidents of domestic violence, he added.

The panel also included Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) Charles S. Abell. In his testimony, Abell addressed the DoD’s commitment to instituting the Task Force’s recommendations as soon as possible, as resources allow. “The tragic events in the Fort Bragg community brought renewed focus on the issue of domestic violence. We must set a mood and tone of leadership that sends a clear message: first, that domestic violence is incompatible with military service and, second, that it is right and safe for a victim to come forward as the first step to stopping a case of domestic violence,” he said. “The steps we have taken and the steps we plan to take reflect our strong commitment to address domestic violence. The gradual introduction of these and other policy initiatives will form the foundation for a culture shift that clearly conveys domestic violence will not be tolerated in DoD.”

The Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence’s Final Report is available online at www.dtic.mil/domesticviolence. Information about the Miles Foundation is available online at: http://www.hometown.aol.com/milesfdn/myhomepage/index.html.

media outreach: Defense task force on Domestic violence
  Back to Top
The Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence’s Third Year Report may generate media coverage and focus public attention on domestic violence in the military and the DoD’s response to abuse. Journalists may contact violence against women experts looking for comment. If you choose to speak with the media, please consider using the following points:

- As the domestic homicides at Fort Bragg illustrated so tragically, domestic violence is a pervasive and deadly problem in the military.

- The Department of Defense needs to do a much better job of preventing and responding to domestic violence. At present, too many batterers are not held accountable for their crimes. Too many victims do not receive the services and support they need. And inadequate confidentiality policies complicate efforts to help victims. All that needs to change.

- The Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence has produced three valuable and important reports. They offer a series of urgently needed recommendations that can help the military become a model institution in terms of preventing domestic violence and responding to abuse when it does occur.

- The Task Force reports are essential steps forward, but the real test of the Pentagon’s commitment to stopping domestic violence will be how quickly it adopts the Task Force’s recommendations. The Department of Defense must waste no time and spare no resources in adopting all of the Task Force’s recommendations. Military families deserve nothing less.

- [Discuss any work your organization has done with the military community in your area.]

- High profile incidents of violence against women, including most recently the sexual assault scandal at the Air Force Academy, have focused attention on the military’s male dominated culture and tolerance for violence against women. We urge Congress to consider establishing a Task Force, similar to the one that focused on domestic violence, to address sexual assault in the military.

Media outreach: laci peterson

Scott Peterson’s arrest and arraignment for the murder of his wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child is generating significant coverage in media outlets across the country. As a result, journalists may contact advocates for comment on the case or on domestic homicides in general. When speaking to journalists, Speaking Up recommends that advocates refrain from speculation and keep in mind that there has been no verdict in the case. If you do not have first-hand knowledge about the case (and most of us only know what has been reported in the media), do not comment on specifics. Instead, provide facts about domestic violence and homicide. If you do choose to speak with the press, please consider using the following points and facts:

- Whenever a woman is murdered, it is a tragedy. Our hearts go out to the Peterson family. We hope that justice will be served and that the family will be able to find peace and grieve in private.

- We do not know who murdered Laci Peterson, but we do know that domestic violence is a tremendous problem that leaves no community untouched. Every day in the U.S., women are battered and killed by the men who claim to love them. Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to a 1998 Commonwealth Fund survey. [Add information about rates of domestic violence in your area].

- On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. In 2000, 1,247 women were killed by their intimate partners, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. [Add information on the number of domestic homicides in your area].

- Pregnant women are often victims of abuse. Approximately 324,000 pregnant women are battered each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies show that pregnant and recently pregnant women are more likely to be the victims of homicide than to die of any other cause. This includes all homicides, not just homicides committed by an intimate partner, but we know that intimate partners kill a significant proportion of female homicide victims. In 2000, intimate partner homicides accounted for 33.5 percent of the murders of women, the Justice Department reports.

- Domestic violence and domestic homicides can be prevented. Every one of us can play a role in ending abuse. Policy makers need to provide more adequate funding for services for victims. Law enforcement agencies and courts must treat domestic violence as a crime and hold batterers accountable. Health care providers should screen all women for domestic violence during routine or emergency health care visits. And community members must do more to support victims of violence and send the message that domestic violence will not be tolerated. [Include steps people in your community can take to help end abuse].

CONCERNS RISE About online privacy    Back to Top

Advocates for victims of violence against women are expressing concern about a feature on the popular Internet search engine Google (www.google.com) that allows users to discover someone’s name and address by typing her or his phone number into the search function. In some cases, a map with directions to the person’s house also appears.

The feature, called Phonebook, is not new. The New York Times reports that, even though it is two years old, a recent email that spread quickly throughout the country caused a strong response from privacy and victims’ advocates alike. Google has an option that allows people to remove themselves from the Phonebook database, but advocates warn that Google’s Phonebook function is just one of thousands such features that are available online.

“I am happy that this flurry of emails is helping survivors of violence against women learn of another place their location may be published on the web,” said Cindy Southworth, MSW, Director of Technology at the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). “However, I am concerned that people may get a false sense of safety if they attempt to remove their information from Google. Google’s online phone directory is only one of thousands of directories and web sites that might compromise a survivor’s location, privacy and safety. If you are in danger, attempting to remove your information from Google is not enough.”

Privacy Concerns for Victims

While the Internet can give women access to useful information and life saving resources, it can also provide abusers with information about women’s Internet activities or physical whereabouts. Abusers sometimes use the Internet to harass and stalk their victims, because personal information is often readily available online. In 1999, Amy Boyer was killed by a stalker who bought her Social Security number and other information on the Internet, used it to locate her and then murdered her, reports the Associated Press. But there are steps women can take to protect themselves.

To help address the problem, last year, with support from the AOL Time Warner Foundation, the NNEDV created the National Safe and Strategic Technology Project. The Project addresses all forms of technology relevant to survivors of domestic violence and their advocates. Southworth, the Project’s Director, conducts trainings and provides technical assistance on a wide variety of Internet-related topics, including responding to cyberstalking crimes, the risks the Internet poses to victims of violence against women, and educating survivors on the benefits of emerging technologies.

The Project created Web Wise Women, a document that provides tips for victims of violence against women and their advocates, including how to minimize the amount of personal information that is available about a person online. It lists and describes the various web sites that list personal information, such as search engines like Google, court and government web sites and information brokers organizations that conduct searches to find information on people for a fee. Amy Boyer’s murderer used an information broker to locate Amy’s employer. Amy’s mother later sued the broker for violating her daughter’s privacy; the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled this year that information brokers and private investigators can be liable for the harms caused by selling personal information.

Web Wise Women also includes information on how to reduce the amount of information that is available online. It offers tips on how people can find out where their personal information appears online, how to remove themselves from the web sites and how to prevent further information from being posted online. Finally, the document outlines how advocates and others can promote privacy and safety in cyberspace.

For more information on the National Safe and Strategic Technology Project or to receive a copy of Web Wise Women, contact Cindy Southworth via email: cs@nnedv.org, or via phone: 202/543-5566.

we want to hear from you!    Back to Top

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). In the past, Speaking Up has provided its readers with examples of various activities that can be organized to mark DVAM, from news conferences to proclamation signings, candlelight vigils to marches. This year, we’d like to update our sample activities list and we want to hear from you!

Has your organization been the sponsor of a successful DVAM event? Have you planned a DVAM event that could be duplicated by other organizations? Would you be willing to share your experiences with other Speaking Up readers? If so, please let us know.

Please send Speaking Up editor Mariama Vinson information about DVAM events that we can include as samples in an upcoming issue of Speaking Up. Be sure to include a description of the event, details on what planning was involved, and how long it took to organize the event. Please list your name, organization’s name and phone number (we will include this information in Speaking Up so that readers can contact you to get more information about the event). Send information to Mariama via email: speakingup@prsolutionsdc.com. Thank you!

building partnerships to end men’s violence

What can men do to help end abuse? How can men take a more active role in reducing violence against women? What steps can organizations working to end domestic and sexual violence take to involve men in the process? A new initiative from the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) is working to answer these questions and more.

Building Partnerships Initiative to End Men's Violence (BPI) is designed to promote stronger partnerships among advocates working to end violence against women and other organizations such as batterer intervention and fatherhood programs that could play a more active role in prevention work. The goal of the initiative is to inspire more men to take a stand against violence and to play an active role in promoting healthy, violence-free relationships.

Online Discussions

BPI will encourage a dialogue about increasing men’s involvement in efforts to end violence against women through an email discussion series that will run from May through July 2003. The discussion series is designed to promote partnerships among programs that work to end violence against women and community-based organizations that reach large numbers of men but do not make violence prevention a top priority, such as trade unions, faith-based organizations and schools.

The discussions will center on short, “overview” papers. Participants will respond to the papers via email with questions, reflections and resources, and facilitators will respond to participants’ questions at least twice per week. Four papers will be posted online and discussed for two weeks each. The email discussions will be archived and made available through the BPI section of the FVPF’s web site, www.endabuse.org/bpi. In addition, the web site will include links to longer, more comprehensive papers on the topics addressed in the discussions and a set of related case studies. The web site also features a “resource room” and a “community page” with additional information. Participation in the discussions is free and they are open to the public.

- Discussion One: May 5 16.

Building a Big Tent Approach to Working with Men with Jackson Katz, MVP Strategies (Mentors in Violence Prevention)

- Discussion Two: May 26 June 6.

Innovation within Batterer Intervention Programs: Community-based approaches to enhancing safety and accountability with Fernando Mederos, National Latino Alliance to End Domestic Violence, and Julia Perilla, Georgia State University

- Discussion Three: June 16 27.

Building Bridges between Responsible Fatherhood Programs and Programs Working to End Men's Violence with Oliver Williams, Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, Jacquie Boggess, Center for Fathers, Families and Public Policy, and Jerry Tello, National Latino Fatherhood and Family Institute

- Discussion Four: July 7 18.

Young Men as Allies in Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls: Building Effective Partnerships with Schools with activists Carole Sousa, Alan Berkowitz and Dean Peacock; Peter Jaffe, London Family Court Clinic; and Barri Rosenbluth, SafePlace

BPI is a collaborative project of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, Institute on Domestic Violence in the Asian & Pacific Islander Community, Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse, Men Can Stop Rape, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and Prevention Institute. It is funded by the Office on Violence Against Women within the US Department of Justice.

For more information on the Building Partnerships Initiative to End Men's Violence, or to participate in the discussions, visit the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s web site, www.endabuse.org/bpi.

in the news…

NATIONAL    Back to Top

Calls to the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-HOPE) have increased 24 percent during the first three months of this year, compared to the same period last year, USA Today reports. The Hotline, which is operated by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), directs callers to more than 1,000 counseling centers across the country. RAINN attributes the increase in calls to the recent surge in news coverage on rape and sexual assault, including high profile incidents such as the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping case, the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and the sexual assault scandal at the Air Force Academy.

NATIONAL

Mark and Dave Wellstone, the sons of the late Senator Paul Wellstone and Sheila Wellstone, have launched a new organization to honor and continue the work of their parents. Wellstone Action will promote progressive change and, among other things, continue Sheila Wellstone’s work to prevent domestic violence. The organization will motivate and train people to be active in politics and organizing at “Camp Wellstone,” and develop a national “Wellstone Action Network” to organize support for the causes Senator Wellstone promoted, such as universal health care and economic justice. Senator Paul Wellstone and Sheila Wellstone died in a plane crash last year, along with their daughter, members of the Senator’s staff and the plane’s pilot. More information about Wellstone Action is available through its web site, www.wellstone.org.

CA

Scott Peterson pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering his pregnant wife, Laci Peterson, and their unborn child. Scott was arrested this month after the bodies of Laci and the fetus were found near the San Francisco Bay; the bodies were identified through DNA testing. Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant at the time of her murder, had been missing since December 24. Scott Peterson told police he had last seen his wife the day of her disappearance and that he had gone fishing at Berkeley Marina, about three miles from where Laci’s body was found. Police had intensified their investigation of Scott Peterson in January after a woman announced she was having an affair with him and that he had told her he was not married. Scott Peterson has been charged with capital murder with the special circumstance of double homicide.

CA

This month Governor Gray Davis granted parole to Maria Suarez, who had been convicted of first-degree murder for the death of Anselmo Covarrubias, a self-proclaimed witch doctor who bought Suarez as a sex slave when she was 16. Suarez, who will be released from prison next year, is the fourth woman convicted of murder to whom Governor Davis has granted parole. An immigrant from Mexico, Suarez was sold to Covarrubias for $200. She claims he physically and sexually abused her and “exerted complete physical, financial and emotional control” over her, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. In 1981, a man who lived behind Covarrubias’ house beat him to death with a table leg, and Suarez washed the weapon and hid it. She says that was her only involvement in the crime.

CA

Last month actor Robert Blake pleaded innocent to murder and conspiracy charges in the death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. Blake and co-defendant Earle Caldwell agreed to waive their rights to a speedy trail. The case will likely go to trial in October, reports USA Today. Blake was recently freed on bail after spending close to a year in solitary confinement. Bakley was shot to death in May of 2001 after eating in a restaurant with her husband.

GA

Khalid Adem, an Ethiopian immigrant, was arrested in Duluth this month for allegedly circumcising his two-year-old daughter. Female circumcision is a traditional ritual in many African cultures, and advocates are concerned that the practice may be increasing in the area as more immigrants arrive, reports the Washington Post. Adem has been charged with cruelty to children and aggravated battery.

MA

Family courts in the state routinely violate the human rights of battered mothers and systemic flaws in the state’s family court system cause and perpetuate serious human rights violations that jeopardize the safety and well being of battered women and their children. These are among the findings of a new report produced by the Battered Mothers’ Testimony Project at the Wellesley Centers for Women. The report looks in-depth at the experiences of 40 battered mothers who sought help from family courts in Massachusetts, applying a human rights standard to their experiences. Governments throughout the world, including in the United States, have specific responsibilities to protect and promote the human rights of people within their jurisdictions, the report states, concluding that, with regard to battered mothers who seek help in the Massachusetts courts, the U.S. is failing to meet those responsibilities. Battered Mothers Speak Out is available online at www.wcwonline.org/wrn.

MA

A committee investigating Harvard University’s policy on sexual misconduct recommended that the University adopt new education programs on sexual assault and rape, including a mandatory night of sexual assault education during freshman orientation. The committee also called for the University to create a single office to address sexual misconduct issues and increase training, reports the Associated Press. University faculty will vote on the committee’s recommendations next month. If they are approved, the recommendations will be implemented next fall.

MI

Detroit radio station WKRK-FM is facing a fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for airing “explicit sex talk that included violence against women” during the Deminski & Doyle Show, reports Reuters. During a January broadcast, the DJs asked listeners to call the station to discuss “strange sex techniques.” FCC Commissioner Michael Copps told Reuters that the station “presented graphic descriptions of violent sexual acts against women as entertainment at a time when children likely composed a significant portion of the audience.” The FCC is proposing fining WKRK-FM, which is owned by Infinity, $27,500 and warned that similar incidents by Infinity could cause its broadcasting licenses to be revoked.

MN

A jury of six men and six women cleared former baseball player Kirby Puckett of all charges in a sexual assault case, after deliberating for more than two days. Puckett, who played for the Minnesota Twins and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, was accused of forcing a woman into the men’s restroom and “grabbing her breast hard enough to leave a bruise,” reports the Associated Press. He was charged with false imprisonment, fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and fifth-degree assault. Puckett denied the charges and his attorney argued that the woman “willingly accepted Puckett’s offer to escort her” into the men’s room because the women’s room was crowded. If convicted, Puckett would have faced up to a year in jail.

WA

Tacoma Police Chief David Brame shot his estranged wife, Crystal Brame, in the head and then shot and killed himself in a shopping mall parking lot. Crystal Brame is in critical but stable condition at a Seattle hospital. According to media reports, the Brame’s two children, ages eight and five, were in a car with their mother when Chief Brame approached. He took the children to his car, which was parked nearby, and then returned to Crystal Brame’s car and shot her and himself. Crystal Brame was seeking a divorce from her husband, and the attempted murder-suicide took place days after the details of the Brame’s divorce papers became public. In the papers, Crystal Brame claimed that her husband abused her and that he had pointed “his service revolver at her” and tried to “choke her” during two separate incidents in the past six months, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Advocates are questioning the way the Tacoma police department handled the allegations of domestic violence. In one incident when Crystal Brame called 911 to report abuse, the police department failed to send an officer or file a detailed report, according to the P-I.

BANGLADESH    Back to Top

A recent study by Bangladesh Mahila Parishad finds that violence against women is rising by 14 percent in the country, reports the Associated Press. The study finds that, every day, approximately ten women are “violated” and 37 women and children are “repressed in various forms.” During the period from January to December 2002, 1,183 women were raped, 421 women were the victims of “mass rape” and 132 were murdered after being raped. The study also finds that approximately 891 women were murdered, 508 were abducted and 173 women and children were victims of human trafficking.


Save the Date

May 29 30, 2003, Hilton Head Island, SC

Preventing Youth Dating Violence

This train-the-trainer seminar, sponsored by the Public Training Institute, is designed for advocates, law enforcement officers, school resource officials, social service professionals and others who work to reduce and prevent dating violence. The two-day seminar will examine successful prevention strategies and provide information on how to develop and implement effective programs to reduce dating violence. Sessions include: “Where Do We Learn Violence?,” “The Costs of Male Socialization/Eduction,” “Recognizing the Signs of Abusive Behavior,” “Bullying Behaviors & Dating Violence,” and more. For more information, visit www.publictraining.com. The registration deadline is May 24.

June 5 6, 2003, Minneapolis, MN

Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community’s Second Annual June Forum

This year the Institute’s annual conference, entitled African American Children and Domestic Violence, Prevention and Intervention: Stop and Hear A Child’s Cry, will focus on the impact of domestic violence, community violence, child abuse and neglect on children; its implications to various helping systems; and prevention and intervention approaches. The conference includes plenary sessions, workshops and panel discussions featuring experts from the judiciary and child welfare systems, faith- and community-based efforts, and social service agencies. For more information, contact the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community at 877/643-8222. On site registration is available.

June 13 14, 2003, Austin, TX

From Bullying to Battering: Building Partnerships for Safe Schools

This two-day seminar, sponsored by SafePlace, is designed to build partnerships between schools and community-based organizations for responding to and preventing violence in students’ lives. The seminar will examine the latest research in bullying and innovative strategies and solutions for increasing safety and respect among students. It will examine strategies to address bullying and peer sexual harassment, guidelines for implementing school-wide anti-violence programs, federal and state laws designed to protect students from harassment and discrimination in schools, and more. For more information, contact Lesley at 512/267-SAFE or llandry@austin-safeplace.org. Registration is available on a first come, first serve basis; there is no registration deadline.

June 20 22, 2003, Glenelg, South Australia

12th International Conference of the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women, International

This year’s conference, Violence Against Women Evidence of Difference? Rethinking Current Paradigms and Exploring Innovative Approaches to Ending Violence, will provide a forum for advocates to discuss their work to end violence against women and children and promote safe and healthy families. The conference will explore successful prevention strategies and look at the social issues that affect the lives of victims of violence and their families. Sessions also will examine the social, political, economic and physical factors that affect communities and the advocates who serve them. For more information, visit www.nnvawi.org/conferences.htm. The registration deadline is May 30.

July 20 22, 2003, Baltimore, MD

International Conference on Domestic Abuse Pursuing Truth, Justice and Righteousness: A Call to Action

This conference, sponsored by Jewish Women International, is designed to create a collaborative movement of Jewish communities from around the world to end violence against women. The conference, the first-ever forum of its size, will bring together advocates and survivors of domestic violence from around the world. It will feature panel discussions and plenary sessions on different aspects of domestic violence and its prevention, and workshops organized under six themes incorporating diverse perspectives. They include Illuminating the Issue: The Dynamics of Abuse in the Jewish Community, Promising Practices: The Forefront of Innovation, Intervention & Social Change, and Creating & Sustaining Change: Research, Policy, Advocacy and Funding. For more information, visit www.jwicalltoaction.org. Registration is available on a first come, first serve basis; there is no registration deadline.

Does your organization sponsor a conference that you would like to highlight in Speaking Up? If so, please let us know about it! Send conference information to Speaking Up editor Mariama Vinson via email: speakingup@prsolutionsdc.com, or via fax: 202/371-9142. Be sure to include the registration deadline!





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