In The News

Oct 29, 2010

NATIONAL – Craigslist announced last month that it has permanently closed sections of its sites in the United States that carried sex-related advertising. Craigslist was criticized for facilitating child sex trafficking and pressured by some 20 state attorneys general to remove the ads. 


CA – Domestic violence service providers, experts and leaders across the state cheered when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a budget package on October 14 reinstating $20.4 million in funding for the state’s domestic violence shelter services – a full restoration of funding that was lost last July. “We feel happy and relieved, but most of all, we feel that justice has been served,” said California Partnership to End Domestic Violence Executive Director Tara Shabazz. “We sincerely thank the members of the legislature and the legislative leadership for fulfilling the state’s responsibility to preserve public safety and protect citizens from harm.” Following last year’s funding cuts, six shelters closed, three have been able to re-open, but all agencies were forced to cut hours and staff services.


VA – Despite pleas from domestic violence and anti-death penalty advocates, the state executed Teresa Lewis, a woman with severe intellectual disabilities, on September 23. Lewis pled guilty to the murder of her husband and step-son and was sentenced to death because the judge believed she was the mastermind behind the plan, even though the shots were fired by others. Director of the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women Sue Osthoff issued a public message after Lewis’ execution which said, in part, “Last night, justice was horribly denied. But let’s not even pause in our work seeking justice.”  


WI – Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz resigned on October 4 after sparking a firestorm of controversy when inappropriate text messages he sent to a domestic abuse victim were made public. The Associated Press reported in September that Kratz sent 30 text messages to the victim while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend on a strangulation charge last October. After the Associated Press published the text messages, more women came forward with accusations that Kratz used his position as District Attorney to try to start relationships with them. 


AUSTRALIA – In a first for the country, police issued an intervention order via the social networking site Facebook, “banning an accused cyber-stalker from bullying, threatening and harassing another user,” the Herald Sun reports. Leading Sen-Constable Stuart Walton made a video of himself reading the order to the accused man as if he were actually speaking to him and sent the order, explanation and contracts in private messages to the man’s Facebook account. The man was accused of harassing his former girlfriend and an intervention order had lapsed when the man tried to contact the woman via Facebook.


CONGO – United Nations officials announced last month that approximately 500 women were raped in the eastern part of the country in July and August and charged that both rebel militias and government troops use sexual violence as a weapon in the conflict. Reports of conflict surfaced in July but it took weeks for word to spread about the large number of rapes. A United Nations official told the Security Council that the actions of the peacekeeping mission were “not adequate, resulting in unacceptable brutalization of the population of the villages in the area,” the New York Times reports.