NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of calls reporting human trafficking cases to a U.S. national hotline rose last year, as did calls from trafficking survivors, showing that public awareness of the issue is growing, organizers said on Thursday.

Some 1,600 survivors contacted the hotline in 2015, a 24 percent jump from a year earlier, said the Polaris Project, which operates the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline and a BeFree Textline.

LANSING -- Efforts to eliminate a backlog in rape-evidence tests and track down serial rapists have uncovered more than 1,800 additional untested rape kits at law enforcement agencies across the state, officials announced Thursday.

To read full article, visit this Detroit Free Press link.

29 January 2016 – The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights today said he is extremely alarmed at continuing allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of minors in the Central African Republic (CAR) by members of foreign military forces.

The alleged crimes mostly took place in 2014, but only came to light in recent weeks. A joint UN team in CAR recently interviewed a number of girls who said they had been sexually exploited or abused by foreign soldiers.

It was 1982, one of the bloodiest years of the country’s civil war as counter-insurgency operations against ethnic Mayans intensified under the rule of the military dictator and evangelical Christian, Efraín Ríos Montt

More than 30 years later, two former military officers will finally face charges of sexual and domestic slavery and forced disappearance in a landmark trial which opens on Monday.

I am a feminist because when walking to school with a friend, a man significantly older than me catcalled me and my friend from his car and no one bothered to help us.
 
I am a feminist because when I told the man that I was going to call the police, he seemed offended, and even told me to "calm down" because it was a compliment and I shouldn't be so mad or serious.

I am a feminist because most boys my age seem to be more disgusted with periods and menstrual cycles than they are with rape.

January is national human trafficking awareness month. With the media’s portrayal of human trafficking moving from an international focus to recognizing the issue in the U.S., numerous organizations are stepping up to the plate to do something about it. Many are beginning to become aware of the issue of sex trafficking, where those often labeled as “prostitutes” are not the offenders but victims of a crime centered on coercion and control. With the average age of entry reportedly being 12 to 14 years old, it is apparent that this issue is worthy of urgent response and intervention.

Authorities in the German city of Cologne are to set up a “safe zone” for women during the annual carnival which begins next week, to avoid a repeat of the New Year sex attacks on women.

To read full article, visit this Telegraph link.

A former Oklahoma City police officer who was found guilty of raping more than a dozen women while on duty was sentenced to 263 years in prison on Thursday.

To read full article, visit this NBC News link.

Bill Cosby marked an upset victory Thursday when a federal judge threw out a civil suit filed against him by one of the five-dozen women who have accused him of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them in decades past.

To read full article, visit this USA Today link.

(Reuters Health) - Men and women veterans who experienced sexual assault or repeated, threatening sexual harassment while serving in the military are at heightened risk of suicide, according to a recent U.S. study.

To read full article, visit this Reuters link.

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