By Patricia Leigh Brown

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. — Toni J., an effervescent 16-year-old who talks on speed-dial, lives with 11 family members in West Oakland, on a street buffeted by gang activity and poverty. Her mother died of an overdose, her father in a revenge shooting. In ninth grade, she was raped while on probation for shoplifting.

By Malcolm Gay

 

CURRYVILLE, Mo. — A troubled young man from this remote stretch of eastern Missouri, Chester Mast had traveled north in the summer of 2004 to stay with his extended family in Wisconsin. Mr. Mast, a member of a conservative Amish community here that eschews conveniences like electricity and telephones, was meant to apprentice with his uncle, a carpenter.

 

By Deena Guzder
 
While the world's attention was focused on Phillip Garrido, who is accused of abducting 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard in 1991 and holding her hostage for 18 years as a sex slave, three other alleged sexual predators were quietly brought back to the U.S. to face prosecution for abusing countless children in Cambodia. The horrifying ordeal of Garrido's victim is now well documented; however, the stories of an estimated 1.8 million other children worldwide who are forced into the multibillion-dollar commercial sex trade every year remain largely unheard.

Steubenville. Chapel Hill. Maryville. Tallahassee. Billings. Nashville. Storrs. Across our nation incidents in cities, towns and universities have put sexual assault in the headlines along sports teams and fraternities. As national leaders in the efforts to respond to sexual violence and support survivors, it is deeply disturbing to us that as a nation we’ve made seemingly little progress in addressing this issue. Why haven’t things changed? Why are we still blaming victims?

By Hilary Hylton


 

By Mark Schone and Angela M. Hill
 

The Brian Ross Investigative Unit has won a 2011 George Polk Award for a 10-month-long investigation of the murder of Peace Corps volunteer Kate Puzey, and of an alleged "blame the victim" culture within the Peace Corps in which whistleblowers were not protected and women were made to feel responsible for being sexually assaulted.
 

By Sadiya Ansari

Groups representing Aboriginal women hope the government will have a partial victory in upholding current prostitution laws. They say female sex workers need to be decriminalized, but they will be endangered if the government stops arresting pimps and johns.

VANCOUVER, Canada (WOMENSENEWS)--The Canadian government is appealing a judge's decision to decriminalize many aspects of prostitution.
 

As Aboriginal women's advocates wait for the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal, it's a time of ambivalence.
 

Abortion rights activists are decrying the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a House bill that seeks to expand prohibitions regarding federal funding for abortions - and which opponents say attempts to redefine rape.

 

By Madeleine Baran

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been rocked in recent weeks by revelations from a top-level whistle-blower. The former official says church leaders covered up numerous cases of sexual misconduct by priests and even made special payments to pedophiles.

The scandal is notable not only because of the abuse but also because it happened in an archdiocese that claimed to be a national leader in dealing with the issue.

By Jess Bidgood

BOSTON — Prosecutors plan to investigate possible sexual abuse at Deerfield Academy, an exclusive private boarding school in western Massachusetts, after a report released by the school detailing its own investigation into allegations against two faculty members who taught there for decades.

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