March Round Up – Sexual Abuse and Rape

EC to donate to coalition fighting child sexual abuse on the internet
The European Commission will provide up to 427 000 euro of funding for the activities of a European Financial Coalition against child sexual abuse content on the Internet, European Commission vice president Jacques Barrot said on March 3 2009. The coalition – led by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre (the UK’s dedicated policing organisation for protecting children from sexual exploitation) and funded by the European Commission, – is a public-private informal group including police authorities, financial operators, internet service providers, NGOs and other partners, whose aim is to work together in the fight against child pornography. Continues at http://www.sofiaecho.com/2009/03/03/683596_ec-to-donate-to-coalition-fighting-child-sexual-abuse-on-the-internet

Factors associated with suspected drug facilitated sexual assault
Background: There has been little systematic investigation of widespread reports of drugging and sexual assault. We sought to determine the prevalence of and factors associated with suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault.
Methods: Between June 2005 and March 2007, a total of 977 consecutive sexual assault victims underwent screening for suspected drugging at 7 hospital-based sexual assault treatment centres. We defined victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault as those who presented to a centre within about 72 hours of being assaulted and who provided at least 1 valid reason for suspecting that she or he had been drugged and sexually assaulted. We used logistic regression modelling to compare victims of suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault with other sexual assault victims, controlling for covariates.
Results: In total, 882 victims were eligible for inclusion in the study. Of these, 855 (96.9%) were women, and 184 (20.9%) met the criteria for suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault. Compared with other victims, victims of drug-facilitated sexual assault were more likely to have presented to a large urban centre for care (odds ratio [OR] 2.31, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.47–3.65), to be employed (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.34–2.76), to have consumed over-the-counter medications (OR 3.97, 95% CI 2.47–6.38) and street drugs (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.12–2.62) in the 72 hours before being examined and to have used alcohol before the assault (OR 4.00, 95% CI 2.53–6.32).
Interpretation: Suspected drug-facilitated sexual assault is a common problem. Sexual assault services should be tailored to meet the needs of those experiencing this type of victimization.
Full report at http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/180/5/513

International Medical Charity Calls Rape ‘Silent Epidemic’
The international medical charity, Doctors Without Borders, says victims of rape should receive treatment and counseling within three days of their attack and efforts are needed to counter social taboos that discourage this. The findings are in a report on sexual violence issued to coincide with International Women’s Day. Continues at http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-03-06-voa55.cfm

Domestic violence is still a problem in Ghana
Statistics from the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU) indicate that domestic violence is still a problem in Ghana as 708 defilement cases were recorded against girls and five cases against boys from January to December 2008. The suspected perpetrators were 713 males as against 13 females and in the case of rape, 227 females were raped with all the suspected perpetrators being men. Three thousand, eight hundred and eighty-one females suffered non-maintenance as against 517 males with suspected perpetrators being 4,330 males and 186 females. Nine females also suffered compulsory marriages during the period. Continues at http://topics.myjoyonline.com/news/200903/27318.asp

Culture of Sexual Coercion Exposes Women to HIV in the Caribbean
The fight against widespread sexual violence in the Caribbean has been joined by a high-profile new women’s coalition that warns it could be a major reason for the spread of HIV among women and girls in the region. The Caribbean Coalition on Women, Girls and AIDS (CCWA) said “the role of sexual violence in HIV transmission is becoming clearer. One study found that for nearly 50 percent of adolescent girls, their first sexual experience was forced.” Continues at http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=46082

The US Army’s new sexual assault prevention campaign is called “I. A. M. Strong” — for intervene, act and motivate.
They plot, they plan, they fantasize. They’ll get her drunk, they’ll get her alone, they’ll get her. They’ll do it again whenever they feel like it, because they can. Experts on sexual assault told more than 100 U.S. Army Europe senior leaders that the soldier who rapes a drunken woman after a night of partying made no mistake: He probably did it before and will do it again. Continues at http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=61362

Military rape reports rise, prosecution still low
More people came forward to report sexual assaults in the military last year, but a significant percentage wouldn’t give crucial details needed for an investigation. The Pentagon said it received 2,923 reports of sexual assault across the military in the 12 months ending Sept. 30 2008. That’s about a 9 percent increase over the totals reported the year before, but only a fraction of the crimes presumably being committed. Among the cases reported, only a small number went to military courts, officials acknowledged. Continues at http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hjwUk3pdL0DxNYQVsrQhSWMdwvjgD97023MO0

Women Take First Steps For Rape Crisis Centers in Turkey
Activists gather to launch a Women’s Platform Against Sexual Violence. It will campaign for an end to sexual violence through promoting legislative changes as well as providing support. Declaring, “Sexual violence is not women’s, but men’s problem,” establishment of a Women’s Platform Against Sexual Violence is announced with a press conference today in Istanbul. The Platform aims to launch a campaign against sexual harassment and rape across Turkey. Continues at http://www.bianet.org/english/kategori/english/113225/women-take-first-steps-for-rape-crisis-centers

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