Friday, March 27, 2009

Senator Gillibrand

Today's NYT's has an in depth look at the Senator's work as an associate assigned to the defend Phillip Morris & its executives at Davis Polk & Wardwell.
One should be aware that as an associate one does not pick nor decline assignments, especially if one wants to work at that firm.
Everyone (including corporations, since they have the standing as individuals) deserves to have good counsel--even rapists, murderers and the tobacco companies. For if their rights are not protected, it is a slippery slope to leaving others' rights unprotected.

While Gillibrand has accepted campaign contributions from tobacco monies, it appears that she is not in their pocket, so to speak: she has voted against their interests and for the public's interests.

Monday, March 9, 2009

White Paper

As discussed at tonight's meeting, let us use this blog to draft a white paper on Violence Against Women.
If you post a comment, facts (please cite references) we can all read it, and follow the thread...
I will try to be the compiler.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women's Day...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Animal Abuse, Domestic Abuse

To be discussed at the 3/9 UCDW meeting are too very important and linked issues: Animal Abuse and Domestic Abuse (AKA Domestic Violence).

1st - Thanks to member Merle Borenstein who suggested we have a discussion of New York's animal cruelty laws and the need for increased penalties. On our behalf, Merle invited Patrick Kwan, NY Director of the Humane Society of the United States. He will tell us how NY compares with other states and answer YOUR questions at 7:30 PM. Kwan bio:
Magazine interview:

2. Then we will discuss ramifications of the horrific February 12 beheading murder of Aasiya Zubair Hassan , 37, by her husband in Buffalo. Mrs. Hassan had recently filed for a divorce and had an order of protection. Most early coverage was on the web or international. NY Times filed this story on 2/17:
Now, there is a great deal of coverage--just google. Here is NOW's release from 2/16

There are impediments to honest discussion of this crime as evidenced by the news coverage, which was tardy and timid. Laughter--yes, laughter--by pundits on TV about the details of the murder by curved sword that hung on the wall, and trivializing this murder by calling it domestic violence or an "honor killing" somehow bound up in religious freedom, only muddy the facts. This was a bloody murder of a woman by someone the police knew she was in fear of.

For discussion:
Do religious or cultural nuances play a role in discussing, understanding, condoning or trivializing violence? If so, is that legitimate? Do these considerations skew media coverage? Does calling violence within families "domestic violence" and "domestic abuse" reduce its importance to media, society, police and courts? If Mr. Hassan had beheaded a stranger on the street with the sword, would that have been reported differently?

What do YOU think? spark call for use of hate-crimes law in violence against women rid of the ‘toxic media,” opponents of domestic violence say threatened wife before slaying separatist, wife dead in apparent murder suicide Leshkevich coverage, Editorial

Here are some sites with facts about domestic abuse:
The 1 in 3 stat inludes passive abuse (verbal, mental, financial) as well as physical abuse.

The Nat'l Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( does cite 1 in 4 women (DV rates have been going down in the past 10 years--though with the current economic situation, many are predicting an uptick...), it does note that many cases of DV are NOT reported...for many reasons: immigration status, cultural norms, financial dependency, welfare status. . .
PLUS in many states dating violence is not reported as domestic, because they are not co-habitating...

More facts/numbers (national) DoJ number VAW 2005 stats non fatal per 1000 is 3.6 (intimate),6.7(date) 1.6 (relative)... female fatals in 2005 due to DV: 1181

3. And, to add some more to a full meeting Jo Ann Chamberlain will tell us about the Health Care for America NOW! campaign, and we'll discuss whether to join the HCAN coalition.

These above are US Stats...If you go to WHO, the stats range upwards to 61% (!) in a Peruvian Province can get global numbers