Violence Against Women Persists at Epidemic Levels

NOW is unique in its approach to the issue of violence against women, emphasizing that there are many interrelated aspects to the issue — domestic violence; sexual assault; sexual harassment; violence at abortion clinics; hate crimes across lines of gender, sexuality and race; the gender bias in our judicial system that further victimizes survivors of violence; and the violence of poverty emphasized by the radical right’s attacks on poor women and children — all of which result from society’s attitudes toward women and efforts to “keep women in their place.”

Westchester NOW aims to help our women and girls by advocating for toughened laws targeted at abusers and exploiters, holding our law enforcement accountable to its promise to protect, and becoming a voice for those who can’t be heard.

 

Domestic Violence

Despite increased media coverage on cases of domestic violence involving high-profile athletes and celebrities, the harsh reality is that violence against women shows no sign of waning.  According to the latest figures, in Westchester County alone, law enforcement responded to 11,381 calls related to domestic violence.  While larger cities like Mount Vernon and Yonkers led with the greatest numbers of incidents reported, domestic violence found its way into all parts of the county, even into smaller towns like Bronxville and Ardsley.  Officials say these statistics do not take into account the vast majority of abuse that go unreported.

For more information and statistics on domestic violence, please click here.

Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.  Human trafficking is a crime under federal and international law.  While the number of actual victims and survivors are hard to track by virtue of trafficking’s illicit and  underground crime nature, it is estimated that 27 million victims exist worldwide. New York alone ranks as #4 in the country as the worst state in reported cases, behind California, Texas, and Florida.  Of these victims, 80% are identified as women and girls.

For more information and statistics on sex trafficking in New York, please click here.

 

Campus Sexual Assault

Across the country, students and sexual assault survivors are uniting behind a movement that is gaining national attention – a movement to end rape on campus once and for all. Ninety-five colleges and universities are currently under review for allegedly mishandling sexual assault and harassment on campus. New York has more schools under investigation than any other state.

These complaints allege violations to students’ rights under federal law, including Title IX. Under Title IX schools are required to respond promptly and effectively to reports of sexual assault, investigate possible incidents of sexual assault and take appropriate steps to address it and ensure survivors are safe, even while an investigation in ongoing.  According to the federal government “a criminal investigation into allegations of sexual violence does not relieve a school of its duty under Title IX to resolve reports promptly and effectively”

These are the New York colleges and universities being investigated by the federal Department of Education as of January 27, 2015:

  • Barnard College
  • Canisus College
  • Columbia University
  • CUNY, Hunter College
  • Elmira College
  • Hamilton College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Pace University, New York
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas College
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • SUNY at Stony Brook
  • SUNY College at Purchase

— Courtesy, NOW-NYC

Click here for some facts on campus sexual assault.