Innocents: El Salvador, where pregnant women have more to fear than Zika

Rachel Nolan, Innocents. Harper’s, October 2016. “There are six countries in the world that prohibit abortion under all circumstances, without exceptions for victims of rape or incest or for cases in which the pregnancy threatens the life of the mother: El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Nicaragua, Malta, and Vatican City. In the United States, even the most fervent antiabortion groups maintain that women who have abortions are victims, instead directing their attacks at doctors. Earlier this year, when Donald Trump suggested that if Roe v. Wade were reversed, women who choose to terminate a pregnancy should be subject to “some form of punishment,” he was denounced across the political spectrum.

That scenario already exists in El Salvador, a country of 6.3 million, where an active medical and law-enforcement system finds and tries women who are suspected of having had abortions. Public prosecutors visit hospitals to train gynecologists and obstetricians to detect and report patients who show “symptoms of abortion.” Doctors are legally obligated to be informants for the police.”

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Missing and Murdered: The Trafficked (in Canada)

Tavia Grant, Missing and Murdered: The Trafficked. The Globe and Mail, 10 February 2016. “Indigenous women and girls are being exploited by gangs and other predators with little being done to stop it. Missing and Murdered: The Trafficked: The story behind our investigation into the exploitation of indigenous women and girls, by Tavia Grant, 10 February 2016: “The Trafficked project sprang from an ongoing Globe and Mail investigation into missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada. In the course of that reporting, the issue of human trafficking surfaced as a factor that puts some aboriginal women at even greater risk of disappearing or being killed. The Globe and Mail spent three months investigating the subject, dedicating one reporter full-time to delve into who the victims are, how the crime is committed, what the long-term impact is and how the federal government has responded.”

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An Unbelievable Story of Rape

Ken Armstrong and T. Christian Miller, An Unbelievable Story of Rape. The Marshall Project (Ken Armstrong) and ProPublica (T. Christian Miller), 16 December 2015. An 18-year-old said she was attacked at knifepoint. Then she said she made it up. That’s where our story begins.” “‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape’ is the account of a failed police investigation and the trail of hurt and humiliation that followed. This 12,000-word piece tells the story of a young woman who reported being raped at knifepoint in her apartment, only to be disbelieved by police, and later prosecuted for lying to the authorities. Years later, two relentless female detectives in Colorado arrested a man suspected of raping a series of women and discovered that the original victim was telling the truth all along.”

Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting.

Winner of the 2015 George Polk Award for Justice Reporting.


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Under cover of darkness, female janitors face rape and assault

Bernice Yeung, Under cover of darkness, female janitors face rape and assault. Reveal (from The Center for Investigative Reporting) and Frontline (PBS), 23 June 2015. Across the country, janitors at companies large and small say their employers have turned a blind eye to complaints of sexual assault, and attacked their credibility when they report abuse at the hands of supervisors or co-workers.” This story is part of Rape on the Night Shift, a collaboration between Reveal, FRONTLINE, the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, Univision and KQED.

Update: Andrew Donohue, Largest janitorial company agrees to reform response to sexual abuse. The Center for Investigative Reporting, 10 December 2015. “The nation’s largest janitorial company has agreed to an outside review of rape claims made by its female janitors in California, adding a new layer of oversight for a company with a history of facing accusations that it failed to prevent sexual violence. ABM Industries Inc. made the pledge as part of a settlement announced Wednesday night with Maria Bojorquez, a former employee who said she was raped by a supervisor while cleaning San Francisco’s Ferry Building in 2004. ABM, and the Bojorquez case specifically, was featured prominently in Rape on the Night Shift, a recent investigation into sexual abuse in the janitorial industry by Reveal, the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program, KQED, Univision and FRONTLINE.”

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External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces

Marie Deschamps, External Review into Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Harassment in the Canadian Armed Forces. External Review Authority. National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. 27 March 2015. “One of the key findings of the External Review Authority (the ERA) is that there is an underlying sexualized culture in the CAF [Canadian Armed Forces] that is hostile to women and LGTBQ members, and conducive to more serious incidents of sexual harassment and assault. Cultural change is therefore key. It is not enough to simply revise policies or to repeat the mantra of “zero tolerance”. Leaders must acknowledge that sexual misconduct is a real and serious problem for the organization, one that requires their own direct and sustained attention.”

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A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA

Sabrina Rubin Erdely, A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA. Rolling Stone, 19 November 2014. “From reading headlines today, one might think colleges have suddenly become hotbeds of protest by celebrated anti-rape activists. But like most colleges across America, genteel University of Virginia has no radical feminist culture seeking to upend the patriarchy. There are no red-tape-wearing protests like at Harvard, no “sex-positive” clubs promoting the female orgasm like at Yale, no mattress-hauling performance artists like at Columbia, and certainly no SlutWalks. UVA isn’t an edgy or progressive campus by any stretch. The pinnacle of its polite activism is its annual Take Back the Night vigil, which on this campus of 21,000 students attracts an audience of less than 500 souls. But the dearth of attention isn’t because rape doesn’t happen in Charlottesville. It’s because at UVA, rapes are kept quiet, both by students – who brush off sexual assaults as regrettable but inevitable casualties of their cherished party culture – and by an administration that critics say is less concerned with protecting students than it is with protecting its own reputation from scandal. Some UVA women, so sickened by the university’s culture of hidden sexual violence, have taken to calling it ‘UVrApe.'”

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Whisked Out of Jail, and Back to the N.F.L.

Steve Eder, Whisked Out of Jail, and Back to the N.F.L. Nowhere to Turn: First of Two Articles. The New York Times, 16 November 2014. And N.F.L. Was Family, Until Wives Reported Domestic Abuse. Nowhere to Turn: Second of Two Articles, The New York Times, 17 November 2014. “Even after sheriff’s deputies arrived at her Weston, Fla., home, Kristen Lennon remained in the bathroom, afraid to leave. Minutes earlier, she had fled there for safety as she called 911, telling the operator that her fiancé [Phillip Merling, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound defensive end for the Miami Dolphins] had thrown her on the bed and hit her in the face and head. She was two months pregnant…. Mr. Merling was booked on charges of aggravated domestic battery on a pregnant woman. Almost all inmates are required to leave the jail through the public front door and arrange their own transportation home, but Mr. Merling was granted an unusual privilege: He was escorted out a rear exit by a deputy, evading reporters. The commander, who was off duty and in uniform, drove Mr. Merling in an unmarked car to the Dolphins’ training complex 20 minutes away. After Mr. Merling met with team officials, the commander drove him home to get his belongings — even though a judge had ordered Mr. Merling to “stay away” and avoid any potential contact with Ms. Lennon.”

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Till death do us part: South Carolina’s murder rate for women is more than double that of the nation

Doug Pardue, Glenn Smith, Jennifer Berry Hawes and Natalie Caula Hauff, Till death do us part. Post and Courier, 19 August 2014. “More than 300 women were shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death over the past decade by men in South Carolina, dying at a rate of one every 12 days while the state does little to stem the carnage from domestic abuse.” Seven-part series.

Update: Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

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A Star Player [Jameis Winston] Accused, and a Flawed Rape Investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department and Florida State University

Walt Bogdanich, A Star Player Accused, and a Flawed Rape Investigation. The New York Times, 16 April 2014. “Early on the morning of Dec. 7, 2012, a freshman at Florida State University reported that she had been raped by a stranger somewhere off campus after a night of drinking at a popular Tallahassee bar called Potbelly’s. As she gave her account to the police, several bruises began to appear, indicating recent trauma. Tests would later find semen on her underwear. For nearly a year, the events of that evening remained a well-kept secret until the woman’s allegations burst into the open, roiling the university and threatening a prized asset: Jameis Winston, one of the marquee names of college football. Three weeks after Mr. Winston was publicly identified as the suspect, the storm had passed. The local prosecutor announced that he lacked the evidence to charge Mr. Winston with rape. The quarterback would go on to win the Heisman Trophy and lead Florida State to the national championship.”

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The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace

Lynn Povich, The Good Girls Revolt. Published by Public Affairs on 10 September 2012. “In 1970, Newsweek magazine decided to do a cover story on the brand new Women’s Movement, but there was just one problem: they had no woman to write it. Only men were hired as writers on the magazine; women were hired as researchers and rarely, if ever, promoted to reporter or writer. The day Newsweek hit the stands with its cover called “WOMEN IN REVOLT,” 46 of us sued the magazine for sex discrimination. We were the first women in the media to sue and comprised the first female class action suit. Following us, women working at Time Inc., The Reader’s Digest, The New York Times, NBC and the Associated Press, among others, also sued their employers.”

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