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The Department of Defense, Sexual Assault, and the Future

The announcement was greeted with cautious optimism from victims' advocates in Congress, who said that more urgent reform is still needed sooner than a year from now.

As a former civilian social worker for the Air Force, I cannot help but weigh in on the national debate about how to reform the Department of Defense’s sexual assault policies.

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Military Sexual Assaults Are Up, as Air Force Assault Prevention Officer Arrested for Sexual Battery

In a way, the military can create a perfect storm for triggering an eating disorder.

Pentagon brass say they’re working on the problem but balk at meaningful changes that would safeguard those claiming assault against their superiors.

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Legal Wrap: Marriage Equality, Contraception, and the NRA Teaming Up With Anti-Abortion Groups

Sacramento, California, November 22, 2008: Protest against the passage of Proposition 8.

While the Supreme Court took up marriage equality, the NRA and anti-abortion groups joined forces to block an important judicial appointment.

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Lt. Dan Choi Convicted for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Protest

"The human bonds that can be formed by courage transcends generations. All that racism, homophobia we defeat with skin on skin." -Lt. Dan Choi going in for trial this morning, holding hands with other civil rights leaders.

Choi was convicted and fined $100 for “failure to obey” in conjunction with a November 2010 protest of the since-repealed DADT policy outside the White House. “I believe the White House sidewalk is a free-speech zone,” he said.

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Trial Against Lt. Dan Choi for ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Protest Set for Thursday

Army Lieutenant Daniel "Dan" Choi, West Point graduation portrait taken in 2003.

The case concerns whether Lt. Choi should serve up to six months of jail time or pay a fine of up to $5,000 for chaining himself to the White House fence in protest of the DADT policy in November 2010. Choi argues that since DADT has since been repealed, his charges should be dropped.

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Not Shipshape: STI Rates Higher for Women in the Military


Not only are unintended pregnancy rates higher for some servicewomen—now we’re learning that across the military, the STI rate among women is seven times than that of the general population.

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How Can We Prevent Rape as a Weapon Used in Conflict?

Can we do anything useful to stop sexual assault in conflict, and, if so, is the United Nations the entity to do it?

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Report from Syria: Women Combat an Oppressive Regime Online, On the Ground, and Sometimes Armed

Activist Rodaina Eessa with her sister. Photo: Ruth Michaelson/RH Reality Check.

Syria’s media war is being waged with gory images from the ground. But preconceived notions about subservient Middle Eastern women could lead the world to assume that there have been no women active on the ground in Syria. This is simply not true: we’re just not looking hard enough.

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Global Roundup: Philippines On the Verge of Reproductive History; Laotian Women Take On Land Mines

Weekly global roundup: Philippines Congress (finally!) set to vote on embattled RH Bill; Nepal recruits female police officers to stem violence against women; All-female mine deprogramming teams make history in Laos; and survivors of sexual violence in Kenya’s 2007 post-election chaos still await justice. 

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The Deeply Troubled Past and Present of Inter-country Adoptions from Nations in Conflict and Chaos

Stories abound of children stolen from their families in countries of conflict and chaos. Beware of countries with a history of atrocities and don’t become complicit: The “blinders” are quite profound once you enter the adoption process and become committed to a child.

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