Topic

rape victims support

13 petitions

Started 1 month ago

Petition to Tennessee Department of Children's Services, United States Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Senate

Legal child marriage in the U.S.

Helping children in forced marriages is murky territory for activists and social workers. A child who leaves home under the age of 18 is considered a runaway, meaning that social service organizations and shelters could face legal action for helping them. On top of that, many of the resources that are available to adults in abusive marriages aren't available to named minors. In the United Slates, a person cannot Just remove the child from the situation — that could be considered kidnapping, punishable by up to life in prison. Child Protection Services also typically decline to get involved before a child is married, and after the marriage, they may no longer even have the authority to get involved. As I alluded to before religion is an important factor that comes into play here. Most of the survivors of these forced child marriages come from tight religious circles. When you look at the list of countries where child marriage is most common at the top of the list are the heavily Islamic countries of Chad, Niger, Bangladesh, and Ginny. The jewish halakhah sets the minimum age for marriage at 13 for boys and 12 for girls. Catholic canon law allows marriage at 16 for boys and 14 for girls. In these tight religious circles the girl would never be able to tell authorities or get out of the marriage until shes at least 18. Even then if she divorced her husband she'd likely be banned from her community forever. Some things are being done to stop this by the organization "unchained at last" but their efforts and proposals have actually been turned down by several states. For example New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have banned marriage for teens under 18 in the state of new Jersey for the reason of "an exclusion without exceptions would violate the cultures and traditions of some communities in New Jersey based on religious traditions". After Chris Christie left office though the bill quickly progressed in new Jersey again, which is great, but the progress on the bill was obliterated completely again. "And then Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin pulled A865 (the bill to raise the marriage age to 18 without exceptions) from me assembly agenda on May 24 2018, Just minutes before the assembly session"-unchained at last. Gary shayer (an orthodox jew) was the one to convince Craig Coughlin to do this. It was only after all of this that the bill finally progress once more and was eventually passed. New Jersey isn't the only place people are trying to make a change though "Unchained has last has helped to write, introduce, and promote legislation in some two dozen U.S states to eliminate the human-rights abuse but so far only two states have ended all child marriage: Delaware, which did so in May 2018, and New Jersey which did so in June 2018. “Two down. 48 to go."- unchainedatlast.com Unchained at last, and various activists are making politicians and legislators in plenty of states aware of the flaws in our legislature, yet even when presented with the hanus statistics the bill is still not being passed due to trivial reasons that are not worth the amount of children that are stuck in violent and emotionally destructive marriages with absolutely no way out. Change in policies (here is a list of all the states that still have child marriage legal, the minimum age, and the name of the current child marriage bill) Washington - no minimum -pending bill for age of 17 - HB2376 Oregon - no minimum - pending bill for age 18 - HB2767 California - no minimum - bill passed that does not limit marriage laws to satisfy people - SB273 Alaska - no minimum - bill failed - SB273 Hawaii - no minimum- no bill Arizona - 16 (no more than 3 year difference) - HB2006 Nevada - no minimum - strong bill pending - AB139 Idaho - no minimum - weak bill pending to make legal age minimum 16 - H0098 Montana - no minimum - bill to make legal minimum 18 has died - HB533 Wyoming - no minimum - bill to make legal minimum 18 has died - HB60 Colorado  - no minimum - weak bill to rase age to 18 pending - HB19-1251 New Mexico - no minimum - no bill Texas - 16 minimum - HB3932/SB1705 North Dakota - no minimum - no bill South Dakota  - no minimum - no bill Nebraska  - no minimum - no bill Kansas  - no minimum - no bill Oklahoma  - no minimum - no bill Minnesota - no minimum - 2 currently pending bills to raise marriage age to 18 - HF745/SF1393 Iowa  - no minimum - no bill Missouri - 16 minimum (within 4 year age gap) - SB655 Arkansas - 17 minimum - HB1708 Louisiana - no minimum - SB463 Indiana - no minimum - no bill Kentucky - 17 minimum (within 4 year age gap) - SB48 Tennessee - 17 minimum (within 4 year age gap) - established cause of action for forced marriage survivors - HB2134/SB226 Mississippi - no minimum - no bill Alabama - no minimum - no bill Maine - no minimum - bill pending to make marriage age 16 - LD545/SP144 New Hampshire - 16 minimum - bill killed to raise age to 18 - HB1587, HB1661, and HB1586 Vermont - no minimum - bill killed to raise age to 18 - H790 Massachusetts - no minimum - bill pending to raise age to 18 - H2310/S785 Rhode Island  - no minimum - no bill Connecticut - 16 minimum - bill pending to raise age to 18 - HB5442 New York - 17 minimum - A5524 Maryland - no minimum - bill to raise minimum to 18 has died a total of 4 times - SB231 West Virginia - no minimum - no bill Virginia - 16 minimum (emancipated; judicial consent) - HB703/SB415 North Carolina - no minimum - no bill Sourh Carolina - 16 minimum - S0196 Georgia - 16 minimum (no more than 4 year age gap, emancipated, and has completed premarital education) - HB228 Florida - 17 minimum (2 year age gap)

Ashton C.
7 supporters
Update posted 6 months ago

Petition to The Ohio State House

I was given an $80 "Award" for being raped.

My name is Rilla Perkins On the morning of June, 14th 2015 I was raped at Goodale Park in Columbus, Ohio. It’s one of the most popular parks in the city and one of the oldest parks in the U.S. The park is surrounded by the Arena District and also by Victorian Village which contains a cluster of homes.  I woke up right at the entrance of Goodale Park. Not knowing how I got there, covered in dirt from head to toe, with my pants and underwear down to my ankles, bra half way off, and in the worst pain of my life. It hurt to even move. I went into complete shock and ran to my friend’s house who I had remembered only lived a few blocks away with tears just streaming down my face.  I was taken to the hospital and put into a big cold room where I had to sit and wait for a detective and the police to come and scold me with questions. I’ll never forget how flat lined and unsympathetic the detective was. After the questioning I was asked to go into another room with two other women where I was stripped completely naked. I was probed multiple times, I was given shots to prevent pregnancy and any diseases, pills, a camera pointed at literally every inch of my body, legs spread and all. They kept all of my clothes including the only bra I had owned at that time and replaced them with a t-shirt, a sports bra and sweats. I walked back to my room with my head down, feeling empty inside. Still covered in dirt, leaving trails of mulch behind me.  After that I was given a giant packet of paper work that included helpful resources for victims, such as myself. And the detective said he would be in touch and gave me his business card. I then tracked dirt all in my friend’s car on the way home.. I was never asked if I wanted to take a shower at Grant hospital.  I ended up filling out some of that paper work (not really knowing what I was filling out). All while I was waiting to hear from the detective. Two months pass by and still nothing. He never answered my phone calls, nor responded to my voicemails. It took me reaching out to a local news channel to get help. They were able to get in contact with a public information officer who said “the investigation is open, we are looking into it.” During that two month period, I had lost my part-time job which was the job I was working the morning of the attack. I was told I would have to go back to those same bars just a few days later.. so I quit. Because I was fighting depression with no medical insurance, I lost my full-time job and then even the car that I was leasing had gotten repoed. I fell apart. I was extremely depressed and it just felt as if the universe was against me.  Three months pass by and my detective finally gives me a call and says:  "I’m sorry to tell you but we found DNA on your underwear however his DNA is not in the system. So your case will stay inactive." It was literally a 2 minute phone call. I still do not know who raped me... But after the detective decided to finally call me, I had realized that I needed to pick myself back up from the dirt that I was left in, that day on June 14th. Because no one else was going to do it for me. I knew I had to get through my own storm to see the sun again. 2 years later...  On February 25th 2017 I get a packet in the mail from the Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine giving me an "Award" for $80.00. My jaw dropped. My heart sank to the very pit of my stomach as it was racing with anger. I felt like I was just hit by a moving car.  In that packet the word “award” was used 17 different times. The word “award” is defined TO ME as - A prize or other mark of recognition given in honor of an achievement. All I could hear was “here’s an award for being raped two years ago.” We all have different reactions to certain words. And this is degrading. It is upsetting. It is hurtful. It is disturbing. It is triggering. It is all of the above. I refuse to accept an “$80.00 rape award.”  This packet does not allow victims to believe there's an opportunity for justice. It lacks compassion. It lacks support. 30% of sexual assault victims do not report the crime to local law enforcement. From the intense questioning with harsh language to the lack of communication, the criminal justice system enables rape culture. After reading the letter, I realized had I not received counseling to utilize coping skills, this would have been catastrophic. As such, I propose to remove the word “award” from any letter addressing sexual and physical assault. In doing so, this would increase the reporting percentage, build confidence in the criminal justice system, and help victims move on. The Ohio Attorney General's Office said "it's how it's been written." According to Channel 10TV News in which my interview about this aired on 3/20/2017. In a statement to 10TV, AGO Spokesman Dan Tierney says: "While we find it regrettable that the claimant interpreted the language as celebratory, it is the statutorily required language that we must use and cannot change. The Ohio General Assembly has the authority to change the terms used in statute." Just for a word change.... It’s now been 3 years.  Please share this story. We need as many signatures as we can get. The goal will keep rising. Let's make a difference together & instead;  Give survivors a **Compensation letter**. Give us hope.  The unfortunate truth is that we settle for what we feel like we deserve. And as a survivor, I did not deserve the word choice in this letter. I don’t think anyone does. I just want to make a difference, even if it’s a small one, for someone else.  Please help me at least do that.     

Rilla Perkins
2,890 supporters