Topic

Sexual Assault

300 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Department of Homeland Security

Demand DHS protect immigrant women from sexual assault

For immigrant women, entering the U.S. can be a difficult road. A recent study showed that many women are being strip searched and sexually abused by Border Patrol Agents. Their complaints are rarely addressed, and the agents are hardly ever reprimanded. The current process for even filing a complaint is filled with obstacles. When complaints are filed, it’s often the Border Agent’s word against the victims. Immigration stories shouldn’t include incidents of sexual coercion. Tell the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect immigrant women from sexual assault - place cameras in booking areas. Two sisters from Guatemala were strip searched and sexually assaulted by a Border Patrol Agent. He took each of them separately, forcing them to remove their clothes and touched their genitals. The booking areas all were without cameras. Current DHS policies require strip searches be performed only by female agents. If that is impossible due to staffing, then two agents are supposed to be in the room. Their complaint was investigated, only to be thrown out due to a ‘lack of physical evidence’. Their story isn’t isolated. From 2010-2016, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection received 84 complaints of coerced sexual assault. Agents should not use their positions of power to sexually assault  immigrant women. Tell the DHS to protect immigrant women from sexual assault, install cameras in booking areas. Sexual assaults by Border Agents is not something that can be overlooked.

Campaigns Lab
36,904 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Florida Governor Rick Scott, Senator Linda Stewart, Florida State Senate, Florida State House

Abolishing the Statute of Limitations for Sexual Crimes Against Minors in Florida

One of my teachers at Oak Ridge High School here in Orlando, FL, sexually abused me when I was two weeks past my 15th. birthday.  After burying this deep within me for more than 40 years, I was contacted by another woman who was also abused by him.  We have now found out about 5 women who were his victims in the early 1970s.   Two of us have met with him.  He was forced to admit his crimes, and that he would do whatever we wanted to keep us quiet.  One of the women asked him to help her get her high school diploma (she was 1 1/2 credits short because when she went to the guidance counselor at the school, he told her nobody would believe her.  She quit coming to school because she was so uncomfortable around him.)  I asked him to voluntarily register as a sexual predator, but he slammed his fist on the table and said he would never do that.  This man went on to teach for many years after what happened to us and retired with his full pension.  His former wife knows all about this, and was contacted by two women from the city where they lived before moving to Orlando, and believed that what we all said was true.  These are secrets we kept for many, many years, just like most childhood victims.  The average time a child keeps these secrets hidden is between 30 and 40 years, and some never make it known.  They fight the demons of their past, and the shame of thinking they caused these horrible deeds to happen.  Bouts of anger and depression follow this type of abuse and many times it comes from such a dark place the victim isn't even able to articulate why they are lashing out. We want the statute of limitations for these crimes to be abolished.  It is entirely unfair to draw an arbitrary line for those who can be prosecuted, and those who cannot.  It is not right that so many of us suffer, and cannot get any justice for what happened.  Finding out there were others was the most devastating news I ever heard, and increased my feelings of guilt over what happened with this man.  He feels no guilt and has never suffered any consequences for his criminal behavior.   These predators don't usually just stop their behaviors until they are caught.  There may be many other victims out there, even some that fall within the statute of limitations.  Until we are free to voice our accusations (we have been informed by law enforcement officials and the State's Attorney's Office that we could be liable for slander if we use his name in print or make any accusations, even though they believed our claims), we may never know how many more there may be, and indeed, whether or not more children are being victimized at this very moment.   This all began before all the accusations against Hollywood directors, and politicians.  This has occupied most of our thoughts and actions since each of the victims found out about one another.  Seeing these issues brought up in the public eye every day, and not being able to do anything about this has made us feel victimized all over again.  It is time to give the children who suffered a chance to find justice.  Please.  Lift the Statute of Limitations and allow the now adult victims of these horrible crimes their day in court.

Donna Hedrick
27,382 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Sheila Jackson Lee, Nancy Pelosi, House Judiciary Committee, Jerrold Nadler, Steny Hoyer

Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

When I was in high school, I was verbally and sexually abused by members of my family. At 16, I finally gathered enough courage to leave. I was terrified I would not survive and that my abusers would follow me. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) allowed me to get a restraining order, which I believe saved my life. But the VAWA — which provides critical services to women across the country — continues to be *temporarily* renewed at each spending bill deadline, but Congress still has not fully reauthorized the bill. The next deadline is December 21st. Will you add your name now to tell the House Judiciary Committee that they must vote to fully reauthorize the VAWA? When I went into the courtroom and told my story to the judge, I was granted a fully enforceable protective order against the abusive members of my family. If they came near me, they would be arrested. The people who had victimized me for my entire life were no longer above the law. With one piece of paper, the government gave me the first step in getting my life and my freedom back. Before the VAWA, the type of access, help and fully enforceable document I was granted simply did not exist. The legislation helps ensure victims who come looking for help are listened to, believed, and given the protection they need to sleep at night and thrive in a life free of their abuser. More often than not, sexual assault victims are not treated as victims. We are treated the opposite — like we did something wrong. We are cross-examined even though we are not on trial. We are doubted first — not believed. We are mocked for our lack of memory, nerves, and PTSD. Rarely are we offered help, assistance, or simply asked if we are OK. The first time this ever changed for me was with my experience seeking a protective order. The legislation passed by the VAWA is helping to bridge the gap between victims and law enforcement; making it easier for them to understand what victims go through and help them accordingly, obtain the resources they need to help, and guarantee the protections that victims deserve and desperately need. Don’t let our country take such a drastic step backward. We have less than three weeks until the next deadline. Call your reps. Demand this legislation be fully reauthorized. Survivor’s protection is not a bargaining chip. Sign this petition to let your representatives know you support survivors and want to make sure they can rely on the protections and resources granted to them in the VAWA.

Jessica Kovac
31,679 supporters