Topic

Sexual Assault

378 petitions

Update posted 5 days ago

Petition to United States Senate, Joni Ernst, Dianne Feinstein

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.  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. 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
69,943 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Elizabeth Warren, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin State House, Bryan Steil, Tammy Baldwin, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan, F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Ron Kind, Sean P. Duffy, Adam Neylon, Glenn Grothman, Jennifer Shilling, Lena C. Taylor, Scott L. Fitzgerald, Robin Vos, Romaine Robert Quinn, Leah Vukmir, Mark Miller, Thomas Tiffany, Tony Evers, Alberta Darling, Luther S. Olsen, John Nygren, Roger Roth, Tyler August, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, Elizabeth Warren, Charles E. Schumer, Marco Rubio, Dianne Feinstein, Kirsten E. Gillibrand, Rand Paul, Bill Nelson, Cory A. Booker, Richard J. Durbin, Patty Murray, Tim Kaine, Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, Amy Klobuchar, Richard Blumenthal, Richard Burr, Kamala D. Harris, Lamar Alexander, Johnny Isakson, Claire McCaskill, Ron Wyden, Michael F. Bennet, Jeff Flake, Maria Cantwell, Debbie Stabenow, Jon Tester, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Trey Gowdy, Kevin McCarthy, Maxine Waters, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Don Young, Elijah E. Cummings, Barbara Lee, Darrell E. Issa, Paul Cook, Tulsi Gabbard, Louie Gohmert, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Adam B. Schiff, Ted S. Yoho, Eric Swalwell, Eliot L. Engel, Nydia M. Velázquez, Steny H. Hoyer, Fred Upton, John Garamendi, Jackie Speier, Luis V. Gutierrez, Keith Ellison, Scott H. Peters, Joe Courtney, Carolyn B. Maloney

List ALL registered offenders of CHILD SEXUAL ASSAULT on the PUBLIC registry

A 1st degree sex offender recently relocated to our community. He sexually assaulted my daughter at knife point when she was just 9-years-old.  Absolutely NO community notification was given prior to his move here thru current day.  Victim services failed to notify us of his move.  Local law enforcement was not aware of his presence in our local community until we brought it to their attention. Often the community receives notification when a 2nd or 3rd degree sex offender is relocated into a community, the individual I am referring to was convicted of a 1st degree sexual offence and yet there was NO public notification.  In times when there is no notification, the public often turns to websites such as familywatchdog.us or nsopw.gov to identify where dangerous sex offenders may live in their community.  Such websites are believed to contain information such as a current photo, current address, and a listing of the specific charges related to anyone that is listed on the National Sex Offender Registry. Unfortunately, such transparency does not truly exist.  familywatchdog.us and nsopw.gov do not truly provide a comprehensive listing of all sex offenders that are currently ordered to adhere to the terms of the registry.  In fact, many of the MOST DANGEROUS sexual assault offenders remain hidden from the public's view on the National Sex Offender Registry. For example, the sexual offender that penetrated my 9-year-old child, while using a dangerous weapon and resulted in significant injuries, is unable to be found on the National Sex Offender Registry.  Even though he committed a SERIOUS crime, a 1st degree felony, he managed to slip through political loopholes and cannot be found by the general public.  Despite being convicted of one of the most serious crimes of sexual assault, his identity remains hidden from public view--hidden until there is another victim. This is unacceptable.  The purpose of the National Sex Offender Registry is to prevent crimes of a sexual nature by predators that have been convicted of committing such offences.  The individual that assaulted my daughter was 3 weeks shy of his 14th birthday, and was technically an adjudicated delinquent, which enabled him to find a loophole and not be visible to the public on the registry. While one may argue that he was a juvenile, I think it is important to point out that he had 3 charges of sexual nature that were being investigated at the time of the assault.  If there was true transparency in the National Sex Offender Registry, assaults such as that which happened to my daughter may have been preventable.  I carefully studied the whereabouts of the offenders listed on the public's view of the registry before moving to my neighborhood, and had diligently checked it from time to time, thinking it was a complete, comprehensive listing of all registered offenders.  Never did I think that the most dangerous type of offender was living right across the street from me. For the safety of the community, I ask you to consider mandating that ALL 1st and 2nd degree sexual offenders are made visible to the public when checking the National Sex Offender Registry.  Sex offenders that committed a 1st or 2nd degree sexual offences, are often perpetrators of offences committed against children, those that involve the use of threats or force, and those that result in significant injury to the victim.  1st and 2nd degree sexual offenders terrorized their victims, and often engaged in acts that resulted in great harm.  Given the serious nature of their crime and the danger that such offenders present, informing the public and allowing them to make informed decisions should outweigh any justification for keeping the identity of such predators hidden from public view, regardless of the offender's age at the time of the crime. Public awareness and the ability to prevent another travesty from occurring should be of utmost importance.  Offenders that committed 1st and 2nd degree Sexual offences committed horrible acts of violence against another human being.  The existence of the National Sex Offender Registry is to inform the public of the presence of dangerous sex offenders.  Providing loopholes for some of the most dangerous of all the offenders is irresponsible.  True transparency of the offenders required to register for the sex offender registry is critical to ensure the purpose of the sex offender registry is honored, by enabling the public to prevent such a devastating act from occurring. Providing true transparency of those contained on sex offender registry is crucial for the safety and security of the public.  Juveniles that commit such heinous offences often receive a break at the time of sentencing.  Rather than be held accountable for the mandatory 25 years to life in prison for committing such serious offences, their maximum sentence is often capped at just 5 years.  While some may argue that such offenders are young, and can be rehabilitated, the impact that such juveniles have on their victims is no different, whether the offender is 13 or 30 years old.  It is traumatizing enough for the victims of such offenders to not be granted with a minimum of 25 years of guaranteed freedom from encountering their offender in their community.  In my daughter's case, 3 weeks made the difference of allowing her offender to be released into the community in just 5 years, from the probability that he would have been sentenced to 60 years to life in prison, for the acts of violence he committed against her. There are reasons why 1st and 2nd degree sexual assault crimes typically result in up to 40 years to life in prison.  The danger and severity of the crimes that such offenders have committed are nearly unthinkable.  Allowing such dangerous predators the luxury of attaining their freedom from the confines of a prison cell, or other treatment option, after just 5 years is a huge privilege.  However, given the nature of their offences, their release into the community without any public notification or transparency on the National Sex Offender Registry is completely irresponsible and self-defeating.  ALL 1st and 2nd degree sexual offenders MUST be presented on a truly TRANSPARENT registry for it to properly serve its purpose. 1st and 2nd degree sexual assault offenders that were convicted/adjudicated of very serious felonies, directly harmed their victims.  Most of the victims of such offenders are children--children that put their trust in the legal system, believing that sharing their stories would somehow prevent others from falling prey to their predators.  Mandating the presence of ALL registered sex offenders that committed a 1st or 2nd degree felony to appear on the registry, and providing true transparency of those on the registry, provides the victims of such crimes with a sense that their victimization is truly being acknowledged by authorities and that their bravery in coming forward and reporting such acts of violence, will enable the community to prevent victimization of another individual by their offender. The current lack of transparency gives the community a false sense of security.  The lack of transparency prevents schools from being able to keep their students safe from such predators.  Organizations such as daycares and youth centers that often screen their volunteers or employees to protect the children entrusted to them, are unable to identify the very predators they are striving to eliminate by conducting their screening.  Without transparency in the registry, parents and citizens are unable to make informed decisions and adequately provide their children and neighbors with critical information that could prevent another act of sexual violence.   1st and 2nd degree sex offenders often target children as their victims.  They inflict pain and injury to the children they harm.  They use threats of force or violence to get their victims to comply with their intentions.  I cannot rationalize any way to look at the situation and not see the protection of the community as needing to prevail over the needs/protections of the offender.  If an offender is capable of such calculated acts of violence, and targets innocent victims that are so young, how can one fathom not informing the public, and preventing the possibility of another tragedy?   I have seen the damage and destruction that such an assault has had on my daughter for the past 8 years.  She has experienced very little healing, if any at all.  How can you justify the need to have another victim be harmed before releasing the stark reality, that law enforcement knew of the danger presented by the offender, yet chose to remain silent?  Please consider filing a motion or amendment to ensure that any individual that is CONVICTED of 1st or 2nd degree sexual assault is PUBLICLY listed on the National Sex Offender Registry, and that notification be given in ALL communities where such offenders choose to reside. 

Penny Brusky
846 supporters
Update posted 4 weeks ago

Petition to Lee Chatfield, Aric Nesbitt, Mike Shirkey, Stephanie Chang, Gretchen Whitmer, Jim Ananich, Jason Wentworth, Triston Cole, Christine Greig, Graham Filler, David LaGrand, Debbie Stabenow, Gary C. Peters, Peter J. Lucido

Reform Michigan's Child Sexual Abuse Laws

As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I am calling upon the Michigan Legislature to reform child sexual abuse laws, including reintroducing legislation that extends or eliminates the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse. The survivors of child sexual abuse deserve a window to justice. The Michigan Legislature must take a stand against lobbyists that have thwarted previous attempts to hold perpetrators accountable. The people of Michigan and the survivors of child sexual abuse have had enough of this egregious pandering to institutions that have covered up decades of child sexual abuse within their state. The 100th Michigan Legislature needs to call for a coalition of experts to once again reexamine this issue. The disgraceful ad hominem attacks on experts such as Prof. Marci A. Hamilton must end. With this petition, I am calling for a sincere fact-finding investigation by the Michigan Legislature on how to best proceed with statue of limitation reform on child sexual abuse. The crushing burden of child sexual abuse needs to be shifted from the survivors to the offenders. Lobbyists have exaggerated some statute of limitations reform economic impacts that pale in comparison to the overall impact of child sexual abuse in the United States. An honest study of these impacts will reveal that the facts are on the side of the survivors and not the powerful institutions that seek to protect these criminals and their profits. A window to justice is only one important step towards reforming Michigan’s child sexual abuse laws. Another important step forward is for the State of Michigan to consider screening for adverse childhood experiences. California has taken a bold step towards screening for adverse childhood experiences. The CDC has identified multiple damaging impacts that adverse childhood experiences can create and Michigan needs to act in a comprehensive way to address this issue. With this petition, I am calling for the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services to study screening for adverse childhood experiences. The Michigan Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee and the Michigan House Health Policy Committee can and should hold hearings on addressing the problem of adverse childhood experiences. The courts and the legislature must consider the impact court revictimization can have on survivors. Closed-circuit television (CCTV) testimony is a possible victim-centered solution to this problem. Survivors of sexual abuse currently endure excruciating trauma by having to confront their abusers in court, the argument that CCTV testimony violates a defendant’s right to confrontation has been debunked. CCTV testimony for child and adult survivors is an effective way to solve this problem. Studies currently show that CCTV testimony has no impact on jury deliberation. Michigan’s sexual abuse laws must be informed by traumatology and avoid causing further injury to the survivors. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services currently has specific guidance for law enforcement responses to sexual assault. With this petition, I am calling for the MDHHS to create a Model Policy that addresses child sexual abuse exclusively. The problems that law enforcement face with conducting child sexual assault investigations are unique and should be appropriately addressed. Additionally, I am calling for the 100th Michigan Legislature, MDHHS, and the Michigan Department of Attorney General to address gaps and cohesion issues with child advocacy centers (CACs), increase funding and coverage of CACs, and create a Michigan Department of Attorney General Child Abuse Task Force that consists of multidisciplinary teams to address the systemic and widespread problem of child sexual abuse.With this petition, I am calling for the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS), the Michigan Senate Insurance and Banking Committee, and the Michigan House of Representatives Insurance Committee to create mandates that require insurance carriers to cover negligent child sexual abuse, this will create much needed deterrence to reduce the risk of child sexual abuse within youth-serving organizations. In addition to this bold step, DIFS and the legislative insurance committees can and should require insurance carriers to conduct prerequisite annual child protection audits of youth-serving organizations with stiff penalties including coverage termination. The 100th Michigan Legislature has the opportunity to be on the right side of history and stand with the survivors of child sexual abuse. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has already voiced her support for these reforms, the legislature needs to follow suit to help victims of child sexual abuse. Please take action NOW!New CDC Data Underscores Need to Address Adverse Childhood Experienceshttps://www.madinamerica.com/2019/11/new-cdc-data-shows-need-address-adverse-childhood-experiences/Forming a Multidisciplinary Team To Investigate Child Abusehttps://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/ojjdp/170020.pdfOne year's losses for child sexual abuse in US top $9 billion, new study suggestshttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180521131552.htmThe economic burden of child sexual abuse in the United States.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29533869CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE STATISTICShttp://www.d2l.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/all_statistics_20150619.pdfThe Estimated Annual Cost of Child Abuse and Neglecthttps://preventchildabuse.org/resource/the-estimated-annual-cost-of-child-abuse-and-neglect/The Impact of Child Sexual Abusehttps://www.d2l.org/the-issue/impact/Clergy Sex Abuse Survivors Face Lifelong Financial Burdenshttps://www.npr.org/2018/09/03/643702633/clergy-sex-abuse-survivors-face-lifelong-financial-burdensThe Catholic Church and Boy Scouts are lobbying against child abuse statutes. This is their playbookhttps://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2019/10/02/catholic-church-boy-scouts-fight-child-sex-abuse-statutes/2345778001/CHURCH INFLUENCING STATE:How the Catholic Church Spent Millions AgainstSurvivors of Clergy Abusehttps://www.williamscedar.com/files/2019/06/ChurchInfluencingStateCatholic.pdfFor many abused by priests, no window for justicehttps://www.woodtv.com/news/target-8/for-many-abused-by-priests-no-window-for-justice/Child Sex Abuse Statistics for Statute of Limitationshttps://www.childusa.org/solImpact of Child Abuse & Neglecthttps://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/impact/Detroit Archdiocese transfers assets; critics say it's a shell gamehttps://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2018/12/14/detroit-archdiocese-transferring-assets/2302809002/As the Archdiocese of Detroit awaits its judgment day, it plays hide-and-seek with its money — including a Cayman Islands venturehttps://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/as-the-archdiocese-of-detroit-awaits-its-judgment-day-it-plays-hide-and-seek-with-its-money-including-a-venture-in-the-cayman-islands/Content?oid=22444383

Stephen Flores
627 supporters
Started 4 weeks ago

Petition to U.S. Senate, Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Texas State Senate

End the statute of limitations on sexual assault

My very first sexual encounter was through rape.  That's how I lost my virginity.  I went home, cried, and then didn't tell anyone for over a year.  I was advised to file criminal charges against him, but I knew it would just be my word against his and I didn't like my odds- by this point I had already created a less than favorable reputation for myself in college.  I knew who my abuser was.  There was no rape kit, no DNA evidence waiting to come back.  My shame was the only thing keeping me quiet.  By the time I felt like I had found my voice, the statute of limitations had run out.  Some victims never even get the choice of filing criminal charges.  With the push to clear the rape kit backlog I know that some cases will be solved soon but unfortunately for many it will be too late to file charges.  Can you imagine the heartbreak and fear of a victim knowing someone like that is still out there?  Someone who is willing to take sex by force doesn't just do that one time.  By ending the statute of limitations on sexual abuse we will give victims the opportunity to file charges as they see fit.   The statute of limitations on sexual abuse or rape of an adult is ten years in Texas.  This number varies by state- some states have already done away with it.  I plan to gather as many signatures as I can and sending this petition to whoever sits in the state senate seats after the 2020 election.  Please sign this petition and help victims get their voices back in Texas.

Chelsea Ricketts
515 supporters