Topic

Women's Rights

644 petitions

Update posted 16 hours 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
40,897 supporters
Update posted 1 day ago

Petition to The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, Donelle Dadigan, Patty Brunton, Cindy Braun, Christine Derenthal

Remove Bill Cosby Star NOW from The Hollywood Walk of Fame

Bill Cosby is a brilliant stand-up comedian, actor, musician, author and community activist. Now, he is also a convicted sex offender. SIGN MY PETITION TO REMOVE BILL COSBY'S STAR FROM THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF  FAME.  After DECADES of whispers and rumors, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault in April 26, 2018.  The case involved Temple University employee Andrea Constand, who testified under oath that Cosby drugged and molested her at his Philadelphia home in 2004.  At the trial, five other women told about similar encounters.  OUTSIDE COURT, MORE THAN  **60 OTHER WOMEN ** HAVE COME FORWARD with stories that are much the same, but include rape.  SOME of the victims were minors when they were assaulted.  MANY of their horrific encounters took place decades ago.   On September 25, 2018, a silent Cosby heard his sentence: three to 10 years in prison.  Despite his attorney's protest, Cosby was handcuffed and transported directly to prison immediately after Judge Steven T. O’Neill made the ruling.  This dramatic fall from grace has been tough for the millions of fans--including myself--who adored Bill Cosby. First, there were his terrific comedy albums, and then he was Scotty, the uber-cool agent on "I, Spy."  Later, Cosby was high school coach Chet Kincaid and a happy-go-lucky spokesperson for Jell-O Pudding Pops.  For many, he was also the wise and funny Cliff Huxtable on "The Cosby Show," a loving family man and The All American Dad.  BUT, the real Bill Cosby hid behind every one of these characters.   In reality, Cosby was a cunning sexual predator and serial rapist, serving up alcohol and pills to unsuspecting women and then assaulting them.   NOW, it's TIME for The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to DO THE RIGHT THING.  SIGN MY PETITION TO REMOVE BILL COSBY'S STAR FROM THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF  FAME.  Despite the sentence--which includes Judge O'Neill making Cosby register as a sexually violent predator--the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has so far refused to remove the star.    While rescinding a star has no precedent, taking away an honor from Cosby has already happened dozens of times this past year.  In a one-two punch in early May, Bill Cosby’s name and statue were removed from the prestigious Television Academy Hall of Fame AND the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame.    As of July, **Nearly 30 colleges and universities across the United States have revoked honorary degrees from Cosby,** including Yale University, an action the college has never taken in its 300 year history.  Some other prestigious schools are USC, Temple University, Johns Hopkins University, Notre Dame and Boston College.  At least half a dozen other colleges are recommending to their boards that their Cosby degrees be revoked.    When the verdict was announced, Cosby shouted expletives in the courtroom.  Unlike others who have apologized and taken responsibility for their reprehensible behavior, Cosby continues to say he has done nothing wrong.  To keep the Bill Cosby star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame is to agree with Bill Cosby.  For the sake of millions of tourists who visit the Walk of Fame every year--especially families with young children--NOW is the time to remove Bill Cosby's star. Together, we can encourage The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to DO THE RIGHT THING.  REMOVE BILL COSBY'S STAR.   THANK YOU.   

Hilary Grant
35,323 supporters
Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Tim Scott, James E. Clyburn, Jay (James) Richardson, Judge George McFaddin, 803-436-2373, Senator Tim Scott

Reverse Judge's order robbing Krista, born disabled, of human rights. #HopKristasLaw

Krista URGENTLY needs your support to live. We demand the state of SC open a full investigation of Judge McFaddin and Vinson's order and immediately reverse the order to restore Krista's right to equality and life. With your support we will win federal mandate. With your support we will bring historical change to our justice and/or family court system. No one should have the right to intentionally oppress any human being, by imposing - via court order - poverty on her/him. This is exactly; however, what two SC judges did.    Cerebellar Atrophy is atrophy of the cerebellum portion of her brain, the command center for balance and motor skills. Microcephaly is tiny head and smaller brain. Krista is intellectually disabled, with accompanying diagnoses/disabilities. Near fifty percent (47.6%) of the homeless population are disabled and unable to work. That is 269,991 individuals that CAN NOT work, living without a home. Living on the streets, using shelters WHEN available. (See link below.)     Crisis In Family Courts     NOW Foundation for women (Link below) There is a national crisis for women and their children in the family law courts of this country. Affirmed by experts and leaders in the women’s movement, the existence of this crisis is verified by women in every state who report injustice in their family law cases, especially battered mothers trying to protect their children from abusive fathers who aggressively litigate against them, using family court to stalk, harass, punish, and impoverish their former partners and children.  Krista's father is an oil mogul for Exxon Mobil, yet he was ordered to pay ZERO child support for Krista. K. Richardson vs. J. Richardson State of South Carolina, County of Clarendon, Pg. 17, Line 6-16: Uh, there was, during the case, evidence presented that Krista is not capable of supporting herself. The evidence, uh, was not clear. I can not, at this point, extend child support for this child. (Judge Jerry Vinson, under direction of Chief Administrative Judge George McFaddin.) Federal, dual-state and medical documentation was presented and produced in the courtroom. Judge Vinson acknowledges that Krista can not care for herself and discusses her federal disability status.  The judges; however,  based their ruling on Krista's father simply uttering: "she's not disabled". I have been asked about Social Security. Social Security is money paid in to the S.S. system  from wage earnings. Krista was born disabled - is too young - and can NOT work; therefore can NOT make a claim for S.S. Krista's father (my former husband of 25 years) has assets totaling over 1.5 million. He owns multiple homes (including beach home) AND is president and owner of a very successful oil company (that I helped grow) with multiple locations.  Krista's father abandoned us. I filed for divorce after  learning that her father got caught up in a secret, expensive life, which included spending 1000's a month of our marital money for prostitutes, hotels, online activities, sex site memberships, phone sex, asian massage parlors, strip clubs, novelties, cosmetics, etc., etc. This happened - he admitted in court and evidence supports - for the last five -six years of our married life. However, not this nor  my husband's wealth (ours prior to hearing) mattered.... Myself (Krista's caregiver and teacher) with Bi-Lateral Meniere's and my daughter with multiple disabilities, left the courtroom with no monetary award/compensation, no asset division, no health insurance. This occurred due to Krista's father's financial status and clout in the county we resided. Less than 5% of disabled children live with a single father . Single mothers care for 24.5% of the disabled children. Judges Vinson and McFaddin not only ordered zero child support for Krista they sent me, a home school mother of a disabled child, out the door with no monetary means to care for her. Because Krista needs non-stop supervision and care and due to my deteriorating health, my ability to earn a substantial income is very limited.  Without appropriate support from Krista's father, Krista loses out on medical advancement opportunities/treatments, therapies, enrichment opportunities - to name a few, and if my disease continues to worsen, we do not know what the future holds. Without child support, what happens to Krista? If something happens to me, what happens to Krista? Homeless? Please sign for federal mandate providing all children born with or becoming disabled during childhood appropriate, instant/immediate, permanent child support. Full investigation of the case and reverse and remand  McFaddin's order violating Krista's civil and human rights - her right to live. Help bring change to a faulty - often purchased - judicial and family court system. Help us #HopKristasLaw (Twitter) HopKristasLaw.com We are on: #IGiveAHop #HopKristasLaw - Twitter https://now.org/now-foundation/crisis-in-family-courts/ https://youtu.be/_ZJnkGKiej8 http://www.theitem.com/stories/kto-night-for-children-with-differences,4078 http://frontsteps.org/u-s-homelessness-facts/ http://www.nbcnews.com/id/13857062/ns/health-childrens_health/t/more-disabled-kids-living-single-women/  

Karola Richardson
542 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Charlie Baker, Robert A. DeLeo, Harriette L. Chandler, Karen E. Spilka

Ban Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Massachusetts

Our names are Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher, and we each are pleading to the Massachusetts State Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for someone to carry out Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting/Circumcision (FGM/C) on young girls. FGM/C involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue on girls, and can cause physical harm including pain, bleeding, shock, tetanus, genital sores, and cause long-lasting psychological harm including sexual disorders, fear of sexual intimacy, nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mariya - I was born in the United States and now live in Massachusetts, but at the age of seven, I was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in India. Friends and relatives of mine also living in the United States have undergone FGM/C both here in the United States or in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Australia, and many other countries in the world. Aisha- I got my circumcision when I was five. I know many women who also got it done. Personally, I know people in my community who talk about it as if it’s normal. I was aware of people practicing it behind closed doors but I also know that some people are looking for ways to keep the practice alive here in the States even though it might mean legal action is taken against them. I didn't know my home state, Massachusetts, had no laws against FGM/C until I met Mariya who works with many communities to protect girls against FGM/C. Hanna - I literally stumbled on the subject of female genital mutilation searching for a global health research topic online for a school project. I knew nothing about it and was concerned that others would find it uncomfortable and unrelatable. My teacher told me that was all the more reason to focus on FGM/C. It’s not a cultural issue; it’s not a third-world problem. FGM/C happens all over the world; it is happening in Massachusetts! Regardless of culture and tradition, and despite a lack of intent to cause injury, the end result is girls in MA are being violated and need our protection to safeguard them from FGM/C. Massachusetts is known for its progressive policies in terms of reproductive rights, anti-discrimination laws, and equality issues, yet our state still is in the minority of states that do not ban female genital mutilation or cutting. As FGM/C is nearly always carried out on minors, is a violation of the rights of children, and reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes that constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women, we must protect girls from undergoing FGM/C. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that over half a million girls and women in the United States are at risk. Massachusetts ranks 12th in the nation for at-risk populations with an estimated 14,591 women and girls.  Since 2012, the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association has over and over again tried to advocate for a state law criminalizing FGM/C. Yet, still to this day, no law has been put into place. The current bills, S.788, and H.2333, have been sent to committee for study and most likely will not move forward either. All three of us believe in the importance of education and community engagement to help create social change within communities and amongst groups where FGM/C might be happening. To that end, we each have organized and participated in community events to educate our friends and family members about the harms of FGM/C and why it should be abandoned. Yet, despite our efforts, FGM/C continues, often being touted as a religious or cultural practice that is needed to control women’s sexuality. In April 2017, a doctor in Michigan was charged with performing FGM/C on minor girls, highlighting yet again that FGM/C does affect women and girls living in the United States. The doctor claimed FGM/C was a religious requirement and that there were no harmful effects. We three believe that culture and religion should not be an excuse used to sanction harm to girls. We need a bill in Massachusetts that unequivocally reiterates that female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence. There are laws against domestic violence and sexual assault. We need a law against FGM/C as well. We three believe our state can do a better job of protecting girls in the Commonwealth by banning FGM/C. You can support us too by signing our petition demanding that legislators make passing a bill banning FGM/C high on their list of priorities. Let’s work together to take a stance against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting!  ~ Aisha Yusuf, Hanna Stern, and Mariya Taher  

Mariya Taher
242,566 supporters