Make LDS Clergy Mandatory Reporters
The Associated Press recently released an article about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – also known as the Mormon Church – and the concerning practices behind their abuse helpline. As an active member of the church and a survivor of sexual abuse, I can tell you that it’s time for something to change. Across the country, teachers and therapists are mandatory reporters, meaning that they must report to the police when someone confesses to abusing another person. However, this is not always the case for clergy. In some states like Utah, members of the clergy are not required to report when someone confesses to abuse – even child sexual abuse like what happened to me. Because of this, abusers are allowed to continue hurting children, sometimes for years. Instead, clergy are instructed to call a helpline which is staffed by church lawyers. The Associated Press found many instances where the abuse was not reported, and was instead covered up by church lawyers and leaders. I was one of those children as a 5 year old sleeping in her bed when a teenager having a sleepover with my brother came into my room and molested me. A few years later he told his bishop and neither me, my parents, nor the authorities were contacted. 18 years after the abuse, he came to my parents house and told me what had happened. His clergy at this time told him to do so in order to fully repent. I am grateful for that clergy who urged him to be open with me, but my heart aches for all the years lost when I could have been working through this trauma. And I have to wonder whether he has hurt anyone else, and if better church policies could have stopped it. We also request Section 32.4.5, Section184.108.40.206, and Section 220.127.116.11 in the LDSChurch General Handbook be updated tonote that every single instance of child abusemust be immediately reported (directly bythe Bishop) to both local police and ChildProtective Services without regard tostate/regional/national ecclesiasticalreporting laws and without any considerationwhatsoever to the perpetrator's desire orcapacity to repent. Church policy changes often, and I believe this is one that must be reevaluated. I am an active member of this faith, and I believe we must do better to protect our children. If church policy requires clergy to be mandated reporters then we can help protect children from any future abuse and hold abusers accountable for their behaviors.
Justice For CU Girls
Today (17th September 2022), In Chandigarh University, which claims to be an NAAC+ grade university, has seen a suicide (not confirmed but there are suicide attempts) of a girl who was recorded while taking a bath by another girl from her hostel. One girl has made videos of Many other girls and has sent/sold them to boys and has also posted them on adult sites. There are 3-4 girls who are in the hospital due to this incident. The wardens are breaking phones of students who have videos of proof just to protect the image of the university. Students are protesting for justice and there has not been any support from the Department of Student Welfare or Punjab Government. They are deleting tweets on twitter within 5 minutes of posting just for the sake of their reputation. The wardens are blaming girls for wearing short or appealing clothes and are saying that this is what they deserve. This petition is for providing justice to the girls who have suffered. This petition is to put the culprits behind the bars, including the Management of Chandigarh University. Update : click here
Urge Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to Exonerate India Spellman
India Spellman is an innocent young woman who at the tender age of 17 had her freedom stolen from her through police misconduct, coercion, and fabricated testimony. India had spent over a decade in SCI Cambridge Springs for a crime she did not commit or have any involvement in whatsoever. She was sentenced to a lifetime behind bars. India was a standout basketball player on her high school team and she had dreams and aspirations of going to the WNBA and had never previously been in trouble with the law. Here are 10 reasons why India Spellman should be exonerated. 1. India had alibi witnesses 2. India was at home on her cellphone and computer during the time of the crimes that she is being accused of. 3. Proof that India was at home on her cellphone at the time of the crime. 4. India does not fit the description of the female perpetrator described by the victims or eyewitnesses. 5. India was denied access to her parents during police custody and interrogation despite her being a juvenile. 6. India was forced to give a false confession. 7. Evidence was hidden during India's trial that could have proved her innocence. 8. India was subject to physical and psychological abuse during her interrogation by Homicide Detectives. 9. The lead Detective that interviewed India and secured her false confession has since been arrested for perjury and obstructing justice. 10. The facts that India's defense team has uncovered show that India Spellman is innocent beyond a reasonable doubt! India's dreams were snatched away and shattered in a blink of an eye. She was never given a fair chance to prove her innocence. All she wants is for the facts to be reviewed and justice given on the merits of the facts. Want to know more about the case. Check out our website. www.freeindiaspellman.org Join us in urging the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office to exonerate India Spellman
Justice for Mahsa Amini
Mahsa Amini a 22 year old woman was killed by the authorities of Iran for allegedly not having a proper hijab. These unjust killing should be stoped. The regime should be criminally charged and sanctioned. The authorities are armed and use deadly force on unarmed civilians. This has to stop. We are asking all nations to intervene and stop these criminals. We are asking the United Nations and women right movements to stand by people of iran and help them.
Petition to Kristie Hammonds, William Block, Brian Noland, Morgan McDonald, Kimberly D. McCorkle, Robert Pack, Diane Bowen
Disciplinary Action regarding Dr. C. Allen Musil
On behalf of Candy De La Fuente and the many families surfacing complaints surrounding the conduct of Dr. C. Allen Musil MD Pediatric Psychiatry; I am formally requesting disciplinary action in the form of termination by ETSU and Frontier Health System. On June 26th Candy was breastfeeding her daughter at a local store and was verbally harassed by Mr. Musil. He stated his displeasure with her actions using the terms "disgusting, inappropriate" and even asking her to leave the area. Thankfully Candy is well versed in TN Breastfeeding Law which gives her the legal right to breastfeed in public. Mr. Musil made clear his credentials while harassing Candy, which was particularly disturbing considering his role in child development in our community. As upsetting as this encounter was, the conversation surrounding the incident fostered many claims of unprofessionalism and harassment by other families in our community. He has allegedly mistreated parents and children continually disrespecting them, ignoring their concerns, degrading them, and causing more harm than any "treatment" he should've been providing. It has also been claimed that he is notorious for targeting female coworkers by belittling and harassing them. Even further, Mr. Musil holds a leadership role at both ETSU and Frontier Health. As a health care provider, he has been at best a disgrace and proved a disservice to our community. As for both organizations, they have been informed of the situation and made no effort to correct this issue, enact disciplinary action, or accept voluntary breastfeeding law training offered by myself on behalf of the BABE Breastfeeding Coalition. You can view more details about the incident and surfacing claims here. Please sign this petition to ensure Mr. Musil can no longer harm any children and their families. If you have been a victim of harassment or abuse of power by Dr. Musil, please submit a complaint to the medical board here.
Petition to Joseph R. Biden, Nancy Pelosi, António Guterres, Emmanuel Macron
Boycott Iran’s Leaders to End Gender Apartheid
With the brutal death 22 year old Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s morality police, the internet blackout masking the government slaughter of protesters, with countless reports of mass killings of civilians at the hands of the state, we call on the international community to boycott the violent, suppressive, and anti-democratic powers of Iran’s government to bring an end to the living hell of Iran’s women. We call for genuine pressure from the international community on the leadership of Iran to end its policies which torture the daily lives of Iranian women of every age. We demand immediate action to answer the call of the over 42 million women who live under daily threat of constant violence and threat to their well-being by the regime’s totalitarian leadership. Protesters are being shot indiscriminately by Iran’s security forces, hundreds are missing. We ask for pressure from the international community on Iran’s elites who uphold state sanctioned human rights abuses systemically throughout Iran at the cost of its civilians, in order to bring an end to the relentless oppression of Iranian civilians. We ask for swift, tangible action from world leaders to call for an end to the current abuses of President Raisi immediately.
Petition to Ned Lamont, Joe Aresimowicz, Martin M. Looney
Ban Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Connecticut
Our names are Zehra Patwa & Mariya Taher, and as friends and survivors, we together are pleading to the Connecticut State Legislature to pass a law making it illegal for someone to carry out Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) on girls. A Connecticut ban on FGM/C is time-critical, as 39 states, including all other states in New England, have enacted laws to ban FGM/C, And Connecticut is also the only state bordering New York in which FGM/C is legal. We do not want this state to be a destination for FGM/C. Additionally, Connecticut is the only state along the notorious sex trafficking corridor between Providence, RI, and Atlantic City, NJ in which FGM/C is legal. Zehra - Born and brought up in the UK and a proud Connecticut resident for over 25 years, I am a survivor of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. I have been speaking out about my experience for the last 5 years because when I was taken abroad to be cut at the age of seven, I was told to never speak of it again. I want to make sure this never happens to anyone else and I want Connecticut, my home state, to become a safe place for all girls by passing a law to ban FGM/C. Mariya - I was born in the United States and live in Massachusetts, and at the age of seven, I, like Zehra, was subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. Due to my experience and because I have friends and relatives who have also undergone FGM/C both here in the United States or elsewhere in the world, for over five years, I’ve worked with the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association to pass legislation protecting girls in my home state from having to undergo this harm too. The bill finally became law in August 2020. Now, I want to support my friend Zehra, in ensuring that her home state, Massachusett’s neighboring state, also passes a law to protect ALL girls from FGM/C. FGM/C is a practice that involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue on girls for non-medical reasons. It is internationally recognized as a human rights violation that can result in 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. Connecticut is known for its progressive policies in terms of reproductive rights, anti-discrimination laws, and equality issues, yet 39 states have already passed laws banning FGM/C, in some cases as amendments to child abuse laws. 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. Both 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. A federal FGM/C ban, first passed in 1996, has been amended and strengthened over the years to make it illegal for a girl to be taken overseas for the practice, to specifically include parents/guardians consenting to the procedure as a crime, and to call for government reporting on the number of women and girls estimated to be impacted by FGM/C in the U.S. and government agencies’ actions to end the practice. Despite the federal law, state laws remain critical tools in preventing FGM/C. Specific state anti-FGM/C laws send a strong message that the practice is not acceptable. We know anecdotally that families on the fence or resisting having their daughters undergo the procedure, but facing pressure from family or community members to do so, use existing laws as the reason for why they will not cut their daughters. In addition, state laws fill gaps left by federal laws. Comprehensive state legislation provides education and outreach on FGM/C to local communities and professionals likely to encounter cases, bans taking a girl outside of the state to undergo FGM/C, and gives survivors the opportunity to stand up for themselves in a court of law. A state law gives state prosecutors more leeway in the event the Dept of Justice can’t/won’t prosecute. Finally, federal law is not a substitute for state law and will not work in all instances. We need a bill in Connecticut that unequivocally reiterates that female genital mutilation/cutting is a form of violence. There are laws against domestic violence and sexual assault and abuse. We need a law against FGM/C as well. Connecticut can do a better job of protecting girls by banning FGM/C. Sign our petition to support us in demanding that legislators pass a bill to make Connecticut the 40th state to ban FGM/C. Let’s work together to take a stance against Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting! ~ Zehra Patwa & Mariya Taher
Petition to Anita Annet Among, Betty Angom Amongi, Norbert Mao, Francis Mwebesa
Demand the Government of Uganda pass a law against acid attacks.
My name is Linneti Kirungi and I am an acid attack survivor. Those scars you see on my face and neck, my missing ear, they are because my ex-boyfriend attacked me with acid after I rejected his marriage proposal. I almost lost my life and spent a year in the hospital. What's worse is that my ex-boyfriend was never held legally accountable in any way. Now I'm fighting to make sure this does not happen to other innocent people. We know from legal initiatives in other countries that the best way to reduce the frequency of acid violence is to enforce tough laws on the sale of acid and punishment for perpetrators. That's why I am urging you to sign this petition demanding the Ugandan government pass a law against acid attacks. What would the law address? It would regulate the sale of acid. You see, acid is readily available in the market in Uganda. When you move to the streets in Kampala, the way they sell tomatoes, the same way they sell acid. If I want to buy acid, they will not ask me anything, for my license, for what industrial use I am purchasing it. It makes it a very easy weapon to get. It is also inexpensive. In most cases, a liter of acid costs 3000 Ugandan Shillings, roughly one US dollar. With one liter, you can make someone very deformed, end someone’s life. In 2016, the government passed the Toxic Chemicals and Prohibition Bill into law. It was a good start but it was too general in nature. It brought all the other chemicals in one basket. We need the law to specify who can purchase acid and for what industrial purposes. It would enforce stricter punishments for perpetrators. As it is written into law now, someone convicted of an acid attack can be sentenced for up to seven years in prison. Not only is seven years an outrageously meager sentence for an act of attempted murder, but perpetrators are rarely charged. Of the over 200 acid attack survivors with whom I have worked in Uganda, only 20 percent of their perpetrators were charged or had any legal consequence for perpetrating the attack. Please click here to learn more about acid attacks in Uganda and why this law is needed.