Petition to Jamie Pedersen, Washington State Senate, Washington State House
Abolish the statute of limitations on sex crimes in Washington State
When I was ten years old, my sixth grade teacher sexually abused me and my two best friends – on many occasions. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned he had abused many, many, other children, but was never held accountable for his crimes. By that time the statute of limitations had passed and none of us could press charges against him. Stand with survivors and demand that Washington State abolish the statute of limitations for felony sex crimes. Childhood victims of abuse often don’t report their abuse because their abusers threaten them, they don’t understand what is happening to them, or fear not being believed. For many, the strength to pursue justice comes only after counseling or therapy in their adulthood. How can we then bar victims from seeking justice once they are older, and better equipped to speak about past abuse? My abuser still lives in my hometown and has worked with children through his church. A background check will reveal that he is not a registered sex offender. He couldn't possibly be... all the victims we know about have been time-barred from seeking justice by the statute of limitations. It’s time to stop protecting abusers and pass House Bill 1155, which would eliminate the statute of limitations for felony sexual assault offenses. This bill is part of a nation-wide movement to change our justice system to better serve survivors. Already, New York, California and several other states have abolished their statutes of limitations – now it’s Washington’s turn. Call on Washington legislators to stand on the right side of history. Sign the petition today.
Petition to International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
Stop the wave of lynching caused by false allegations! #CrushSilence
English / Deutsch / Русский To International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH ) We believe that any crime should be punished, and every victim should receive proper support and protection. The huge wave of suddenly raised allegations of sexual harassment manifests a new trend of false accusations that ruin the lives of both famous and common people. Public defamation and shaming are done long before a formal judgment is made. In the cases where the accused person is found innocent, it’s already impossible to restore his ruined life and reputation. As a result of false accusations people lose their jobs, careers, friends and families. Human dignity is inviolable and a fundamental right. The above is a clear violation of the basic human rights as proclaimed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly (UDHR 1948). In particulate, violated are the following articles: presumption of innocence (article 11), right to privacy – no attacks on honor or reputation (article 12), freedom from distinction of any kind, such as sex (article 2). The fear of becoming the next victim of slander has a horrifying impact on every aspect of our lives. It affects our social behavior, code of conduct at work, friendship, family, and romantic relationships. Meanwhile, real crimes are lost in the noise created by false accusations leaving the criminals unpunished and the true victims without the proper attention and support. We are men and women from different countries who consider the following vital: Protect the anonymity of the accuser and accused, at least until a conviction of guilt is made; Increase punishment for making false accusations and ensure their enforcement; Maintain an equal attitude towards men and women in cases of similar charges; Strictly forbid any statements, comments or publications by not authorized people, media or social media posts referring to specific cases or individuals, until concrete elements of an offence have been proven; Provide psychological support and financial compensation for victims of false accusations and related slander. We request the International Federation for Human Rights to act immediately and to take the necessary measures to protect the innocent from false accusations. The #CrushSilence movement encourages all people, men and women, to stop the wave of lynching and slander to restore justice! Please show your support by signing this petition!
Petition to Tim Wildmon
Fire Sandy Rios
On the February 15, 2018 edition of "Sandy Rios in the Morning," American Family Radio morning host Sandy Rios discussed the growing scandal surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Porter was forced to resign on February 6 in the face of accusations that he physically abused his first wife, Colbie Holderness, and emotionally abused his second wife, Jennifer Willoughby. The FBI found Holderness and Willoughby's accounts credible enough to delay the vetting required for Porter to receive his permanent security clearance. However, Rios used the Porter story to suggest that women who claim they have been abused shouldn't be believed. "I just don’t think you can trust women now when they say they’re being abused. I have a total mistrust. We saw this happen with Justice (Roy) Moore. I understand there are abusive relationships, but on a scale of one to 10 there’s a lot of variance, is there not?" Rios went on to heap scorn on women who claim to have been victims of emotional abuse, saying that much of what some women construe as abuse is actually 'what men do when they are mad." Rios claimed that the emotional abuse Holderness and Willoughby described was "so mild" compared to accounts of abuse she'd heard in the past. This kind of talk is exactly why victims of domestic violence often wait years to come forward, if they come forward at all. They fear that no one will believe them. Indeed, one big reason victims remain silent is fear that their church family will throw them to the curb when they should be among the very people to whom they turn for comfort. Seen in this light, Rios' statement is particularly ignorant and callous. It's even more so considering that Holderness and Willoughby were both discouraged from coming forward by Mormon church officials. Additionally, Rachel Denhollander, the first woman to accuse Larry Nassar of molesting her, was run out of her church after coming forward. Can you imagine a victim listening to this screed from Rios either on the radio or online? This kind of claptrap could discourage her from coming forward--and potentially allow a predator to remain free. This cannot stand, especially if the church is going to get its collective head out of its collective rear end regarding its response to sexual assault. American Family Association president Tim Wildmon says he welcomes a broad spectrum of opinion on American Family Radio. But this is one issue on which there is no other side. Rios must be fired, and fired immediately.
Petition to North Carolina State House, Josh Stein, North Carolina Governor, Alma Adams, Richard Burr, Donald Trump
Domestic Violence Victims shouldn’t have to wait a year and day to divorce their abuser
In the State of North Carolina the law for a married couple to get a divorce is a separation of a year and one day. There are no exceptions to this rule. This can be understandable for a cooling off period. However, there should be some exceptions to this rule. One in particular that would be in the instance of Domestic Violence. The victim has to remain married to their abuser for the year and one day before they can file for divorce. There should be an exception to the rule. There are so many things that are unable to be changed for the victim without the divorce decree. In a lot of instances, they feel unprotected. If there is proof and an order is in place, a victim should be able to file for divorce from their abuser within 60-90 days instead of the normal year and a day. I myself have experienced my abuser able to get a job at my same place of employment, loss of insurance without a divorce decree, and unable to have separation of items through courts leaving me in a financial drain and him in a financial gain. There is so much more as well but this was just the tip of the iceberg. I can’t change my name and he has used his status to illegally gain access to medical records. When I tried to remove my abuser from my health insurance, they told me that Domestic Violence orders and separations do not count as a change in status to remove him. I was forced to carry his health insurance until I couldn’t afford to pay the premiums and the insurance company dropped me. A person who has Lupus, RA, and other health issues. Victims need to be protected more.
Petition to Oklahoma State House, Oklahoma State Senate, Mary Fallin
Lauren’s Law - Support Consent Education In Oklahoma - Pass House Bill 2734
Lauren Atkins bravely shared her story with the world last summer. A story every parent hopes their child won’t have to face, but for many that’s all too familiar; Lauren was raped by a boy she knew from school. She was shocked to find out he had no idea what legal consent was. In the fall of 2014, we organized the group Yes All Daughters and led a protest after multiple teenage girls in our hometown of Norman, OK were raped and bullied out of the same school Lauren attends. These are not isolated incidents. Girls between 16-19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. 44% of sexual assaults happen before the age of 18. WE MUST FOCUS ON EDUCATION. Statutory laws on consent are not enough to prevent rape. Educating teens about issues of consent and healthy relationships is essential to reversing the horrifying statistics. Yes All Daughters has worked with Oklahoma lawmaker and former high school teacher, Representative Jacob Rosecrants, to introduce House Bill 2734 to address the need for consent and healthy relationship education. HB2734 will allow for the development of age appropriate programs on consent and healthy relationship behavior. These programs will teach students about consent and how to recognize and prevent relationship violence, including physical and emotional relationship abuse. It will also address relationship communication skills, emotional health, and accountability. Federal funds are available for this consent and safe relationship education to be implemented at the state level through Title IV-A of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Under the last administration, the White House Council on Women and Girls Report estimated the cost of rape to be as high as $240,776 per incident, including medical services, investigations, loss of productivity, and quality of life. With the high cost of assault and federal funding available, there’s no excuse not to protect and educate our kids. Let’s do this for Lauren, the young women we started our movement for, and all the survivors who hope for a better world. SIGN OUR PETITION AND DEMAND THAT OKLAHOMA LAWMAKERS MAKE OUR CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY A PRIORITY BY PASSING THIS IMPORTANT BILL. EDUCATION IS PREVENTION. Call and email your legislators. Stand with us against Sexual Violence. No more Silence. No more Shame.
Petition to To the El Salvador Legislature
Free Salvadoran woman Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, imprisoned for miscarriage
Amnesty International Group 11 in New York City calls for justice for Teodora del Carmen Vásquez. Teodora has spent the last ten years in jail after being accused of having had an abortion and ultimately being convicted of ‘aggravated homicide’. On Wed, Dec. 13, 2017 the same judges who sent her to prison will review her case and decide her fate. She could be released, but could also remain in prison to complete her sentence. [UPDATE, 12/9/17: Prosecution requests 5 day delay in case of Salvadoran woman jailed after a miscarriage.] We are asking you to sign this petition, which will be used in a campaign urging El Salvador to free Teodora and to change its draconian abortion laws. This campaign is fast garnering world-wide attention through I Am Listening internet radio and the Twitter #IAmListening hashtag. Please sign this petition by Tue, Dec 12, 2017. Background In 2007, 9-month pregnant Teodora suffered a stillbirth after the rapid onset of serious pain while she was at work. She called 911, but help did not turn up on time. Instead, several police officers arrived, handcuffed her and arrested her on suspicion of ‘aggravated homicide’ under El Salvador’s ban on abortions. She was presumed guilty of ‘abortion’ rather than the victim of pregnancy complications. Under Salvadoran law all citizens must be presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, Teodora’s trial was flawed and lacking in due process. Her sentence was based on inconclusive evidence and she faced discrimination of authorities. Being from a poor family, she could not afford an effective legal team to represent her. This is often the case for poor, rural women like Teodora who suffer pregnancy-related complications in El Salvador. They are immediately assumed guilty and sentenced to prison to up to 40 years—the maximum jail terms for this type of crime. Teodora is one of many women in El Salvador convicted of ‘aggravated homicide’ for simply miscarrying and losing their own pregnancies. To help these women it is urgent to overturn the total abortion ban in El Salvador that violates womens' and girls' rights to life, health, and freedom from discrimination and from torture and ill-treatment. International law requires that abortion be decriminalized in all circumstances and that women and girls are guaranteed access to safe and legal abortion both in law and in practice, at a minimum, in cases where pregnancy poses a risk to the life or the physical or mental health of a pregnant woman or girl, where there is severe and fatal impairment of the fetus, or where the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. The total abortion ban also has devastating effects on the children and family of women jailed under this law, who are often unable to see their mothers or relatives for months because they don’t have updated identification papers or they live far from the prison and don’t have the money to pay for transportation and other costs related to the visit. Moreover, families are also placed in dire financial situations when they are compelled to provide for and look after the children of incarcerated women. Teodora has already spent almost ten years in jail. The coming review of her case is an opportunity to change the course of her life and correct the miscarriage of justice. Amnesty International has launched a Twitter campaign #IAmListening and AIUSA Group 11 has set up this online petition urging the El Salvadoran government to guarantee due process in Teodora’s judicial proceedings and ensure she receives the justice she was earlier denied in order for her to achieve her freedom.
Petition to Council of the European Union, European Parliament, European Commission, Court of Justice of the European Union, European External Action Service – EU High Representative, Council of the EU and European Council, European Court of Auditors (ECA), European Parliament Office in Washington DC
European Union, STOP supporting Islamic Regime in Iran!
Beginning on December 28, 2017 protests against worsening economic conditions and rampant corruption in the Islamic Republic of Iran transformed into a nationwide rebellion against the country’s theocratic regime. The first wave of anti-regime protests spanned approximately two weeks and spread to more than 80 cities and towns across Iran. Slogans included: “Down with Dictator!” “Islam and the Quran, we sacrifice them both to Iran!” “Neither for Gaza, nor for Lebanon, we will sacrifice our lives for Iran!” ”Khamenei is a murderer, his position as a leader is not deserved!” “A member of Basij is the enemy of Iranian people that drinks the blood of the nation!” and “Cyrus is our father, Iran is our motherland!” Nearly 4,000 protesters were arrested, and hundreds were killed during the regime’s crackdown. Since then, over the past weeks, there has been widespread non-conformity to mandatory hijab on the part of Iranian women. We expect new waves of demonstrations to begin again, and for the Islamic Republic to be toppled at any given moment. We, the Iranian people, are very disappointed in the response of European Union officials and the heads of state of European Union member nations to the ongoing social and political situation in our country. In his discussion with President Rouhani at the height of the crisis, President Macron failed to recognize that the Rouhani government in particular, and the theocratic regime as a whole, has lost its legitimacy. Instead, Macron seemed more interested in being assuring that Rouhani would “clean up” the situation so that it would not cause a Public Relations crisis for France. If this horrendous misconstrual of the situation in Iran is not disingenuous, then the highest foreign affairs office of the European Union is utterly incapable of even the most basic intelligence collection and sociological analysis. If, on the other hand, such remarks represent a deliberate attempt to turn a blind eye to the grievances and suffering of Iranian protesters (the majority of which are anti-Islamic, let alone “ultra-conservative”), then let the record stand that the European Union has endorsed the theocratic tyranny of the Islamic Republic. Ms. Mogherini and her aide should immediately be dismissed from their posts. If they are not, we will consider the later interpretation correct. In that event, once the will of the people prevails in Iran, we will sever all economic and diplomatic relations with the European Union. Given that transactions with the Islamic Republic of Iran account for around 10% of Germany’s international trade alone, that will come as quite a blow to the European economy. We are sure that, on our end, the slack can be taken up by increased trade with the United States of America, whose President and other leading representatives of both political parties, have unequivocally supported the courageous struggle of Iranians for freedom and a government that reflects Iran’s glorious and ancient civilization. Consider yourselves forewarned. Iranian community.
Petition to Yoweri Museveni Kaguta
Stand with CERESAV in the Campaign against Acid Attack Violence in Uganda.
After having lived for seven years with an abusive husband, I decided it was time to leave. I didn’t think I would survive another year if I stayed, so in 2011, I walked out the door and broke the crippling silence and isolation the abuse had made me feel. I felt empowered and free and finally looked forward to my future. But because I left my marriage, my husband considered me “disobedient” and, therefore, worthy of punishment. One day, he called me to pick up my children at his house and suddenly acid was thrown at my face and body. The next thing I knew, my face felt as if it were on fire. My skin was literally melting away. He thought he would break my spirit, but he only made me stronger. Since my attack, I have been fighting to put an end to this horrific practice in my country of Uganda, and I need your help to do it. Please support our petition by asking H.E. President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta to sign the Toxic Chemicals Bill into law. That is my story, but there are many more, each one as harrowing as the last. Acid violence occurs around the globe and isn’t specific to race or religion. My country, Uganda, has some of the highest rates of acid violence. In fact, since 1985, there have been nearly 400 reported cases of acid attacks here, and in just one hospital alone, they have reported 8 attacks and two deaths this year. And those are just the ones that were reported. The real statistics are likely much higher. My name is Hanifa Nakiryowa, I founded the Center for Rehabilitation of Survivors of Acid and burns Violence (CERESAV). I founded CERESAV because of my personal experiences, and because of the stories I was told by fellow victims. CERESAV’s ultimate goal is to address the issue of acid attacks and gender violence on a global level, but today we have a chance to make a difference in Uganda by helping to pass legislation that would classify products like acid as controlled substances. Cutting off easy access to acid has proven to drastically reduce the rate of attacks in other countries. Research indicates that the most effective ways to reduce acid violence are through regulation of the sale of acid, tougher jail sentences for perpetrators, and raising awareness of the devastating impact that acid attacks have on individuals and their families. Step by step, CERESAV hopes to make all of these things a reality, but we can’t do it alone. With collective efforts, we can end this devastating act and save the next potential victim. I know we can make a difference. When strong women and fellow victims of female-directed violence, like Jaha who fought to end female genital mutilation, or Malala who is a champion for girls’ education started Change.org petitions, great things happened. Please join me by supporting this campaign. Every single contributions goes a long way in transforming many lives and increasing the awareness of the problem. Please join me in asking H.E. President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta to sign the Toxic Chemicals Bill into law.