Petition to U.S. Governors, Pennsylvania State House, Pennsylvania State Senate, Robert Casey, Pat Toomey, Tom Wolf, U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate
Fund the testing of backlogged rape kits
Eleven-year-old Madison Wertz of Williamsport, Pa., learned about the national backlog of rape kits from a YouTube crime show that she and her dad, Michael, watched in early 2016. Madison was appalled to learn so many victims’ kits have sat untested for years, and she leaped into action. She began collecting signatures on a petition to help pay for Pennsylvania's backlog of untested kits. After about 6 months and 750 signatures, she was nominated for the Williamsport Sun-Gazette's 2016 Person of the Year. Now, with the help and support of my office as Pennsylvania Auditor General, Madison is collecting signatures nationwide to encourage each state to pass legislation that fully funds the testing of its untested rape kits; to upload all usable DNA evidence into CODIS, the federal database that matches DNA to identify serial offenders; and to prevent such a backlog from ever forming again. As auditor general, I produced a special report in September 2016 that evaluated the state of untested rape kits in Pennsylvania and offered 10 recommendations for improvement and action. Please join Madison and me as we fight to help all victims of sexual assault find justice, regardless of what state they live in. Your signature can spur action that helps victims find peace and leads to serial offenders being put where they belong: behind bars, where they can't hurt anyone else.
Petition to President of the United States, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin State House, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Honda, Wisconsin Governor, Sean Duffy
Military Rape: change the sex offender requirements and law!!
I joined the military because I wanted to serve my country. I served as a Lance Corporal in the Marines for over three years. In that time I was raped and sexually assaulted. When I decided to report the sexual assault I was led through a maze of questions and excuses and I was even discouraged from reporting the crimes. In the end, instead of getting justice I was ostracized and humiliated. I learned that that offenders are not required to disclose their crimes on their discharge papers, and is not on a background check if they get a Non-Judicial Punishment. Most veterans are honorable men and women who have served our country, but there are some who have committed serious crimes like rape and sexual assault during their service and the military has a responsibility to disclose that information for the sake of the public good. If they are not charged per a Court Martial, the Command does not have to make them register, they do not report to ANYONE that the active duty member has to register, and the crime will NOT always be on their criminal back ground. Most Commands do not turn in the paperwork to the proper Civilians to make sure it's on the background check. When asked why Members who got a Non-Judicial Punishment do not have to disclose on their discharge papers, some of the responses I was given were 1) It will take too long to create a national database or 2) the military is going green and it takes too much paper to add an extra check box to discharge papers, THE COMMAND FORGETS SOMETIMES?? This is part of a larger issue of rape within the military. Some estimates reveal that more than 1/3 of women in the armed services are raped during their service and of the reported rapes, 55% are males. If you serve in the US military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member you have an 86.5% chance of keeping the crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding court martial. Let's get this changed, and make it a requirement that Sex Crimes in the Military should be taken serious, and even if punishment is suspended, or does not go to Court Martial, it should still be on their background for employers and citizens to see while performing a back ground check. And to also include Active Duty Military in our current Database if they were charged per Court Martial (punishment suspended or dropped) Non Judicial Punishment or any form of punishment. If charged one way or another with a sex crime, he/she should also not be allowed to live in Base Housing. Please call (703) 571-3343 and continute to ask WHY they are ignoring our request. Join me in asking the Department of Defense to report criminal history (Military crimes INCLUDING NJP) on their DD214 and request that suspending punishment when being charged with a sex crime not be allowed, Include in Policies and orders that reports MUST be turned into local courthouses to ensure the member registers as a sex offender !! CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org to send stories, ask for help, need to talk, or media inquiries.
Petition to Anna Eshoo, Lois Capps, tony cardenas, Communications and Technology Subcommittee
Make online impersonation "catfishing" a felony at the federal level
In 2011, I was almost brutally murdered by a man who was involved in an online relationship with someone who had created a fake profile using my stolen pictures. At the time when he traveled to my home in California from his home in Michigan, I had been dealing with people impersonating me online for over four years. I had gone to the local police as well as the CATCH (Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response) Team and was repeatedly told that there was legally nothing that I could do to stop the impersonators. After he came to my home to murder me when he found out the person he was in a "relationship" with was not really the person in the pictures, I thought law enforcement would take my situation more seriously and I would finally be able to bring an end to the impersonations. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The man who tried to kill me is now out of prison (living only 2 hours away from me) and I am still fighting to have these pages removed without any success thus far. You can read my full story at tiffanywatkins.org if interested. If you have social media, have ever shared your pictures with anyone else online, or have used online photo storage, you are at risk of becoming a victim of online impersonation. Your pictures can be stolen and used for any purpose that the person who steals them desires. This means that the person who steals your pictures can create a false persona using your images. They can then assume your identity to the point that in real life people think that you are them. Having your images stolen is a nightmare in which you are completely helpless. You have no control over what is being said and done by the person hiding behind your image, but you do have to face the consequences. Most websites for these accounts (such as Facebook, OkCupid, Twitter, etc.) will completely disregard any complaints that you make to have these pages removed saying that it does not violate their rules. This is because there are laws in place that protect the websites themselves from having any liability for the actions taken by the users of their websites. So, there are laws protecting the websites but there are not any laws protecting the people using the sites. Online impersonation through the use of someone else's image needs to be a felony at the federal level. There are currently laws in some states with punishments of varying degrees. For example, in California, there is a law that makes online impersonation a misdemeanor and also makes it possible to take civil action against the person. However, this law, as well as the laws in the other states, are nearly pointless. Since it is a crime occurring online, it falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of investigation. So there is a separation: the federal government is responsible for investigating and implementing something that falls under a state law. The federal jurisdiction will not do anything since the crime is not against federal law, and the state and local jurisdictions are not capable of an online investigation. Complicated and confusing, right? It needs to be simple and to the point: online impersonation using another person's image needs to be a felony at the federal level. As for the states that make it able to take a civil action against someone, this is not possible for most people. After speaking with various lawyers, just to have a lawyer find out who the perpetrator is would cost somewhere around $10,000. Then, you would have the court case, which could last years and average at about $5k-10k per month. This is not something that most people can afford, so that part of the law is also pointless (unless you are a celebrity or a millionaire). Online impersonation, commonly known as "catfishing" is a growing problem and the number of lives being affected by it are growing every day. I have had numerous people reach out to me and share their stories of how someone stealing their pictures is severely affecting their lives. I have also had many people reaching out to me to tell me how they were catfished by someone, and how they invested years of their lives into relationships only to find out that the person they were talking to never really existed. I am not alone in the suffering I have endured and continue to endure due to online impersonation, please help me to stop this growing problem before it affects even more lives.
Petition to Nikki Haley, South Carolina State House, South Carolina State Senate
No Tax on Tampons! Stop the Tax in South Carolina.
As any woman who menstruates knows, dealing with a period is a monthly necessity—and a costly one at that. Women spend upwards of over $200 a year on sanitary products like tampons, pads, liners, etc. What’s worse, across the U.S., forty states increase the financial burden of menstruation by charging sales tax on these items that are essential women's health. For anyone who has a period, these items are essential, not a luxury item—and should be treated as such. Eliminating the Tampon Tax is simply the FAIR and EQUAL thing to do. Change is possible! This summer, Canada made history when its Parliament voted unanimously to eliminate a national tax on menstrual products. Across the pond and down under, women in the U.K. and Australia are insisting their governments do the same. A global movement is underway! Sign this petition, share it with your friends—and let the South Carolina State Legislature hear your voice. Join in with the National movement, and to also make sure the change happens at HOME! -The Homeless Period Project SC http://www.upworthy.com/the-tampon-tax-is-real-these-are-the-40-states-taxing-periods
Petition to Kellenberg Memorial Administration, Brother Kenneth M. Hoagland, Father Philip K. Eichner
Kellenberg: Ensure Zero Tolerance for Sexual Misconduct by Changing School Policies
Following an incident of sexual assault on school property and a lack of explicit sexual misconduct policies, we are petitioning for two specific actions that Kellenberg Memorial Administration can take to promote a school culture with zero tolerance for sexual misconduct - ensuring the safety, rights and greatest potential of its students. A report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) tells us that 40 to 50 percent of students in grades 7 through 12 experience some form of sexual harassment in just one school year. Extend the time-frame to a student’s full high school career and that number jumps to 80 percent of students. Researchers have found girls are more likely to experience sexual harassment. They report that it is so common and ingrained in their everyday lives that they are often unaware when they are experiencing it - perpetuating the problem. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the issue is so pervasive that once our high school girls get to college, one in five of them will be sexually assaulted in their college career. Sadly, sexual assault does not discriminate based on how remarkable a high school is. Given these statistics and the amount of time kids spend at school (especially in a school like Kellenberg with many active students often catching a 5:30pm late bus home), this is a safety concern that needs to be explicitly addressed to protect students. Private schools such as Kellenberg who run exclusively on tuition and donations, are exempt from Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972. Title IX is the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and governs over protocols on how sexual assault/harassment is handled in educational settings. This means parents paying for their kids to attend Kellenberg are entrusting the administration alone to appropriately monitor these safety concerns without any oversight or compliance requirements from the government. Given that Kellenberg has a reputation of being a phenomenal school - and they are - this trust is often unquestioned. However, Kellenberg Memorial currently does not explicitly address sexual misconduct in their school handbook nor do they seem to have a policy regarding how sexual misconduct is addressed. This is unlike like the school handbooks at diocesan high schools such as Holy Trinity and St. John the Baptist in which they both have “Safe Environment Policy and Reporting” and “Sexual Harassment” sections. The similar language from these handbooks suggest this may be a diocesan requirement that Kellenberg is also exempt from since they are not considered a diocesan high school. The lack of such a policy is a surprising find given the high moral and academic standards the school upholds and the length of other sections of less importance than the safety and well-being of our kids. A recent incident at the school has shed light on ways the school can improve on their policies and school culture. A seventh-grade girl was being harassed by two boys for weeks and received repeated, intimate, unwanted touching from them on school property. Despite written statements from witnesses and the victim's account, these boys only received two days of suspension and were back in school following the incident. The lack of expulsion is a stark contrast from the decision to expel other students for incidents such as school pranks or selling DVDs. The only response from the school was a message on their website which indicated that there was inappropriate behavior among "three" students and steps were taken to address it. The message implied that the victim was somehow to blame. The victim's family, who have other alumni children, chose to withdraw their daughter from Kellenberg for her own well-being. Following the incident, some students and alumnus took to social media to express similar experiences with the school at varying degrees. Others expressed their disappointment in the decision-making and the message the administration is sending. By signing this petition, we are expressing that these policies and messages need to change. We are expressing that we will not stand for a school culture in which sexual misconduct persists or is the norm. If female students are to be treated equally to male students, we need to ensure and be able to trust school staff understand consent in order to address sexual misconduct. We need to ensure that students will feel comfortable reporting incidents that infringe on their rights. We need to ensure that students aren’t implicitly held responsible for inappropriate touches or words they did not consent to, want, or deserve at any given moment (i.e. that they were flirting, in relationship with them, weren’t dressed appropriately). Parents need to ensure that their daughters will be heard and protected when such incidents occur – not shamed. We need to ensure school staff know that if ANY student reports being inappropriately touched or spoken to without their consent, we know asking the victim what they did or didn’t do to provoke it is victim shaming. We need to ensure school staff know that even within a relationship or during a consensual circumstance, unwanted contact can still occur and/or consent could be withdrawn at any time with words like: no, stop, etc. Without an explicit school policy, we can not ensure these things. Kellenberg’s students will excel even more than they already do if they are in an environment that they feel safe, protected, and valued in. By signing this petition, we are calling for Kellenberg Memorial High School to ensure their school culture is one with zero tolerance for sexual misconduct. By signing this petition, we are asking the administration of Kellenberg to take the following two steps that will ensure their students, our sons and daughters, are educated in a setting that has zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, ensuring the safety and greatest potential for its students. These steps are: 1. Designate at least one faculty member for each of the following roles (adopted from Framework for Developing School Policies to Address Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking). Student Advocate: A staff member responsible for supporting victims of abuse during the grievance, disciplinary or accommodations process. The Student Advocate does not have any role in decision-making; their responsibility is to educate students and families about the process and advocate for the rights and preferences of the victim when necessary. This position may also be responsible for educating the student population about the school’s policy and students’ rights under the policies and for collaborating with community partners to increase access for students to support services at school or in the community. School Coordinator: A person who has training in all areas of abuse, harassment and discrimination. This position may also be responsible for educating administrators, and caregivers about the school’s policy and students’ rights under the policies. This position is responsible for overseeing the training of all school employees on dating violence and sexual assault/harassment. The Coordinator may be responsible for developing and facilitating trainings or may collaborate with community organizations to conduct trainings. 2. Revise Kellenberg's school handbook to safeguard, prevent and address sexual misconduct by adding a new section that addresses sexual misconduct, safe environment and reporting. This section should express that the school holds zero tolerance for sexual misconduct. It would include the importance of safeguarding against sexual misconduct as well as reporting and discipline procedures. Resources and contact information should be included. These two recommendations come from a consolidation of reputable resources widely used to prevent and address sexual misconduct in schools. The following resources are recommended for guidance on action steps, policy changes and any further actions the school would like to take to ensure this issue does not arise again: Campus Sexual Assault: Suggested Policies and Procedures by the American Association of University Professors Crossing the Line: Sexual Harassment at School published by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Framework for Developing School Policies to Address Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking by the U.S. Department of Justice in collaboration with Break the Cycle Know Your IX U.S. Department of Education: Dear Colleague Letter U.S Department of Education: Know Your Rights U.S. Department of Education: Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault in Schools - Resources and a Call to Action Aforementioned student handbooks of local Catholic diocesan high schools Thank you for your consideration on this matter.
Petition to Angela Davis, Gwen Moore
Bring more awareness to the problems that women of color still struggle with.
Throughout the lives of many women are treated differently, from being looked upon as objects to being the punching bag in someones life. The change that is trying to be made is to teach people everywhere that women are still not treated equally, most importantly women of color. Though we are in the year 2017 there continues to be problems for women of color, they continue to get discriminated against in the workforce not only because of their gender, but also because of their ethnicity, many white feminist do not acknowledge these women of color and the pay wage gap is still prominent in the world. The way that this would impact someones life would be positive, because women of color would no longer be discriminated against, treated unfairly, or taken advantage of.
Petition to Commission on Presidential Debates, Donald Trump, Reince Priebus, Hillary Clinton, Donna Brazile
Tell presidential candidates: women’s REAL issues deserve a debate
It's time for presidential candidates to go on record about issues that affect all women and their families. Women represent more than half the population and turn out to vote more than men, yet women’s issues have received little attention during this presidential election cycle. In 21 primary debates, over 700 questions were asked of 16 candidates; only 6 were about issues that disproportionately affect women. Womensdebate.org is a nonpartisan collective of concerned citizens who are calling upon all political candidates to commit to a live presidential debate or town hall focused exclusively on issues affecting American women and girls, namely: Elimination of barriers that prevent equal participation in the economy Access to quality affordable health care opportunities for all Safe and just recourse when confronted with violence and sexual exploitation Whether for yourself, your daughter, your spouse/significant other, your colleague or because it is the right thing to do, we urge you to sign this petition to have gender equality and women’s rights be addressed during this important election year. We are all working towards a common goal – an equitable and safe environment for all. Contact us at email@example.com.
Petition to Department of Justice
We need to criminalize emotional and psychological abuse in the US.
Lets bring bring justice to the victims of emotional abuse once and for all. We need to do something to give the abusers a reason to not want to do it, to change their ways of thinking and to make it more widely known about. If the abusers know they can get charged with a crime and spend jail time for their actions, then I honestly believe we can see the amount of emotional abuse cases go way down. Unfortunately, I personally have had terrible luck in relationships, so this issue hits very close to home for me. I have had back to back relationships that have been abusive in almost every way imaginable. I have dealt with emotional abuse for the majority of those relationships. I personally know the torment emotional abuse can cause, the despair, the depression, anxiety, disabling panic attacks, and the pure feeling of worthlessness. Sometimes it feels like I have swallowed a black hole and became that because any life or even enjoyment of life I had in me is gone. Millions of people (women and men included) go through this at the hands of what is usually a master manipulator, narcissist, sociopath or psychopath. There is not enough protection for the victims of this tormenting abuse. The victims are laughed at and told to "suck it up" and "stop being a crybaby" way too often. It isn't a matter to joke about. It isn't a matter to not take serious.It is a serious issue in our country that effects far too many people to continue being ignored and laughed at. This type of abuse can cause irreversible damage. Even as little as a few months of emotional torment can cause decades of trauma for the victim. We need to all come together and realize that this is a major problem, and we need to stop letting the criminals that knowingly cause this pain get away with it. It will be tough, and rules will need to be put in place that are going to be tough. We aren't going to stop emotional abuse over night, I doubt we will ever stop emotional abuse completely. We can pass more laws on the matter at the least, that way there is more awareness of this type of abuse. Also, the abusers may think twice before emotionally tormenting someone becuase of a much higher risk of being criminally charged for their criminal behavior. I have included some links to resources around the web for people to learn more about this type of abuse if they wish to. I have no affiliation with the websites posted here besides using them as good sources of information. Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness The National Domestic Violence Hotline Where to find Legal Help Find Therapy for Abuse