Violence Issues to Watch
The AAUW member-adopted Biennial Action Priorities advocates “freedom from violence and fear of violence in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.”
The History of AAUW's Position on Gun Violence Prevention
NYS Fact Sheet: Protecting Women From Gun Violence
Updated: July 4, 2015
- Prosecutor Questions Low Numbers On School Bullying - New York prosecutor says compliance with a state law to combat school bullying, harassment or intimidation is a "disaster."
Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas recently reviewed statewide reporting of the so-called "Dignity Act." She noted 58 percent of all schools failed to report even one incident of bullying. And 82 percent had no incidents of cyberbullying.
- S.311 - Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2015 - Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA.) and Rep. Chris Gibson (D-NY) reintroduced the Safe Schools Improvement Act, a bill requiring local educational agencies to establish anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies that prevent and prohibit such conduct. Every student deserves a safe place to learn, and AAUW believes that maintaining a safe climate at schools is the bedrock component to ending school violence. AAUW supports the Safe Schools Improvement Act which would give schools necessary resources to combat bullying, harassment, and negative school climates.
- Data Released On Gun Registrations In NYS - A group opposed to New York's two-year-old gun law says registration data show few owners complied with the requirement to register firearms reclassified as assault weapons. NY2A, which advocates for Second Amendment rights, says newly reported data show only 23,847 people registered 44,485 firearms while Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimated New Yorkers owned one million such guns before the 2013 measure banned sales in New York.
- More People Killed by White Extremists Than Jihadists Since 9/11 - As thousands head to the South Carolina state Capitol to honor church massacre victim Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a new study finds white supremacists and other non-Muslim fanatics have killed far more people in the United States since 9/11 than Muslim extremists.
- Google joins the war on 'revenge porn' - Opponents of revenge porn have a powerful new ally: Google. The search giant announced that it will soon start honoring requests to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without the subject's consent.
- Poll Shows Wide Support for NY SAFE Act Provisions--Even by Gun Owners - A recent poll of New York voters found wide support for provisions of the NY SAFE Act, with both upstate and downstate residents favoring all six provisions of the Act. Even gun owners --while claiming to oppose the Act itself--supported most of its measures.
- Supreme Court allows San Francisco gun safety laws to stand; Scalia and Thomas dissent - The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by the National Rifle Association and its allies against two San Francisco gun safety laws. The city requires that handguns be kept locked in a box, or disabled by trigger locks, when they are not being carried by the owner. San Francisco also bans sale of ammunition that expands on impact, the so-called hollow point bullets.
- More than one in four U.S. kids exposed to weapon violence - More than one in four U.S. children are exposed to weapon violence before their eighteenth birthday, either as victims or witnesses, a large study suggests. About one in 33 kids are directly assaulted during incidents involving guns or knives, researchers report in the journal Pediatrics.
- Cyberbullying Less Stressful Than In-Person Bullying, Study Claims - Face-to-face aggression coupled with online harassment seems most distressing to kids.
- School Violence: Colorado Schools Can Now Be Held Liable for Attacks, Shootings - Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a hotly debated bill this week that waives government immunity for schools in the event of shootings or other forms of violence. The bill, which was opposed by many schools and school groups, will allow for claims of up to $350,000 per victim or $900,000 per incident if a court finds the school failed to "exercise reasonable care" to prevent "reasonably foreseeable harm."
- NYPD policy change on sex crimes speeds up order of protection for victim - The crimes affected by the change are forcible touching, sexual misconduct and sex abuse in the second and third degrees. A change in NYPD policy does away with desk appearance tickets for some misdemeanor sex offenders, reducing the time it takes for victims to get orders of protection.
- To Reduce Family Violence, Schools Have a Role - Who teaches children about human relationships? The answer is everyone they have contact with, be they young or old, male or female, loving or cruel. Children learn about relationships through social osmosis. They see the patterns around them and internalize those behaviors as the blueprints for what to expect from their own lives. If it is our sincere goal to reduce the sheer magnitude of family violence in America, we have to begin with the environment we have already entrusted with the responsibility of shaping children's lives outside the home. We have to start with schools.
- Bullied Teens Often Become Depressed Adults - Five years after adolescent victimhood, an association with depression risk. Young adults who thought they were bullied in their early teen years were more likely to show symptoms of depression, a large, population-based study from the U.K. indicated.
- The 5 Most Dangerous States to Live In (and 5 Safest) - According to the study, the five safest states to live in are Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Hawaii. The least safe states to live in are New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Mississippi. Massachusetts is the state with the lowest share of residents who lack health insurance, the second fewest number of fatal occupational injuries, and the second lowest rate of fatal automobile accidents.
- Texas Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Guns on Campus - The Texas Legislature gave final approval Sunday to a bill that would let Texans carry licensed concealed weapons on college campuses. The legislation is on its way to Governor Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it. The final version of the measure allows private institutions to opt out of the campus carry requirement. The final version also allows public universities to create "gun-free zones" on parts of their campuses.
- Rifle & Pistol Association is recruiting legislative candidates for Nov. 2016 - The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is looking for a few good citizens to run for office. The state's largest firearms advocacy group, and official NRA affiliate in New York, is recruiting candidates to primary incumbent state legislators in November 2016 as payback for their passage of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act.
- Safe, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: Policy Recommendations to Ensure Children Thrive in Supportive Communities Free from Violence and Trauma - Futures Without Violence has released a new report outlining policy recommendations to ensure children thrive in safe communities. The report was prepared in partnership with AAUW, among other coalition partners.
- Trigger Warning: 10 Shocking Truths About Gun Violence - This weekend's shootout between rival biker gangs in Waco, Texas has reopened the debate about gun control in the US. But experience shows this is the only country in the world that reacts to mass shootings by relaxing gun laws.
- Programs Aim to Smooth Student-Police Relations - Recent tensions between youths and police has bubbled over in Baltimore, Cleveland, Ferguson, Mo., and other cities after the deaths of minorities felled by police bullets or excessive force. The unrest has served as a call to action: Amid growing concern about racial bias in U.S. law-enforcement agencies, groups are taking steps to foster better relations between police and minority youths.
- Staff adrift over how to handle cyberbullying - Research out of Hamline University in St. Paul revealed disorganized campus policies about cyberbullying and general denial at institutions. Times Higher Education reports that less than 20% of 384 higher education employees surveyed across 47 states believed their institution was "completely prepared" to handle cyberbullying.
- School Bullying: Education Department Touts Drop in National Rate - By one measure, student reports of bullying at school dropped to 22 percent in 2013, the lowest rate since the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education began collecting that data in 2005.
- Ins - Initiatives that were proposed to appear tough on domestic abusers have backfired onto victims. Mandatory arrests, now on the books in 23 states, provide an ironclad and violent state solution to problems that would better be solved with health care, financial resources, and other kinds of non-carceral counseling.
- Moms calling for tighter gun control laws march across Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall - An army of about 300 angry moms marched across the Brooklyn Bridge and converged on City Hall Saturday to call for tighter gun-control laws and blast America's apparent lack of "gun sense" one day after fallen NYPD police officer Brian Moore was laid to rest during a teary funeral.
- Kids accidentally shoot someone every 36 hours, study shows - According to a study published earlier this week by Everytown For Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, 79 children have unintentionally shot someone with a handgun during the first four months of 2015. These shootings have resulted in 24 deaths and 56 injuries. If such first-quarter figures were calculated to cover an entire year, there would be an accidental shooting every 36 hours.
- What Does Gun Violence Really Cost? - Mother Jones investigative report asks What Does Gun Violence Really Cost? How much care would the survivors of gun violence and the victims' families need? What are the effects on the broader community and how far out would those costs ripple? Take a look at the documented stories of eight survivors and some of the prices paid. Then look to see who pays the most for America's $229 billion a year in gun carnage and find out how much money does gun violence cost in your state?
- A.5257 passes on Domestic Violence Lobby Day. NYAGV's priority bill on domestic violence, the Domestic Violence Firearm Surrender Law (A.5257), unanimously passed the NY State Assembly on April 28. The bill, which will now head to the Senate, requires law enforcement to remove guns from the possession of individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
- Police Learn New Strategy to Reduce Gun Violence - Police in New York state learn new strategy to reduce gun violence. Studies show most shootings in cities involve only about 1 percent of the young men in a city's most dangerous neighborhoods. The new strategy deals directly with that 1 percent.
- Bud Light Apologizes for Tagline that Perpetuates Rape Culture - Bud Light apologized for their tagline, "the perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night," after two hours of #NotBuyingIt tweets!
- Bullying Gets Under Your Skin: Health Effects of Bullying on Children and Youth - New neurobiological research shows the negative effects of bullying on the physical and mental health of children and youth. According to recent studies, bullying impacts the body's stress response system and these changes can be risk factors associated with poorer health.
- This Is What Women Are Forced To Do To Avoid Street Harassment - Street harassment is far too common for women and new survey data released by the international nonprofit Hollaback! found that among the over 4,800 people surveyed in the United States, street harassment results in a heightened level of fear and anxiety for many women. For example, among respondents under 40 years old, 85 percent said they have taken a different route home in order to avoid potential harassment and 72 percent said they have chosen a different mode of transportation, showing the extent to which street harassment can affect women's feelings of safety and security.
- Women Turn Tables on Online Harassers - Harassment on dating apps is a common problem. According to a Pew Research Center study in 2013, 28 percent of online daters reported feeling harassed, with more female online daters (42 percent) saying they had experienced harassment than male online daters (17 percent).
- Statewide Poll Confirms New Yorkers' Support for Common Sense Regulations - New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) today announced that a statewide poll of New York voter attitudes about gun safety reveals robust support across the state for strong gun safety laws.
- Nearly 1 in 10 Americans Have Serious Anger Problems-and Can Easily Get Guns - In the United States, most people diagnosed with mental illness are allowed to buy guns. While state laws vary, federal law prohibits only those who have been committed to a psychiatric hospital or adjudicated as "mental defectives" from owning firearms. But researchers at Duke University suspect that the law is ignoring a group of Americans who could make for potentially dangerous gun owners: people with a history of angry, impulsive outbursts.
- 17 States Where You're More Likely To Die From Guns Than Car Crashes - "Firearm-related fatalities exceeded motor vehicle fatalities in 17 states and the District of Columbia in 2013," Violence Policy Center (VPC) report said, citing the most recent federal data. "That year, gun deaths (including gun suicide, homicide, and fatal unintentional shootings) outpaced motor vehicle deaths in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, District of Columbia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming."
- New Harvard Research Debunks the NRA's Favorite Talking Points - Surveys drawing on scores of experts reveal a clear consensus against the gun lobby. They show that a clear majority of experts do not buy the NRA's arguments.
- Kansas Will Allow Concealed Carry of Guns Without a Permit - Kansas residents will be allowed to carry concealed weapons in the state without training or a permit starting in July under a bill signed into law on Thursday by Governor Sam Brownback.
- In the hunt to be the 2016 GOP pick, top contenders agree on 1 thing: Guns - There are 15 noteworthy contenders for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Together, they own at least 40 guns.
- State Starts Social Media Campaign Against Teen Dating Violence - New York state has started a new social media campaign against teen dating violence. The campaign includes a four-minute video featuring students from Lansingburgh High School in Troy encouraging bystanders to speak up when they see someone treated inappropriately. The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence also is encouraging virtual conversations by using the hash tag #ICanDoSomethingNY. The agency says research shows 62 percent of "tweens" 11 through 14 said they know friends who have been verbally abused by boyfriends or girlfriends. About 10 percent report being hit by their boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Gun death rates drop in New York - New York's restrictive gun laws are working, according to New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, which cites 2013 data showing New York now has the third lowest death rate in the nation. The Violence Policy Center, a nonprofit organization advocating gun control, analyzed data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control on Jan. 29; and concluded that states like New York with stricter gun laws and low rates of gun ownership have the lowest overall gun death rates.
- Gun Debate Reignites in Colorado, 2˝ Years After Aurora Theater Shooting - Looming over the debate is the trial of the man accused of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others inside an Aurora movie theater in July 2012, one of the worst mass shootings in American history. As lawmakers here vote on a flurry of gun bills, lawyers in a suburban courthouse 15 miles away are sifting through questionnaires submitted by thousands of potential jurors as they prepare for opening arguments in the murder trial of James E. Holmes, which is expected to stretch for months.
- Violence intervention from the very start - A large and complex issue is present in many early childhood centers that serve children impacted by violence and poverty, writes Margaret Ramirez for The Hechinger Report. According to a nationally representative survey, 13 percent of infants a year old and younger, and 44 percent of all two-to-five-year-olds, were assault victims in the prior year. Eight percent of infants and 14 percent of two-to-five-year-olds had also witnessed violence.
- Serving Life for Surviving Abuse - Misconceptions about domestic violence can turn the justice system against survivors, often with devastating results. The Sentencing Project reported that same year that there are over 5,300 women nationally serving life and life without parole sentences, reflecting an increase of about 14 percent since 2008. About 300 of these women were sentenced to LWOP, which means that California's prisons alone contain about half of America's female inmates serving LWOP sentences. While there's no exact count of how many women in prison have been physically or sexually abused, most place the odds around 85 to 90 percent-disproportionately high compared to men. As the length of sentence increases, so do the odds that a woman has been abused. Among all women in prison, women who have been sentenced to LWOP sentences are the most likely to have been abused, more so than women serving non-life sentences and men serving life sentences, said Professor Margaret Leigey, a criminologist at The College of New Jersey who has studied LWOP sentencing.
- Fight on Guns Is Being Taken to State Ballots - The gun control movement, blocked in Congress and facing mounting losses in federal elections, is tweaking its name, refining its goals and using the same-sex marriage movement as a model to take the fight to voters on the state level. The advocacy groups have recast their cause as a public health and safety movement, and are homing in on areas where polling has shown voter support, like expanded background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of people with domestic violence convictions, restraining orders or mental illnesses.
- Increasingly Dangerous Guns Endanger US Communities - As Tom Diaz reports in The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, the NRA, in concert with gun manufacturers and conservative advocates of law and order, has successfully stoked fear of crime and terrorism to ramp up domestic weapons sales. In fact, Diaz reports that during the last decade, more than 30,000 US residents a year have died because of guns.
- NFL toughens policy addressing assault and domestic violence - NFL teams have unanimously endorsed a new personal conduct policy for all NFL employees after discussions that included experts on domestic violence and sexual assault. The new measures include a more extensive list of prohibited conduct, independent investigative procedures, and specific criteria on paid leave for an individual charged with a violent crime.
- Military-Style Technology Finds Way Into School District Safety Measures - Engineers from a company called Shooter Detection Systems have installed infrared sensors and microphones that can pick up the sound of gunfire and immediately notify school and law enforcement officials where and when it has occurred. It was installed free of charge, and school officials were hoping they could find the money to put the system, which costs between $20,000 and $100,000, into more schools.
- Parents More Likely Than Their Children to Consider Schools Safe, Study Finds - Parents are more likely than their children to answer favorably when asked if their children's schools are safe, a study recently found. In all, 96 percent of parents and 87 percent of students in analyzed data answered questions about school safety favorably. The most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey found a trend of students feeling less safe at school. In 1993, 4.4 percent of students surveyed reported they had "not gone to school on at least 1 day during the 30 days before the survey because they felt they would be unsafe at school or on their way to or from school." That percentage has trended steadily upward, reaching 7.1 percent in 2013.
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