Newscast for Thursday, January 24, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 29:03 minutes (26.6 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
As sexual assault and rape continues to affect millions of people across the globe, a new report finds police in the nation’s Capital are failing to investigate these crimes. Human Rights Watch spent three years interviewing survivors, hospital staff and counselors in Washington, DC as well as analyzing police and hospital records. The group found that an estimated 40 percent of sexual assault reports at one hospital were not “documented or properly investigated.” Sarah Darehshori is one of the report’s authors.
“One of our overall concerns was that, prior to our notifying the department of our findings, sexually assault unit detectives received no training in sexual assault cases before they joined the sexual assault unit. There are no—the entire detective training program only included some training on the definition of sex abuse in DC. There was no systematic training for the um, people on the ground, the patrol officers on assaults. No training on trauma interviewing techniques. Basically, all the training was on the job.”
Sexual assault survivors told Human Rights Watch they felt the police were skeptical of their accounts, creating an environment where they didn’t feel safe to share details of the crime.
“I started to feel like a victim because of my interactions with police. They didn’t believe me, they made me feel ashamed for questioning them. They—they made me question myself and what happened. How—they made me feel like I was making something up, when all I was trying to do was tell them what happened so it could be reported accurately so that it wouldn’t happen again.”
Human Rights Watch is calling on the department to acknowledge the past problems and hold those involved accountable. The group’s Darehshori says she’d also like to see the creation of an external review process for the department’s sexual assault unit, which she says has worked well in Philadelphia and other cities. The DC Metropolitan Police department criticized the report, saying it used “flawed methodology” and “makes sweeping allegations that are not backed by facts.” Human rights advocates are also calling on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act after it failed to do so last month. The act, which expired in 2011, funds community and law enforcement programs to help sexual assault survivors.
In Washington today, President Obama made two key cabinet choices that will impact how big banks and SuperPACs are regulated in his second term. The President tapped Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, and re-nominated Richard Cordray for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The cabinet staffing process also moved forward on Capitol Hill, where Senators questioned one of the President’s most prominent picks: Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry, the nominee for Secretary of State. If confirmed, Kerry would face major diplomatic decisions ranging from Iran’s nuclear power program and the Middle East peace process to free trade agreements and the Keystone XL pipeline. FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has more.
Today, the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development approved a plan could have lasting effects on the region’s farms and food production for the next decade. But small and organic farmers and environmentalists say the plan, known as the Common Agricultural Policy or CAP, doesn’t do enough to promote green measures, such as crop rotation and diversification. They say it also reduces the amount of land required to be protected as ecological zones. For more, we’re joined by Stanka Becheva, food and agriculture campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, she’s also part of the Good Food, Good Farming Campaign and joins us from Brussels.
The Palestinian Authority is preparing to submit an application to UNESCO recommending the nomination of the small, ancient village of Battir as a World Heritage Site. This would be the second World Heritage listing after a successful nomination of Bethlehem’s Church of Nativity last June. Located in the West Bank, Battir is known for its agricultural terraces and roman-era ruins. But Israeli officials plan to erect a barrier through the area, which cultural experts say would threaten this sensitive site. FSRN’s Lena Odgaard reports.
The nation’s largest nurses union and the fastest growing healthcare workers union are joining forces in what they say is an effort to fight for higher labor standards in the healthcare industry. The first-of-its-kind healthcare union affiliation comes as Kaiser Permanente workers in California prepare to decide on which union will represent them. FSRN’s Max Pringle reports.