sexual assault

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Jan 27 – Feb 2 Weekly News Round Up

A round up of current news stories on the state and national level, with a focus on feminist issues

 By Tess Koenigsmark

Last Tuesday the House of Representatives passed HR7, or the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion bill. The bill would bar insurance plans sold through the healthcare exchanges from providing abortion coverage, and ban abortion coverage for servicewomen. It will never pass in the Senate, making it yet another opportunity for House GOP members to say angry things about abortion instead of focusing on real problems. The great response from pro-choice members of Congress was the only thing that kept this story from being entirely depressing.

In the wake of Title IX complaints at the University of Connecticut, lawmakers are proposing legislation to improve how Connecticut colleges and universities handle sexual assaults.

While progressives may not have gotten everything they wanted from Obama’s State of the Union address (*coughs* reproductive rights), we can all agree that it was pretty awesome to hear the president speak about pay inequality and workplace policies that disadvantage women. “It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode,” may have been the most quotable line of the evening.

Additionally, check out the Connecticut delegation’s guests to the State of the Union. Good choices all around.

A Connecticut woman has filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the senior living center she works for denied her wife health benefits. Although same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, it’s not in Tennessee, where Brookdale Senior Living is based. This rationalization is still being used by many employers to deny same-sex spouses benefits, although it’s certainly a less credible argument since the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in June. Not to mention, it seems like a pretty bad PR move for a health care company to deny its employees health benefits. *Update*

As more hospitals consider becoming for-profit institutions, Connecticut legislators want to tighten regulations for changes to hospital ownership.

The National Women’s Law Center has filed complaints with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Health and Human Services against four health insurance companies that they claim are charging women more than men for the same coverage. Known as “gender rating”, the practice was outlawed by the Affordable Care Act.

Dylan Farrow has written an open letter in the New York Times addressing how her adoptive father, Woody Allen, sexually abused her as a child. This is important, and you should read it.

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News Round Up Special: UConn Students File Title IX Complaint

The following is a special edition of the weekly news round up with a focus on the Title IX complaint that UConn is currently facing. The regular weekly news round up will appear as usual tomorrow.

News Round Up: UConn Students File Title IX Complaint 

By Tess Koenigsmark

By now, there’s a good chance you’ve heard something about the Title IX complaint filed by seven University of Connecticut students. But, if you’re not sure exactly what is going on, have no fear.

Here’s a rundown of the developments so far, and a healthy collection of links for more info:

At a press conference in Hartford on Monday, October 21, attorney Gloria Allred announced that she was representing seven UConn students filing a Title IX complaint against UConn with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Four of the complainants: Kylie Angell, Carolyn Luby, Erica Daniels, and Rose Richi spoke at the press conference on Monday.

So far, the media has focused largely on Luby, the lead complainant, and Angell. Luby gained a lot of attention back in April when she an article she wrote criticizing rape culture at UConn and the school’s new mascot was published on The Feminist Wire. Luby received a deluge of misogynistic comments and threats, including rape threats, after writing the piece. UConn police told her that they could not help her and suggested she wear a hat. The focus on Angell, whose attacker was allowed back on campus without her knowledge, seems to have arisen largely from the truly shocking nature of her ordeal.

On the Wednesday following the press conference, UConn president Susan Herbst addressed the complainants’ allegations at a meeting of the university’s Board of Trustees. Instead of promising to look into the allegations, Herbst prematurely denounced the claims as insulting and untrue, and many criticized her dismissive response. Thursday of the same week, Governor Malloy and Connecticut legislative leaders called for public hearings on UConn’s handling of sexual assaults.

Last Wednesday, October 30, UConn students held a rally to support the Title IX complainants and protest rape culture at the university. Yesterday morning, Gloria Allred announced that four of the complainants from the Title IX case will file a federal lawsuit against the university. It is also expected that the governor will announce dates for legislative hearings shortly.

So there you have it – everything you need to be up to date on the UConn Title IX complaint. Hopefully this incident will ignite some much-needed conversations about how Connecticut’s universities handle sexual assault, and rape culture more broadly. This Daily Campus article is a good start.

Due to the extensive nature of the news coverage on this topic, all of the embedded links are also listed below.

Links

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/uconn-sexual-assault-complaint_n_4133713.html

http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Gloria-Allred-Representing-Victims-of-UConn-Sex-Assaults-228657681.html

http://thefeministwire.com/2013/04/an-open-letter-to-uconn-president-susan-herbst/

http://thefeministwire.com/2013/04/urgent-an-open-letter-to-president-susan-herbst-the-uconn-community-barstool-sports-and-others-on-behalf-of-carolyn-luby/

http://www.dailycampus.com/writer-of-open-letter-attacked-online-1.3036489?pagereq=1#.UnQN8BaGHy8

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/10/23/21100458-uconn-president-on-sexual-assault-complaints-astonishingly-misguided#comments

http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/10/president-herbst-discusses-uconns-sexual-assault-response/

http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20131027/editorial-uconn-president-susan-herbst-deeply-misguided-in-response-to-sexual-assault-claims

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/2013/10/24/governor-and-republican-leaders-call-hearings-uconn-sex-assault-protocols

http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-uconn-rally-sex-assault-1031-20131030,0,4320619.story

http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-uconn-federal-lawsuit-1102-20131101,0,6456958.story

http://www.dailycampus.com/commentary/the-five-lies-you-already-believe-about-the-title-ix-complaint-against-uconn-1.3101505 – .UnMTahaGHy8

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