Sexual Violence

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  • Legal Momentum's Staff Attorney Caitlin McCartney-Gerber appeared on CTV's Your Morning show on Thursday, September 14, 2017, to talk about how shelters can prevent sexual violence in the wake of natural disasters."After a natural disaster, an evacuation centre can mean women and children are exposed to another danger: sexual violenceAfter Hurricane Katrina in 2005, dozens of women, and several men, reported sexual assaults at crowded evacuation sites and shelters. But at least one legal expert says much that can be done to prevent these attacks.
  • Yesterday Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced that the Department of Education will commence a “notice and comment” process to formulate guidance regarding schools’ responsibilities in handling sexual harassment and sexual violence and made clear her intention to replace the Obama Administration-era 2011 guidance which has provided protection to sexual assault survivors and clarity for schools to respond to incidents of sexual harassment and violence. 
  • For women and children who are living through Hurricane Harvey, reaching a place of safety from the storm often means exposure to another danger: sexual violence. As Hurricanes Rita and Katrina demonstrated in 2005, natural disasters often create environments ripe for sexual exploitation, with many sexual assaults occurring at crowded evacuation sites and shelters.
  • This webinar explores what it means to take a victim-centered, multidisciplinary approach to sexual assault cases and highlight crime victims’ rights.
  • A description and order form for the self-directed DVD version of NJEP's curriculum Understanding Sexual Violence for judges and court personnel.
  • This flyer describes available NJEP training materials and resources on adult victim sexual assault. 
  • A medical forensic sexual assault examination cannot determine whether or not a sexual assault was perpetrated. However, it can provide objective documentation of examination findings that, when considered in the context of all the evidence, will assist the judge and jury in reconstructing the events in question and determining whether or not there was a sexual assault. The limitation on how much a medical forensic sexual assault examination can tell the court is not only due to the fact that “rape” and “sexual assault” are legal conclusions, not medical diagnoses. 
  • Legal Momentum's Senior Vice President and Director of the National Judicial Education Program, Lynn Hecht Schafran, commented on the Bill Cosby rape allegations in this WPIX evening news story.“I’m very glad that this is finally coming out in such a graphic form that it will smack people in the face,” said Lynn Hecht Schafran, executive Vice President of Legal Momentum, the women’s legal defense fund.
  • A college rape prevention program sounds like a good idea. Everyone’s heard about the sexual assault epidemic plaguing college campuses; this type of program seems like the right response to an issue that has long gone ignored. A rape prevention program that is effective and that decreases the likelihood of rape and sexual assault is a welcome step forward. But a rape prevention program that is specifically for women takes the wrong approach.
  • A letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch formally requesting that the Department of Justice issue a Guidance on Gender-Biased Policing. The letter was signed onto by eighty-eight national organizations and 98 state and local organizations.
  • This interview with National Judicial Education Program Project Attorney Claudia Bayliff discusses the language that is used to describe sexual violence, the importance of language choices, and how language shapes perceptions. Ms. Bayliff frequently presents on this topic to multidisciplinary audiences around the country. The program is also available as an online curriculum, Raped or “Seduced?” How Language Helps Shape Our Perceptions of Sexual Violence.


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