10-22-2019  12:20 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Washington State to Vote on Affirmative Action Referendum

More than two decades after voters banned affirmative action, the question of whether one's minority status should be considered in state employment, contracting, colleges admissions is back on the ballot

Merkley Introduces Legislation that Protects Access to Health Care for Those Who Cannot Afford Bail

Under current law, individuals in custody who have not been convicted of a crime are denied Medicare, Medicaid, and veterans’ benefits

New County Hire Aims to Build Trust, Transparency Between Community and Public Safety Officials

Leneice Rice will serve as a liaison focused on documenting and reporting feedback from a community whose faith in law enforcement has been tested

Hank Willis Thomas Exhibit Opens at Portland Art Museum

One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, his works examine the representation of race and the politics of visual culture

NEWS BRIEFS

GFO Offers African Americans Help in Solving Family Mysteries

The Genealogical Forum of Oregon is holding an African American Special Interest Group Saturday, Oct. 19 ...

Third Annual NAMC-WA Gala Features Leader on Minority Business Development

The topic of the Washington Chapter of the National Association of Minority Contractors' event was 'Community and Collaboration' ...

Building Bridges Event Aims to Strengthen Trust Between Communities

The 4th Annual Building Bridges of Understanding in Our Communities: Confronting Hate will be held in Tigard on...

The Black Man Project Kicks Off National Tour in Seattle

The first in a series of interactive conversations focused on Black men and vulnerability takes place in Seattle on October 25 ...

Protesters Rally in Ashland to Demand 'Impeach Trump Now'

Activists are rallying in Ashland Sunday Oct, 13 to demand impeachment proceedings ...

Oregon governor says state will accept refugees

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has responded to President Donald Trump's executive order giving state and local governments the authority to refuse to accept refugees.Brown said in a video posted Monday on Twitter that refugees are welcome in Oregon, and noted that it is a...

Chinese man sentenced to 3 years in prison for iPhone scam

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Chinese man has been sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison for trafficking fake and altered Apple iPhones.The U.S. attorney's office in Portland said Quan Jiang was also sentenced Monday to three years' supervised release after he completes his...

AP Top 25: Ohio State jumps Clemson to 3rd; Wisconsin falls

Ohio State edged past Clemson to No. 3 in The Associated Press college football poll and Wisconsin dropped to 13th after being upset ahead of its showdown with the Buckeyes.Alabama remained No. 1 on Sunday in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank, receiving 24 first-place votes. No. 2 LSU held...

Vaughn scores twice, Vandy upsets No. 22 Missouri 21-14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derek Mason wants it known he's the best coach for the Vanderbilt Commodores.Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and Vanderbilt upset No. 22 Missouri 21-14 on Saturday with a stifling defensive...

OPINION

Atatiana Jefferson, Killed by Police Officer in Her Own Home

Atatiana Jefferson, a biology graduate who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and was contemplating becoming a doctor, lived a life of purpose that mattered ...

“Hell No!” That Is My Message to Those Who Would Divide Us 

Upon release from the South African jail, Nelson Mandela told UAW Local 600 members “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world" ...

Rep. Janelle Bynum Issues Response to the Latest Statement from Clackamas Town Center

State legislator questions official response after daughter questioned for ‘loitering’ in parking lot ...

Why Would HUD Gut Its Own Disparate Impact Rule?

"You can’t expand housing rights by limiting civil protections. The ’D’ in HUD doesn’t stand for ‘Discrimination’" ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Union official: Fired Wisconsin school guard gets job back

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin school district is rehiring a black security guard after he was fired last week for repeating a racial slur while telling a student not to use it, a union official said Monday.Doug Keillor, executive director of Madison Teachers Inc., said that the union was...

The Latest: Union official: Fired guard getting job back

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on a black Wisconsin security guard who was fired for repeating a racial slur while telling a student not to use it (all times local):6:20 p.m.A union official says a black security guard is getting his job back at a Wisconsin school after he was fired for...

Union official: Black security guard fired from Wisconsin school for repeating racial slur getting job back

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Union official: Black security guard fired from Wisconsin school for repeating racial slur getting job back....

ENTERTAINMENT

'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' claims No. 1 over 'Joker'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Walt Disney Co.'s "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil" knocked "Joker" out of the No. 1 spot at the box office, but just barely.Studios on Sunday say the film starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning grossed an estimated million in North America and 7 million...

Review: Neil Young back in his ragged glory with 'Colorado'

Neil Young with Crazy Horse, "Colorado" (Reprise)Neil Young is back with his old band Crazy Horse in all their ragged glory with "Colorado," a beautiful, rambling, chaotic howl against climate change, division and hate.It's one of Young's best record in years, reminiscent of 1989's triumphant...

Brooks & Dunn, Ray Stevens join Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The bestselling country duo of all time, Brooks & Dunn, joined the Country Music Hall of Fame alongside comedian and singer Ray Stevens and record executive Jerry Bradley on Sunday evening, in a star-filled ceremony full of tributes to their lasting legacies.Reba...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Patriots blitz Darnold, Jets 33-0 to remain undefeated

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Tom Brady set the tone and the New England Patriots' blitz-happy defense took...

Japanese Emperor Naruhito ascends Chrysanthemum Throne

TOKYO (AP) — Emperor Naruhito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne on Tuesday, proclaiming himself Japan's...

Egypt's options dwindle as Nile talks break down

CAIRO (AP) — The latest breakdown in talks with Ethiopia over its construction of a massive upstream Nile...

Israel's Netanyahu gives up on forming new coalition

JERUSALEM (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Monday that he had failed to form a majority...

Trump viewed Ukraine as adversary, not ally, witnesses say

WASHINGTON (AP) — Behind closed doors, President Donald Trump has made his views on Ukraine clear: "They...

Louvre exhibit acclaims Da Vinci, 500 years after his death

PARIS (AP) — Much about Leonardo Da Vinci remains an enigma: the smile of the "Mona Lisa"; why the world's...

McMenamins
Allie Torgan CNN

(CNN) -- Haiti's terror didn't end when the ground stopped shaking.

Reports of rape and sexual violence have been all too common after the January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 220,000 people and displaced almost 25 percent of the entire population.

"On the evening of January 20, several young men were firing gunshots in the air. They came into our shelter and grabbed my 19-year-old niece," one woman, Dina, told Amnesty International. "They just came in, grabbed her and dragged her away. ... She was raped by several men. They took her at around 9 p.m. and let her go at around 2 a.m."

Another woman, Guerline, told the rights group that she and her 13-year-old daughter were attacked on the same night in March 2010. The men wore hoods and told Guerline that if she went to the police, she would be shot dead.

"There is nowhere safe where I can live, so I had to keep quiet," she said. "I didn't take my daughter to the hospital. She was too scared. I sent her to another town where some relatives live."

In the days following the disaster, camps were set up to provide shelter for more than a million displaced Haitians. But these "tent cities" have been far from ideal, according to Malya Villard-Appolon, one of this year's top 10 CNN Heroes.

"After the earthquake, the situation was inhumane and degrading. There was no security. There was no food; there was no work," said Villard-Appolon, a rape survivor who co-founded an organization, KOFAVIV, that helps other victims find safety, medical aid and legal support.

"Two years after the earthquake, it is still the same," she said. "The people are still under the tent, they don't have electricity, they are getting raped."

Nearly 370,000 people remain in displacement camps, according to the U.N. And gruesome reports of violence, inadequate health care and substandard living conditions have painted a picture of horror and hopelessness.

In one study, published in January by the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (PDF), 14 percent of households reported that at least one member of the household had been a victim of sexual violence since the earthquake. And 70 percent of households surveyed said they were now more worried about sexual violence.

Residents have cited lack of lighting, long walks to the bathroom, and flimsy tents as some of the issues putting females at risk of attack. Many females also are on their own for the first time.

"Women and girls were left to fend for themselves in camps," said Anne-christine d'Adesky, project coordinator for PotoFanm+Fi, a nonprofit that has been working with more than 70 Haitian support groups to track post-earthquake violence. "Because of the great displacement, people lost that sense of community protection."

Accurate numbers of gender-based violence are difficult to find in the aftermath of such devastation, especially when many victims fear retaliation. But d'Adesky said her group has seen a steady rise in reports, which she attributes to increased outreach.

One young woman, Marie, was raped in the Champ de Mars camp and had her jaw broken. She said she was also forced into prostitution so she could eat and survive.

High numbers of adolescent girls are engaging in what they call "transactional sex" for shelter and food, d'Adesky said. Many of those interviewed claimed they had never sold sex before, but the earthquake had left them no option.

"I call this gender aftershocks," said d'Adesky, whose group is publishing their report on Haiti next month. "These women and girls have no means of survival and are engaging in transactional sex work -- or survival sex -- sometimes just for shelter."

And many of those women -- as well as those who have been raped -- are becoming pregnant, raising fears about rising maternal health issues.

Even before the quake, Haiti was the most dangerous place to be pregnant in the Western Hemisphere: the lifetime risk of dying during childbirth there is 1 in 47.

"We followed up with a number of pregnant girls who were no longer pregnant," d'Adesky said. According to her sources, there has been a high rate of illegal street abortions and child abandonment.

But amid the depressing and dire reports comes a glimmer of hope.

KOFAVIV and other groups are working to help young girls and women, giving them safety, support and training so they can make money and not have to sell themselves.

Better lighting has been installed in some displacement camps. More than 10,000 military and police personnel are now helping to provide security throughout the country, and hundreds of U.N. peacekeepers have been assigned to specifically work with the Haitian National Police.

And in the last two years, there has been a big change in the way rape is prosecuted, according to legal experts. More women are reporting the crimes, and more rapists are being prosecuted.

"There has been a higher percentage of complaints that are turning into pre-trial investigations and are leading to formal charges," said Brian Concannon Jr., director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti.

In the first two years after the quake, sources in Haiti had estimated there were few, if any, rape convictions. But this year there have already been more than 60 convictions for sex crimes in Haiti, according to the National Human Rights Defense Network.

This summer, 22 rape cases were prosecuted and there were 13 convictions, lawyers in Haiti said. There was one acquittal, and eight of the trials were "left blank" for a number of reasons, including lack of representation for the victim who may not have even known she was to appear in court.

"It sounds like it's a small number, it sounds like more should have been filed since 2010," said Meena Jagannath, a lawyer who has worked with Haitian rape victims. "But we should take into consideration the biases of the system and level of disorganization and corruption. It really is an accomplishment. I've heard those numbers are much higher now than even before the earthquake."

Concannon said Haiti's justice system has a history "of not taking rape that seriously." It wasn't until 2005 that rape was classified as a crime on par with an assault. Before that, rape was a "crime against public morals," which Concannon says is something like a misdemeanor compared with a felony.

Now the challenge is changing attitudes and empowering women to speak up. While it still can be difficult for many victims to file a police report and obtain the necessary medical documents needed to pursue justice, there are more resources for women who want to speak out.

"All this progress is the result of advocacy by KOFAVIV and other grassroots women's groups and their allies," Concannon said. "I believe that the progress has the potential to play a key role in transforming attitudes about violence against women -- not just in the justice system, but in Haitian society as a whole."

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