Making changes in national law to protect victim/survivors of domestic violence!

Sexual Abuse

Joyful Heart Bringing About Change to NY’s DNA Sexual Assault Laws

The use of DNA technology has revolutionized the criminal justice system in the United States. It has meant that perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes, survivors receive the justice they deserve and thousands more are spared the trauma and pain of sexual violence.

Studies show that individuals who commit serious crimes, like rape, are generally serial offenders who have also been convicted of lower-level misdemeanors. A single DNA sample often matches to multiple cold cases when entered into the New York DNA Databank. In fact, since New York began collecting DNA samples for some misdemeanor convictions in 2006, offender profiles from shoplifting and criminal trespass convictions alone have matched to 332 sexual assault cases.

And yet, current law limits the collection of DNA samples for entry into the Databank to offenders convicted of penal law felonies and only certain misdemeanors. As a result, the Databank captures offender profiles for only 46% of crimes in the state penal law.

It is now time for New York to use DNA to its fullest potential.

Please join Mariska, the Joyful Heart Foundation and a broad-based coalition of advocates, including the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, in supporting efforts to expand the New York DNA Databank. Send a message to your New York State representatives today, encouraging them to pass a bill that will bring healing and justice to survivors, hold violent offenders accountable, solve and prevent crimes and avoid wrongful conviction.

Click here to send your message.

Visit to learn more about expanding New York State’s DNA Databank.

Violence Against Women in the Military

Reblogged from Wider Opportunities for Women Blog:

Women who are working hard to keep our country safe are being victimized at alarming rates. The Department of Defense estimated that 19,000 service members were raped or assaulted in 2009. Furthermore, the Pentagon detailed a 58.5 percent increase in reported sexual assaults at service academies in 2011. While we commend the brave women who are taking a stand in military schools and the active ranks, too few are coming forward: according to the DOD only 13.5 percent of assaults were reported.

Read more… 330 more words

Thanks, Malore Dusenbery, for sharing this post. One of the issues of domestic violence in the military has been focused upon the men coming back from their tours and committing domestic violence upon their loved ones that they have returned home to (allegedly due to the PTSDs that they are suffering, but not adequately being treated for when they return home). Not so well known is the women in the military also suffering harm from sexual assaults while on tours as well. I know that there is a need for the military to help maintain world peace; however, at what cost to our own people? and, the victim of war also include the numbers of thousands of people dying while providing service to our country. Looks like we're going to have to pay attention to the progress of HR 3435 being presented in the US House. Please help to keep us posted on the progress from time to time, if you will.


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