May 202010

To be very clear, while poor economic conditions in and of themselves don’t cause intimate violence, they do lead to feelings of being powerless and not in control of one’s own life and the root causes of intimate violence lie in the attempt to overpower and control an other.  As a result, discouraging as they are, the following findings are not surprising:

Via press release:

Despite signs the economy may be recovering, domestic violence shelters throughout the United States report the economy’s negative impact still weighs heavy and domestic violence continues to increase. In addition to domestic violence incidents rising, the abuse is more severe, victims struggle to find jobs and shelters expect the situation will only get worse in light of the economy – according to the second Mary Kay Truth About Abuse national survey.More than 700 domestic violence shelters across the country were surveyed in March 2010. Shelters indicate the economic downturn of the last 18 months has increased demand for their services, and also note their shelters’ ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered over the next 12 months.

Detailed findings from the 2010 “Mary Kay Truth About Abuse” survey reveal alarming trends, including:

  • 88 percent of domestic violence shelters expect their overall situation during the next 12 months will be worse than now, or the same as now, in light of the economy.
  • Three out of four domestic violence shelters (77 percent) report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse.
  • 75 percent of shelters attribute this rise in abuse to “financial issues.”
  • 54 percent of shelters link this increase in domestic violence to “job loss.”
  • More than half (57 percent) of women in shelters can’t find employment due to the economy.
  • 51 percent of shelters nationwide note the abuse is more violent now than before the economic downturn.

Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said: “The ‘Mary Kay Truth About Abuse’ survey confirms once again that the economy affects domestic violence and makes it clear that the situation is getting worse. Job loss, challenging employment searches, the foreclosure crisis and other economic factors are limiting escape options for survivors of abuse. The demand for domestic violence services continues to grow significantly, and we must increasingly support victims during this terrible time.”

 May 20, 2010  Posted by on May 20, 2010 Comments Off on The Girls’ Guide To The Economy Part 26–The Link Between Economic Well-Being And Intimate Violence
May 192010

Cross-Posted from Free The Scott Sisters, please take a minute to make calls on their behalf:

After being convicted on questionable evidence, Jamie Scott and her sister Gladys received two consecutive life sentences apiece for a 1993 armed robbery in which no one was hurt and the take was $11. As we wrote back in March, this unwarranted life sentence is at risk of becoming a death sentence for Jamie Scott, who is gravely ill, due to the care she is receiving at Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) in Pearl. Since we first covered the story, Jamie’s condition has, if anything, grown still more critical.

Now 38, Jamie has been diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, and requires dialysis to stay alive. Rather than let her leave for dialysis, the prison brought in a machine that according to Jamie broke down periodically. She has had one complication after another, including multiple infections at the site of her dialysis shunt. She has been rushed to the hospital several times, only to be promptly returned to prison the moment her condition is deemed “stabilized.” According to her mother, Evelyn Rasco, Jamie’s most recent hospital visit took place when her veins collapsed and she was unable to walk. This time, according to Rasco, the doctor at the hospital said he refused to allow his patient to go back to prison because she would surely die there. But the Mississippi Department of Corrections had its way, and back she went.

In the following letter, written a few weeks ago, Jamie Scott says, “I have witness many inmates die at the hands of this second rate medical care. I do not want to be one of them.” The letter was provided to Solitary Watch by Nancy Lockhart, a paralegal who works with the wrongfully convicted, and has been advocating for Scott for some time.

The living condition in quickbed area is not fit for any human to live in. I have been incarcerated for 15 years 6 months now and this is the worst I have ever experience. When it rain out side it rain inside. The zone flood like a river. The rain comes down on our heads and we have to try to get sheets and blankets to try to stop it from wetting our beds and personnel property. Because the floors are concrete and it have paint on it, it makes it very slippery when it rain and there have been numerous of inmates that have broke their arms and hurt there self do to this.

Above our heads there are rows and rows of spiders as if we live in the jungle. There are inmates that have holds in there bodies left from spider bites, because once they are bitten it take forever to get to the clinic for any help. There are mold in the bathroom ceiling and around the walls and toilets. The toilets leak sewage from under them and they have the inmate men to come in and patch them up occasionally. The smell is awful. The showers are two circular poles with five shower heads on each pole. The floor in the shower is also concrete and slippery. There is nothing to hold on to when you exit the shower so there have been many inmates that have hurt there self in the process. Outside the building there is debirs where the unit is falling apart.

Each day we are force to live in these conditions. The staph infection is so high and we are force to wave in toilet and sewage water when we have to go to the bathroom. I have witness many inmates die at the hands of this second rate medical care. I do not want to be one of them.

When this is brought to the health department or anyone attention. The MDOC tries to get the inmate to try to pamper it up so if someone comes in it want look as bad as the inmates said it did. I am fully aware that we are in prison, but no one should have to live in such harsh condition. I am paranoid of catching anything because of what I have been going throw with my medical condition.

We are living in these harsh conditions, but if you go to the administration offices, they are nice and clean and smell nice because they make sure the inmates clean their offices each day. They tell us to clean the walls. Cleaning the walls will not help anything. Cleaning the walls will not stop the rain from pouring in. it will not stop the mold from growing inside the walls and around us. It will not stop the spiders from mating.

They have 116 inmates on each wing, and we live not five feet from each other in order to pack us in. We have the blowers on the ceiling and if the inmates are acting crazy or the staff come in mad they use the blowers as a form of punishment. The taxes payers really are lead to believe we are been rehabilitated. That is a joke. All we do is sit in this infected unit and build up more hate. Rehabilitated starts within you. If you want to change you will change.

One thing about MDOC, they know how to fix the paper work up to make it seen as if they are doing their job. You can get more drugs and anything else right here. I have witness a lot in my time here.

Do I sound angry, I am not I am hurt and sick. Because they have allowed my kidney to progress to stage five which been the highest. They told me years ago I had protein in my urine, but I went years without any help. Now, it seen the eyes are on me because my family are on their case. Every inmate is not without family. Yes, you do have many inmates that family have giving up on, but my sister and I are not them.

I do not want special attention, I want to treat, and to live how the state says on paper we are living. The same way when it is time for the big inspection we are promised certain food if we please clean up to pass this inspection. So I beg of anyone to please understand Mississippi Department of Correction is a joke. They will let you die or even kill yourself. We are told when visitors come into the prison do not talk to them. Well I have the right to talk to anyone and if the health department or anyone comes I will talk to him or her, because this is my life and I should or anyone else should be force to live like this.

They use unlawful punishments to try to shut us up. I need help. I need a inmate to help me, but for some reason they will not allow me to move with my sister, so she can help me. There are mother and daughter, aunties, and nieces housed together and also there are a total of 12 inmates acting as orally for others inmates. I have all the names of the inmates acting as a orally if need to be giving. However, the subject of my sister is been danced around. A form of discrimination. My sister [Gladys Scott] and I were housed together for over ten years and not once have we ever caused any problem. We were split up because in 2003 the Commissioner came with the order to separate all family members. Because its payback because my family is holding them accountable to do what they are paid to do. Also, do to the fact Mr. [Rip] Daniels on It’s a New Day [talk radio show] & Grassroots are keeping the supports inform that is been pointed out to me in a negative way.

Now that I am sitting everyday because of my sickness I have time to use my typewriter. MDOC have gotten away with to much. In addition, some of the things that go on here I truly believe that Mr. Epps [Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections] do not know.


Please continue to advocate on behalf of Jamie and Gladys Scott, their children and families need for them to return home alive, the time is NOW!

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
HOTLINE: 202-353-1555
PHONE: 202-514-2000
202-307-6777 fax

Christopher Epps
723 North President Street
Jackson, MS 39202

Governor Haley Barbour
P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
1-877-405-0733 or 601-359-3150
Fax: 601-359-3741
(If you reach VM leave msgs, faxes, and please send letters)

 May 19, 2010  Posted by on May 19, 2010 Comments Off on Jamie Scott: 2 Consecutive Life Sentences For Stealing $11, Sentenced To Death By Prison Health Care
May 182010

Last week,

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pledged that the United States will not abandon Afghan women and girls today as Afghan President Hamid Karzai is visiting the United States.

According to the Associated Press, Clinton told three senior women Afghan officials who were traveling with Karzai that “We will not abandon you, we will stand with you always.” Clinton also said it is “essential that women’s rights and women’s opportunities are not sacrificed or trampled on in the reconciliation process.” Her statements indicate that the US will not support reconciliation with Taliban militants unless they “respect women’s rights,” renounce the Taliban, and abide by the country’s laws, reported the Canadian Press.

Forgive my cynicism but we abandoned Afghan women many years ago, and greatly exacerbated their plight when we cynically used them as a justification to destroy their country and our continued military presence is only making things worse.  This latest statement from Clinton reads like yet another ploy to use the lives of Afghan women as an excuse–this time for not talking to the Taliban.  While I am in no way saying that we should condone the Taliban’s misogyny, our military presence is not the key to addressing that issue.  In fact it is likely making matters worse.

Women’s lives have always been part of the battleground over which opposing forces fight.  However, as Laura Carlsen points out, it has gotten much worse in recent years:

* At the turn of the 20th century, 5% of war casualties were civilians
* In World War I, 15% were civilians
* In World War II, the figure leapt to a 65% civilian death toll, as whole cities were bombed
* By the mid-nineties, 75% of war deaths were civilians
* Today, 90% of the human war toll are civilians-the majority women and children

Forget the complaints of “collateral damage”. As military leaders brag that modern technology has produced the most accurate weapons in history, during war strikes in places like Iraq or Afghanistan, women and children die.

They are not the collateral damage-they are the targets.

As this blog pointed out recently, despite assurances that this is not the case, there is anecdotal evidence that the U.S. military is still using training chants that encourage the killing of innocent women and children.

I went down to the market where all the women shop

I pulled out my machete and I begin to chop

I went down to the park where all the children play

I pulled out my machine gun and I begin to spray.

What was that about not sacrificing or trampling on women’s human rights?

 May 18, 2010  Posted by on May 18, 2010 Comments Off on Hillary Clinton’s Dangerous Defense Of Afghan Women
May 132010

In an interview with Paul Jay of The Real News Network, Josh Stieber, who “enlisted in the army after graduating high school (and) was deployed to Baghdad from Feb 07- Apr 08” talks about his training for combat and shares this chilling confirmation that chants advocating the mass murder of innocent women and children, in violation of international law, are still being used in military training, despite assurances that these training methods are a thing of the past.

This interview adds obscene credence to the fact that women’s bodies are still a part of the battleground on which wars are fought and clearly illustrates that the U.S. military has little regard for  women’s lives an attitude so ingrained that it must be considered as part of the context of any discussion of sexual assault against women within the military as well.

JAY: How interwoven were your beliefs in America and what America stands for and your religious beliefs?

STIEBER: They were pretty closely intertwined. I went to a religious high school. And one example is, in a government class that I was in at this religious high school, we read a book called The Faith of George W. Bush. And people like that were held up as, you know, these—these are people that are fighting for God’s will here on Earth. So religion was very interwoven with a sense of nationalism.

JAY: But by 2006, when you join, it’s already really clear that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that Bush and Cheney had essentially lied to start a war. Like, that was—by 2006 that’s fairly acknowledged. Had that penetrated in to you, to your school?

STIEBER: There, and just the—kind of the people I was listening to. And, again, I wasn’t making any kind of effort to really challenge my thinking. People were saying, you know, whoever it is, the media or other countries are out to make us look bad, and, you know, we did the right thing, and we’re doing the right thing. And I might have had a few doubts in my mind, but even I comforted the doubts by saying, you know, even if the reasons that we’re there weren’t completely justified, we’re there and we’re still in this position, since we’re there, that we can’t just pull out, and we need to help these people.

JAY: So even if there were no weapons and even if the argument for weapons wasn’t legitimate, it’s still good versus evil, and they’re evil and we’re good, and we’ve got to fight it?

STIEBER: Yeah. I bought into that lingo a lot.

JAY: So you go to Iraq. You join, you go through boot camp, and you’re sent to Iraq, and you’re still more or less the same mindset. Tell us a little bit about boot camp and the kind of training that takes place to prepare you for war. I mean, your religious training is supposed to be about love thy neighbor, and then you’re sent to war. So how do they get you ready for that?

STIEBER: Yeah, I guess that’s where I started to see, maybe, some of these contradictions, just by the kinds of things that we did on a regular basis in basic training, whether it was the cadences that we sang as we were marching around, some that even joked about killing women and children.

JAY: Like what?

STIEBER: One that stands out in my mind is—it goes, “I went down to the market where all the women shop/I pulled out my machete and I begin to chop/I went down to the park where all the children play/I pulled out my machine gun and I begin to spray.”

 May 13, 2010  Posted by on May 13, 2010 Comments Off on U.S. Military Training Chants Advocate The Murder Of Innocent Women And Children