Chrissy Keenan was sexually assaulted when she was 17. Now 22, and in her fourth year at UCLA, Keenan has devoted her college years to doing everything she can to stop that from happening to someone else.
Violence & Justice
When Toody Maher first moved to Richmond, she was dismayed to see how many of the city’s parks were in shambles. Local residents described the parks as being “dirty, dull and dangerous,” and one in particular caught Maher’s eye – Elm Playlot, a half-acre park set in the middle of the Iron Triangle, one of Richmond’s toughest neighborhoods.
Studies have found that the prevalence of domestic violence and dating violence among college students is on par with the number of female college students who’ve experienced sexual assault. “About 21 percent of college students report they are experiencing violence from a current partner,” says Jessica Merrill, communications manager for California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.
In 2014, a storm of protests erupted at Stanford University after student Leah Francis sent an email with a message that went viral: “Stanford did not expel the man who raped me.”
A cellphone is a lifeline for survivors who need to dial 911, find a safe place to stay or reach out for support. But they also make victims vulnerable to their abuser.
Pediatric patients giving their health histories at the Center for Youth Wellness, a health clinic in the impoverished Bayview Hunter’s Point area of San Francisco, are asked for more than the usual details about allergies and current prescriptions.
In the heart of Richmond, Calif. lies the Iron Triangle, named after the three railroad tracks that define and enclose the area. Today children can be seen playing at a renovated community park in the neighborhood, but this hasn’t always been the case. In this working-class neighborhood historically plagued by drive-by shootings, substance abuse and prostitution, parents haven’t always felt safe letting their children play outside.
Under the new Safe Housing for Domestic Violence Survivors law—which also applies to victims of stalking, human trafficking, sexual assault and elder abuse— tenants in an unsafe living environment may break their residential lease with a statement from a counselor or caseworker.
Although it happened eight years ago, Carolyn Russell clearly remembers the tragic murder of a female parishioner at Acts Full Gospel Church in Oakland. The 40-year-old woman was in the midst of a bitter divorce, when her estranged husband approached her in the church parking lot and shot and killed her. Sadly, the woman had obtained a restraining order against her former husband only three days before the shooting.
When she walked into the Glendale YWCA more than a year ago, Rosa Garcia was desperate. The Mexican immigrant, who has lived in the U.S. illegally for 16 years, was suffering from violent physical abuse at home at the hands of her children’s father.