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sexual assault

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The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed a second lawsuit Monday, July 29, on behalf of a woman who says she was subject to repeated sexual abuse from a corrections officer while she was in the Springer prison. The lawsuit says her complaints weren’t taken seriously by prison administration, and the accused officer maintains his job and position today.

Ed Williams / KUNM

Thousands of people have come forward with complaints about sexual abuse inside immigration detention facilities—including children. But few have ever been investigated.

Now, organizations representing survivors are demanding that detention centers enforce federal laws against abuse of prisoners and stop separating families, which they say makes kids vulnerable to assault.

KUNM spoke with longtime advocate and attorney Claire Harwell of the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. Harwell says asylum-seekers are often fleeing sexual violence in other countries before they’re locked up in U.S. facilities, where they may face the the same violence.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

There are headlines around the country about officers abusing their power, coercing, assaulting or trafficking sex workers. Not being able to trust police enough to report violent experiences is part of what makes people especially vulnerable to serial killers and rapists. Now, 10 years after a mass grave was discovered on the West Mesa, the Albuquerque Police Department is trying to rebuild trust and stop that from happening again. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s no secret that sex workers often don’t trust law enforcement and don’t ask police for help after incidents of violence. Officers around the U.S. are themselves arrested for trafficking, raping and abusing people on the street. Here in New Mexico, those stories pop up, too. And people who do that kind of work here say there’s a feeling that it’s either not safe, or that police won’t respond well if they report they’ve been attacked or assaulted. That can mean serial offenders go unchecked.

#MeToo And The 2018 Election

Oct 9, 2018
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Let’s Talk New Mexico 10/11 8am: A record number of women are running for elected office across the country this year and we’ll look at how the national conversation about sexual assault and misconduct is playing into this year’s politics.

Is 2018 going to be the next "Year of the Woman"? Are you satisfied with what you are hearing from women candidates this year? Do you know women who’ve decided to get political now because of sexual violence and discrimination? We’d like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show. 

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Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in high school, Christine Blasey Ford, are testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Watch the proceeding live.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Without fanfare, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe updated its website last week with more information about where and when priests accused of sexual abuse worked in New Mexico.

Thomas Wolf, www.foto-tw.de via Wikimedia Commons / CREATIVE COMMONS

Lara Dale was an actress in the 1980s when she got her first big break in a leading role. But that turned into a nightmare when she fled the set after gradually realizing she might be forced into an explicit sex scene. Dale, who now works as a Foley artist, is now a passionate advocate for protecting people on sets. She talks with Megan Kamerick about an initiative to promote sexual harassment training and a hotline through the Rape Crisis Center. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

People took to the streets all over the world, around the country and here in New Mexico for a second year of women’s marches. The concerns they raised were broad, including protecting the environment, fighting systemic racism, health care access, police violence and immigration reform. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Women’s marches sprung up for a second year in villages, towns and cities around New Mexico this weekend with a call to vote in the coming elections and change the political climate. While the movement has been criticized nationally for a lack of diversity, Albuquerque’s rally was led by women of color. 

Rashad Mahmood/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 11/30 8a:  This fall’s sexual assault and harassment allegations against big names like Harvey Weinstein and Charlie Rose have sparked new scrutiny of sexual misconduct in the work world. We know women have faced similar behavior in New Mexico - from the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, maybe to your own office. This week we’ll start an ongoing series of conversations about addressing sexual misconduct and what the #MeToo movement means in our state.

Tweet the hashtag #letstalkNM, email letstalk@kunm.org or call in live during the show.

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Sat 4/29, 12p: Do you fear being sexually assaulted? Have you –or somebody you know- been raped? As April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, on Women´s Focus -hosted by Cristina Baccin-, we´ll talk about how the life of a sexual assault victim is affected. Do you wonder if it is possible to overcome a sexual assault? Who are the most vulnerable? What are the best actions to reduce and ultimately, eliminate sexual assaults? What can we do as a community? 

Wolfram Burner via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 4/27 8a. For years, the University of New Mexico’s been heavily criticized about how it handles sexual assault, and it’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This Thursday morning at 8, we’ll be talking about how UNM can do a better job of helping students who’ve been assaulted—and stopping this kind of violence on campus.

Students, we want to hear from you. What needs to change? How can trust be rebuilt between students and the university?

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s been about a year since the Department of Justice released the results of its investigation into how New Mexico’s flagship university handles sexual assault cases. The federal report was heavily critical and said assault and harassment have caused students to leave the University of New Mexico. Last night, students stood in solidarity with survivors.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

New Mexico has the highest rate of untested sexual assault evidence kits per capita in the nation. We’ve talked to advocates, a nurse and law enforcement about their surprise and struggles with decades of ignored evidence in the state. But even if a prosecutor has DNA to use in court, that doesn’t mean an accused rapist is going straight to jail. The biggest hurdle of all might be how hard it is to convince people that survivors are telling the truth. 

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