Stop Violence against Women website looking for volunteers!

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The Advocates for Human Rights is seeking volunteers to create content for a website that is accessed by people all over the world. The Stop Violence against Women website (StopVAW) is an online resource with more than 4,000 pages of information and advocacy tools to combat violence against women. The website receives more than 1 million hits per year from around the world and has been a significant aid in drafting, monitoring and implementing laws in other countries, and in educating the public about violence against women.

More specifics:

1. Length of writing and research project: The final written product will be 3-4 webpages. The written material should provide information on the background, risk factors, causes and effects, model practices and laws, and advocacy strategies. Volunteers are asked to research the topic using appropriate online resources and write an overview describing this issue for publication on StopVAW.

2. Deadlines: The project should be completed within 4-6 weeks.

3. Substantive areas of focus: When possible, the focus of the page should be on Minnesota law. The following topics are immediately available:

* Permanent orders for protection
* Training module on stalking
* Felony strangulation laws

Longer-term opportunities: The Advocates has ongoing project needs for StopVAW, including updating and writing new Country Pages. Country pages, which describe the domestic laws and policies related to violence against women, are needed for: Morocco, Georgia, Tajikistan, Macedonia, Albania, and Moldova.

An example of how the website helps women: Recently the Ukraine drafted a domestic violence law that includes language that allows the police to cite the victim if she provokes the violence. Under the provision, the police, when answering a domestic violence call, must determine which party is the primary aggressor. If the man accuses the woman of provoking the violence, she too can be cited. This provision creates an unintended consequence in a domestic violence law – punishing the victim of domestic violence. The website is set up to assist countries which are drafting domestic violence laws by providing them with model laws and best practices to avoid such unintended, and absurd consequences.

For information about any of these projects, contact Rosalyn Park at rpark@advrights.org or Mary Ellingen at mellingen@advrights.org. Please call soon because the need is now!!

*Information provided to Minnesota Women Lawyers members by the MWL Public Policy Advocacy Committee.

–Marie Failinger

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