View Full Version : OT: But Important IMO

01-22-2003, 03:22 PM
Hi Ladies (and gents too),

A dear friend sent me this today and I felt it was important enough to pass it on.


The Women's Resource Center (WRC) in Lawrence, Massachusetts is facing a contempt of court sanction for refusing to turn over a rape victim's confidential counseling records to the accused rapist's attorney. Unless the court's sanction is overturned, beginning January 31, the WRC will be forced to pay a fine of $500 per day until the records are released - an expense the center cannot afford.

Wendy Murphy, visiting scholar at Harvard Law School and pro bono attorney for the WRC is working on an appeal. "We're seeing a terrible trend of privacy rights violations all across the country," Murphy says. "The communication between a rape victim and rape crisis counselor is supposed to be confidential in every state, but more and more we're seeing defense attorneys and even judges who are whittling away that right. For the sake of victims all across this country, I hope with this appeal, the court will make it clear that no one should ever allow such grotesque invasions of privacy of private people and organizations that have done nothing wrong."


Please visit www.stopfamilyviolence.org to learn more about this case and to add your name to our petition. It is crucial that the court knows that people all across the country want to preserve a rape victim's right to privacy. Please add your name to our list to let the court know that you are one of them!

This situation is of critical national importance. Every rape crisis and domestic violence program in the country depends upon the confidentiality of their records as a cornerstone for providing services to their clients. Without the assurance of confidentiality, clients have no freedom to explore options, discuss fears and concerns, or begin healing. With sanctions of $500 per day to protect that right, crisis service agencies could be forced to close their doors.

Help keep these life-saving crisis service agencies open and their victim records closed! Visit http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org and sign the petition TODAY!!

Thanks for your support.

Our strength is in our numbers - PLEASE keep forwarding this message until our voice is heard!

01-22-2003, 06:56 PM
...Thanks, this is a great organization................

Meg Hille
01-22-2003, 07:27 PM
Thanks for posting this, and for the link... I've sent it to my friends so they can put their two cents in, too.

01-22-2003, 08:17 PM
Good call, Amethyst...

Glad to know you're fighting the good fight!
I'll forward this to my network of wenches as well...


01-22-2003, 09:04 PM
Signed and passed to my friends male and female

Janelle of Warren
01-22-2003, 09:36 PM
I've added my name to the list.

01-23-2003, 10:30 AM
Not off topic at all m'dear. Thank you for sharing this with us. I've added my pounds' worth as well (too important an issue for two pence). This whole case is completely unconscionable.

da Baroness

01-24-2003, 06:46 AM
Just when I think lawyers can't stoop any lower. Sheesh.

Count me in, y'all.

Sic 'em.

Wench Shaelyn
01-24-2003, 06:58 AM
I smell a lynching!

*tacks her name on it and sends it to her friends*

01-24-2003, 01:30 PM
Just when I think lawyers can't stoop any lower. Sheesh.

I work for 'em - you have no idea how low some of them can get...

01-24-2003, 01:37 PM
Personally I think calling this topic "important" is a major understatement.....

01-24-2003, 05:28 PM
In a similar vein, I wanted to make sure everyone knew about this recent case in Iowa:


I have a feeling, with the new PATRIOT Act and its ilk running wild in our country, we're going to be hearing a lot about cases like these, where our civil liberties are suspended with increasing frequency in the name of "public safety," "law enforcement," etc.

I'm not bashing police and other officials doing their jobs-- I just think there must be a safer, more compassionate, more sane, less hysterical way to do so. We've opened a door we'll not soon be able to shut.

Alewyn of Aventinus
01-24-2003, 06:25 PM
Shiver! I feel big brother's icey breath on the back of my neck.

I'm a privacy freak. Most people don't get it but I figure the less the gov knows about me & my biz the more likely they will leave me alone. I don't know how I would react to the horrid rape exposure thing. That is just abominable!

Feels the need to shiver again.

01-31-2003, 03:48 PM
I got the following today. THANKS to everyone that helped by signing the petition or forwarding information about the case to their local press. When I first posted this on the 21st there were only about 1000 signatures. As you will read in a second, they ended up with over 2500. I would like to think that the Wench network has something to do with those last 1500 signatures. You are an amazing group!!! :D


Hello Stop Family Violence Activists!

Here’s the news you’ve all been waiting for: (this message directly from Wendy)

We won a stay of the sanction pending appeal - which means - no jail time needed AND no fine against the center AND they don't have to turn their file over!

We can still lose at the end of the appeal [of the demand to turn records over] but the bottom line is - we will have a chance to appeal without punishment for challenging a plainly unlawful order -

We absolutely deserve to win the appeal, too - so this is only good news!!!

I want everyone to know how important it was to have their support and how meaningful it is when people join together on issues like this. Stop Family Violence made a world of diffrerence by bringing the voices of people together so that their commitment to the well-being of victims could be conveyed to the court. Thanks to all the wonderful folks who responded to the call for help on our behalf.

So you can all unpack your toothbrushes. If you want to visit Massachusetts you’ll have to find your own lodging now.

I too want to thank you for your incredible response to this critical situation. What an amazing, committed, powerful bunch we are!! I keep wondering what it might feel like for this young victim to know that 2500 people have taken a stand to protect her right to privacy. Thanks to all of you for supporting her and the thousands of other victims around the country who could be affected by this decision. We will never know all the lives we touch.

It will be many months before we hear anything back on the appeal, but you can bet we’ll be here to send you the news.

02-03-2003, 01:57 PM
You're welcome.