51% Show #1237

Apr 3, 2013

Vice President Joe Biden was a key advocate of the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act – VAWA -in Congress this year – and despite what you might expect would be an easy vote – there was huge debate before it passed.  More than 130 House Republicans voted against it. Mai Hernandez is director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, which was stumping hard for provisions that beefed up the reporting of stalking on college campuses, said it's not surprising that VAWA became a political football.

Coming up, global efforts to stop the victimization of women...plus why women's testimony, and women judges - are needed in war crimes trials . 

From March 4th to 15th, leaders from all over the globe gathered at the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.  This year, the focus was violence against women. Deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Gabriella Dragoni spoke with UN Radio's Donn Bob about the importance of creating a legal code that assures the criminality of violence against women.  Dragoni said right now those perpetrators are often untouched – and there has to be clear signal that violence against women will be prosecuted.

Gabriella Dragoni is the deputy Secretary-General of the Council of Europe. That interview comes to us courtesy UN Radio.

Now - Imagine you’re an elderly woman from a small village in Bosnia. You’ve witnessed horrors most people could never even imagine, and you’ve been asked to fly half way across the continent to testify before an international court. You may need some convincing.  You'll certainly want to see a friendly face.

For 15 years, Wendy Lobwein was a witness support officer at the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. She helped prepare witnesses to testify, telling them what they could expect from the process.  Sometimes she had to persuade frightened witnesses to testify. She told public radio's Amy Costello why their stories had to be told – and why there need to be more women judges on those tribunals.

Lobwein is now based in Cambodia, where she is coordinating the Witnesses and Experts support unit for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

That report comes to us courtesy public radio's Women War and Peace project hosted by Amy Costello.

That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance.  Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.  Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.