A man who posted a YouTube video of himself being tasered by a Utah Highway Patrol Officer has generated controversy according to an article in today’s Deseret News – mostly due to the comments that people have made in response to it.
(NOTE: I personally do not condone the violent commments made in response to the video clip but think it's important to reveal the torture methods being used by police in the United States.)
Here is more information on the use of tasers as torture in recent news:
Published on Sunday, November 25, 2007 by CBS News
UN: Tasers Are A Form Of Torture
“Stun Guns” Are Under Fire After Six Deaths This Week; Rallies Held Demanding They Be Banned
I’ve been thinking a lot about guns lately – since there was a shooting and mass murder here in Salt Lake last week. It’s so easy for anyone to get a gun. So I have some thoughts.
1. Gun permits should be treated like a drivers license. Go to school. Take a written, vision and practical test.
2. Gun permits should also be treated like annual car tag renewals. Every year you go through a competency test to make sure you can still can use the gun properly.
3. Gun permits should be obtained in the same way that a person seeking employment with, say, the school system should be. Fingerprints. Background investigation.
Having higher standards and stricter criteria for owning a gun should definitely be put into place. While our legislators are busy arguing over school clubs and women’s rights, people can walk into a gun shop and obtain a gun permit with little effort.
My job as an educator has me working with students with disabilties. I get to attend a lot of trainings and workshops offered by the state. Today I attended a seminar on Fair Housing and Assistive Technology, organized by the Disability Law Center and held at the Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
I had to pick and choose which sessions I went to and I found myself really wanting to attend the session on violence against women, but there was another one more directly relevant to my job being given at the same time, so I attended that one instead.
I did get the handouts, though from the violence seminar. Here are some stark statistics from various studies:
50% of girls who are deaf reported to have been sexually assaulted
39% of ever-married females with disabilities physically or sexually assaulted by partners
62% of women with and without physical disabilities experience abuse of any type, emotional, physical, or sexual
Women wtih physical disabilities experience abuse for longer periods of time than women without disabilities
1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner in teh U.S. in 2000
In Utah, the oldest reported victim of rape was 95 years old; the youngest was 3 days old.
Indivuals with disabilties are abused by more people
A sample of 7,027 Canadian women found that women with disabilities had 40% greater odds of violence in the 5 years precedign the interview in the research and these women appeareed to be at particular risk for severe violence.
There is a lot of work being done in the areas of advocacy and violence prevention. Systemic Changes are taking place in the areas of employment, income support and support services in general, deinstitutionalization and changing attitudes through public education on violence against women with disabilities, as well as support to families.