Sex and Gender

Series

Campus Complicity

Faculty Sexual Misconduct in Illinois

Lawless

Sexual Violence in Alaska

Lost Mothers

Maternal Care and Preventable Deaths

Stories

Agonizing Lag in Coronavirus Research Puts Pregnant Women and Babies at Risk

After months of asserting pregnant women were not at high risk for the coronavirus, the CDC recently released a study with sobering findings for expectant mothers. Experts say the data gaps are almost as worrisome as the results.

An Opportunity to Listen as Our “Unheard” Project Becomes a Museum Installation

An outdoor installation at the Anchorage Museum will feature 27 sexual violence survivors who chose to tell their stories publicly. "Without the stories, there is silence,” the museum’s director says.

For Decades, She Blamed Herself for the Abuse. Writing Her Story Was an Act of Survival. Publishing It Was an Act of Rebellion.

From early childhood, Tia Wakolee believed she was at fault for being repeatedly assaulted, then she began to chronicle her abuse on index cards arranged on her kitchen table and decided to share her truth.

Her Addiction Landed Her in a Prison Segregation Wing. The Man She Says Abused Her Lives Free.

Ricki Dahlin turned to a life of crime and drug addiction after being sexually abused as a child. “We’re broken. We’re trying to fix ourselves.”

Her Attacker Was Stopped in the Act and Arrested, but This Assault Was Only the Beginning of Her Trauma

Everything Mary Savage did in the hours after the attack was dissected on the witness stand, an experience so upsetting she vomited. But years later, she finds comfort knowing her testimony led to his conviction.

“They Were the Authority and I Didn’t Argue With Authority”

In an era before rape kits, Sue Royston decided to fight for justice even though the police doubted her, the prosecution discouraged her, and those around her dismissed her story.

The Teacher Who Returned to the Small Village Where She was Abused is Not Staying Silent

“I’m not going anywhere.” Marie Sakar tried to treat her trauma with alcohol until she learned that silence only serves to protect those who hurt her. Now, she’s back, sober and teaching in her hometown.

Trapped at Sea, Alone With Her Assailant, He Told Her “You’re Mine for the Week”

Cathleen was raped five hours into a multi-day fishing trip, where she and the captain who assaulted her were the only ones on board. She begged to be taken back to shore, but he said no, they had work to do.

How We Worked With Survivors of Sexual Assault in Alaska to Tell Their Stories

Journalists from ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News spent months hearing from, and listening to, dozens of survivors about how they processed their trauma. Here’s how we told these stories fairly and accurately.

Unheard

Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation. Yet it is a secret so steeped into everyday life that discussing it disrupts the norm. These women and men did not choose to be violated, but they now choose to speak about what happened.

How Photographers Sought to Redefine the Image of Alaska’s Sexual Assault Survivors

In capturing these photographs, the aim was to portray the underlying courage and strength of each person and to focus on who they had become.

Here’s What Experts Say to Do After Experiencing Sexual Assault

We consulted six professionals in Alaska who work with survivors of sexual assault, including a therapist, a law enforcement officer, advocates for survivors, a nurse and a prosecutor. We compiled their guidance on the choices survivors can make.

Giving Voice to Alaska’s Unheard Sexual Assault Survivors

We’re publishing our most ambitious effort yet to give voice to those who have been sexually assaulted in Alaska. We have talked to hundreds of survivors over the past year who have shared their stories.

“I’m Terrified”: Pregnant Health Care Workers at Risk for Coronavirus Are Being Forced to Keep Working

Pregnant doctors, nurses and medical support staff have continued going to work, whether they want to or not, even as the latest research on coronavirus and pregnancy has caused a new sense of worry.

Lo que significa el coronavirus para un embarazo, y otras cosas que deben saber las madres embarazadas y nuevas

Es probable que la experiencia que esperaba tener sea bastante distinta a la que vivirá realmente. La clave para mantener la cordura es estar lo más lista posible y arrojar los planes ya organizados por la ventana.

What Coronavirus Means for Pregnancy, and Other Things New and Expecting Mothers Should Know

The experience you expected is likely to be very different from the one you actually get. The key to staying sane is to be as ready as possible to throw your best-laid-plans out the window.

The New U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Fails to Capture Many Deaths

Since 2007, the government had held off on releasing an official estimate of expectant and new mothers who died from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. It waited for the data to get better. But the new, long-anticipated number falls short.

Did You Give Birth in Your Home? Help ProPublica and Vox Report.

We’re trying to better understand what drives women in America to have babies at home rather than in a hospital or birth center. Help us out by filling in this survey.

VA Secretary Looked for Dirt on a House Staffer Who Reported Sexual Assault in a VA Hospital, Complaint Says

VA chief Robert Wilkie called a House policy advisor’s assault allegation “unsubstantiated” even though an independent investigation found it was not.

The Extraordinary Danger of Being Pregnant and Uninsured in Texas

Over three years, nearly 400 pregnant or new mothers died in Texas. Its system for helping the uninsured thwarts women at every turn, frustrates doctors and midwives, and incentivizes substandard care.

We Are Investigating Sexual Violence and Dating Apps

We’re not done digging. Now we need your story.

Under Trump, LGBTQ Progress Is Being Reversed in Plain Sight

Donald Trump promised he would fight for LGBTQ people. Instead, his administration has systematically undone recent gains in their rights and protections. Here are 31 examples.

Assaults, Bullying, Rape: A Lawsuit Against One Professor Claims a University Didn’t Stop Him

Former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Gary Gang Xu assaulted and threatened students while university officials downplayed complaints, a lawsuit says. He ultimately resigned, taking $10,000 as part of his separation agreement.

She Leapt From a Moving Car to Escape Her Rapist. Then, She Waited 18 Years for an Arrest.

Anna Sattler’s rape kit sat untested since 2001 as Alaska’s backlog got worse. Now, an ex-Iditarod musher faces charges, and she’s speaking publicly about the attack for the first time.

Have You Experienced Sexual Misconduct at an Illinois University or College? We Want to Hear From You.

We’d like to hear about your experience with misconduct on campus, or if you were subjected to it but did not or could not file a report. We need help understanding flaws in the systems intended to hold perpetrators accountable.

One Campus. Seven Professors Facing Harassment Accusations. Few Consequences.

We found several sexual harassment allegations against University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty that haven’t been publicly reported. Here’s a rundown of the accusations, the consequences each faced and their responses.

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Preserving the Reputations of Sexual Harassers

An administrator resigned amid sexual harassment accusations. Another college hired him. A professor was found to have stalked a coworker. She agreed to retire, then won a Fulbright grant. Campus leaders vow reforms, but many say it’s a long road.

In Men, It’s Parkinson’s. In Women, It’s Hysteria.

Neurologist Laura Boylan suffered from tremors and loss of balance that she attributed to a cyst in her brain. Why didn’t her doctors believe her?

We’ve Heard From Nearly 300 Survivors of Sexual Assault in Alaska. But There Are More of You We’d Like to Reach.

We’re continuing to report on sexual violence and need your help with what’s next.

Clergy Abused an Entire Generation in This Village. With New Traumas, Justice Remains Elusive.

Long before city officials said they had no choice but to hire criminals as cops, justice evaded the Norton Sound village of Stebbins and neighboring St. Michael.

Cops in One Village Have Been Convicted of 70 Crimes. Here’s What They Had to Say About It.

The seven officers in Stebbins, Alaska, explain their criminal records and what it’s like to serve as a police officer there.

“Dire” Law Enforcement Crisis in Rural Alaska Prompts Emergency Declaration, New Federal Funding

The announcement comes a month after U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr visited the state to hear concerns about a lack of police in rural communities. The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica reported that one in three Alaska communities lacks local law enforcement.

Discussing Alaska’s Long History of Sexual Violence Is One Step Toward Seeking Solutions

Seventy people, including elders and Alaska public officials, gathered in Kotzebue for a public conversation on a well-known but rarely discussed statewide problem.

“No More Silence”: Her Kidnapping, Sexual Assault and Murder Stunned a Town, and Started a Movement

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica will hold an event in Kotzebue, site of 10-year-old Ashley Johnson-Barr’s killing, to explore sexual violence in Alaska.

“Enough Is Enough”: Native Leaders Ask William Barr to Help Fix Alaska’s Law Enforcement Crisis

At a gathering in Anchorage, the U.S. attorney general said he would work to provide greater security in rural areas.

Lawless

At least one in three Alaska villages has no local law enforcement. Sexual abuse runs rampant, public safety resources are scarce, and Governor Mike Dunleavy wants to cut the budget.

Why We’re Investigating Sexual Violence in Alaska

Something has changed in the way Alaskans talk about sexual assault. A yearlong partnership between the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica aims to highlight the stories of violence and survival in the final frontier.

How We Tallied Alaska Villages Without Local Law Enforcement

We asked more than 500 organizations representing 195 communities if they employ a police officer of any kind. Of that number, 70 communities reported having no police at some point in 2019.

Have You Experienced Sexual Violence in Alaska? We’d Like To Hear Your Story.

The Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica have teamed up to listen. Do you work with victims, in government or law enforcement? We need to hear from you, too.

How Do TSA Officers Screen Transgender Passengers? We Want to Talk to You.

We want to hear about issues transgender and nonbinary people have had during interactions with the TSA.

Video: For Trans People, It’s Difficult and Costly to Update an ID. But It Can Also Be Dangerous Not To.

A confusing web of state policies determine if and how a trans person can update their IDs. And not doing so can increase the risk of discrimination and violence.

New York City Launches Initiative to Eliminate Racial Disparities in Maternal Death

A Central Brooklyn hospital featured in ProPublica and NPR’s “Lost Mothers” series for its high hemorrhage rate will serve as a pilot for quality reforms.

Explosive Report on Abuse of Women Photographers Stirs Both Anger and Pride

An investigation published this week was painful reading for many. For one advocate, it was also inspiring.

Got a Question About Work in the Wake of #MeToo? You’re Not Alone.

There are a lot of problems in the way workplaces are run that enable sexual harassers. The Harvard Business Review wants to hear about your concerns.

The Red Cross Helped an Executive Get a Job at Save the Children After Forcing Him Out for Sexual Harassment

A senior Red Cross official harassed a subordinate and was accused of raping another. The charity’s now-general counsel David Meltzer praised him on his way out for “leadership” and “dedication.”

How Hospitals Are Failing Black Mothers

A ProPublica analysis shows that women who deliver at hospitals that disproportionately serve black mothers are at a higher risk of harm.

Nothing Protects Black Women From Dying in Pregnancy and Childbirth

Not education. Not income. Not even being an expert on racial disparities in health care.

New Jersey Bill Would Create Commission Empowered to Probe Deaths Related to Pregnancy and Childbirth

Spurred by ProPublica and NPR’s reporting, New Jersey lawmakers are moving to tighten requirements to report maternal deaths, investigate their causes and identify ways to prevent them.

New York City Launches Committee to Review Maternal Deaths

Amid intensifying concerns about deaths and near-deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth, New York City will review cases in depth to protect mothers and improve data collection.

How Many American Women Die From Causes Related to Pregnancy or Childbirth? No One Knows.

Data collection on maternal deaths is so flawed and under-funded that the federal government no longer even publishes an official death rate.

Why Giving Birth Is Safer in Britain Than in the U.S.

The U.S. and the U.K. used to have the same rate of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth. Now, Britain’s is almost three times lower. Here’s what they’re doing right.

‘If You Hemorrhage, Don’t Clean Up’: Advice From Mothers Who Almost Died

We’ve heard from 3,100 women who survived life-threatening complications of pregnancy or childbirth. They told us what they wish they had known — and what they would say to other new and expectant mothers.

The Breakthrough: Reporting on Life and Death in the Delivery Room

ProPublica reporter Nina Martin and her team used social media and old-fashioned shoe leather to show how the U.S. has the worst maternal death rate in the developed world.

Lost Mothers

An estimated 700 to 900 women in the U.S. died from pregnancy-related causes in 2016. We have identified 120 of them so far.

What We’ve Learned So Far About Maternal Mortality From You, Our Readers

Our first maternal health story started with unusual sources, an ask and lots of collaboration. We’re just getting started.

The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth

The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: the health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers.

This Alabama Judge Has Figured Out How to Dismantle Roe v. Wade

His writings fuel the biggest threat to abortion rights in a generation.

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