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D.C. Council Bill Would Offer More Support To Rape Victims

Rape victims would receive more help and the Metropolitan Police Department would be subject to more oversight under legislation being considered by the D.C. Council.

Victims would have access to an advocate during interviews with detective and lawyers if the "Sexual Assault and Victim's Rights Act" becomes law. Bridgette Harwood, co-executive director of the group Network for Victim Recovery, says being able to have an advocate present will help more victims come forward with their allegations.

"Additionally what is really missing from this bill is an explicit right for a survivor, to have the right to information when the offender is notified that they've made a report, so they can safety plan and have peace of mind," she says.

Defense attorneys say the proposed legislation is troublesome. Patrice Sulton with the D.C. Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers says there are times when an attorney may have to interview an accuser without an advocate present.

"So in the domestic violence context where we have advocates, we've seen that become a problem. I've seen it in my own cases become a problem. And so we need an opportunity to independently interview these witnesses and to speak to them without that interference in some cases," she says.

The proposed legislation comes nearly a year after Human Rights Watch issued a report accusing the Metropolitan Police Department of mishandling rape investigations.


No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.
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World Leaders Meet For The UN Climate Change Summit In Paris

World leaders meet for the UN climate change summit in Paris to discuss plans for reducing carbon emissions. What's at stake for the talks, and prospects for a major agreement.


Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

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