The Urbanization of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in the United States
Source: Journal of American History
The urbanization of the gray squirrel in the United States between the mid-nineteenth century and the early twentieth century was an ecological and cultural process that changed the squirrels’ ways of life, altered the urban landscape, and adjusted human understandings of nature, the city, and the boundaries of community. Squirrels were part of the new complex of human-animal relationships that emerged in the American city at the turn of the twentieth century as laboring animals were replaced by machines, and as dairy, meat, and egg production and processing were shifted to the urban margins. Accounts of urban squirrels in newspapers, magazines, scientific journals, diaries, and other sources provide evidence of these changes and of the development of a new understanding of community that crossed species borders to include some types of animals and exclude some types of humans. These sources help explain why Bailey and many others saw the eastern gray squirrel not merely as an interesting object of nature study but also as a morally significant member of the urban community
Definitions of Domestic Violence
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway
This factsheet provides both civil and criminal definitions of domestic violence. The definition often varies depending on the context in which the term is used. A clinical or behavioral definition is “a pattern of assaultive and/or coercive behaviors, including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that adults or adolescents use against their intimate partners.” Legal definitions across the States generally describe specific conduct or acts that are subject to civil and criminal actions, and the specific language used may vary depending on whether the definition is found in the civil or criminal sections of the State’s code. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
Emerging Energy Industries and Rural Growth
Source: USDA Economic Research Service
This report builds on findings from recent studies led by U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service researchers investigating the economic effects of the emerging energy industries—unconventional natural gas extraction, wind power development, and corn-based ethanol production—in rural areas of the United States in the last decade.
Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault
Source: National Research Council
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) measures the rates at which Americans are victims of crimes, including rape and sexual assault, but there is concern that rape and sexual assault are undercounted on this survey. BJS asked the National Research Council to investigate this issue and recommend best practices for measuring rape and sexual assault on their household surveys. Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault concludes that it is likely that the NCVS is undercounting rape and sexual assault. The most accurate counts of rape and sexual assault cannot be achieved without measuring them separately from other victimizations, the report says. It recommends that BJS develop a separate survey for measuring rape and sexual assault. The new survey should more precisely define ambiguous words such as “rape,” give more privacy to respondents, and take other steps that would improve the accuracy of responses. Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault takes a fresh look at the problem of measuring incidents of rape and sexual assault from the criminal justice perspective. This report examines issues such as the legal definitions in use by the states for these crimes, best methods for representing the definitions in survey instruments so that their meaning is clear to respondents, and best methods for obtaining as complete reporting as possible of these crimes in surveys, including methods whereby respondents may report anonymously.
Rape and sexual assault are among the most injurious crimes a person can inflict on another. The effects are devastating, extending beyond the initial victimization to consequences such as unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, sleep and eating disorders, and other emotional and physical problems. Understanding the frequency and context under which rape and sexual assault are committed is vital in directing resources for law enforcement and support for victims. These data can influence public health and mental health policies and help identify interventions that will reduce the risk of future attacks. Sadly, accurate information about the extent of sexual assault and rape is difficult to obtain because most of these crimes go unreported to police. Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault focuses on methodology and vehicles used to measure rape and sexual assaults, reviews potential sources of error within the NCVS survey, and assesses the training and monitoring of interviewers in an effort to improve reporting of these crimes.
Caring for LGBTQ Children and Youth: A Guide for Child Welfare Providers
Source: Human Rights Campaign
This booklet was developed to provide you with information about the care and support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning children and youth. Chances are you picked up this guide because you believe, just as Bryan Samuels, the former commissioner of the U.S. Administration on Children, Youth and Families said, “every child and youth who is unable to live with his or her parents is entitled to a safe, loving and affirming foster care placement, irrespective of the young person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.” Unfortunately, we know LGBTQ youth are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system and often face discrimination and mistreatment in out-of-home care.
This guide includes information on terminology and several basic, but key, tips on how to best support and care for LGBTQ children and youth. We’ve also provided some data from the Human Rights Campaign’s study of more than 10,000 LGBTQ youth as a glimpse into their experiences. Also, you will find resources and helpful websites for more information to competently serve all children and youth in your care, including those who may identify as or be perceived as LGBTQ.
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
2. Internal Controls: Corrective Actions Under Way to Address Control Deficiencies at the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation. GAO-14-95, December 6.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659505.pdf
3. Bureau of Prisons: Opportunities Exist to Enhance the Transparency of Annual Budget Justifications. GAO-14-121, December 6.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659519.pdf
1. Immigration Detention: Additional Actions Could Strengthen DHS Efforts to Address Sexual Abuse. GAO-14-38, December 6.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/659146.pdf
This report was revised on December 6, 2013, to correct a date on the Highlights page and text regarding substantiated allegations on page 61.
2. Workforce Investment Act: Results for Survey of Workforce Investment Boards (GAO-14-20SP, December 2013), an E-supplement to GAO-14-19. GAO-14-20SP, December 6.
This e-supplement was revised on December 6, 2013, to correct part of the title.
Data on People’s Self-Reported ‘Experienced’ Well-Being Could Help Inform Policies
Source: National Research Council
Gathering survey data on “experienced” well-being – the self-reported levels of contentment, joy, stress, frustration, and other feelings people experience throughout the day and while engaged in various activities — would be valuable to inform policies, says a new report from the National Research Council. In particular, data on specific actions intended to improve the living and working conditions of different population groups, including children or older adults, show promise in developing policies and practices in such areas as end of life care, commuting, child custody laws, and city planning, to name a few.
Active Shooter in a House of Worship (PDF)
Source: National Disaster Interfaiths Network
Recent shootings at houses of worship and religious schools have led religious leaders to question wha t they can do to protect their congregations. This emerging need poses a challenge to religious leaders who want to provide safety without sacrificing the welcoming atmosphere of their houses of worship. These incidents may occur at any time, during virtually any size gathering or age range of people on the premises; they may be hate crimes, terrorist acts, acts of retribution, or simply random violence. Nevertheless, religious leaders can take steps to reduce the likelihood and the impact of an active shooter in a house of worship, religious school or other religious events, sites or facilities.
Public Sees U.S. Power Declining as Support for Global Engagement Slips
Source: Pew Research Center for the People & the Press
Growing numbers of Americans believe that U.S. global power and prestige are in decline. And support for U.S. global engagement, already near a historic low, has fallen further. The public thinks that the nation does too much to solve world problems, and increasing percentages want the U.S. to “mind its own business internationally” and pay more attention to problems here at home.
Yet this reticence is not an expression of across-the-board isolationism. Even as doubts grow about the United States’ geopolitical role, most Americans say the benefits from U.S. participation in the global economy outweigh the risks. And support for closer trade and business ties with other nations stands at its highest point in more than a decade.
Study Shows Driving Decline in America’s Cities
Source: U.S. Public Interest Research Group
A first-of-its-kind report by U.S.PIRG Education Fund details reduced driving miles and rates of car commuting in America’s most populous urbanized areas, as well as greater use of public transit and biking in most cities.
The report, “Transportation in Transition: A Look at Changing Travel Patterns in America’s Biggest Cities,” is based on the most current available government data. It is the first ever national study to compare transportation trends for America’s largest cities and lists results for each. Among its national findings:
- The proportion of workers commuting by private vehicle—either alone or in a carpool—declined in 99 out of 100 of America’s most populous urbanized areas between 2000 and the 2007-2011 period averaged in U.S. Census data.
- From 2006 to 2011, the average number of miles driven per resident fell in almost three-quarters of America’s largest urbanized areas for which up-to-date and accurate Federal Highway Administration data are available (54 out of 74 urban areas).
- The proportion of households without cars increased in 84 out of the 100 largest urbanized areas from 2006 to 2011. The proportion of households with two cars or more cars decreased in 86 out of the 100 of these areas during that period.
- The proportion of residents bicycling to work increased in 85 out of 100 of America’s largest urbanized areas between 2000 and 2007-2011.
The number of passenger-miles traveled per capita on transit increased in 60 out of 98 of America’s large urbanized areas whose trends could be analyzed between 2005 and 2010.
Fact Sheet — The Economic Status of Women of Color: a Snapshot (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Labor
Fifty-eight percent of women in the United States age 16 and over participate in the labor force (working or looking for work). This includes 57 percent of White women, 60 percent of Black women, 57 percent of Hispanic women, and 57 percent of Asian women.
Our nation’s 67 million working women hold nearly half of today’s jobs. Of these 67 million working women, about 52.8 million are White, 8.6 million are Black, and 3.6 million are Asian. Women of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity (who may be of any race) make up 9.2 million of the 67 million women workers.
The fact sheets highlight the different situations of the larger populations of women of color in the U.S. labor force. It assembles selected Federal government data and statistical resources to present a picture of the economic status of Black, Asian, and Hispanic women in the labor force. Sufficient data were not available on the relatively smaller populations of American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander women in the labor force, so they are excluded.