By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
At City Hall, some blame the Mayor’s Office for the lack of movement on this issue. In one of his first moves after his 1993 election, Richard Riordan moved to fold the city’s Commission on the Status of Women into another social-service agency, but was rebuffed by the City Council on a 15-0 vote. In the meantime, the mayor established the Commission on Children and Families — some say as a valentine to his wife, Nancy Daly Riordan, who’s made charity for children a hallmark of her public image. And while the new Commission on Children and Families enjoys a million-dollar annual budget, Petrotta has been rebuffed in her efforts to secure $77,000 to fund a city program targeting young, at-risk women.
"The mayor has made no secret that women’s issues are not as important as children," said one Spring Street insider. "He prefers warm and fuzzy issues, but what he doesn’t understand is that if mommies are not taken care of, they can’t care for their children."
It’s always painful, and it’s always ugly, but Karen Pomer never hesitates to talk about her own ordeal at the hands of a serial rapist who held her for more than six hours and assaulted her at a number of different locations. The man was never apprehended.
Pomer recounted the story again at a daylong event the Rainbow Sisters sponsored at the L.A. Central Public Library the same week the Westside Rapist was arrested. Entitled "You Are Not Alone: A Day Honoring Women Who Have Survived Rape," the workshop gave survivors of sexual assault an opportunity to tell their personal stories and, in Pomer’s words, "end the silence about rape."
The event featured TV public-service announcements of survivors urging other rape victims to accept themselves and come forward. The spot was filmed by music-industry executive Kate Miller, who herself was raped in 1994. Separately, Rainbow Sisters initiated a nationwide signature campaign intended to persuade the U.S. surgeon general to declare rape a national health problem and help marshal resources to address it.
"All this political activity is a part of our healing process," Pomer said. "It’s healthy to be out of the closet."
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