Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Cases

Ongoing revelations of pervasive and serious sexual violence against children and vulnerable adults by priests and others associated with the Catholic Church in different parts of the world have...
In Abramowicz v. Lefkowitz, attorneys at CCR brought the first challenge to the constitutionality of abortion statutes in which women were the plaintiffs and the issues raised were those of a woman...
A lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration to challenge the failure to approve the Morning-After Pill (also known as "emergency contraception" or "Plan B") with over-the-counter access for...
The case was filed on behalf of three Haitian women who were brutally tortured by FRAPH. Two of the three plaintiffs were gang-raped in front of their families. A third was attacked by two FRAPH...
In 1993, CCR and co-counsel sued Karadzic for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity – including the campaign of rape and other sexual violence as a form of torture and genocide used...
On October 10, 1995, Lynette Burns filed suit in Wayne County Circuit Court alleging sexual harassment and retaliation in violation of the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, as well as other...
Bruno v. McGuire is a lawsuit the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed together with lawyers from MFY Legal Services, Inc., the Legal Aid Society’s Civil Division, and Brooklyn Legal Services...
Monell v. Department of Social Services is a case in which the New York City Board of Education awarded compensation for female employees who had been forced to take maternity leave. This case, which...
Harris v. McRae is a class action lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) challenging federal restrictions on Medicaid funds for medically necessary abortions. In the wake of...
People v. Mandel is a criminal case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sought to bar evidence of the complainant's prior sexual conduct from a rape trial. To support the growing...
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) took on the case of Hess v. Schlesinger in 1973 because it concerned the treatment of women as an extension of their husbands. In this case, CCR challenged...
Drew Municipal School District v. Andrews is a lawsuit that the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed on behalf of two Black women against the Drew Municipal School District for refusing to...
Douglas v. Holloman is a case in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) defended New York City guidelines on sterilization procedures on behalf of women and groups concerned about...
This amicus brief argues that Japan is not immune from suit for its sexual enslavement of women and girls during World War II and presently. After a case in which the district court dismissed the...
Coker v. Georgia is a lawsuit in which the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, together with a broad range of other women's legal organizations, on...

Since the 1970s, combating sexual and gender-based violence has been an integral part of CCR’s mission. We fought for recognition of the right to self-defense for victims of domestic violence, winning the first ever appeal of a murder conviction on these grounds, and helped to strike down New York State’s marital rape exemption. We helped successfully advocate for the recognition of rape and sexual violence as war crimes and forms of torture and even genocide in international tribunals and commissions. The Center’s most recent work against sexual and gender-based violence is our effort to hold high-ranking Vatican officials responsible for widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence by clergy. With our partners at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), CCR filed a formal request for an investigation by the International Criminal Court; our subsequent advocacy involved work with several U.N. Committees and resulted in the Vatican being summoned for the first time ever and sharply criticized by the U.N. Committee Against Torture and the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child. In the year after the ICC filing, SNAP was contacted by survivors and supporters in more than 70 countries.