domestic violence: Woman with red hair, glasses, necklace is seen both next to and reflected in mirror at right

Only One Alabama Program Works on Domestic Violence Plus Firearms

When Susan Shipman took a job as a bookkeeper at a women’s shelter in Anniston in 2003, she didn’t realize how close to her own home violence already was.

“I signed up for a flexible, part-time job,” Shipman, 57, said. “And I found myself in the movement to end violence against women.” 

By 2006, Shipman was the executive director of 2nd Chance Inc., a nonprofit safety and support organization for victims of domestic and sexual violence serving nearly 500 women and children annually in North Alabama.

Proposed Waiting Period Law for Firearms Aims to Save Lives of Suicidal Alabamians

This story is part of a series on public health and firearms. The first examined groups working to reduce homicide in Birmingham. The second interviewed Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin about his office’s peace initiative. The third examined a proposed voluntary “do not sell” list for Alabamians suffering mental illness, which aims to prevent firearm access for people with suicidal ideation.

Birmingham: Smiling man with short dark hair, beard, mustache in beige jacket, checked shirt in office with painting, bookcase behind him.

Birmingham Mayor Says Peace is Everyone’s Responsibility

Mayor Randall Woodfin says Birmingham is ready for peace.

With a call for communitywide investment, the mayor says it’s time for solutions — “not programs” — for a city long plagued by violence.

Federal Appeals Court to Hear Birmingham School Pepper Spray Case

A case that alleges chemical spray is overused in Birmingham, Ala., schools is headed to federal appeals court and will probably not re-emerge for at least a year. Attorneys for the school officials, resource officers and city police officers named as defendants have asked the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to hear two questions. First, if the case go forward as a class action; and second, if they have any official immunity. If the court decides to hear the questions, no ruling is likely for at least a year, said Ebony Howard, an attorney with the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center. She is lead attorney representing six youths who say officers on campus sprayed them with a chemical called Freeze+P for minor school-based infractions, including in one case, uncontrollable crying over being bullied.

NAACP Blasts Mace in Birmingham Schools

The NAACP launched an online petition this week, inviting people to lend their names to a campaign to end the use of pepper spray on students in Birmingham, Al. public schools. “As long as we continue to treat students like criminals, they will grow up to become criminals,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, in a written statement. The NAACP argues that Mace and pepper spray may be legitimate parts of an adult or crowd policing strategy, but are not acceptable for use on school children. Birmingham’s public school population is overwhelmingly African-American.