Columbia Journalism School

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Prof. Helen Benedict wins Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism

January 03, 2013

On Jan. 2, Prof. Helen Benedict won the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism and was named one of the 21 leaders for the 21st century by Women’s eNews. The organization recognized remarkable leaders from India, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Colombia, Canada, Norway, Ireland and the United States. Each one grew to develop a profound commitment to improving the lives of women and girls and have taken action to confront inequality in the United Nations, U.S. Congress, war zones, developing economies and the media.

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Benedict was the first reporter to uncover the scale of sexual abuse of U.S. female soldiers during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Her reporting prompted a precedent-setting class action against the Pentagon on behalf of women and men who had been sexually assaulted while on duty. She also inspired a 2012 documentary on the same topic called "The Invisible War."

Benedict uncovered studies that showed that 30 percent of women in the military have been raped, 74 percent have been sexually assaulted and 90 percent sexually harassed, all while they serving, by their own comrades.
 
To read more about Benedict and the other winners, click here
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