Position – Women’s Safety and Well Being
May 1, 2020
Women and girls should be safe, empowered, and able to live their lives free from domestic violence, sexual harassment, exploitation and other conduct that endangers their safety and well-being.
Harassment and violence against women and girls have serious long-term physical and emotional effects. Violence and abuse affect not just the women involved but also their children, families, and communities. These effects include harm to an individual’s health, possibly long-term harm to children, and harm to communities such as lost work, destruction of family stability, and homelessness.
Female immigrants or refugees face the same challenges as other abused women. However, they may also face some unique challenges, such as a fear of being deported or of losing custody of their children. Women of color and poor women do not receive the same level of support or have access to the same services as white women and women of means.
Domestic violence can take many forms, including emotional, sexual, financial, physical abuse and threats of abuse. Men are sometimes abused by partners, but domestic violence is most often directed toward women. Domestic violence can happen in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
Many children exposed to violence in the home are also victims of physical abuse. Children who witness domestic violence or are victims of abuse themselves are at serious risk for long-term physical and mental health problems. Children who witness violence between parents may also be at greater risk of perpetrating violence in their future relationships
OUR ADVOCACY POINTS
- Enact red flag laws that allow court ordered seizure of firearms from those who present a danger to themselves or others.
- Consistently enforce existing laws that protect against and prosecute for incidences of violence against women at local and state levels. Offenders must be held accountable.
- Make social services, including counseling, legal assistance, and housing accessible and provide sufficient resources to meet the need.
- Re-authorize, improve and sufficiently fund The Violence Against Women Act.
- Investigate promptly and thoroughly allegations of rape. Investigations should be undertaken by any entity to whom the allegations are made, such as employers, academia, religious organizations and law enforcement.
- Enact legislation that would fully fund, require prompt processing, and provide systems to allow victims to track investigation of rape kits.
- Enforce and vigorously support Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 to ensure survivors’ access to justice and increase gender equity in educational and professional spaces.