White House Puts Out PSA On Sexual Assault After President Reauthorizes Violence Against Women Act

While tremendous progress has been made since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first enacted, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are still significant problems facing women, families, and communities. Domestic violence causes 3 deaths a day to women, and 1 in 4 women have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetimes. The new VAWA bill signed into law by President Obama will continue effective programs, make targeted expansions to address the needs of especially vulnerable populations, and help prevent violence in future generations.

Key Provisions in the reauthorization: (click above for White House website)
• The bill addresses high rates of dating violence and sexual assault on college campuses by requiring colleges and universities to provide information to students about domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking and inform students and staff about the number of these crimes that occur on and near campus. Colleges will also be required to create and disseminate policies describing the protections, resources, and services available to victims to help them safely continue their education.
• Researchers estimate that for every woman killed in a domestic violence homicide, nine more are nearly killed. The bill integrates screening for homicide risks throughout existing VAWA programs and requires states to develop goals and activities to reduce domestic violence homicides.
• Native American women suffer among the highest rates of domestic violence. The bill closes gaps in jurisdiction and recognizes the authority of tribes to prosecute domestic violence crimes against Indian and non-Indian perpetrators.
• According to studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) victims of domestic
violence have challenges accessing critical services such as shelter. This bill protects LGBT
victims from discrimination and gives service providers new tools and access to resources to make their services more accessible to all victims.
• Sexual assault is one of the most underreported violent crimes in the country, and victims often suffer long term physical and emotional trauma. The bill creates state grant funding for law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim services to work together to respond to these crimes and helps law enforcement agencies tackle their backlog of rape kits.
• The bill addresses the high rates of dating violence and sexual assault experienced by teens and young adults. The bill will help schools, youth organizations, and domestic violence agencies work more effectively with youth and engage young people in stopping violence before it starts.
• Without a stable place to live, victims are often forced to choose between abuse and
homelessness. Under existing law, victims were protected from denial or eviction from public and Section 8 housing. The bill expands these existing housing protections to additional federal housing programs, includes sexual assault victims, and facilitates emergency transfers to keep victims safe.
• Abusers often use the fact that a victim’s status is tied to the abuser – or their lack of immigration status – to exploit and further abuse them. The bill makes important improvements to existing
immigration protections by keeping families together, encouraging more victims to cooperate with law enforcement investigations, and supporting increased access to life-saving services.

via whitehouse.gov

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