Resolution on Domestic Violence and Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act
ASSEMBLYMEMBER ANNETTE QUIJANO (NJ) INTRODUCED AUG. 2012 MEETING (RATIFIED)
WHEREAS the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in 1994 to prevent domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, and stalking, all of which continue to be serious threats faced by women; and
WHEREAS the VAWA marks the first effort to deal with these problems on a federal level and provide resources for the myriad state, community and city organizations that assist victims in crisis and promote violence prevention; and
WHEREAS this legislation must be reauthorized every five years, and during earlier reauthorizations the law was improved to cover more impacted women and to expand funding for programs; and
WHEREAS the most recent reauthorization of the bill includes improved access to services for immigrant victims of violence and greater workplace protections for survivors of violence; and
WHEREAS these expanded protections also include provisions that bar discrimination against survivors; provisions which guarantee a survivor’s job security when she/he must take time off to deal with violence-related issues, including protection orders, safety planning, etc.; and provisions which secure access to unemployment insurance for victims forced to leave their job in the aftermath of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking; and
WHEREAS immigrant women who are victims of crime such as domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and human trafficking confront significant barriers to achieving personal safety and independence; and
WHEREAS immigrant women sometimes lack language skills, eligibility due to status, and have difficulty accessing relief, public safety net benefits, and legal work authorization; and
WHEREAS the lack of access to services can create paralyzing situations for immigrant women who literally have nowhere to turn for help, and because of heightened anxiety around immigration status, many fear seeking basic law enforcement assistance;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislatures (NHCSL) urges Congress to reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act including critical provisions that allow for expanded coverage of immigrant women; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NHCSL will advocate this policy view to elected and Administration officials through appropriate means; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Law and Criminal Justice Task Force will work with other nonprofit organizations, academics and government officials to provide education to member legislators on the legal challenges faced by women in domestic violence situations; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, a copy of this Resolution will be transmitted to leadership of the Committees of jurisdiction in Congress, the Departments of Labor and Justice, White House, and organizations that advocate similar views.
THIS RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED ON AUGUST 25, 2012, AT THE NHCSL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA AND RATIFIED AT THE NHCSL 2012 ANNUAL MEETING HELD IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO ON NOVEMBER 17, 2012.
Sponsored by: Assemblymember Annette Quijano (NJ)