Monday, July 25, 2005

Coping with Terrorism

In light of the recent attacks in London and in Egypt, I thought it would be timely to post information provided by the US Department of Justice on "Coping with Terrorism", a handbook written in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks. For additional September 11 resources, you can visit the National Center for Victims of Crime at www.ncvc.org and click on "September 11 Resources."

Monday, July 18, 2005

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act

Washington, DC - The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing tomorrow on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Authorization for this legislation has expired, putting at risk thousands of programs that provide direct services to victims. A panel of advocates, government officials, and celebrities will address the committee to urge reauthorization.

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on VAWA Reauthorization
Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 11:00 a.m.
Mary Lou Leary, Executive Director, National Center for Victims of Crime; Salma Hayek, activist and film actor; M. L. Carr, former coach and NBA champion; Diane Stuart, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice; and Lynn Rosenthal, Executive Director of the National Network to End Domestic Violence are scheduled to speak.

VAWA, first enacted in 1994, revolutionized the nation's response to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and trafficking. Under VAWA, crucial services--including emergency shelters, sexual assault nurse examiner programs, child advocacy centers, and hotlines--have become a lifeline for tens of thousands of victims across the country.

The National Center for Victims of Crime played a key role in shaping the Sexual Assault Services Act (SASA), an important addition to VAWA that would establish a critically needed funding stream for direct services for sexual assault victims, providing relief for constant funding shortages, long waiting lists for victim counseling, closed satellite offices, and significantly reduced services.

For National Center testimony and more information about the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, visit
www.ncvc.org/policy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Where are the Republicans?

7/14/05 Update from the National Center for Victims of Crime reports that three violence against women bills were introduced in the House of Representatives on June 30.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced the Security and Financial Empowerment Act. H.R. 3185 would promote the economic security and safety of victims of domestic and sexual violence. It would provide for emergency leave to allow victims to address domestic or sexual violence; allow victims of domestic or sexual violence to receive unemployment compensation if their employment is terminated for reasons related to the violence; and prohibit employment discrimination against victims. The bill would also prohibit insurance discrimination against victims and provide for the creation of a national clearinghouse on domestic and sexual violence in the workplace.

Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Immigrant Victims of Violence Protection Act of 2005. H.R. 3188 would amend a number of provisions in the immigration law to increase protection for victims of abuse as well as victims of trafficking and their families. The bill would also provide that victims of battery, extreme cruelty, sexual violence, or trafficking have access to legal services regardless of their immigration status, and would provide that certain immigrant victims of domestic violence have access to public benefits.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2005. H.R. 3171 combines the provisions of H.R. 3185 and H.R. 3188 with most of the provisions of H.R. 2876, the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. It also includes several additional provisions.

Interestingly enough, all three bills were introduced by Democrat congresswomen. This begs the question: what are their Republican counterparts introducing? Stay tuned...

Friday, July 08, 2005

One small victory..

On, June 23, the full Senate Appropriations Committee concurred in its subcommittee's recommendation to reject the attempted rescission of the Crime Victims Fund and is recommending a VOCA cap for FY 2006 of $625 million. The full Senate may take action on the bill (H.R. 2862) sometime the week of July 5. Even though it appears likely that the Appropriations bill passed by both houses will not include the recsission, it is still possible to Congress to change course as part of the budget reconciliation process. Therefore, it is still important to continue informing Congress of the importance of VOCA and the need to retain the entire Crime Victims Fund.