March 20, 2014: sexual and domestic violence advocates seeking justice for survivors
March 20, 2014
Ready to tell their stories of saving lives and fostering hope, sexual and domestic violence advocates will attempt to visit every single member of the Massachusetts Legislature on Thursday, March 20, 2014.
"It's our responsibility to make sure that our state representatives and senators are aware of the needs of sexual and domestic violence victims and survivors as they craft the FY2015 budget and vote on related bills," stated Maureen Gallagher, Jane Doe Inc.'s Policy Director.
At its annual advocacy day, Jane Doe Inc. (JDI) and its 57 member organizations will seek support for a modest increase of funding to support life-saving and life-changing services. Programs are still operating at levels below FY2009 state funding allocations. In addition the advocates will urge passage of three priority bills that address employment protections for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking; create a felony offense of strangulation to hold offenders accountable for this violent offense; and to exclude misdemeanor domestic violence cases from those that can be dismissed as a result of accord and satisfaction agreements-which imply that the parties are free of coercion when coming to such an agreement.
Legislators will hear about the complex, dangerous and heart-wrenching situations that advocates help survivors navigate on their journey to safety and independence. They will also receive the latest data on the services provided in Massachusetts by the network of community and health care based sexual and domestic violence programs. Some programs cover mostly rural communities and others work in dense urban setting. While a few programs focus on specific cultural communities, all programs strive to meet the diverse needs of survivors and victims.
Gallagher noted, "Sexual and domestic violence programs do more than provide services. They offer expertise in the creation and implementation of policies and practices that help create safe communities, provide support and resources to victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and ensure that abusers are held accountable."
~ For more information on JDI's legislative and budget agenda, visit our website:
JDI Budget Advocacy Chart (as of 3/13/14): http://janedoeinc.memberlodge.org/Resources/Documents/Policy/Advocacy%20Day/2014/R1_revised_Color_%202-sided_Budget_Chart_FY15_ADV%20DAY%203-20-14.pdf
~ To talk with JDI or a representative from a local sexual or domestic violence program, please contact us:
Toni K. Troop
Director of Communications
Jane Doe Inc.