July 2, 2014
NNEDV is proud to join with over 300 national, state, and local organizations committed to ending domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking to urge the US House of Representatives to move forward with passage of an immigration reform bill. Congress has an opportunity, through immigration reform, to fix a broken system that leaves millions of undocumented women and children extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, both at home and in the workplace, and isolated from seeking help. It has been a year since the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill (S. 744), which includes a pathway to legal status and work authorization for millions of individuals, an increase in the U visa cap for victims of crime, better oversight of foreign labor recruiters, and many other significant improvements in protections for immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. We are deeply concerned that without House leadership and support, this term of Congress will come to an end without much needed immigration reform.
The commitment to improve prevention and intervention efforts on behalf of all survivors was affirmed and enhanced by Congress with the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2013. When VAWA was first enacted in 1994, Congress recognized that immigration status can often be used as a tool of abuse. Abusive partners and opportunistic predators often exploit a victim's lack of immigration status, or dependent immigration status, as a way to maintain power and control, increase fear, and keep victims silent. For this reason,
every version of VAWA has included and enhanced limited special remedies targeted to helping immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking.
While the VAWA immigration remedies are important, they reach a limited number of individuals and are only available after the abuse has occurred, only if the survivor is able to access services and support to pursue these remedies, and only if the survivor meets the narrow criteria. Immigration reform that provides a pathway to legal status and work authorization will significantly enhance prevention and intervention efforts, by providing an opportunity for millions of immigrants to pursue a pathway to safety, stability, and economic self-sufficiency for themselves and their children.
Additionally, efforts to repair the immigration system should not drive victims further into the shadows. Numerous law enforcement leaders and associations, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association, have spoken out against any congressional action that would require state and local law enforcement agencies to engage in federal immigration enforcement. Both law enforcement and victim-advocates have repeatedly raised serious concerns about any such engagement, including among other things, that it would result in fear and distrust of local police, undermine community policing, drive victims further into the shadows, and divert scarce and critical resources away from their core mission.
As our nation seeks to improve efforts to prevent and end domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, it is important to make sure that our policies do not have the unintended consequence of increasing danger for victims and decreasing their access to justice. It is imperative for Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to pass immigration reform that can help strengthen our nation's commitment to improve prevention efforts and help all survivors.
See the full list of organizations that signed on to the letter via Casa de Esperanza: The National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities.
July 2, 2014
Today, Target announced a new policy requesting that customers not carry firearms into any Target stores.
June 30, 2014
Today's Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby is a step backward for women's health and reproductive rights, and also for their fundamental autonomy. The majority opinion permits some corporations to express religious beliefs at the expense of their employees' own religious beliefs, healthcare needs, and individual choices. At the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), we know just how vital it is for women to maintain control over their own health and reproduction.
"All too often, abusers restrict access to contraception or force unwanted pregnancies as a means to exert power and control over their victims," said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. "Women, especially victims of domestic violence – not their employers or abusers – should control this important aspect of their lives."
June 25, 2014
As this year’s Pride month* comes to a close, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) is proud of our work to ensure that the 2013 reauthorization of VAWA included protections for LGBT individuals. The law acknowledges that domestic violence occurs in same-sex relationships and that LGBT individuals can be victims of sexual assault.
June 24, 2014
A Tennessee judge let an abuser, who resisted arrest after beating his ex-girlfriend, out of jail before the “12-hour cooling off period” because “victims sometimes give incorrect information.” The abuser then went on to brutally attack the victim - who was collecting her belongings from their home – that very same morning, when he should have still been in jail. . . Is it 1954 or 2014?