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June 27, 2013

Today the National Network to End Domestic Violence celebrates Senate passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform legislation, S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which will make our country safer for victims of domestic violence.

“Immigrant women are particularly vulnerable to abuse in their homes when they lack current legal immigration status,” said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. “Abusers exploit this vulnerability to maintain power and control and to keep victims silent. This bill helps victims come out of the shadows and is badly needed to keep victims safe and provide stability.”

The Senate bill enhances victim safety by increasing the number of visas available each year for immigrant victims who assist in the investigation or prosecution of designated crimes, including domestic violence (U visas), and broadens the eligibility for those visas to additional crime victims, including victims of child and elder abuse.

“Currently there are just too few of these special visas to allow immigrant victims of domestic violence to flee their perpetrators. This bill recognizes the great need for these lifesaving visas and will go a long way toward increasing safety and justice in our communities,” said Gandy.

The bill would also allow victims to maintain their own work authorization independent of an abusive spouse, would shorten the wait period for work authorization, and clarifies immigrant victims’ eligibility for housing assistance, all provisions that will increase victims’ ability to achieve long-term economic independence apart from the abuser.

“Once victims are free from abuse, their battle is only half over,” said Gandy. “They need to be able to find jobs and housing to that they can remain independent and safe with their children.”

“NNEDV’s member state domestic violence coalition leaders were in Washington, DC this month to discuss the needs of immigrant victims with their Congressional delegations,” said Gandy. “Today we celebrate this step and look forward to working with the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a similar bill that meets the needs of victims of violence.”

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June 3, 2013

Today, NNEDV mourns the passing of Senator Frank Lautenberg, a statesman and champion for victims of domestic violence.  Among many accomplishments, Senator Lautenberg authored legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of convicted batterers.  "We have lost a true champion today," said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV.  "Because of Senator Lautenberg's work, victims of domestic violence are safer.  He lived with purpose and will be missed terribly."

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May 29, 2013

NNEDV is pleased by Facebook's announcement of steps being taken to ensure that Facebook is a safe place for all participants, especially and including women.  NNEDV is pleased that that Facebook will update their guidelines to include violence against women as a violation of its Community Standards, increase training on reviewing hateful and harmful speech, increase accountability of those who post hateful and reprehensible content about women, and work with other groups to ensure that content that is violent toward women not be acceptable on Facebook.

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April 26, 2013

Bruises, broken bones and psychological scars are what most people think about when they hear of domestic violence. What many don't know is that victims of domestic violence often suffer overwhelming financial losses caused by an intimate partner. Forcing the victim to leave job after job, getting her fired, running up high family debt, and hiding or stealing joint assets raise barriers for a woman trying to break free. The result of financial abuse can be damaged work histories, ruined credit scores, homelessness, and sometimes, abject poverty. This makes it hard to leave an abusive relationship and for those who do manage to escape, the financial damage can last for years; long after the bruises have healed.

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April 17, 2013

NNEDV anticipates votes in the U.S. Senate this afternoon on firearms legislation, which would be a critical step in protecting victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from gun violence.  More than three women a day, on average, are killed by an intimate partner, and guns play a large role in the level of lethality. Access to firearms dramatically increases the risk of intimate partner homicide, compared to instances where there are no weapons, and abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners.  "People are fed up with violence in this country.  Fed up with fear and fed up with anger.  We know the statistics, we know the solution," said Kim Gandy, NNEDV President and CEO.  "Now we just need Senators to vote to protect women's lives."  The Toomey-Manchin amendment to expand background checks needs 60 votes to pass.

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