NNEDV Hosts Annual Advocacy Day Conference
June 2, 2013
Advocates call for funding and legislation to address domestic violence
This week, NNEDV is hosting its annual Advocacy Day Conference to advocate for legislation and funding to prevent and end domestic violence. Over 100 coalition leaders and victim advocates working against domestic violence in nearly every state and U.S. territory are in Washington, DC this week to meet with lawmakers and promote key legislative priorities, including funding for programs under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA), and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).
The Advocacy Day Conference is an opportunity for leaders from each state to meet with their Members of Congress about vital funding concerns and legislation to respond to domestic violence. A highlight of NNEDV's Advocacy Day Conference is its Congressional Breakfast. This year NNEDV will be joined by 26 bi-partisan Congressional supporters from the House and Senate.
"Though the Violence Against Women Act was recently reauthorized, our work to support victims is far from over," said Kim Gandy, NNEDV CEO and President. "In fact, funding cuts due to sequestration make our advocacy even more important."
Funding cuts at the federal, state and local level are threatening the stability and reducing the availability of victim services. Cuts from sequestration alone will mean that almost 500,000 victims will not able to receive services. NNEDV's Advocacy Day Conference gives domestic violence service providers a chance to urge Congress to replace the sequester and target resources to specific domestic violence programs.
The Allstate Foundation, a long-time corporate ally in the fight to end domestic violence, is supporting the conference and sending 20 local Allstate agents to speak to their Senators and Representatives. The Allstate Foundation supports NNEDV's economic justice work that helps victims escape abuse and become self-sufficient. Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) and the YWCA USA have also joined NNEDV as sponsors of the conference.
"Advocates are here this week to raise their voices for survivors," said Gandy. "We are grateful to our generous corporate sponsors and our non-profit partners for helping to amplify our voices."
In addition to funding needs, advocates are calling on Congress to pass commonsense firearms legislation, specifically background checks, to help reduce preventable and senseless domestic violence homicides.
"Three women are killed a day by their current or former partners. Convicted abusers are prohibited from possessing firearms yet loopholes allow them to have guns," said Gandy. "There is no excuse for failing to close these loopholes and keep victims safe from deadly gun violence."
Finally, advocates will tell their Congressional delegations that many immigrant women are particularly vulnerable to abusive situations in their homes and workplaces due to their lack of immigration status.
"Comprehensive immigration reform is an opportunity for Congress to help abused immigrant victims come out of the shadows and find safety for themselves and their children," said Gandy.