The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence strongly urges the House Ethics Committee to recommend the expulsion of Representative David Stringer. This is based on Representative Stringer’s racist comments and lack of transparency around previous sex offense indictments. The people of Arizona deserve leadership that instills faith and integrity in the state legislature. This requires high ethical standards and a commitment to represent all constituents. If citizens and survivors cannot trust that sexual and domestic violence related issues will be met without bias or dishonesty, it lessens their confidence in the ability of the State to appropriately respond to community needs in situations of violence. This is especially true for survivors of color, who face significant barriers reporting sexual and domestic violence victimization and accessing appropriate services due to systemic racism and prejudice. It is our hope the House Ethics Committee works swiftly and decisively to restore faith in the integrity of the House of Representatives.
Archives for January 2019
The deadline to submit comments on the proposed Title IX changes has been pushed back to January 30, 2019. In order to do a last push for public comments on this important issue, please review the information below on the proposed changes to Title IX and use the sample tweets to get others to submit comments during our ACESDV Tweetstorm January 28 at noon!
These proposed Title IX changes hurt survivors:
- By limiting the definition of sexual harassment to the point where survivors experiences will be discounted unless they experience endure severe, repeated, or escalating harassment which denies students their schooling and impacts their futures. This means that, under the proposed new definition, schools will be held to a lesser standard in addressing the harassment of students-including minors-under its care than addressing harassment of adult employees.
- Sexual harassment and assault is already widely under-reported. By limiting who can receive a report, students are forced to seek out an authority figure they may never have met and may not be easily accessible. This forces the survivor to discuss the worst experience of their lives to a stranger instead of a school employee with which there may be previous rapport. This is likely to further decrease the amount of reports creating an unsafe overall environment.
- By increasing the burden of proof through setting a higher standard than preponderance of the evidence, the proposed changes tilts proceedings to unfairly benefit respondents, making it even more difficult for those reporting abuse to attain safety.
- By allowing third party cross examinations that creates gross inequities if one party can afford a lawyer and the other cannot.
- By ignoring assault and harassment that happens off campus by students, survivors will have less options and support to deal with the experience caused by a fellow student. This is especially true since 87% of students live off campus. 41% of college sexual assaults involve off-campus parties. Only 8% of rapes occur on school property (NWLC, 2018)
Please join us for our tweetstorm to encourage others to comment on these proposed changes. You can use these sample tweets as a guide:
The administration wants to limit reporting. Tell them no! Survivor’s voices need to be heard #handsoffix #ProtectTitleIX
The proposed TitleIX changes will make schools less responsive to sexual harassment of students then their employees. Stop these changes. #ProtectTitleIX acesdv.org.
Send a message to the administration that the proposed changes to TitleIX make things worse not better for those experiencing campus sexual assault #ProtectTitleIX #HandsoffIX
Campus sexual assault survivors already do not feel safe reporting. The administration wants to make that worse. Stop them #ProtectTitleIX Learn how: HandsOffIX.org
Tell this administration that you #BelieveSurvivors. Submit a comment on the proposed changed to #ProtectTitleIX. Learn more at HandsOffIX.org
Tell the administration it’s time to stop investing on backwards false solutions like their proposed changes to TitleIX. #ProtectTitleIX. Learn more acesdv.org/civicengagenment.
The administration wants to bring the bad days of “boys will be boys” back to campuses with proposed rules changes on Title IX. #ProtectTitleIX by telling them no Learn more acesdv.org/civicengagenment.
With only a couple of days left it is important to make your voice heard by submitting a comment on her proposed Title IX rule. #ProtectTitleIX Learn how: HandsOffIX.org
Our partners at the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence shared this helpful FAQ on Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Shutdown:
With VAWA technically expiring at the same time as the government shutdown, we have noticed that there is some confusion and misinformation about the impact of these two events. Please see below for clarification.
Does VAWA funding run out in a shutdown?
Technically no, but problems may arise with accessing funds if the shutdown lasts. The Administration is on a reduced staff during a shutdown. The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) will stay open until further notice. If the shutdown extends beyond that time, it will be challenging for organizations dependent on VAWA funds to access those funds. This could mean that victims cannot access lifesaving services if the shutdown continues for any length of time.
VAWA expired when the Continuing Resolution expired. What does that mean for the protections and programs in the law?
We have worked for two years with Congress to urge passage of a Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act that would provide critical enhancements and improvements to the law. The law technically expired on December 21st. The protections enshrined in VAWA, however, continue to exist despite its expiration.
The funding will very likely continue, once an FY 2019 funding bill is complete. VAWA funds would have been safe in a continuing resolution like the Senate passed.
The government shutdown, not the lapse in authorization, is the most significant threat to continued VAWA funds.
What should Congress do?
The most urgent issue for victim service providers and the survivors they serve is access to continued grant funds. Congress must pass a funding bill (like the Senate passed on December 20th) that extends government funding until February 8, 2019. The President and Congress must end the shutdown to ensure continued access to lifesaving services.
When they return for the 116th Congress, Members of Congress should begin work on a bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to build on current protections and increase access to justice and safety for all survivors.
Can I do anything?
Feel free to weigh in on the shutdown with your Members of Congress and reassure survivors that they will have access to services for now. Contact NAESV if you have any questions.