If that day comes, the rape of an intoxicated woman, or a girlfriend, or an ex-girlfriend, or a man, will finally be considered “real” rape. There will be no such thing as “gray rape” or “acquaintance rape” or “date rape.” It will all be called by its proper name, the only name: Rape.
If that day comes, victims will no longer be blamed for the crime another person perpetrated against them. Faculty and students will be taught to recognize the signs of dating violence and domestic abuse. The officials who adjudicate disciplinary decisions will receive training appropriate to understand the complex psychology behind the cycle of abuse, rather than being told – as one disciplinary committee member was at my college – that “it’s pretty much common sense anyway.”
The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has the potential to begin a journey on which each “if” will turn into a “when.”
But right now, the VAWA bill is languishing in Congress, the surprising target of an effort to turn the issue of violence against women – a problem that everyone should agree merits action – into a partisan battle. On Tuesday the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women rallied on Capitol Hillin a renewed effort to push the reauthorization bill through Congress before the end of the summer. Read more »
However tattered, ugly, or shocking the truth may be, only by addressing facts rather than falling back on myths can we craft solutions (be they legislative, cultural or community-based) that truly improve people’s lives.
In addition to being Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month (affectionately known as DVAM). If you want to raise awareness for these causes, I hope you have a lot of purple clothes – last Friday was Spirit Day where LGBTQ individuals and allies were encouraged to wear purple to take a stand against bullying, and today in D.C., it’s Purple Thursday. Check out this picture of NWLC staff decked out in their violet best!
Domestic Violence Awareness Month began in 1987 as a way to connect communities working to end domestic violence, to honor survivors and remember victims, and to educate community members about the effects of domestic violence and how to prevent it. To do our part to spread awareness, we wanted to share five somewhat unexpected ways that domestic violence affects women and girls and intersects with NWLC’s work. Read more »
Advocates serving survivors of domestic violence know that survivors face a number of pressing needs – including safety or shelter or immediate access to cash. Many advocates and survivors may not think about tax issues when they are dealing with those others. But taxes can be an important way for survivors to establish economic independence – and there are some potential pitfalls that survivors need to be aware of. Read on to learn more!
Q: Should my client file a tax return on her own?
A: If your client is married, there are a couple of things she needs to think about before she files her taxes. If she files using Married Filing Jointly status, she will be on the hook for any tax liability (unless she qualifies for innocent spouse relief), and she will need to sign the return along with her husband. If she files using Married Filing Separately status, she will not be eligible for many tax credits, like the federal EITC, the federal Child Tax Credit, or the federal Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, that could otherwise give her a financial boost (see below). If she files as Single or Head of Household, however, she will not be subject to joint tax liability and she may qualify for credits like the EITC. She can file as Single if she is legally separated from her husband. If she is either legally separated OR lives apart from a spouse for the last 6 months of the year and pays half of the costs to maintain a household where a dependent child lives for over half the year, she can also file using Head of Household status. Read more »
Last month, Pennsylvania provided increased protection for domestic violence victimsliving in affordable housing in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC). The LIHTC program uses federal tax credits to incentivize the development of low-income housing, and each state, through Housing Finance Agencies, administers the program on behalf of the federal government.
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency made history in September when it released its 2013 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP). The QAP establishes Pennsylvania’s requirements for administration of the LIHTC program in the state. One line in the 27-page document has the potential to have a big impact for victims of domestic violence: “Experience as of [sic] victim of domestic violence alone may not constitute good cause for eviction under the terms of the lease.” This change to Pennsylvania’s LIHTC administration has been long advocated for by two local organizations that work directly with LIHTC renters—Community Legal Services and Regional Housing Legal Services. Read more »
Welcome to another weekly roundup! We’ve got a few quick hits today, including the possible future of some domestic violence shelters, recognition for an inspiring young scientist, good news in the health care world, and a few celebrations coming up. Read more »
Yesterday marked the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So it seems appropriate that yesterday the Center filed comments in response to proposed regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that could make a crucial difference for women struggling to survive domestic abuse.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four women in the United States will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. Historically, survivors of domestic violence have often been charged higher rates for health insurance or denied coverage outright – but the ACA helps provide domestic violence survivors with the care they need by prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage based on “conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence.” Read more »
Have you noticed an influx of vehicles donned with purple ribbons lately? Well, these ribbons are in recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month; a month dedicated to bringing awareness to domestic abuse and the ways in which it can be prevented and eradicated.
Happy Friday! I’ve got a whole new batch of stories for you this week, including some on NOW’s campaign to love your body, more on Anita Hill, some new abortion-related shenanigans, women and girls who are drawn to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and more — all after the jump. Read more »
It’s the end of another week, and we’ve got a new roundup for you. After the jump, stories on Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, girls tackling the STEM field, SNAP benefits and more. Read more »