The following has been provided by the Battered Women’s Justice Project: VAWA Passes; What the Changes Mean for OVW Grantees
On March 7, 2013, President Barack Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), which passed both houses of the One Hundred and Thirteenth Congress. The Act included three notable enhancements, which drew much of the media attention in recent months.
First, VAWA 2013 extended meaningful safety measures for Native American victims of abuse by giving many tribal courts the authority to try non-tribal offenders of domestic violence, dating violence and protection order violations. VAWA 2013 also clarified that VAWA funding is available to programs that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer victims of intimate partner violence. The reauthorization also strengthened provisions that provide protections to immigrant victims.
Added emphasis to the GTEAP program under VAWA 2013:
- Developing multidisciplinary high-risk teams focusing on reducing domestic violence and dating violence homicides
- Identifying and inventorying backlogs of sexual assault evidence collection kits
- Strengthening policies, protocols and training around the criminal justice response to immigrant victims and appropriate use of the T and U visas
- Minimum allocations to tribal coalitions and to sexual assault-related projects
- Developing or enhancing Sexual Assault Response Teams or similar coordinated community responses to sexual assault.
Nevada Tribes Day at the Legislature is scheduled for Monday, February 11, 2013.
Polaris Project’s State of Nevada Conference Call on Sex Trafficking
Update on Legislation Proposed for 2013 Legislative Session
Thursday, December 13, 2012
11 AM – NOON
Hosted by the State of Nevada Office of the Attorney General
Access Code: 4188407
DNA Evidence Collection Goes to Supreme Court
(Thank you RAINN)
The US Supreme Court this month announced that it will decide whether it is legally permissible for police to take DNA samples from suspects arrested for violent crimes. The case is an appeal of the Maryland Court of Appeals’ decision in King v. Maryland, which invalidated the state’s DNA collection law. If upheld, the decision would overturn similar laws in 25 states.
“DNA is a crucial tool in rape investigations, many of which will be derailed unless the Supreme Court overturns the Maryland decision,” said Scott Berkowitz, RAINN’s president. “Public safety is really at risk here. This is the most important rape case that has come before the Supreme Court in many years.”
In the Maryland case, DNA collected following a 2009 arrest of Alonzo King matched DNA from the crime scene of an unsolved 2003 rape. The DNA match led to King’s conviction for the 2003 home-invasion rape, and a sentence of life in prison without parole. King challenged the conviction on Fourth Amendment grounds, claiming that the cheek swab to collect his DNA violated his expectation of privacy and constituted an illegal search.
The Maryland court ruled in favor of King’s challenge, in what a Washington Post editorial termed “a bizarre decision, to say the least.”
Read more about King v. Maryland and the importance of DNA evidence.
New DoD SA Prevention & Response Training Rules
“[Sexual assault] is a crime that hurts survivors, their families, their friends and their units,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta stated. “In turn, sexual assault reduces overall military readiness.”
The US Department of Defense recently announced new sexual assault prevention and response training rules. The policies propose to work with Congress to create “special victims units” in each service, allow sexually assaulted service members to quickly transfer from their unit, and improve training for investigators and attorneys. They are also conducting a review of all military training policies, to be completed in February.
Women lawmakers call for tough measures to
combat sex abuse in military
One Year After VAWA’s Expiration And Counting: House Leaders Still ‘Splitting Hairs’ Over Rape Victims
Economic Security for Survivors Project
A Message from Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW):
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and the Economic Security for Survivors (ESS) project are releasing a Policy Brief series that highlights the important role that economic security plays in maintaining survivor safety and the policy solutions that can help survivors escape and recover from acts of violence. The criminal and civil justice systems have access to a number of tools to support the safety and economic security of survivors, including restitution, protection orders and arrest. Each brief offers background information on the issue, the economic implications of the policy on survivors, as well as best practices and model approaches from across the country. These briefs are designed to serve as a resource to empower advocates, inform policy makers and to promote strategies on the city, county and state level that will ensure the safety and economic security of survivors.
The four briefs in the series will be distributed each Thursday during the month of October and will be available on WOW’s website at: http://wowonline.org/ourprograms/fess/ESSResources.asp.
October 4th – Policy Primer
October 11th – Restitution
October 18th – Protection Orders
October 25th – Arrest Policies
In the first brief, the Policy Primer introduces the inextricable link between survivor safety and economic security by outlining the economic costs of abuse along with the implications of economic abuse. It then details the state and federal policies in place around domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, and how they can either help or hinder the safety of survivors. The ESS Project hopes these briefs will be useful in your work and advocacy efforts on behalf of survivors.
The Economic Security for Survivors Team