Together, we can end relationship abuse in Minnesota
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Policy is participatory
When many people share their experiences and talk about what we need to achieve violence free communities and state, we can create meaningful change in Minnesota. The policy issues that impact victim/survivors and the programs that work to end relationship abuse are far-reaching. Violence Free Minnesota is committed to making sure our elected officials at the state and federal levels understand the needs of victim/survivors and their families.
Make A Difference
Contact Minnesota's Senators Now!
COVID-19 continues to severely impact survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The Senate must act now to pass a COVID-19 package that addresses the housing, economic, and physical and mental health needs of survivors of violence and the programs and advocates that serve them. Programs on the frontlines, responding to survivors in crisis, need additional resources to ensure the safety of survivors and their staff.
We commend the House for including $48 million in Family Violence Prevention and Services Act funds, and providing an urgently needed legislative fix to ensure the long-term viability of the Crime Victims Fund, in the House passed HEROES Act (H.R.6800). However, the HEROES Act falls short and we need the Senate to act now.
As the pandemic continues, victims of domestic and sexual violence urgently need help to escape violence and rebuild their lives. Additional barriers to safety and justice exist for survivors of violence who experience marginalization. Systemic racism has caused the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities and Communities of Color. The HEROES Act, however, did not provide any funds for culturally specific, community-based organizations providing services, and provided woefully insufficient funds for sexual assault programs.
We urge the Senate to include the following provisions in the next COVID-19 package:
Amend the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to increase deposits into the Crime Victims Fund and waive matching fund requirements for VOCA grantees;
Increase funding for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act by $100 million;
Increase the Violence Against Women Act Sexual Assault Services Program by $100 million and $265 million for VAWA transitional housing and state victim assistance formula funds;
Provide $40 million in dedicated funding for culturally specific organizations that offer domestic violence and sexual assault services through the Division of Family Violence Prevention and Services in the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families;
Increase Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care Domestic Violence Bonus Fund by $100 million;
Ensure immigrant survivors have access to health, safety, and economic stability by expanding benefits to include all survivors regardless of status; and
Provide specific avenues for survivors to access unemployment insurance and paid leave when they have to leave jobs due to abuse.