1. Protect funding for sexual and domestic violence services from further cuts.
The demand for sexual and domestic violence services is on the rise. In 2009, Sexual and Domestic Violence Agencies experienced a 22% increase in the number of adults and children receiving sexual violence services and a 22% increase in the nights of emergency shelter provided to victims of domestic violence.
Funding for these vital services continues to decline. In the past year, Virginia cut funding for domestic violence services by 8%, sexual violence services by 5% and homelessness intervention services (supports domestic violence shelters) by 8%. It is critical that we protect and preserve funding for these critical services. Every day more and more Virginia lives depend on it.
2. Expand access to Protective Orders for victims of dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault:
- Allow all victims of certain defined acts of violence and threatening behaviors, including physical harm or the threat of physical harm, sexual assault, stalking, false imprisonment, and property damage with the intent to intimidate or control the behavior of another person, the same access to court ordered protection (from further acts of violence, trespass or contact) in either the juvenile and domestic relations courts or the general district courts.
- Remove the requirement for a criminal warrant to be issued in order for a victim to be eligible for court ordered protection in the general district courts.
- Address and name “dating violence” in the Code of Virginia. Provide the needed enhanced protections to victims of dating violence that apply under the family abuse protective order, including enhanced penalties (Class 6 felony) for a third or subsequent violation and presumptive arrest provisions.
- Clarify that judges must offer a victim of domestic violence a family abuse protective order at the conclusion of a criminal hearing of a violation of 18.2-57.2 (assault and battery against a family/household member).
3. Extend the Address Confidentiality Program within the Office of the Attorney General. Currently, the program is only available in 18 jurisdictions and we would like to make it available statewide.
4. Preserve access to services for ALL victims of sexual and domestic violence in Virginia regardless of immigration status
1. Victims of sexual and domestic violence and their children must be able to access safety, including law enforcement, the courts, and protections available through the Violence Against Women Act without regard to immigration status.
2. Sexual and Domestic Violence Agencies must be able to deliver services to victims of sexual and domestic violence and their children without regard to immigration status, including crisis intervention, emergency transportation, shelter, and advocacy.
For more information contact Kristine Hall or Gena Boyle at 804-377-0335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.