We support policies, programs, and laws that align with our goals of ending domestic violence and helping survivors of abuse find safety and obtain justice.
The 2019/2020 Legislative Session begins in January. Check back here for the bills we are tracking and for additional legislative updates.
PCADV Regularly Supports the Following Initiatives:
Increase Funding for Domestic Violence Programs & Supportive Services
The 59 Domestic Violence programs located throughout the Commonwealth serve nearly 1 million domestic violence victims a year. In one day alone, in 2017, local domestic violence programs provided 1,278 adult and child victims refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing. Yet, nearly as many (1,003) had to be turned away due to a lack of resources. PCADV is committed to pursuing all avenues to increase and supplement funding for domestic violence services and programs that directly support victims and survivors on their path to safety and autonomy.
Domestic Violence and Teen Dating Violence Prevention
If we truly expect to eliminate domestic violence, we must begin to focus our efforts on prevention. Nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Domestic violence prevention means prioritizing healthy relationship education in schools and addressing systems of oppression like racism, classism, and sexism along with issues like pay equity that prevent victims from being able to access safety. PCADV will actively advocate for dedicated prevention funding and legislation that prioritizes anti-violence education in secondary and post-secondary institutions, as well as reform in pay equity.
Access to Safe and Affordable Housing
“Why don’t they just leave?” is frequently asked by those outside of the domestic violence movement. While victims face a number of challenges when trying to leave, access to safe and affordable housing is one of the most significant barriers—victims sometimes literally have nowhere to go. PCADV is committed to advocating for legislation that improves access, availability, and affordability in housing. Alternatively, PCADV will actively work against housing legislation that discriminates against, or penalizes, victims and survivors of domestic violence.
Serving Survivors and their Children through Trauma-Informed Advocacy and Education
Through our work at the state and local level, we know that education about the nuanced nature of domestic violence and intersecting issues is paramount to responding with a trauma-informed lens. PCADV seeks to improve domestic violence education for all levels of family courts, social service workers, and the legislature. Our priorities for improvements in this area for the 2019/2020 Legislative Session include: ensuring judges have the necessary tools available in order to enforce violations of PFAs; continuing to advocate for additional protections under the Protection From Abuse (PFA) Act (e.g. expanding protections to victims’ pets; addressing child custody laws in relation to domestic violence in order to prevent potentially lethal situations), increasing training for judges, law enforcement, social service providers other allied professionals; and more.
Economic Justice & Financial Self-Sufficiency
Financial abuse is another tool in an abusers’ arsenal that they use to control and manipulate their victim. Cutting off access to credit and keeping a victim’s name off a lease are just two tactics an abuser might use to isolate and control a victim. PCADV will work to support initiatives like raising the minimum wage and decreasing the pay gap in an effort to provide survivors of domestic violence the ability to leave an abusive situation and obtain stable and safe opportunities for financial independence.
Preserving Services for Victims or Survivors of Marginalized Groups
Survivors of domestic violence, in particular those from a marginalized group, too often face profound challenges in seeking the high-quality, culturally competent advocacy, services, and resources they need to be safe. Just one example of this includes situations where immigrant survivors face the threat of deportation should they indicate their desire to leave an abusive relationship. PCADV will work to increase awareness of the impacts of domestic violence on marginalized groups and to ensure the appropriate services are available for all survivors of domestic violence in the Commonwealth.
Download Our 2019-2020 Policy Agenda
What we don’t support:
PCADV does not support legislation that would further complicate the path to safety for victims of domestic violence.
Examples include legislation that would restrict access to food benefits, housing and other necessary services and systems survivors of domestic violence turn to when leaving an abusive relationship. Domestic violence offender registries and legislation that seeks to create them would be opposed along with any policy that would mandate a survivor to meet specific requirements to receive services. We would also oppose legislation that restricts access to sexual and reproductive health services.