Speaking Out In Support of the Dream Act

Today, on October 3rd, YWCA USA stood with our partners on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to act immediately to protect the more than 800,000 DREAMers who have received DACA protection, and some 200,000 “little DREAMers” who have been waiting to turn 15 to meet DACA’s age requirements.

YWCA USA Field Engagement Manager Samantha Davis spoke on behalf of YWCA USA, alongside Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and incredible advocates and allies from United We Dream, Center for American Progress Action Fund, VotoLatino, MomsRising, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and more. You can watch the full rally and hear from all the speakers in this video.

A Federal Budget that Supports Women & Families: An Analysis by the YWCA USA Advocacy Department

The annual federal budget process kicked off on February 9 when President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 2017) federal funding proposal.  The “president’s budget,” as it is commonly referred to, is the opening step in an annual federal budget process that typically also involves passage of budget resolutions in the House and Senate, budget hearings in House and Senate appropriations committees, and ultimately the passage of an operating budget by the October 1 start of the federal government’s fiscal year.

We Must Strengthen Economic Security of Domestic Violence Survivors

IlanaFlemingby Ilana Flemming

Manager of Advocacy Initatives, Jewish Women International

Imagine, for a moment, that you have to flee your home. Imagine that you have to rebuild your life from scratch – find a home, a job, care for your children. Now imagine that you have to do this without cash in your pocket, or without a paycheck, or a credit card, or a bank account. It sounds impossible. Yet this is what victims of financial abuse are facing when they leave their abusers. It is vital that we recognize the deep connections between economic security and freedom from domestic violence, and that our public policies support every victim in escaping a violent relationship, rebuilding her life, and establishing a safe and healthy future for herself and her children.

Ending Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community

AishaRahmanBy Aisha Rahman, Esq.

Executive Director, KARAMAH

I want to tell you about the case that changed my life. Five years ago I started my legal career at a legal services organization in my small, southern hometown. To say that I had led a sheltered and privileged life would be a gross understatement. I am chagrined to admit that had I not gotten a job representing DV survivors, I would not be aware of the horrors, battles and barriers that 1 of 4[1] women deal with. My naivety extended most acutely to my own faith community. I grew up in a safe and loving Muslim community. Divorce in our community was almost unheard of and stories of abuse were never shared. When I decided to take a job in my hometown, I was sure that I would never encounter my community professionally. I was wrong.

Ending Domestic Violence is a Relay, Not a Sprint

By Molly TothIMG_2415

Advocacy and Special Project Coordinator, YWCA Warren

Being an organization that creates change isn’t easy. For many YWCAs across the country who provide direct services to clients, the day-to-day challenges so common in the nonprofit world—far too much to do, far too few hands to do it—can make it feel like you’re stuck on a treadmill with the incline up and the speed steadily increasing.

Rarely do direct service providers get a chance to step off the treadmill. When we do, we often find that our work on the ground is treating only a few symptoms of a much more pervasive problem that requires systemic change if it is to be eradicated.

Police Violence Against Black Girl in McKinney

by Loryn Wilson


In McKinney, Texas, 14-year-old Dajerria Becton was slammed on the ground while she was wearing nothing but a two-piece bathing suit. Her friends rushed to help her and then one of the officers drew his gun. Most of the teenagers involved lived in the community where the pool party was held or were invited guests.  It has been reported that white members of the community instigated the entire chain of events by yelling racial slurs and assaulting at least one of the teens.

Why We Must Protect Immigrant Survivors of Domestic Violence

By Sameera Hafiz
We Belong Together

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Over the years this month has provided us all the opportunity to reflect and refocus on the experiences of survivors of domestic violence and untangle the issue from the tired public debate: the NFL responses, the Chris Browns, and the persistent question, “why does she stay?”

Violence Against Women: A New Case For the Equal Rights Amendment

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Policy and Advocacy, YWCA USA 

When the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decides cases, they set precedents in interpreting the Constitution and federal laws, precedents that all other courts, both state and federal, must follow. In the realm of legal equality, there are several legal provisions that feminist lawyer, Catherine MacKinnon argues, currently guarantee against discrimination including the 14th amendment and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which she contends  they have “gone as far as they will or can to produce equality of sexes in life.”

#WorkAgainstViolence: Immigration-Related Violence

By Tralonne Shorter
Senior Advocacy & Policy Associate for Racial Justice and Civil Rights

Without question, immigration reform is one of the most pivotal civil rights issues of our day. Women are increasingly becoming the face of the immigrant population in the United States. They now make up 51% of the immigrant population; 100 immigrant women arrive in the United States for every 96 men. Unaccompanied child migrants fleeing violence in Central America are expected to reach 96,000 by the end of the year.

The Intersection of Poverty and Domestic Violence

By Lecia Imbery
Senior Policy Writer, Coalition on Human Needs

Lecia Imbery

Lecia Imbery

We know that poverty disproportionately affects women and single moms. In 2013, nearly 16 percent of women and nearly 40 percent of families with children headed by a woman lived in poverty, higher than their male counterparts. We know that women who are poor are more likely to suffer from health problems and are more likely to be survivors of domestic violence. We also know that children who grow up poor are more likely to suffer from health issues, developmental delays, behavioral problems, lower academic achievement, and unemployment in adulthood. If we fail to address poverty, particularly amongst women and children, we only perpetuate the cycle of poverty, inequality, and domestic violence.