The Deadly Intersection of Guns and Domestic Violence

By Qudsia Raja, Policy Director, National Domestic Violence Hotline

In cases of domestic violence where guns are involved, whether they are being used as a form of coercive control or to physically hurt a partner, the risk of fatality increases exponentially. Every day at the National Domestic Violence Hotline, we hear stories from survivors involving abusive partners with access to guns. Some survivors have shared that their partners silently sit in the living room polishing their guns as a way to threaten them into staying. In other cases, abusive partners threaten to hurt children or pets with firearms. We also hear about abusive partners who have shot at survivors or held guns to their heads to intimidate and control them.

Ensuring Justice for Women Through Policy: The Georgia Women’s Policy Institute

By Katie Singh, Advocacy Intern, YWCA of Greater Atlanta

Ending gender-based violence requires work on multiple fronts, including public policy. Having laws in place that support victims of violence can empower them to obtain justice, health, and safety. Including women in the legislative process is crucial to ensure that these types of policies are put into place. Policies are stronger when they reflect our voices, experiences, and perspectives. When women’s voices are part of the narrative, incredible change can happen.

Seeking Mental Health Resources for A/PI Survivors

By Marissa Young, Outreach and Training Coordinator, Asian/Pacific Islander Ddvrp-logoomestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP)

Domestic violence is a taboo subject in many cultures. Though domestic violence is common in all communities, it is especially difficult to promote an ongoing conversation in communities of color. In the Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI) community, 21-55% of women experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Additionally, many in the A/PI community believe domestic violence to be only physical abuse. Many domestic violence service providers are aware that emotional and psychological abuse can lead to damage to a survivor’s well-being. Physical abuse leaves bruises and scars, but the psychological trauma from domestic violence has long-lasting effects on a survivor’s mental health.

51 Women Each Month

beane-headshotBy Catherine Beane, Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy, YWCA USA

On a cold morning in February, just over the Potomac River from where I live, a young mom helped her three-year-old daughter into the car as she headed to the elementary school where she worked. NeShante Davis had worked hard to earn her college degree and become a teacher. But she and her daughter, Chloe, never made it to school that day. Angry that he’d been ordered by the court to pay $600 a month in child support, Chloe’s father shot and killed them both. A gun in the hands of an intimate partner ended NeShante and Chloe’s lives.

The Clock is Ticking on Gender-Based Violence

By Mary Brennan-Taylor, Vice President of Programs, YWCA of the Niagara Frontier

The clock is ticking on gender-based violence. In the 90 minutes that it will take to write this blog it is estimated that in the United States, 600 women will be assaulted and 45 people are sexually assaulted. During this same day there will be more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide from victims seeking shelter and support. And by the time this day draws to a close, 3 women in the United States will have been murdered by the one person she should have been able to trust: her intimate partner.

The SAFE Act: Crucial to Supporting Survivors

By Caitlin Lowry, Senior Policy Analyst, YWCA USA

Each year, survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking lose more than 8 million days of paid work – the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs – due to taking time off to seek protection and support. This Week Without Violence, as YWCA focuses on ending gender-based violence and supporting survivors, we hope you will join us by advocating to Congress to support The SAFE Act.

Importance of Research to the DV Movement

nrcdv_shaina-goodmanBy Shaina Goodman, Policy Manager, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV)

At the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV), we know that research and evaluation on domestic violence is essential for effective programs, practice, and policy. Research and evaluation help us understand what kinds of intervention and prevention approaches work, for whom, how, and under what conditions. It allows us to build a strong body of evidence to advocate for better laws and policies and for more funding for domestic violence responses. Most importantly, it has the potential to give voice to the real experiences of survivors and advocates.

Together, We Can End Gender-Based Violence

elise-m-skolnickBy Elise Skolnick, Communications Coordinator, YWCA of Youngstown

The term “gender-based violence” is just three little words, but those three words encompass a lot.

They describe the experiences of the 15-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her own driveway, and forced into the sex trade.

They describe the death of a woman whose husband tortured her for 11 days and, released on bond, followed through on his threat to kill her.

They describe the rape of an unconscious college student who should have been safe on her campus.

Shining A Light on Girls’ Education

This past Tuesday, October 11, was International Day of the Girl, a day dedicated to celebrating and empowering girls around the world. To commemorate the day, the White House’s Let Girls Learn initiative and Glamour magazine hosted an incredible event to discuss the importance of empowerment and education (you can check out the video here). The event, featuring First Lady Michelle Obama, actress Yara Shahidi, and girls from all over the world, reminded us immediately of another remarkable Let Girls Learn event last month, when FLOTUS, Broadway stars, spouses of heads of state and government, and girls from a number of groups got together to highlight the importance of educating girls worldwide. A number of representatives from different local YWCAs had the opportunity to attend Broadway Shines A Light On Girls’ Education, including Mitzi Cierra Walker from YWCA Yonkers. Here, Mitzi shares her thoughts on the event:

When Back To School Feels Like Back To The Hunting Ground

helen-archontou-web-xs-11-13By Helen Archontou, Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Bergen County