The issue of domestic violence has received a lot of attention in recent weeks, in large part due to the Ray Rice case. Millions of Americans saw the graphic video depicting the type of violence against an intimate partner that usually occurs only behind closed doors. That case has brought home to many across the country a fact that domestic violence prevention advocates confront every day: domestic violence remains prevalent in the United States. While violent crime in this country has steadily declined over the past two decades, a significant proportion of the violence that remains occurs in the context of domestic or intimate partner violence, a burden that overwhelmingly falls on women. Although women are murdered less frequently than men, they are much more likely to be killed by domestic or intimate partners than men are. From 2001 to 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the U.S. by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entirety of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
by Amberlie Phillips Chief Development Officer, YWCA Utah
The YWCA USA conference a few weeks ago was full of inspiring speakers, great networking, and wonderful educational opportunities. I learned so much during each portion of the conference – from watching my CEO and a YWCA USA Board Member gracefully navigate an advocacy day meeting with an unsympathetic legislator, to getting insights into how different generations approach their philanthropy. It was three days of reinvigorating immersion into the power of persimmon!
By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate for Economic Empowerment
It’s that time of year again: Congress and the White House are producing federal budget proposals. The President, and House Republican and Democratic committees, have all released their budgets. Senate proposals from each party will likely come out later this month. Appropriators are working to allot funds to various budget lines.
Our job as advocates is to remind legislators to pass a fair and responsible budget that protects women and families. Here are three questions to ask when interpreting the federal budget and advocating for what women and children need the most:
By Danielle Marse-Kapr Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate, Economic Empowerment
Every year that Congress fails to increase the federal minimum wage, the value of the minimum wage declines considerably, driving more families into poverty. This is why it’s critical that the Senate brings the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 2223) to a vote today and passes the bill!
By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA
What does the YWCA want the most this holiday season? We’re got five things we’re hoping for — policy decisions that will help empower women, reform that will truly support racial equality, and your continued support for our local associations who are working hard in communities all over the country.
1. Although there have been considerable setbacks, passing comprehensive immigration reform that protects women and keeps families together is still possible, and there are still many activists who are continuing to beat the drum for a vote. We’d like to make sure that the momentum isn’t lost by next year, and that there’s a real chance for reform in 2014.
By Rachel Libelo Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator, YWCA Greater Baltimore
To end the government shutdown, Congress will have to pass a Continuing Resolution that extends funding levels from the last fiscal year long enough to agree on what the funding levels for this upcoming year should be. During these negotiations, one of the spending bills in question will be the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) bill, which includes funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other programs that support services for people struggling with poverty and homelessness. Countless organizations across the country rely on CDBG funds to provide lifesaving services such as emergency and transitional housing for homeless families, economic assistance programs, and services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The spectacle to defund, replace, repeal or halt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues in Congress.
Even though House leadership has now voted 42 times to repeal or otherwise undermine Obamacare, they are at it again. In a ping-pong style match, the House and Senate have come to an impasse over efforts to defund and delay the ACA, resulting in a government shutdown that went into effect at midnight last night. The last shutdown, which occurred during the Clinton administration more than 17 years ago, comprised a total of 28 days and cost the nation more than $1 billion, according to congressional researchers. This one, depending how long it lasts, could have huge costs, both economically and otherwise.
As the looming Congressional fight over government spending approaches, the YWCA will continue to advocate for policies and bills like SNAP that will support women and their families. We hope you’ll join us!
1. More and more Americans are turning to food stamps each day, despite the economic recovery.