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2017 RICADV's Policy Priorities

RICADV's Priority: Building Healthy Families and Safe Communities in Rhode Island
by

RICADV RICADV

on 29 March 2017

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Transcript of 2017 RICADV's Policy Priorities

S0010 McCaffrey / H5064 Craven
Building Healthy Families and Safe Communities in Rhode Island
H5510 Tanzi / S405 Metts
His gun was always around -
on the dining room table, in our bedroom. He used the gun to threaten me every day.
-
Survivor

He took naked pictures of me, then he threatened to make them public if I didn’t do what he wanted.
-
Survivor
S0340 Nesselbush
For two years, I had to look over my shoulder. He left me no way out. He showed up at my work, at my home, at the beach. He terrorized me for more than 2 years.
-
Survivor

My abuser has been arrested several times for strangulation and assault, but the charges are always dismissed. I'm terrified.
-
Survivor

I lost several jobs because of the abuse. Many times, instead of going to the hospital to treat my injuries, I would go to work so I would not be fired.
-
Survivor
S0290 Goodwin / H5413 Regunberg
Even though I left 10 years ago, my children are still suffering from the abuse they witnessed.
-
Survivor
H5452 Shekarchi
Together, we can end domestic violence.

To learn more, visit www.ricadv.org
To find your elected officials, visit:
www.vote.sos.ri.gov
Electronically disseminating private sexual images is a
knowing violation of privacy
, one of the basic human rights.
This practice causes immediate, devastating, and potentially
irreversible harm
.
Victims can become
fearful
of going out in public and suffer PTSD and depression. Some have even committed suicide.
When a firearm is present, the risk of homicide for women is
five times greater
.
If the perpetrator has threatened the victim or their children with the firearm, the risk is
20 times greater
.
Twenty-seven states plus D.C. prohibit people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from having guns.
Rhode Island is not one of them.
58,000 women in RI
have experienced stalking.
76% of domestic violence homicide victims were stalked
by the perpetrator before their murder.
The current law from the 90s is outdated and resulted in only
29 prosecutions
between 2010-2015.
There are over
5,000
domestic violence arrests each year in Rhode Island.
Certain
risk factors
show when an abuser may escalate to homicide: repeated violence, stalking behavior, possession of a gun, specific threats, strangulation, etc.
The domestic violence homicide rate was
reduced by 34%
in the first five years of implementing a lethality risk screen in Maryland.
Loss of financial stability is a prominent reason that victims are
unable to leave an abusive relationship
.
Two in five Rhode Islanders - or nearly 170,000 people -
lack paid sick and safe days
. The majority of these individuals are low-income workers.
31 cities and seven states
have already passed earned sick days policies, providing protections for their residents.
An estimated
10 million U.S. children witness domestic violence
each year.
In 2014, children were present for
1,856 domestic violence arrests
in Rhode Island.
Children who witness domestic violence are at increased risk for alcoholism, substance abuse, depression, PTSD, and serious health problems.
During the 2017 Legislative Session, the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence is supporting bills that provide
practical solutions
to build
healthy, safe families

and
communities
, and protect Rhode Islanders'
basic human rights
.

These bills address multiple forms of abuse,
making our communities safer for all.
Input from survivors influence the RICADV's Policy Team as we make decisions about which bills are important to support.

The strong voices of survivors connect us all to the work.
Revenge Porn is a tactic abusers often use to control their victims.
RICADV Legislative Priority:
Prohibiting Revenge Porn
This act would prohibit a person from electronically disseminating sexually explicit images of another without their consent.
RICADV Legislative Priority:
Disarming Dangerous Abusers
This act would prohibit any person under a final protective order or convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor from possessing any firearm.
A firearm can be the determining factor in whether or not an abuser’s attack becomes deadly.
Stalking is one of the most dangerous risk factors for future homicide.
RICADV Legislative Priority:
Updating the Felony Stalking Law
This act would update Rhode Island's stalking law to better protect victims.
RICADV Legislative Priority:
Requiring Lethality Risk Assessments
This bill would implement risk assessments at arraignment in order to identify and intervene
in the most dangerous cases before they
turn deadly.
RICADV Legislative Priority:
Guaranteeing Earned Sick and Safe Days
This act would provide a minimum of seven paid sick and safe days to all Rhode Islanders, including time to address issues related to domestic violence.
This act would expand the Crime Victim Compensation Program to cover the cost of counseling for any child who has witnessed a homicide or a domestic violence incident.
RICADV Legislative Priority:
Expanding Crime Victim Compensation
for Children Who Witness
Victims are often trapped by having to choose between work and safety.
Children who witness domestic violence suffer many negative outcomes during their childhood and for the rest of their lives.
Failure to address patterns of abuse can lead to increased risk of homicide.
Full transcript