The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (The Alliance) is the voice in Washington for the 56 state and territorial sexual assault coalitions and 1300 rape crisis centers working to end sexual violence and support survivors. Local rape crisis centers see every day how widespread and devastating sexual assault is to victims and how vital comprehensive survivor services and prevention initiatives are to addressing and ending sexual violence. We offer this proposed platform language to ensure these critical issues are addressed.
WHEREAS, more than 1 in 3 women have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime , 1 in 5 women and 1 in 77 men have experienced rape in their lifetime ; 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault while in college; and most victims experience sexual assault or intimate partner violence for the first time before age 25;
WHEREAS, Sexual abuse has a negative impact on children’s educational attainment , later job performance , and earnings yet victims receiving advocate-assisted services following assaults receive more helpful information, referrals, and services and experience less secondary trauma or re-victimization by medical and legal systems.
WHEREAS, the nation’s 1,300 sexual assault programs often lack the resources to meet victims’ most basic needs, and attention to campus and military sexual assault as well as high profile cases has meant more victims have come forward needing recovery services.
WHEREAS, the national focus on campus and military sexual assault as well as high profile cases of sexual violence in the media have increased the need for comprehensive community responses to sexual violence but have also increased the demand for prevention programs beyond providers’ capacity.
WHEREAS, a 2015 survey by the Alliance found:
• Over 1/3 of rape crisis centers were forced to reduce staffing because of funding levels.
• Almost one-half of rape crisis centers have a waiting list for counseling services.
• Waiting lists for counseling were reported as high as 100 survivors with wait times as long as 3 months before a first appointment.
• Almost half of rape crisis centers had to decrease the number of prevention education services due to insufficient funding; and
• Over 1/3 of programs had a waiting list for preventing programming.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we support full funding for programs that support comprehensive national, state and local responses to sexual assault focused on survivor services and prevention initiatives including full funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) especially the Sexual Assault Services Program and the Rape Prevention and Education Program and measures to ensure that the federal fines and penalties collected under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) actually reach the victims they are intended to help.
Please contact Terri Poore, NAESV Policy Director, at email@example.com for further information or with questions