The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence joined Senator Richard Blumenthal and fellow anti-violence agencies outside the Capitol building in late December to highlight the impending vote on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Woman Act (VAWA).
“We’re really excited about the amount of funding that’s going to be going into prevention,” said Director of Policy and Public Relations Lucy Nolan. We know if we can teach people about sexual violence…bystander prevention… we can end, or put a really good stomp to it. That’s why funding in colleges and schools is critical, and this bill has that in it,” said Lucy Nolan, Director of Policy and Public Relations at the Alliance.
The bipartisan reauthorization supports survivors of sexual violence (and domestic violence) with significant funding for the prevention of sexual assault, increasing trauma response by law enforcement to victims of sexual violence while offering opportunities for restorative justice for victims, and increasing housing opportunities for survivors who leave their homes due to their domestic or sexual violence.
“There’s a real need for housing for domestic violence survivors, but also for survivors of sexual violence. People may be living in an apartment, a house and it’s a neighbor who’s assaulting them and they have to leave, but they often don’t have any place to go,” Nolan said. “We know that twenty-five percent of people who are homeless have been sexually assaulted. It’s really critical that this funding is in there.”
Blumenthal championed the multi-pronged benefits the reauthorization would bring to the state. “As important as the money is the awareness and education that it will help create. People need to know and people need to avoid denial. All too often people are in denial…even among their neighbors, among their families, and in their own homes. This measure will provide millions of dollars in money, but it will also raise awareness.
The Alliance was joined by representatives of several other ant-violence agencies including the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Safe Futures Connecticut and Interval House Connecticut.
“We’re really hopeful and we’re really happy that this money is coming into the state. We’ll continue to work with our great partners CCADV and Senator Blumenthal to make sure it gets passed.” Nolan said.