Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘legislation

This past Tuesday, Virginia Representative Tom Perriello introduced the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (Campus SaVE Act).  This act will majorly revamp the Campus Sexual Assault Victim’s Bill of Rights and is a much needed update to federal policy.  The Campus SaVE Act will be a step closer to more comprehensive guidelines for universities when responding to sexual violence.

The Campus SaVE Act will:

  • Expands the list of offenses that must be covered in a campus sexual assault policy to include “sex offenses and other intimate partner violence, including stalking, dating violence, sexual violence, and domestic violence offenses.”
  • Mandates primary prevention programming that includes defining consent and bystander intervention training (!!!) and awareness education that includes instructions for how to report offenses that occur on OR off campus
  • States that victims will be provided with full explanations of their options for health, mental health, and legal resources both on and off campus, as well as their right to involve local police or campus security AND how they can obtain a restraining order/order of protection/no contact order.
  • Requires that all disciplinary proceedings must be “conducted by officials trained to understand the issues of sex offenses and other intimate partner violence.”

While there are still a lot of steps that could be taken by the federal government and by individual universities, the Campus SaVE Act is an exciting piece of legislation that will be a step in the right direction.  I’m particularly excited about the mandated bystander intervention.  Bystander intervention training will definitely help stop sexual violence on college campuses, especially if students receive this training during their first semester of their freshman year.

I am particularly excited about this piece of legislation.  During my internship at a sexual assault awareness center, I have been working a lot with the University’s sexual assault policy.  Doing this work has definitely opened my eyes to the work that still needs to be done.

You should check out the full text of the bill and become educated about the issue.  Then you can contact your representative about the importance of this bill.

*Most of this information is taken from the SAFER Campus Blog.

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There have been a lot of really great posts over the past couple of days.  And thanks to my brand new iPhone (yes, I’m officially addicted), I can more easily manage the number of posts that come into my Google Reader.  Here are some of my favorites of the past couple days.  As always, don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing/reading!

Another Way Language Excludes People [Small Strokes] – feminists often think about how the language that they use is exclusionary.  But the use of English in relation to non-English speakers is not often commented on with the same kind of concern.

How to Mess Up [this ain’t livin’] – everyone makes mistakes.  But there’s a right way to go about doing that.

The details of your abortion online? [Salon Broadsheet] – there is a new Oklahoma law that posts the details of every abortion performed in the state to be put on a public website.

This language comes directly from the Planned Parenthood webiste, as they do a great job at explaining the issue and the urgency of it!

Right now, the Republican leadership on the Senate Finance Committee is demanding health care reform language that will take away access to women’s comprehensive reproductive health services. Our leaders should be focused on expanding health care coverage, not talking about taking benefits away from women.

The proposed language demanded will result in a drastic change to the benefits that many of us have now; and, of course, the hundreds of thousands of women who are not covered now will still be left out in the cold.

If you live in any of the following states: AZ, AR, DE, FL, ID, IA, KS, KY, ME, MA, MI, MT, NV, NJ, NM, NY, ND, OR, TX, UT, WA, WV, WY, contact the Senate Finance Committee here.

If you don’t live in one of those states, you can sign Planned Parenthood’s Health Care Reform Petition and receive reproductive health care updates in your state here.

This is such an important issue. Even right now women’s access to reproductive health care is severely limited and Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee want to limit our access even more. We cannot let this happen!!

Girl With Pen wrote a post today on the need for paid sick leave for both American workers and employers. The Center for Economic and Policy Research recently published a report titled “Contagion Nation: A Comparison of Paid Sick Day Policies in 22 Countries.” This report found that the U.S. is the only one of these 22 countries that does not require paid sick days or leave for employees. As a result,

each year millions of American workers go to work sick, lowering productivity and potentially spreading illness to their coworkers and customers.

The CEPR then published a follow-up report titled “Paid Sicks Days Don’t Cause Unemployment.” As you can tell from the title, requiring employers to provide paid sick days does not cause an increase in unemployment. In “Contagion Nation,” the authors state,

A substantial body of research has shown that in addition to the obvious health and economic costs imposed on employees by the lack of paid sick days or leave, significant costs result as well for employers. Workers who go to work while sick stay sick longer, lower their productivity as well as that of their coworkers, and can spread their illnesses to coworkers and customers.

As you can see from this research, there is a need for paid sick days and not a whole lot of threat of unemployment.

The Healthy Families Act, which is currently in the House of Representatives, would require companies with more than 15 employees to provide seven paid sick days. I think that this is an important piece of legislation because it will not only help American workers, but it will have a great impact on the lives of working women. This act allows paid sick leave if you are sick, to care for an ill family member, or to seek domestic violence services. Women are usually the ones who are burdened with caring for ill family members and to be affected by domestic violence.

I recently wrote my representative, Hon. Vern Ehlers (cough…Republican…cough), to urge him to work towards passing this act, for the reasons I’ve mentioned above. His response: “I recognize the value of paid sick leave, but am concerned about the potential impact of this legislation of small businesses.”
After reading this post from Girl With Pen and learning about the reports from the CEPR, I am considering writing to him again with more evidence to my point. I urge you to write your representatives. NOW has some more information on the act and a sample letter to send to your representative.


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