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Supporting critical thinking, learning and victim-defined advocacy...
“ Some of the people that hold those positions (government assistance)…they are gatekeepers. They make judgments based on what they see of you. So if you come in maybe you don’t have anyone to take care of your kids. They make a judgment then. They ask, “Why didn’t you come in by yourself? ” — African American Victim From Center for Family Policy and Practice Listening Sessions, 2009
Victim-defined systemic advocacy implication
Victims need money to be safe. Systemic domestic violence advocacy must include financial issues and needs.
Include victim financial impact in domestic violence policy analysis: Will the policy increase or decrease the victim’s financial options and resources? Will the policy increase or decrease her financial independence from a partner who abuses? Note that the impact on the victim might be caused by a policy directed toward her partner.
Analyze the domestic violence impact of financial policies: How might the policy affect victims? Will it increase/decrease the violence and control of a partner, ex-partner?
Advocate for policies, programs, and funding that will improve the financial stability of victims and their children: To be safe, victims need employment or other means to provide for a home, food, electric, transportation, clothes, health care, education for their children, and other essentials.
Include the particular needs of victims living in poverty in analysis and advocacy: How will the policy affect victims living in poverty? What do they need to be safe? Do government programs for the poor accessible to all victims of family violence? How might they better support safety? Do anti-poverty programs and services respond effectively to domestic violence issues? Keep in mind that improving the resources and financial opportunity for a partner/ex-partner who batters may also benefit a victim and her children.
Collaborate with programs that offer resources or assistance on financial issues: Integrate the needs and perspectives of victims into the policy analysis and advocacy around improving financial opportunity and stability, particularly for those living in poverty. In turn, access financial issues expertize to integrate financial capacity building opportunities and resources in the policies regarding domestic violence. Potential collaborations may be found in the following kinds of programs: anti-poverty, local, state, and federal government benefits, housing/homelessness, health care, asset building, economic development, financial literacy, employment/job training, faith based, and energy assistance.
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