From the Executive Director’s Desk: What Survivors Need After This Election

American flag waving in front of the White House

Hello readers – no matter how you voted on Election Day, it seems safe to say that this has been an incredibly stressful period for the entire country. Though officials continue to count the votes, much important work lies ahead. I’m turning my attention to the next presidential term and how the White House can support survivors during the pandemic.

Though COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the country, the White House and Congress have failed to negotiate a second pandemic relief legislation. Sexual violence survivors and those who support them have already waited far too long for additional support during this challenging time for our country.

If there’s an opportunity to negotiate legislation during the between Election Day and the presidential inauguration in January, programs for survivors are in desperate need of funding, as demand for their services has risen during the pandemic. For more detailed information on how the pandemic has impacted survivor programs, check out this blog featuring expertise from RALIANCE Policy Director Terri Poore.

Today, I want to highlight a few areas that impact survivors and need particularly urgent funding, which I hope Congress can focus on first:  

Basic needs: As survivors lose access to income and stable housing during the pandemic, programs need funding to support their ability to pay for basic needs such food and rent.

Technology: The pandemic prevents many survivors from seeking support in person, and access to the necessary technology would enable them to connect virtually. Providing funding for cell phones, internet and other equipment and platforms can help programs provide survivors with support they need.

Vulnerable populations: All survivors have been negatively impacted by the pandemic, but survivors who are immigrants, homeless, or from communities of color are especially vulnerable. Funding specifically aimed at meeting their needs could help close a significant disparity in access to support, both during the pandemic and beyond.

Further delaying legislation will only exacerbate the pandemic’s negative impact on survivors. To prevent this delay, voters can contact their elected representatives and advocate for legislation that meets survivors’ needs.

RALIANCE provides consulting, assessment, and employee development services to help build more equitable workplace cultures and create environments free from sexual harassment, misconduct and abuse. We stand ready to support your organization’s goals – contact us today at [email protected] to get started.

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