October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month, first declared in 1989, is a time to acknowledge the experiences of domestic and intimate partner violence survivors. It’s also an opportunity to examine how certain policies and structures contribute to this form of oppression, which often impacts women and gender-queer people.
In this week’s blog, we wanted to share some informative articles about domestic and intimate partner violence. From state policies that have made it easier to obtain guns to new laws that have banned abortion, we’ve witnessed systems compounding the harmful impacts of intimate partner and domestic violence on survivors, reproducing and amplifying harmful risk factors for continued or escalated violence, and exerting power to create additional barriers to survivors seeking help.
–Without abortion, advocates worry that abuse victims will be trapped (The Washington Post) – For years, sexual violence advocates have spoken about the necessity of abortion in order to center survivors who may want to terminate pregnancy from a rape or otherwise abusive partner. Upon the Jackson v. Dobbs ruling, which reversed Roe v. Wade, those personal stories poured out. This article talks about the expected rise in abuse many pregnant people already face and shares a few individual stories.
–The Shadows of the Constitution (NPR’s Throughline) – In this podcast episode, hosts Rund Abdelfatah and Ramtin Arablouei speak with Heidi Schreck, writer of What the Constitution Means to Me, a play about the ways the U.S. Constitution has enshrined important rights that no other nation had yet seen, but to this day fails to protect women particularly against violence.
–Bipartisan gun violence bill tightens the ‘boyfriend loophole’ — but doesn’t close it completely (The 19th) – This summer, shortly after the shocking massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, the U.S. Congress was able to pass a historic gun safety bill. Gun advocates cheered the progress, but many noted it is hardly a solution. The law does not entirely close the “boyfriend loophole” which was a way that many convicted domestic violence abusers could still obtain a firearm. According to the CDC more than half of women homicide victims are killed by intimate partners. This article explains why the loophole wasn’t eliminated and what needs to be done to tighten access to firearms for people with a disturbing past.
RALIANCE is a trusted adviser for organizations committed to building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful. RALIANCE offers unparalleled expertise in serving survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse which drives our mission to help organizations across sectors create inclusive environments for all. For more information, please visit www.RALIANCE.org.