Nydia Velázquez Aims to Help Quell Domestic Violence
Women make up the fastest growing group of veterans. This advancement, however, has also led to an increase in sexual assault and harassment for female service members both during their time in the armed services and after. It is estimated that one-third of female veterans experience domestic violence compared with less than a quarter of civilian women. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) on Wednesday unveiled legislation aimed to address this issue. The Violence Against Women Veterans Act would establish local domestic and sexual violence outreach coordinators under the VA, who would be tasked with helping veterans utilize existing service providers. Second, it would codify the current VA Task Force on Domestic Violence and direct it to establish a comprehensive national program to prevent and treat intimate partner violence. Finally, Velázquez’s bill would fill an existing lack of data by directing the VA to complete a national study on the prevalence and causes of domestic violence among veterans. “Confronting domestic violence is extremely difficult, but no survivor should ever be made to feel alone in the process of standing up to her or his abuser,” said Velázquez. “Drawing attention to the need for comprehensive reforms in the way our institutions handle domestic violence ought to be a priority not just this month, but every month.” October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More here.