This policy work supports one of NEAT’s guiding principles to have an expanded social justice lens -- examining issues that intersect with the LGBTQ+ community even if they don’t only affect it. We call this the big “J” version of Justice and want our members to learn more about this ally aspect of the organization.
In October, we focused on the great work of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. NEAT worked to sign on to a letter to all U.S. Senators asking them to “move quickly and decisively to pass H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act of 2019” which had already passed the House of Representatives with strong bipartisan support.
Domestic violence awareness, prevention, and treatment have a tremendous impact on the LGBTQ+ community. According to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 48.3% of lesbians, 61.1% of bisexual women, 37.3% of bisexual men, and 26% of gay men experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking from an intimate partner. This is compared to 35% of heterosexual women and 29% of heterosexual men who experience the same issues.
Among other things, H.R.1585 substantively increases funding for the Rape Prevention & Education Program to address skyrocketing demand, improves enforcement of current federal domestic violence-related firearms laws, strengthens public housing protections for those seeking housing transfers based on safety concerns, and improves health care services and trauma informed responses to better prepare incarcerated women to return to their communities. Therefore, NEAT was proud to support H.R. 1585.