RENEWING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT IS MAJOR STEP TOWARD CURBING ABUSE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC February 28, 2013
CONTACT: Alyssa Rosenthal
WOMEN'S AGENCY: RENEWING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT IS MAJOR STEP TOWARD CURBING ABUSE
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 -- Expanding the Domestic Violence Against Women Act to include grants for employment of abused women has made economic freedom a national domestic-abuse priority, the president of Second Chance Employment Services (SCES) said today.
"Including work-related grants is a national recognition that meaningful employment is vital to breaking the cycle of abuse," said Ludy Green, President & Founder of SCES. The House today passed an expanded renewal of the 1994 landmark law that created numerous protections for abused women, such as a hotline and shelters. The bill has cleared the House and Senate, and awaits President Obama's expected signature.
The measure's added emphasis on economic freedom for abused women stems from persistent advocacy in Congress by Green for the last 24 years. "Meaningful employment is now a national priority in the fight against domestic violence," Green said.
Thanks to the tireless advocacy of Dr. Ludy Green and Second Chance Employment Services, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill for the first time expands grant opportunities for nonprofits to provide employment placement and job training for female victims of violence. Section 602 of S. 47 would amend the Transitional Housing Assistance grant program to include "employment counseling, occupational training, job retention counseling, and counseling on re-entry in to the workforce" as activities eligible for federal grants.
The Senate included this language as an acknowledgment that employment is a key component of ending the cycle of violence and helping women who have been victimized rebuild their lives. It is a landmark change and will have a positive impact on female victims of violence.
Second Chance provides a national model for financial empowerment envisioned by the domestic violence act. SCES is America's only private nonprofit agency focusing on helping abused women around the U.S. gain meaningful career positions with full health benefits.
"Quality jobs that create financial independence form the lifeline that allows victimized women to permanentlyescape domestic abuse," Green said. More than 800 women have found career-track positions through Second Chance. SCES provides career counseling, interview training, meaningful employment through corporate partners, and continues into career tracking to ensure clients are meeting their career goals. Domestic abuse is a widespread and persistent crime, Green continued. The shaky economy has especially turned many households into powder kegs as residents grapple with difficult finances and often unemployment.
"The employment provision will dramatically raise public awareness of economic freedom as a vital means for women to permanently escape domestic violence," Green said. Frustration with the lack of employment services for abused women inspired the founding of Second Chance, she continued.
"I've seen too many women coming out of domestic violence shelters return to their abusers because they couldn't find a job that would support themselves and their children. There's a way out for women. They just need the resources to escape and grow to their full potential."
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