V-Victories and Action Steps
Victory in Kentucky!
The Kentucky Domestic Violence Association is proud to announce a victory for 2007 for incarcerated victims of domestic violence. In August 2007, KDVA was chosen as a pilot state for the V-Day's Until the Violence Stops: KY Festival to end violence against women and girls. During the festival, it is believed that over 1 million individuals across the state were exposed to the message that violence against women and girls can end. As part of the festival, an entire day was dedicated to victims of domestic violence who are incarcerated for defending their lives and in some cases the lives of their children from their abusers.
For 8 years KDVA has been advocating for the release of several incarcerated women who were serving time for killing their abusers. In 2003, KDVA and the Department of Public Advocacy petitioned outgoing Governor Paul Patton for the pardons of 13 women. These requests were never reviewed and several of the women remained behind bars. In spite of the disappointment, KDVA has continued to give support to the remaining women, as well as identify other women who are incarcerated under the same circumstances.
On November 19, 2007, KDVA and the Department of Public Advocacy reissued pardon petitions for the remaining women. On December 10, 2007, justice finally emerged as Governor Ernie Fletcher granted commutations of sentences and full pardons for over 17 women. Additionally, he gave an executive order for 4 of the other women to appear before the Kentucky parole board for a chance for early parole. Included in the full pardons were a group of survivors who received commutations of their sentences in 1996 from then Governor Brereton Jones.
Through the hard work of incarcerated survivors, advocates and attorneys over the last 11 years and the combined efforts of the 2007 V-Day Until the Violence Stops: KY Festival a difference has been made in the lives of domestic violence victims in Kentucky. Because of this victory in Kentucky, hope has been restored and we move one step closer to seeing an end to violence against women and girls and justice for those who have been denied.
Advance Legislation That Will Reduce Violence Aimed At Women And Girls
Introduced by Senator Biden and Senator Lugar on October 31, 2007, the International Violence Against Women Act (S. 2279) is a historic and unprecedented effort by the United States to address violence against women globally. The law would make ending violence against women a diplomatic priority for the United States and create the first high-level position in the U.S. Department of State to coordinate efforts to combat violence against women. It will also make sure that the U.S. is able to develop emergency measures in a timely fashion to respond to critical outbreaks of violence against women, such as to address the mass rapes in the armed conflict in the Congo.
The Act recommends allocating more than $1 billion over 5 years in U.S. assistance to support international programs that prevent and respond to violence, including health programs and survivor services, legal reform, public awareness campaigns, women's economic opportunity projects and education, and activities to better address violence against women in humanitarian situations.
The inspiring thing about this legislation is that it incorporates training, protection, and services for women across a range of situations, from the fight against HIV-AIDS, to school and health clinics, to court systems, to workplaces, to refugee camps. It also supports the efforts of local women's groups overseas that are already working to end violence against women in their countries.
Call your Senator today, and tell him or her that you want them to sign on as co-sponsors of this bill, S.2279. It's simple:
- Call 202-224-3121 and ask for the office of your Senator. (If you don't know who they are, you can find out at www.senate.gov.)
- Tell their office that you are a constituent, and you care about the well being of women and girls around the world.
- Urge them to cosponsor S. 2279, International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).
- If you feel so moved, share one reason why this issue matters so much to you.
One easy phone call can help bring safety, security, and new options in life to women and girls worldwide.
If you prefer to email, go to http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/How_to_contact_senators.htm
You can use the same easy steps outlined above. A short letter is fine.
For more information about I-VAWA (S. 2279), please visit:
Women's Edge Coalition
V TO THE TENTH
Don't forget, tickets are now on sale for V TO THE TENTH, April 12, 2008 at the New Orleans Arena!
Join Salma Hayek, Oprah Winfrey, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Hudson, Glenn Close, Julia Stiles, Ashley Judd, Marisa Tomei, Calpernia Addams, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington, Ellen Degeneres, and musicians Joss Stone, Common, Eve, Charmaine Neville and more *
Tickets from $25-$1000 are on sale now AND ARE THE PERFECT GIFT FOR YOUR LOVED ONES AND FRIENDS. Visit www.vday.org/tickets