Nevada Women’s Lobby (NWL) works with legislators and partners in Nevada to strengthen laws that protect women and children experiencing violence. This includes keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals who are prohibited from having guns and supporting efforts to improve services to victims of violence and their families. NWL also focuses heavily on the intersection of poverty and violence against women and children.
Firearms and Violence
Nevada has the fifth highest rate among U.S. states for women being killed by men. Over half of these homicides are committed with firearms and children often fall victim either as witnesses or as targets for violence.
NWL is committed to efforts that prevent these unacceptable tragedies. This includes supporting background checks for all gun sales and requiring that those prohibited from possessing firearms surrender their guns. Our work in this area is focused on support for removing guns and access from dangerous people and not about restricting law abiding citizens or challenging the second amendment. The Lobby most recently advocated on these issues in the 2015 legislative session and will maintain this activity as we approach the 2017 session.
Poverty and Violence
Violence against women and families is not confined to a certain class of people. It crosses all socioeconomic, racial and cultural boundaries. Victims of violence in poverty; however, do face unique and often tragic barriers. Violence can and does lead to poverty for women and families and this in turn makes it difficult to end the cycle of violence.
Victims of domestic violence, for example, are often trapped in abusive situations due to a lack of financial resources. A common tactic of abusive partners is to slowly and methodically isolate victims and make them completely financially dependent on the abuser. The victim then must decide to leave their partner and have no financial support for housing, legal/custody issues and safety or stay with their partner and sustain the abuse. Programs in Nevada make every effort to support survivors in this situation but domestic violence continues to be one of the main causes of homelessness for women and families. Victims of sexual violence face similar barriers. Those employed in minimum wage jobs do not have the necessary economic security to maintain their safety. A lack of paid sick leave and access to transportation also discourages all victims of violence from seeking medical care and inhibits their ability to receive counseling services or attend court.
NWL continues to support and advocate for legislation to mandate sick leave for victims of violence, increase the minimum wage for all workers and expand services to victims. Ensuring equality for women in Nevada is key to increasing the financial resources necessary for women and families to leave violent situations without facing poverty.