Violence Free Colorado gives survivors of domestic violence a voice, from the state Capitol to Capitol Hill.
HB18-1398: Concerning The Statute Of Limitations For Commencing A Civil Action In Tort To Recover Damages For An Act Of Domestic Violence
Adult victims of domestic violence who wish to bring a civil lawsuit against their abusers are hindered by the current statute of limitations (SOL) which is currently only one year. Not every victim will choose to pursue a civil lawsuit; however, for those that do, a reasonable timeframe for bringing a civil action provides victims a more realistic remedy to address the devastating financial consequences of domestic violence.
Paid leave and family friendly work practices can help prevent domestic violence
Violence Free Colorado recognizes HB18-1001 as a measure of primary prevention for domestic violence, and supports the creation of economic supports for families.
Domestic violence victims need time off work to recover from experiencing abuse and could qualify for FMLA time to recover from injuries, and seek advocacy and counseling. However, most victims cannot self-finance time off work and may not have access to paid time off if they are able to remain employed.1
Paid leave is well researched and recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as a protective factor, or primary prevention measure, against domestic violence victimization as it limits financial stress for families and keeps women in the workforce after the birth of a child.2,3,4,5
Confidentiality is crucial for domestic violence Survivors and medical patients
Violence Free Colorado is working in concert with other stakeholders to clarify confidentiality protections as found in HIPPA and other protections for Survivors privacy rights during their interactions with medical insurance carriers.6 Currently, an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is sent directly to the policy holder and not directly to the patient who received medical services. This creates a gap in confidently and privacy that has proven deadly to Survivors in accessing care. If a Survivor cannot access healthcare confidentiality, they are likely to not seek care due to fear of retaliation by their perpetrators.7
In addition to working on these priority bills, Violence Free Colorado works on dozens of other bills that directly or indirectly affect survivors of domestic violence and their children, as well as the domestic violence shelters and programs that assist them. These bills involved a variety of issues that touch every aspect of the lives of domestic violence survivors and their children, including rights of crime victims, human trafficking, firearms, access to justice in the civil legal system, offender payment of victim restitution and surcharges that support victim services, criminal justice system charges and process, immigration, and children and youth, for example. Our policy advocacy efforts are geared towards ensuring safety and justice for domestic violence survivors and enhanced accountability for offenders.
For more information about our current policy work, email lwaligorski(at)violencefreeco.org or sign up to receive action alerts and the most current information on Violence Free Colorado’s policy efforts, or for information about joining Violence Free Colorado’s Public Policy Committee.
2 Wilkins, N., Tsao, B., Hertz, M., Davis, R., Klevens, J. (2014). Connecting the Dots: An Overview of the Links Among Multiple Forms of Violence. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Oakland, CA: Prevention Institute.
3 Hartmann, H., Hayes, J., & Clark J. (2014). How equal pay for working women would reduce poverty and grow the American economy. Washington, D.C.: Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Briefing paper (IWPR #C411). Retrieved July 2016 from http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/how-equal-pay-for-working-women-wouldreduce-poverty-and-grow-the-american-economy.
4 Waldfogel, J. (1997). Working mothers then and now: a cross-cohort analysis of the effects of maternity leave on women’s pay. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, New Orleans, LA. 140. Chatterji, P., & Markowitz, S. (2005). Does the length of maternity leave affect maternal health? Southern Economic Journal, 72(1), 16-41. 141.
5 Gartland, D., Hemphill, S. A., Hegarty, K., & Brown, S. J. (2011). Intimate partner violence during pregnancy and the first year postpartum in an Australian pregnancy cohort study. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 15(5), 570-578.