Legislative advocacy is a unique and essential way we work to ensure the public policy landscape in WI is one that centers survivors and member programs across the state.
We mobilize advocates, survivors, and concerned individuals to make policy changes that will support survivors and help end root causes of domestic violence (DV). By maintaining relationships with state and federal legislators, we ensure that the concerns and wisdom of survivors informs policy decisions. Our advocacy has yielded broad social and legal reform over the past 35 years.
To see the public policy areas we prioritize and an overview of some of the underlying issues driving these focus areas, view our 2021-2023 Legislative Agenda.
OUR APPROACH TO PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCACY
This two-year agenda is informed by our Homicide Report, Housing Research Project, Family Law Study, ‘Moment of Truth’ Statement, and the feedback we received from advocates across WI, including responses to our annual survey and ongoing meetings held to further discuss housing and homelessness, economic justice, the criminal legal system, prevention, transformative justice, racial equity, and dismantling white supremacy. We incorporated feedback from survivors of violence who graciously shared their experiences with us.
In determining which legislative efforts to support or oppose during the legislative session, we consult with DV programs, survivors, coordinated community response teams, and other community members impacted by and working to address DV.
We are guided by these questions:
- Will this meet the needs of the last survivor?
- What effect will this have on the prevalence and severity of intimate partner violence?
- What are the consequences of implementation?
- Does this uphold or work to dismantle white supremacy culture?
- Does this address the harm/work to prevent harm from happening again?
- Is this accountability or punishment?
Our answers adopt an intersectional approach to address the needs of the most marginalized community member, the Last Survivor. Centering the realities and needs of the most marginalized survivors enables us to reach all survivors of violence and create an effective, sustainable movement toward ending DV and other forms of oppression. As stated by lawyer, civil rights advocate, and leading critical race theory scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw:
“Placing those most marginalized in the center is the most effective way to resist efforts to compartmentalize experiences and undermine collective action.”
Our goal of a world without violence will take collective effort. At End Abuse, we know that all systems of oppression are inextricably linked, and we will not achieve a world without violence until we are all free.
We must collaborate with, elevate the work of, and learn from those leading movement for: Black Liberation and BIPOC-centered gender justice; anti-capitalist labor rights and anti-poverty programs; humane immigration policies, decolonizing land practices and Indigenous sovereignty; disability rights; and environmental justice.
The information contained within this document is by no means comprehensive – it merely highlights some of the issues we prioritize as a coalition and represents the diverse needs and interests of survivors and their families. We encourage legislators, local DV programs, survivors, and others to contact us with potential legislative initiatives throughout the 2021-2023 session.