OAESV works with its Survivor Advisory Council and local rape crisis centers to develop long-and short-term public policy objectives. OAESV staff then develop and implement strategies to support the passage of laws and budget resolutions necessary to achieve those objectives. In 2018 and 2019, OAESV staff provided testimony to the Ohio Legislature on a number of bills and held numerous legislative meetings in order to gain support for an increase to the Rape Crisis Centers Line Item in the Ohio Operating Budget.
OAESV Notice & Comment Period Response to Proposed Federal Rules on Appellate Procedures and Decisional Finality in Immigration Proceedings
OAESV’s core mission and values lead to our utmost opposition to this proposed rule – the latest in a series of efforts to put boundaries between individuals with immigration court matters and due process. This proposed rule makes the already burdensome and dangerous task of navigating immigration court systems to plead their case an even more potentially fatal endeavor. Specifically, survivors of sexual and domestic violence and human trafficking will, as a result of increasing barriers and this proposed rule, likely find their case denied. This is particularly likely when survivors are unrepresented – and just about 37% of immigrants are represented in removal proceedings, and 86% of immigrants in detention facilities went unrepresented.3 It is exceedingly difficult for respondents without counsel to navigate the enormous complexity of the U.S. immigration system. As survivors whose cases have been denied are often deported back to extremely dangerous, even life-threatening, situations, it is crucial that immigration court proceedings provide all immigrants with every opportunity to have their fair day in court.
OAESV Notice & Comment Period Response to Proposed Federal Rule Reducing Asylum Access
On June 15th, 2020, the Federal Executive Branch proposed sweeping changes to the U.S. asylum system that would make it nearly impossible for people fleeing persecution to obtain protection in the United States, including effectively eliminating access for sexual violence survivors.
Despite the pandemic, the government provided the shortest possible Notice & Comment Period available, leaving stakeholders just 30 days to process and respond to the proposed rule. OAESV’s comment objected both to substantive provisions impacting sexual violence survivors and the mere 30-day window to respond. We believe that survivors must have access to safe and that stakeholders must be able to participate in democratic processes, such as administrative rulemaking, through appropriately paced response periods.
Sexual Violence in Ohio: OAESV’s Legislative Newsletter
Interested in our legislative work? Click here to read our legislative newsletters! These are sent to Ohio lawmakers in an effort to keep them up-to-date on any federal legislation impacting survivors, our statewide priorities, and any events and updates we have.
OAESV Thanks to the Ohio House & Senate for Increased Rape Crisis Services Funding
We want to extend a very special “thank you” to the Ohio House & Senate for approving the increased budget for the Ohio Rape Crisis Centers line item (“Line Item”), from $1.5 million per fiscal year to $4.75 million per fiscal year.
This increase was necessary in order to position Ohio’s 31 rape crisis programs to expand services to cover all 88 counties. This increase will change the landscape of rape crisis services in our state and will positively impact the lives of thousands of Ohioans.
Before 2014, Ohio survivors could access rape crisis services in less than half of Ohio’s 88 counties. Programs serving these counties operated heavily on federal grants, and the vast majority of federal grants restricted funding to the creation or maintenance of new positions and heavily regulate the tasks those grants will support. This left Ohio rape crisis programs without a dependable funding stream to cover costs associated with keeping their doors open.
To expand service accessibility across counties, and to increase the financial stability of Ohio’s existing rape crisis programs, OAESV worked diligently with Ohio legislators and the Attorney General’s office to create the Ohio Rape Crisis Centers budget line item. Under the Line Item, programs that meet the Core Standards are eligible for unrestricted funds. The Line Item’s positive impact has been swift and powerful. For instance, many programs have been able to extend their services to cover additional counties, increase employment, and create prevention programming.
As counties providing services have increased since 2014, so have reports of sexual violence to law enforcement. This is just one way that the Line Item has demonstrated a tangible and impressive impact since it was first introduced.
Now, the increased demand for survivor services and prevention work will further be met with this extremely impactful increase in Line Item funds. We are so thankful that the Ohio legislature and the Ohio Attorney General’s office have made this decision to support survivors in Ohio and the advocates who serve them and to help put an end to sexual violence in our state.
Download OAESV’s Ohio Rape Crisis Line Item Call to Action Toolkit HERE.