All text below the line is from the BARCC website. I encourage you to contact your congresscritters! Violent crimes increase in times of economic instability. We need our funding now more than ever.
Please join us on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 10:30 am for a rally on at the Massachusetts State House in Boston. Show your support for the important work of rape crisis centers and domestic violence agencies. For more information go to www.janedoe.org.
Bills currently pending in the Massachusetts State House:
Please write or call your legislators to tell them that you support these bills. Find your Massachusetts state representatives: http://www.mass.gov/legis/city_town.htm
Budget for FY 2010
The Governor has proposed that rape crisis centers receive level funding in FY 2010. The State legislature is now reviewing his budget. In these difficult financial times, it is important that legislators understand the importance of continuing to, at a minimum, level fund rape crisis centers. Please let your state legislator know why you care about rape crisis centers by sending them a letter or calling them today. Click here (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/Budget_advocacy_form_letter.doc) for a sample letter you can send to your legislator.
An Act Relative to Sexual Assault and Stalking Restraining Orders (SB161)
This bill would provide a crucial legal protection for survivors worried about their safety after a sexual assault or while being stalked. The majority of survivors of sexual assault and stalking know their perpetrators but are not related to or in a dating relationship with them. This bill would allow sexual assault and stalking survivors to obtain a criminally enforceable protection order against their assailant or stalker even if they are not family or have ever been in a dating relationship. Read the full bill (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/SASRO.pdf) and an editorial (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/boston_globe_SASRO.pdf) that appeared in the Boston Globe to learn more about this issue. Click here (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/SASRO_advocacy_form_letter.doc) for a sample letter you can send to your legislator.
An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes (HB1728)
This bill will include gender identity and expression in the state's non-discrimination statute and will amend existing hate crime laws to explicitly protect people targeted for violence and harassment. Transgender and gender non-conforming persons face higher levels of violence than the general population, including sexual violence. Legislation which would create anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws are the first step towards ending this violence. Read the full bill (http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/186/ht01pdf/ht01728.pdf). To read more about this issue visit the website of the The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. (http://www.masstpc.org/legislation/index.shtml)
An Act Relative to Housing Discrimination Against Victims of Domestic Violence Rape, Sexual Assault and Stalking (SB 627, HB 1747)
Often times, survivors are left with no safe place to go after leaving the hospital. If an assault happened at home, the survivor may feel unsafe. The Housing Bill will provide the survivor with security and other safety options such as lock provisions and breaking a lease without penalty. The bill is not intended to create places for people to live, but to ensure a safe living situation. Read the full bill (http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/senate/186/st00/st00627.htm). Click here (http://barcc.org/assets/pdf/Housing_advocacy_form_letter.doc) for a sample letter you can send to your legislator.
Use search engines to track the status of bills in the Massachusetts House and Senate by number or keyword.
Write your representative
Here are some tips for writing your local, state, or national representative:
* Keep your letter or e-mail as brief as possible (one page for a letter). Be sure to include your name and address, even for e-mails.
* Address your representative using the courtesy title "The Honorable,"followed by his/her name.
* Announce your purpose for writing up front. If you are writing about a specific bill, include its number.
* State your position, using facts to support it. Explain the ramifications of the legislation in question.
* If you are writing to oppose a piece of legislation, explain why it is wrong and offer alternatives. Ask your representative to explain his/her position on it.
* If you are pleased with a position or action your representative has taken, let him/her know.
Find your Massachusetts state representatives: http://www.mass.gov/legis/city_town.htm
Find your Federal Congressperson in the House of Representatives: https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml
Find your Federal Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Write to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick: http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=gov3utilities&sid=Agov3&U=Agov3_contact_us