Policy Priorities


Policy Priorities

We have been instrumental in the passage, enactment, implementation and enforcement of strong, comprehensive legislation and public policies that address a range of domestic violence issues. Through our Policy Committees, advocates have an integral role in ensuring that our policy work meets the needs of survivors, communities and organizations across California. Our priorities include both legislative solutions and systems change efforts to strengthen prevention and intervention responses to domestic violence.

The Partnership, together with its membership, has identified the following priorities for 2017.

Funding/Program Requirements

Issue Overview: State and Federal funding are essential components of program budgets and must be grown so that organizations can meet their communities’ needs for emergency shelter and other essential victim services. The Partnership works to ensure that state and federal allocations support critically-needed funding for a wide range of domestic violence services across the state.

NEW Policy Priority:

Working closely with our Policy Committee co-chairs and our Membership, the Partnership will develop and advocate for a funding proposal that (a) Increases state funds for comprehensive domestic violence prevention & responses, and (b) Updates legislative code to better reflect the current needs of DV survivors/families/communities and contemporary practices.

Ongoing Partnership Policy Advocacy:

  • Budget advocacy for state General Funds for domestic violence programs.
  • Coordinate with NNEDV and other State Coalitions on federal advocacy for full funding of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Family Violence Prevention & Services Act (FVPSA) and the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).
  • Serve on advisory committees re: program evaluation and reporting requirements and advocate for meaningful and manageable data collection.
  • Participate in Cal OES’ Domestic Violence Advisory Council, VAWA Statewide Implementation Committee, and VOCA Steering Committee; provide subject-matter expertise to agency and committees.
  • Conduct research on emerging/best practices.
  • Advise state and foundation funders on new, existing and changing funding initiatives.
  • Provide subject-matter expertise to multitude of Blue Shield Foundation contractors and consultants.
  • Advise the Blue Shield Foundation re: federal and state funding trends and emerging/best practices.

Alternatives to the Criminal Legal System

Issue Overview: The DV movement has long-focused on reforming the criminal legal system to increase survivor safety & promote accountability for those who harm. Many important victim protections & perpetrator sanctions have been established ~ and at the same time ~ we know the criminal legal system does not serve all communities well. We seek to promote a range of solutions pertaining to survivor safety, as well as community accountability & effective rehabilitation with people who commit harm.

NEW Policy Priority:

To address the important issue of effective Batterer Intervention Programs (BIPs), the Partnership will:

  • Continue its active involvement with the statewide task force examining the effectiveness of BIPs in addressing needs & reducing recidivism. Through our work with this task force we will consider where and how restorative justice principles may be appropriate for inclusion in updates to the BIPs statute.
  • Share additional information and research on BIPs with Partnership members through our Policy Alert and www.cpedv.org website.
  • Provide additional information and research on the use of restorative justice with Partnership members through a range of methods.

Partnership’s Ongoing Policy Advocacy:

  • Participate in the bi-weekly calls and joint actions as long-standing member of the statewide TRUST Act Coalition to ensure the needs of immigrant domestic violence survivors are represented in statewide immigration advocacy efforts to detentions & deportations.
  • Dues-paying member of the California Immigration Policy Center (CIPC) and regular participant on National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) calls when addressing immigration enforcement programs and high profile immigration cases.
  • Advocate to curb detentions & deportations through federal policy efforts (ex: discuss ending family detention during Congressional visits; attend meetings and calls with Congressional leaders/staffers to oppose harmful immigration legislation; frequent communication with other State Coalitions and National DV leaders to coordinate strategies, common messaging, etc.).

Safe, Affordable Housing

Issue Overview: Survivors & advocates consistently identify housing as a critical component to long-term safety & stability. California’s lack of affordable housing & the challenges DV programs experience in accessing housing resources present significant barriers

NEW Policy Priorities:

Several priority work areas have emerged for the Partnership within the topic of safe and affordable housing. These include:

  • Implementation advocacy with the newly established Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council to ensure the needs of survivors are recognized and included in the Council’s work.
  • Exploring options for resolving the disconnect between HUD guidance and on-the-ground implementation at the CoC level when it comes to the inclusion of domestic violence transitional housing within CoC applications. This includes supporting the ongoing advocacy of NNEDV and other national partners to change the HUD NOFA to respond to the needs of domestic violence programs and considering new ways to engage HUD and provide better information and oversight to the CoCs.
  • Disseminating information to our members and other stakeholders about the new, final HUD VAWA rule which includes VAWA Emergency Transfers.
  • Advocating for funding of the VAWA Emergency Transfer vouchers through federal appropriations.
  • Working closely with our partners in housing advocacy to support the development of additional affordable housing options in California.

Partnership’s Ongoing Policy Advocacy:

  • Advocate for increased funding of the VAWA Transitional Housing program.
  • Work in collaboration with NNEDV and other partners to improve HUD’s response to domestic violence and sexual assault survivors; speak with HUD officials and submit comments on proposed regulations.

Economic Justice

Issue Overview: Economic concerns are the most frequently cited reason survivors return to abusive relationships. In order for survivors to take steps towards violence-free lives, they must have a solid financial foundation. Safe and affordable housing; the ability to work and earn a fair and livable wage; and access to public benefits that meet the basic needs of recipients are all policy issues impacting economic justice for survivors. 

NEW Policy Priority:

The Partnership members prioritized broadening Victim Compensation funding to include alternative health options for clients who prefer that form of treatment. Through additional research we have learned that these types of services are already covered through Victim Compensation. Referred to as “Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM)”, it includes a variety of non-medical treatment modalities that fall outside the general definition of traditional medicine. CAM treatments include, but are not limited to:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese medicine
  • Biofeedback
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Holistic medicine
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Music therapy
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Other natural healing methods

More information on how to submit request for reimbursement of these expenses can be found at http://vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/camtreatments.aspx. The Partnership will prioritize including information for our members in the Policy Alert and eNews, and exploring other ways to ensure that advocates know about these options.

Partnership’s Ongoing Policy Advocacy

  • Advocate for legislation that supports survivors’ economic security and ability to attain financial independence (ex: paid sick days, equal pay).
  • Collaborate with allied anti-poverty programs to increase access to public assistance benefits and ensure domestic violence survivors’ needs are addressed through anti-poverty advocacy.
  • Participate in collaborative efforts as a member of the Work & Family Coalition to address the needs of women and families in the workplace.
  • Sit on Future Without Violence’s IPV Screening in Health Care Settings Coalition Workgroup; monitor State health insurance implementation and advocate with the Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance.
  • Attend state-level committee meetings with Cal VCP; inform and advise re: legislative priorities; provide subject-matter expertise on agency’s planning processes.

Support Our Policy Work

The decisions made in Sacramento and Washington DC directly impact domestic violence survivors and programs. Our ability to advance public policies relies upon private donations and membership dues. If you care about domestic violence and want to make an impact, here’s how you can help ensure our voices are heard by state and federal legislators: 

Become a Member

When you join our Coalition, you gain access to our Public Policy and Research Committees, giving you a voice in statewide domestic violence legislation. 

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

Stay updated on our latest policy accomplishments, and receive calls-to-action for supporting key legislation.

Tools & Resources

The following tools and resources will help you effectively engage in policy efforts.