GCADV advocates for improvements in those systems which respond to domestic violence victims and offenders. GCADV does this by engaging in legislative and public policy advocacy within the Georgia General Assembly, with domestic violence services funders, and with other policy-making bodies to ensure that the interests and rights of domestic violence survivors are protected and upheld.
Working together with its statewide partners, GCADV has had several public policy accomplishments over the last few years, including the following:
- Georgia House Bill 228, Raising marriage minimum age from 16 to 17 years of age. This bill passed both chambers and was sent to the Governor on April 12, 2019. Should the Governor sign or not veto the bill, it will become law on July 1, 2019.
- Georgia House Bill 279, will allow victims of domestic violence to file for a legal name change for themselves and their children without being forced to give the customary public notice of their name change.
- Georgia Senate Bill 201, will require employers that offer sick leave to allow employees to use that leave time flexibly in order to care for sick children, spouses, and other family members.
- Georgia Senate Bill 193, which ensures that a previous family violence battery conviction against the same victim or any family violence conviction against any household member would result in a subsequent family violence battery and would be punished as a felony. This bill was signed into law and became effective July 1, 2016.
- Georgia House Bill 827, which establishes a protocol for local law enforcement for the handling and submission of rape kits to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for testing. This bill was signed into law and became effective July 1, 2016.
- Georgia Senate Bill 72, which expands the harassing phone calls statute to include electronic and online harassment. This bill was signed into law and became effective July 1, 2015.
- Georgia House Bill 117, which extends eligibility for the receipt of unemployment benefits to victims of domestic violence who voluntarily leave their employment as a result of that violence, among other provisions to modernize the state’s unemployment insurance program. This bill was signed into law and became effective May 6, 2015.
- Georgia House Bill 452, which amends the statute authorizing Georgia’s Protective Order Registry so that criminal family violence orders, including stay-away orders in bond or probation conditions, can be entered into that registry. This bill was signed into law and became effective July 1, 2015.
- Georgia House Bill 911, making strangulation assault a felony offense. This bill was signed into law and became effective July 1, 2014.
- Georgia Senate Bill 86, which authorizes law enforcement to arrest on non-violent violations of bond and probation conditions on domestic violence offenses. This bill was signed into law and became effective May 6, 2013.
- Worked with state funders and state lawmakers to ensure that key changes to the state domestic violence funding allocations processes were implemented and that funding allocations remained stable.
- Worked with state funders and state lawmakers to improve access to funding for domestic violence programs providing services to underserved and marginalized communities.
- Georgia House Bill 711, which provides for confidential communications between advocates at Georgia’s domestic violence and sexual assault centers and the victims they serve and eliminates the spousal privilege in domestic violence criminal cases. This bill was signed into law and became effective January 1, 2013.
GCADV also works extensively with its member programs to engage them in legislative and public policy advocacy on issues that affect domestic violence survivors and their children. Get Involved! Read our latest Public Policy Alerts and take action!
STOP VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN DAY
Stop Violence Against Women Day (SVAWD) is an annual advocacy day. SVAWD is an opportunity for concerned Georgians from across the state to demand attention be paid to victims of domestic violence, ensure services are not impacted through budget cuts, and communicate the need for the state to be involved and vigilant in the quest to end domestic and sexual violence. Look out for information on our Events Page for the next SVAWD.
STATE-LEVEL PUBLIC POLICY WORK
- Find your state legislators here.
- GCADV Public Policy Agenda for FY 2017.
- View our Legislative Reports for the latest news on what’s going on at the Georgia State Capitol.
- For statistics on services provided by Georgia’s state-certified domestic violence and sexual assault programs in 2016, click here.
- Want to meet with your state legislators, but not quite sure what to expect? Confused about the legislative process? We’ve got you covered! Check out our videos!
- House Bill 911 to make strangulation assault a felony offense has been signed into law! View photos from the bill signing, and learn more about the law.
- How a Bill is Passed in the Georgia Legislature.
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about legislative advocacy.
- Recent legislative accomplishments include the passage and signing into law of House Bill 711 and Senate Bill 86. Click here and here for photos from the signing ceremonies with the Governor.
- WEBINAR: The Advocate’s Role in Influencing Legislation in the 2012 Session.
FEDERAL-LEVEL PUBLIC POLICY WORK
Find your U.S. Senators and Congressman HERE.
There are several policy issues being deliberated that directly affect survivors of domestic violence and their children. Please take time to contact your members of Congress with the following messages:
- Fund targeted investments for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act and related key programs at Health and Human Services.
- Release additional funds from the Victims of Crime Act Fund (VOCA)
- Fund targeted investments in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) including Services, Training, Officers and Prosecutors (STOP) state formula grant program, Civil Legal Assistance for Victims program, Services for Rural Victims grant program, Transitional Housing grant program, Grants to Encourage Arrest program and the Sexual Assault Services Program.
Sign up to receive GCADV’s public policy alerts and other news via email by emailing GCADV’s Public Policy Director, Shenna Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org