WASHINTON, D.C. (WAVY) — Sen. Tim Kaine recently announced two separate bills to support survivors and victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and/or gun violence.
Kaine introduced the Support for Universities and Colleges to Champion the Educational Success of Survivors, or SUCCESS, Act. This legislation is meant to support victims of sexual assault, and other violence, and provide them the tools necessary to succeed in universities.
Around 13% of all graduate and undergraduate students report experiencing sexual assault or violence, and tend to have a lower grade point average, according to End Rape on Campus; Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, or RAINN. The SUCCESS Act would provide funding for universities and colleges to increase mental health services, provide higher education re-entry assistance for survivors and increase training. It also allows for some financial and academic accommodations, according to the release.
The SUCCESS Act is endorsed by American Psychological Association, RAINN and Survivor Fund Hub, the release states.
The second bill introduced is the Lori Jackson-Nicolette Elias Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act. This act protects survivors of domestic violence and gun violence, and was named after Lori Jackson of Connecticut and Nicolette Elias of Oregon, who were killed by their abusive partners using guns.
This bill would prevent individuals under emergency restraining orders from purchasing or possessing a firearm instead of waiting for a final restraining order. It also extends the definition of “intimate partners” to include dating partners. The previous definition only included spouses, those who share a child and/or lived together.
“Every year, survivors of domestic violence tragically lose their lives to gun violence, and we must do more to ensure they’re protected,” said Kaine. “This bill would better protect domestic violence survivors by keeping guns out of the hands of abusers.”
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