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Sexual Violence: Policy & Systems Advocacy

This area provides information and tools to assist individuals and their collective(s) working to end sexual violence through public policy and systems change. Public policy includes federal, state, and local laws that impact victims and survivors of sexual violence and address prevention strategies, the configuration and operation of agencies and systems that respond to and prevent sexual violence, policies and protocols, and funding for the provision of services to victims and survivors. Systems advocacy is the tool that advocates and other professionals use to ensure the rights and needs of victims of sexual violence as they negotiate systems on their journey toward healing and also to ensure that systems are working to address the prevention of sexual violence.

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The Protected Innocence Challenge is a study of US state law to assist advocates in their work to end domestic minor sex trafficking. An interactive map provides each state’s ranking on 41 key legislative components that must be addressed in the state’s laws in order to effectively respond to the crime of domestic minor trafficking.
Authors: Shared Hope International
This document offers guidelines as a reference tool for legal service providers representing victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in civil protection cases. The standards of practice cover a range of abuses, including elder abuse.
Authors: American Bar Association
Additional protocol outlines directions on how state parties should communicate with committees on the elimination of violence against women.
Authors: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
On March 5, 1999, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Christy Brzonkala by a vote of 7-4 and ruled the Violence Against Women Act's Civil Rights Remedy as unconstitutional.
Authors: U.S. Court of Appeals
Adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, CEDAW has been ratified by 187 countries. CEDAW does not explicitly mention VAW, but it defines what constitutes discrimination against women, establishes norms and standards, and obligates states that have ratified the convention to end discrimination against women and girls.
Authors: United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Convention on the Rights of the Child outlines the rights that are afforded to minors under the age of eighteen. Information about protective services are included.
Authors: United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
April 4, 2011
Vice President Biden and Secretary Duncan present guidelines on legal obligations in addressing sexual violence in school and on campus.
Authors: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
This fact sheet provides information from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlines sexual harassment as discrimination.
Authors: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
May 2011
This 2-pager provides an overview of students’ rights related to gender-based violence and harassment. It provides information about Title IX and offers a list of Dos and Don’ts.
Authors: American Civil Liberties Union, Women’s Rights Project
This collection links to 24 documents, prologue, endnotes, bibliography and related links.
Authors: Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000