The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault is committed to preventing and ending sexual violence in all of its forms. We welcome the opportunity to work alongside the President and Vice President Elect to take the necessary steps to make our country a more responsive and restorative space for those who have experienced the effects of sexual violence in their families and environments.
We commend President-Elect Biden for his history of promoting efforts like the Violence Against Women Act and asserting the dignity of all survivors. We congratulate Vice President-Elect Harris for her election and ongoing championing of social justice issues relating to the safety of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color- most recently having introduced legislation that would directly address the issue of unnecessary killings of Black Americans through the Justice in Policing Act of 2020.
A new administration provides the opportunity to not only roll back harmful policies that directly impacts our ability to support survivors at the intersection of racial justice, immigration, and campus initiatives instituted in the last few years, and also the chance to reform a few more current acts like the Violence Against Women Act.
As the only statewide coalition member of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic VIolence, we will continue to advocate for the following on the federal level:
From Reaction to Prevention
CALCASA was founded as the statewide coalition representing rape crisis centers in California, and as such, advocating for the necessary resources to respond to sexual violence across the state has been a primary focus. We lead with prevention because prevention works. We understand that sexual violence is not only inevitable, it is preventable.
From Policing to Community Safety
“Community safety” can leverage the prevention solutions previously mentioned, and a redirection of limited amounts of funding towards these issues is something CALCASA would support. It means expanding the toolkit available to survivors in order to support them in their process and restore a community into a safer place where healthy relationships are the norm.
From Incarceration to Accountability
Criminalization will not end sexual violence. Vulnerable people can be subjected to more sexual violence once incarcerated and detained causing further harm to these individuals and their loved ones.
The election may be over, however, there is much work to be done. We consistently lead our state in efforts to end sexual violence and we will continue to lead from California to do so.