Intimate partner violence, sexual assault, harassment, and stalking affect millions of Americans. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million individuals. The numbers can be even higher for members of transgender and gender-queer communities. It can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and socioeconomic background.
NCJW helped draft and pass the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the first major law passed to end domestic violence, sexual assault, and other kinds of intimate partner violence. But the promise of VAWA has yet to be fulfilled. Dating partners are without protections afforded to other current or former intimate partners, including access to protective orders and protection from gun violence. Though stalking is a crime according to the federal government, the classification varies state to state, leaving victims vulnerable. Sexual violence, including sexual harassment and sexual assault, continues to be a pervasive problem on college campuses and in the US military.
In 2010 NCJW launched Higher Ground: NCJW’s Domestic Violence Campaign. Higher Ground to increase survivors’ autonomy by improving their economic status. And, we continue to strive to help develop and pass effective public policy to address intimate partner violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking to ensure increased emphasis on prevention, accountability for perpetrators, and resources and justice for survivors.