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Resolutions & Amendments

32nd International Convention - Chicago, IL (1996)

Violence Against Women

Resolution No. 65
32nd International Convention
June 17-21, 1996
Chicago, IL


Every year 3 to 4 million women are battered by their husbands or partners. Research suggests that wife-beating results in more injuries that require medical treatment than rape, auto accidents, and muggings combined. All too frequently, the battering has fatal consequences; and


Problems of domestic violence spill over into the workplace. Absenteeism and lowered productivity can result when an employee is a victim of domestic violence; and


AFSCME recognizes that violence against women is an important union issue. To this end, AFSCME has developed and disseminated information about domestic violence and how it impacts AFSCME women, conducts training programs and has sponsored research; and


The Clinton Administration has established, in the U. S. Department of Justice, a Violence Against Women Office which will be marshalling public and private resources to combat this problem; and


AFSCME strongly supports the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which was enacted in 1994. The VAWA provides new legal tools for victims and prosecutors, such as making it a federal crime to cross a state line to violate a protection order and requiring states to enforce protection orders issued by another state. The VAWA also authorizes funding for a variety of programs to provide a more effective response to violence against women. The VAWA authorizes money for battered women's shelters, model community programs, and training and other resources to assist local law enforcement and prosecutors. The VAWA authorized an additional $3 million to establish a national hotline. The Clinton Administration, in an effort to end violence against women, officially opened the hotline in 1996, enabling victims throughout the country to obtain referrals to services in their communities by calling a toll-free number; and


The VAWA is in danger of losing much of its authorized funding because of current congressional efforts to reduce government spending.


That AFSCME reaffirms its commitment to fighting violence against women. AFSCME will continue to work independently and in cooperation with other organizations to develop effective workplace programs and to increase public awareness of how violence at home and at work affects women; and


That AFSCME will make it a legislative priority to ensure that the Violence Against Women Act is preserved and fully funded; and


That AFSCME encourage all affiliates in the law enforcement field to work with employers to improve law enforcement in domestic violence cases; and


That AFSCME encourages all affiliates to include counseling and other support services for victims of domestic violence through employee assistance programs, to work with employers to ensure EAP coordinators are knowledgeable about domestic violence, to negotiate legal services benefits which will be available to assist domestic violence victims and to negotiate leaves of absence which may be used by domestic violence victims for legal or other activities related to the domestic abuse.


Joe Devlaeminck, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 88, Council 75

Ken Allen, Executive Director
AFSCME Council 75