CCADV gives survivors of domestic violence a voice, from the state Capitol to Capitol Hill.

Both of CCADV’s top policy priorities for the 2014 state legislative session were signed into law! At the top of CCADV’s policy agenda were House Bill 1017, which deals with the shortage of affordable housing in Colorado, and House Bill 1162, which addresses child custody issues in cases of sexual assault that resulted in the conception of a child.

House Bill 1017 (HB 1017), expands the availability of affordable housing. CCADV is a member of the Within Reach Coalition, an organized group who worked collectively for passage of the bill. CCADV prioritized this bill because Colorado’s shortage of affordable housing is and for many years has been one of the most significant barriers to safety and independence for survivors of domestic violence and their children in our state. For more information about HB 1017 and how it relates to domestic violence issues, check out the Within Reach Coalition fact sheet (HB 1017 Fact Sheet) and CCADV’s Domestic Violence & Affordable Housing Fact Sheet for HB 1017.

House Bill 1162 (HB 1162) addressed the lack of child custody legal options and protections in sexual assault incidents, for which there is no criminal conviction, that resulted in the conception of a child. This includes sexual assault that occurs in the context of domestic violence. In 2013, the legislature passed Senate Bill 227 (SB 227), which created similar legal options and protections in cases of sexual assault in which the perpetrator was convicted. SB 227 also legislated the Task Force on Children Conceived by Rape to study and make recommendations for how the courts should address child custody matters in cases of sexual assault for which there is no conviction. HB 1162 was informed by the recommendations of that Task Force, to which CCADV’s Public Policy Director was appointed and actively participated in. This priority bill for CCADV was also the focus of our 2014 Legislative Education & Advocacy Day (LEAD) event on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, via webinar and a legislative postcard campaign. View the recorded webinar and access a copy of the presentation.

For the final version of these bills, go to www.leg.state.co.us, click on “session information”, then click on either House or Senate depending upon whether it is a House Bill or a Senate Bill.

In addition to working on these priority bills, CCADV worked on dozens of other bills that directly or indirectly affect survivors of domestic violence and their children, as well as the domestic violence shelters and programs that assist them. These bills involved a variety of issues that touch every aspect of the lives of domestic violence survivors and their children, including rights of crime victims, human trafficking, firearms, access to justice in the civil legal system, offender payment of victim restitution and surcharges that support victim services, criminal justice system charges and process, immigration, and children and youth, for example. Our policy advocacy efforts are geared towards ensuring safety and justice for domestic violence survivors and enhanced accountability for offenders.

For more information about our 2014 policy work email amiller(at)ccadv.org to sign up to receive action alerts and the most current information on CCADV’s policy efforts, or for information about joining CCADV’s Public Policy Committee.