RICADV's top priority for this legislative session is the Anti-Strangulation bill (H7242/S2147), which would make Domestic Assault by Strangulation a felony. Currently, this serious crime is usually treated as a misdemeanor and rarely receives any jail time at all, even though studies show that a victim who has been strangled is ten times more likely to be murdered in the future. The bill, sponsored by Rep. DaSilva in the House and Senator DeVall in the Senate, had hearings in both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees in the past month, and we hope it will be voted out of committee soon. Thank you to our member agencies, SOAR, the Attorney General, the Rhode Island chapter of the National Organization of Women, the Police Chiefs' Association, the International Brotherhood of Police Officers, and all our other allies for your support on this bill!
We are also, unfortunately, fighting against budget cuts again this year, even more severe than last year's 10% cut to our state funding. This year, we are in danger of losing 25% of the community services grants that fun the Court Advocacy Program and programs for Children Who Witness. Thank you to all our supporters who have contacted the House Finance committee to let them know how important it is to keep these essential services available for the people who need them.