Senator Murray Reintroduces SAFE Act

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash), who you may recall led the opposition to the HHS Rule Change with then-Senator Hillary Clinton, has marked the first day of the month by introducing legislation, with Senators Dodd and Brown, that would extend financial protections to victims of domestic abuse and end insurance company discrimination:
Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) introduced legislation with Senators Sherrod Brown and Chris Dodd to ensure that victims of domestic violence have the financial means to escape abusive relationships. The Security and Financial Empowerment Act (SAFE Act) would make a number of changes in federal law to ensure that victims of domestic violence have the ability to leave their abusers, support themselves and their families while they seek help, and are not discriminated against or penalized simply for being abused.

Murray's reintroduction of the SAFE Act comes as Congress debates health insurance reform. Murray has long insisted that we reform the insurance industry to end the practice of considering domestic abuse to be a pre-existing condition. Her efforts to reform the system in the HELP Committee were voted down by Republicans in 2006, but the health care reform bill that passed the Committee in late July does include language that would end the practice.

"For too long domestic violence victims have been victimized twice – first by their abusers and then again by financial and insurance constraints that punish them for their abusers' crimes. The SAFE Act will help domestic violence victims break the financial chains that bind them to their abusers," Senator Murray said. "As we work to reform our health care system to eliminate discriminatory practices against victims of domestic violence, we also need to look at the larger financial system and ensure that no victim ever has to choose between personal safety and economic security."
The act would also ensure that domestic abuse survivors can "take time off from work, without penalty from their employers, to make necessary court appearances, seek legal assistance, and get help with safety planning."

Rock. The fuck. On.

Contact your Senators and urge them to support the SAFE Act.

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