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    DV Exemption Under the Affordable Care Act

    NEW Great news from the IRS and the Treasury Department today whom have just announced new guidance that exempts domestic violence victims from the requirement that married couples must file their taxes jointly in order to receive the premium tax credit under the Affordable Care Act. This means that domestic violence victims, whether married or unmarried, may file their taxes separately and will still be eligible to receive a tax credit to help pay for their premiums under the ACA.

    Extended ACA Enrollment

    Also, because of this change, the Department of Health and Human Services has created a special enrollment period for domestic violence victims who previously assumed or were informed that the tax credits were unavailable to them if they were married and not filing a joint tax return. Victims of domestic violence who are married and filing separately can now enroll in health coverage until May 31, 2014.  The following link provide a factsheet developed by NNEDV that helps explain these changes and other options for victims.

    NEW New Statewide Legal Hotline for Alsakans with Landlord/Tenant Issues

    Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) is initiating a new Landlord/Tenant Legal Helpline to provide free assistance to both tenants and landlords with legal questions and situations.  This Landlord/Tenant Helpline will be open on Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, starting December 5, 2013.

     Member Program News Now!

    NEW After seven years, AWARE to break ground on new shelter as reported by Juneau Empire

    For many, City and Borough of Juneau Assembly meetings are a necessary evil — a means of keeping democracy intact, but not the most thrilling way to spend a Monday night. For Saralyn Tabachnick, an assembly vote to rezone a piece of land was a huge milestone after years of work toward one goal: building a new transitional living shelter for Juneau’s victims of domestic violence.

    NEW Green Dot calls for action against violence as reported by The Tundra Drums

    April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and a new program is beginning that is aimed at helping communities go from awareness to action. The prevention program, called Green Dot Alaska, is based on helping individuals learn how to safely intervene to prevent violence.

    NEW Sexual Assault Prevention and Response: Changes, Improvements and Support this is an excerpt from Warriors the Quarterly Magazine for the Alaska Department of Military & Veterans Affairs (Winter 2013/2014) One article was written by Major General Thomas H. Katkus and the second article was written by Octavia Thomson, Alaska National Guard Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator from our affiliate program, the Alaska National Guard Sexual Response Team

    NEW The Impacts of Family Abuse and Trauma as reported by Alaska Public Media

    This is a radio segment presented on March 10th on KSKA as part of the Line One: Your Health Connection program. The show featured guest speaker Melissa Emmal who is the Deputy Director of Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis in Anchorage.

    NEW This 104 year-old started a secret women’s shelter; help her change Alaska  as reported by John D. Sutter with CNN

    “One of the cooler experiences I’ve had in recent memory was meeting Elsie Nanugaq Tommy, a spry 104-year-old who started a secret women’s shelter decades ago out of her home in Newtok, Alaska. She’s a bundle of smiles and optimism — and her legacy of helpfulness already has been passed down to her granddaughter, Denise Tommy, who is executive director of the Tundra Women’s Coalition in Bethel, Alaska, which shelters women and fights violence with educational programs.”

    Volunteers on the front lines helping sex assault victims as reported by Anchorage Daily News

    It was February 2005 and Wood, then 24, was minutes away from beginning her first shift on the 24-hour Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) sexual assault crisis line.  For the next seven hours, anyone in Anchorage who dialed 276-RAPE would ring through to Wood’s house and speak with the new STAR volunteer. She’d just completed 40 hours of rigorous training in how to communicate in crisis situations with rape victims and their loved ones.

    Young & impressionable: The effect of domestic violence on children as reported by Annie Brice of KCAW

    For nearly a decade, SAFV has been a recipient of a federal grant through the CDC to support primary prevention of intimate partner violence within the community. Gustafson runs a program at SAFV that uses art.

    Home again as reported by Brian Smith at Peninsula Clarion

    “A year before I ended up in LeeShore, I was sitting around with girls talking about domestic violence, saying, ‘I will never be that person. I pity the poor guy who puts a hand on me,’” she said.

    Statewide News Now!

    NEW Governor Parnell Signs Bill to Extend Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assaultt, Press Release from Senator Kevin Meyer, Co-Chair of Senate Finance

    NEW Shannyn Moore: After 4 years, Parnell finally lifts a finger to help sexually assaulted Guard Members as reported by Anchorage Daily News

    NEW Compass: Parnell disputes columnist’s claims on sexual assault complaints as reported by Anchorage Daily News

    The head of the federal  National Guard Bureau says the investigation now underway into allegations of sexual assault and harassment within the Alaska National Guard should not be hidden away.

    Lynne Curry: Help abuse victim who works for you learn her options

    This article gives some really helpful tips on what resources are available in the Anchorage area for victims of domestic violence. The tips are also appropriate for people outside the Anchorage area. For a list of our member programs in your area, click here.

    Begich Wants Parnell to Change Stance on Village Public Safety Issues, Violence Against Women Act
    as reported by the Office of Senator Mark Begich

    In a letter sent yesterday, U.S. Senator Mark Begich urged Alaska Governor Sean Parnell to change his stance on tribal jurisdiction issues and to reconsider his support for a provision in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that prevents Alaska tribes from using local authority to protect victims and prevent violent behavior.

    Parnell asks for federal inquiry into sex assaults in the national guard as reported by Anchorage Daily News

    Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has called in a federal investigation of sexual assault in the Alaska National Guard, including an inquiry into how the guard’s commanders handled reports of rape and other offenses.

    “Talk Now Talk Often” campaign Launched with New Tools for Parents as reported by KLDG, Public Radio in Bristol Bay

    Claudia Plesa, Project Coordinator of Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, was interviewed on public radio about the launch of the new Talk Now Talk Often campaign to encourage parents to talk to their teens about healthy relationships and other important topics.

    Alaska’s AG Gets Slammed for Low Rape Prosecution Rate. You Won’t Believe His Response as reported by Mother Jones

    Only 141 total sexual-assault cases were prosecuted in 2011, according to the latest data. The data doesn’t show how many total sexual assaults were reported that year—but the next year, when the state began tracking these numbers, there were 804 sexual assaults reported to law enforcement. Last month, at a House Finance Committee meeting, Alaska state Rep. Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake) criticized Attorney General Michael Geraghty for the low prosecution rate and for not reporting adequate data on sexual assault.

    Compass: Alaska’s poor need legal help in civil cases as reported by the ADN

    In Alaska, as in every other state, attorneys are generally not provided in civil matters such as these to indigent litigants. Attorneys are provided for even minor criminal offenses. Yet, many people would rather spend a couple weeks in jail than lose their children or their house.

    Resources Available for Male Domestic Abuse Victims  as Reported By KTUU

    Sexual assault cases in Anchorage are reported often, but Anchorage police say they rarely deal with cases involving a man as the victim… Standing Together Against Rape Director Keeley Olson says the community needs to know the truth about sex offenders. “We definitely want it to be known in the community,” said Olson. “That yes, women can be sex offenders and yes, adult men can be victims.” Both AWAIC and STAR want people to know that they aren’t alone, that they offer a number of services for anyone who is experiencing abuse — men included.

    National News Now!

    NEW Memorandum — Establishing a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault as reported by The White House

    The prevalence of rape and sexual assault at our Nation’s institutions of higher education is both deeply troubling and a call to action.  Studies show that about one in five women is a survivor of attempted or completed sexual violence while in college.  In addition, a substantial number of men experience sexual violence during college.  Although schools have made progress in addressing rape and sexual assault, more needs to be done to ensure safe, secure environments for students of higher education.

    NEW Senator Mark Begich Fights to Protect Most Vulnerable Alaskans: Urges ACA Fix for Victims of Domestic Violence, Press Release from the Office of Senator Mark Begich

    U.S. Senator Mark Begich is fighting to fix the Affordable Care Act so that victims of domestic violence will be able to receive the health care subsidies they deserve even if they are still legally married to their abuser.

    For more information on housing policy in Alaska for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, click here.

    Begich, Murkowski Bill Tackles Domestic Violence in Rural Alaska as reported by both Senator Begich and Senator Murkowski’s Offices, Press Release

    U.S. Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski introduced the Safe Families and Villages Act of 2013 to give Alaska tribes more power to combat drug and alcohol abuse in their communities and to address the rates of domestic violence and child abuse and neglect.

    For updates on policy regarding military sexual assault, please visit our policy military sexual assault page.

     Letters to the Editor and Opinion

    The bipartisan Indian Law and Order Commission recently presented its findings here in Alaska. The Commission, which is composed of experts from across the political spectrum, found that the Parnell Administration’s record on rural law enforcement is “fundamentally on the wrong track.”

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    Contact Information

    Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
    130 Seward St., Suite 214
    Juneau, Alaska 99801
    andvsa@andvsa.org
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