ND Domestic Violence Victims Await One Crucial Signature
Domestic abuse is a life-or-death situation thousands find themselves facing day after day. It's easy for an outsider to simply say...
Why don't you just leave the relationship?
I think we all like to believe that not one of us would stay in an abusive relationship. But getting out of a situation involves more than simply slamming a door on that chapter of your life. Often there are children involved. Finances also can play a major role in staying with an abuser. Imagine leaving a toxic relationship with nowhere to go and very little to your name. Groups like Bismarck's Abused Adult Resource Center help women and families find a place to land while escaping their abusers. I realize men also need to leave abusive relationships, but I'm going with women as the massive majority living in fear. There are resources available but there need to be more real-world solutions.
One huge step is now awaiting a Presidential signature.
Shelter, food, beds, dishes, clothing- all the items we deem essential are addressed and accomplished as best as our community agencies can. One obstacle is outside the power of social services and that's cellular phone plans.
Having a cell phone is no longer a privilege.
There's no denying that cell service is essential but penalties for separating from a shared mobile service contract can be astronomical! That's what the Safe Connections Act of 2022 seeks to rectify.
Dana Mees, administrative director of the North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services, said unresolved phone plans can be a major obstacle for someone from trying to move on from an abusive situation.
"They do give abusers access to call logs, text messages, voice mails, or family tracking features that can be used to monitor, stalk and harass survivors," Mees explained.
The Safe Connections Act has passed through Congress and now is awaiting a Presidential signature. All indications are that Biden will sign the bill. Not only will it act to alleviate severe financial penalties from cellphone providers but it also expands the Lifeline Program which currently provides monthly cellphone subsidies.