Bice bill ensures job protections for survivors of domestic, sexual violence

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Bice (R-OK) recently sponsored a bipartisan bill that would allow victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to handle their affairs without the fear of losing their jobs.

“Victims of domestic violence or sexual assault need support after experiencing such a traumatic event. Sadly, a lack of financial security often keeps victims in abusive situations,” Rep. Bice said on May 9. “I am grateful for the continuous support of my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation.”

Specifically, the Safe Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Act, H.R. 2996, which Rep. Bice introduced on April 28 with lead original cosponsor U.S. Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI), would expand the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 so that employees may take unpaid leave after surviving dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, sex trafficking, or stalking, according to a bill summary provided by the lawmakers.

“If you are a survivor of sexual assault or domestic violence, you deserve to take time off to seek help and heal without fear of losing your job,”  said Rep. Stevens. “With an estimated 10 million adults experiencing domestic violence in the United States each year, and more experiencing sexual assault, we need to put policies in place that expand labor safeguards so that those impacted may take care of themselves and their families.”

H.R. 2996 has been endorsed by the YWCA Oklahoma City (OKC), which cited research indicating that up to 99 percent of survivors of intimate partner violence experience financial abuse and/or economic coercion at the hand of their perpetrators. “Financial security equates to safety,” according to the YWCA OKC.