March 11, 2021
It has been almost a full year since COVID became a part of our day to day lives. Many of the ways in which we advocate for survivors have changed during this year. Many programs switched to virtual advocacy when buildings were closed during the height of the pandemic. Some programs kept their doors open and learned how to navigate social distancing while working with survivors. There have been many changes, but some things stay the same no matter what is going on in the world. Survivors need housing and they need it fast.
Here are some quick tips for house hunting during COVID that could be helpful to those you are working with.
More detail can be found at https://www.forbes.com/sites/taramastroeni/2020/06/15/5-tips-for-successfully-house-hunting-during-the-pandemic/?sh=799a5a245ca8
Once a survivor has found housing it is important for them to know and understand their rights as tenants. The National Housing Law Project created a resource for advocates called Tenant Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors During COVID-19 that outlines VAWA protections for survivors that makes it easy to explain rental protections for survivors.
Be on the lookout for updated tips about COVID related funding sources in upcoming articles.
Three Things to reach out to me for:
Early childhood education for kids in Idaho was on the radar briefly. What do we consider “education” and what is men/dad’s role in it? How do men in Idaho become more evolved/involved in the early childhood education of our children?
Education in the form of wildlife conservation was part of my upbringing in rural Montana from my father and other men. The annual conversation about hunter’s safety included why harvesting white tail and mule deer from the woods benefited the herds. Or how fishing for whitefish in the small streams was beneficial to streams and lakes. I felt a sense of duty to protect our lands, and hunting and fishing were my roles. However, I rarely heard my father or other dads thanking women for providing us with hot meals, 3 times per day, always having clean clothes at my disposal, a planned playdate with friends, ensuring my school projects were started and completed on-time, registration for four seasons full of sports/activities. These were part of women’s invisible labor provided for our home, constantly.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many of the domestic gaps in our own house. Previously, I believed myself to be much more involved than my father. In comparison, I have been and that’s still not enough. According to a Jan. 2020 Gallup Poll and article titled “Women Still Handle Main Household Tasks in U.S.”, women in a heterosexual partnership do more of the laundry, cleaning, cooking and childcare than their male partners. Men perform more duties related to automobiles and yard work. Pre-pandemic, women made up almost half of the workers in the US AND did most domestic duties, for free! Traditional gender norms are not healthy, helpful, or beneficial for all Idahoans.
Much has been said about women’s invisible labor in our homes. Those are crucial conversations to be had. For men, we can begin to pick up our slack WITHOUT having to be instructed by our partners. I share a home with my partner and our two kids. Therefore, when I see Julie cleaning a room in OUR house, I have begun to LOOK for ways to get involved. I know toilets need to be scrubbed, bathrooms cleaned, laundry done, groceries purchased, and on and on. Non-screen activities such as coloring, reading, playing with toys or board games, telling stories, baking/cooking together and LISTENING to them are all part of my early childhood education as a father for our two kids. It isn’t always pretty, I make mistakes. Contributing to our home feels better and allows our kids to see what aspiring partnership can look like. It will be the baseline for their future partners. That is worth the work.
Three Things to reach out to me for:
Legislative session continues on and we are watching what legislation will impact survivors and community.
S 1089: Spousal Rape; this bill will get rid of the spousal rape statute and will simply define rape as rape. It is passed the Senate unanimously and will be heard in House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee on March 11th at 1:30PM.
S 1098: 12 Months Birth Control; this bill will allow people to receive up to 12 months of contraception. Currently, people can only access 1 – 3 months at a time. This will be especially beneficial for stalking survivors. The bill did not pass on the Senate Floor and will no longer be heard this session.
HB 220: This legislation would withhold public funds (we believe VOCA and FVPSA funds are included in this) from any agency that may refer for abortion or provide counseling that includes abortion. This could potentially apply to options counseling—which would affect our programs and their ability to best serve survivors. The bill passed the house and will be heard in Senate State Affairs. The date and time is currently unknown.
HB 249: Sex Ed; would cut off access and critical information that would allow young Idahoans to make the best decision regarding maintaining healthy relationships. This bill will be heard in Senate Education Committee on Monday, March 15th at 3PM.
Child Support 101
April 26 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm PST/2:00 – 4:00 pm MST
Join us for a webinar on Child Support. Child support can be a great benefit for survivors, but being involved in this system also comes with some risk. Join us to learn about how survivors can maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. The deadline to request language interpretation is April 12.
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