Expanding protections for victims of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault

 HF 2461 (Lesch) // SF 2105 (Pappas) allows victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to use paid leave to obtain services

SF 2111 (Eken) // HF 2366 (Rosenthal) expands unemployment insurance eligibility currently available to victims of domestic violence to include victims of stalking and sexual assault

HF859 (Simon) // SF771 (Hayden) improves housing protections for victims of violence

Download Fact Sheet (PDF)

The Facts

  • Each year, victims of domestic violence are forced to miss nearly eight million days of paid work.

  • One in every three women will experience sexual or domestic violence in her lifetime. Every two minutes, an American is sexually assaulted.

  • More than 61,000 Minnesotans are victims of sexual violence.  Sexual violence costs the state $8 billion a year.
  • In 2013, at least 25 women died from domestic violence in Minnesota and at least 12 minor children were left motherless due to domestic violence murders.
  • In 2011, there were 27,388 domestic violence cases in Minnesota District Courts.
  • Promoting the health and stability of victims will increase the likelihood they will achieve economic security.  Sexual violence survivors experience reduced income in adulthood as a result of victimization in adolescence, with a lifetime income loss estimated at $241,600.
  • Minnesota employees may receive unemployment benefits even when they voluntarily quit for reasons related to domestic abuse. But these same protections are not afforded to victims of stalking or sexual assault.
  • Access to economic security is a means to safety. An employee who is a victim of sexual assault or stalking may need to quit a job or use leave for safety reasons as well as to have time to address medical needs, participate in legal proceedings, obtain counseling, or seek advocacy services.
  • Nationally, 11% of evictions involve victims of domestic violence. Removing existing barriers for victims of violence to exercise their right to break their leases ensures that victims do not have an eviction on their record, making it harder for them from finding future safe housing.
  • Victims of violence should control their housing choices.  Prohibiting eviction because the tenant was a victim of violence while removing barriers to breaking a lease if necessary advances this goal.