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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

NV struggles to address rate of domestic violence; progress being made

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023   

Domestic Violence Awareness Month might be coming to an end, but a recent panel discussion was aimed at educating Nevadans about policy changes as well as dispelling misconceptions surrounding domestic violence.

Serena Evans, policy director for the Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence, said as a state, Nevada tends to be what she calls "reactive instead of proactive," relating to policy implementation. She adds Nevada is one of a few states that does not fund prevention and intervention through its general budget- making it more difficult to get victim survivors the help they need.

"So many other states fund domestic and sexual violence in their general budget. We do not. So a lot of our programs struggle to make ends meet, and we do not have enough funding in the state to meet the needs of victim survivors," she explained.

For 23 out of the last 25 years, Nevada has ranked among the top 10 states with the highest rates of women being killed by men, according to the Violence Policy Center. It also ranks 21st in the nation in terms of household firearm ownership rates. Domestic violence experts call the combination a dangerous mix. Evans said Nevada policymakers can vote to better support housing and education initiatives to decrease the rate of domestic violence.

One of the laws that was passed during Nevada's latest legislative session was Assembly Bill 51. It expands the window for when people can be arrested in domestic-violence cases from 24 hours to seven days. Before AB 51's passage, law enforcement officers only had 24 hours to make an arrest before they had to obtain a warrant. Advocates say it should help reduce survivor's vulnerability.

Kristen Kennedy, executive director of the Domestic Violence Resource Center in Reno, said they not only provide emergency services for those fleeing domestic-violence situations, but also work with victim survivors to get them back on their feet.

"We assist in helping individuals rebuild their lives. We have a transitional housing program so individuals can be in our program and live in our housing for up to two years," she explained. "And during that time, we do some very intensive financial coaching with our clients and trauma counseling."

Kennedy added many have the misconception that one needs to find themselves in what she calls a crisis situation to seek help. She said that isn't the case at all, and encourages those who want to learn more or simply get advice to reach out to organizations like hers, as they are there to help and provide resources.


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