TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and Ellen Karcher that would create the “Domestic Violence and Workforce Development Initiative Act,” to help prevent domestic violence by increasing awareness and job availability was unanimously approved today by the full Senate.
“A lack of self-sufficiency is one of the main reasons domestic abuse is allowed to continue; victims believe that they have no where else to turn,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “By training workforce development counselors how to better deal with victims of domestic violence, they would be able to help encourage them to leave their abusive situations.”
“When it comes to helping abuse victims to leave their abusers, empowerment is the key word,” said Senator Karcher, D-Mercer and Monmouth. “This measure would help educate counselors and unemployment officers about how to deal with abuse victims, so that they can help them gain freedom and empowerment through self-sufficiency.”
The Senators’ measure, S-2160, would require training for State workforce development counselors and unemployment officers on how to identify and address the needs of domestic violence victims. Counselors would make referrals for victims to domestic violence agencies, and tackle problems with domestic victims such as how to obtain employment benefits, find employment and advance their future career goals.
The Commissioner of Community Affairs would be directed to develop a plan to increase domestic violence awareness and to direct the State’s workforce development programs in the ways they can better assist victims.
The legislation would also make the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development a member of the Advisory Council on Domestic Violence.
This measure was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on December 5.