Evan Rachel Wood led a team of domestic violence survivors and created the Phoenix Act to empower survivors to come forward.

I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. I was so traumatized and afraid of retaliation from my abuser it took me many years and a lot of therapy to reach the point of being able to come forward, only to be told by an attorney that despite my long list of video, audio and photographic evidence, nothing could be done.

I felt that I was one of many victims who fall through the cracks if they were not able to recover from or identify their abuse in time. This moved me to assemble a team that could create a cushion for survivors of domestic violence to come back from their trauma, with certain exceptions to the statute of limitation.

According to the American Psychological Association, more than one in three women and more than one in four men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Women with disabilities have a 40% greater risk of intimate partner violence. One in five female high school students reports being physically and/or sexually assaulted by a dating partner.

California has the opportunity to significantly strengthen the law regarding domestic violence in three areas:

  • student education

  • criminal prosecution

  • law enforcement training

These steps will help prevent domestic violence from occurring, grant victims the ability to pursue charges when the statute of limitations has passed, given the very specific criteria are met, and present law enforcement the tools needed to identify and act appropriately to prevent further harm to a potential victim.

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