Safer Communities

America is facing an epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault (DVSA) that is tragically all too familiar to us in Alaska. We have lost too many of our friends, neighbors, and loved ones to deadly violence and have seen too many childhoods stolen by abuse. In Alaska, a staggering 59% of women have suffered intimate partner violence. In fact, Alaska was named the most dangerous state for women in the United States. For too long political leaders have paid lip service to ending this crisis without meaningful policy change or a long-term investment in safer communities and homes.

As a lifelong Alaskan and a doctor, I have seen firsthand the devastating aftermath of trauma and abuse. I am ready to address this crisis—not just with words but with bold new ideas and concrete action. My plan will fundamentally change how the government confronts domestic violence and sexual assault by addressing three key priorities: the criminal justice system, recidivism and escalation, and victims’ rights and services.

My plan will invest in the criminal justice system by funding prosecutors in state district attorney’s offices who will specialize in DVSA cases and victim advocates who will also serve in district attorney’s offices and will focus on serving DVSA victims by helping them navigate the criminal justice system. My plan will also incentivize states to increase sentences for domestic violence offenders with a pattern of escalating violence and for offenders who commit domestic violence in the presence of children.

My plan will use an evidence-based approach to lower recidivism and protect victims. This plan funds the creation of GPS location programs to monitor high risk domestic violence and sexual assault offenders, which in some states has been shown to reduce violent crime by 95% among participants in the program. I will also close the “boyfriend loophole” that allows convicted domestic abusers to purchase firearms and improve information sharing among states to improve the NICS database. Unlike Dan Sullivan, I will also vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Finally, my plan seeks to create better outcomes for victims as they navigate the criminal justice system and rebuild their lives after abuse. This plan creates new programs within the federal government that guarantee housing and childcare assistance for low income survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Additionally, this plan will expand the Legal Assistance for Victims program to guarantee victims the right to an attorney. By ensuring victims have access to housing, childcare assistance, and legal counsel, we address the top challenges victims face in leaving an abuser.

For more information on my plan to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault, please take a moment to download my full plan.