Legislature(2011 - 2012)CAPITOL 106

03/22/2012 08:00 AM STATE AFFAIRS

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             HCR 28-SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH                                                                          
8:07:32 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN announced  that the first order of  business was HOUSE                                                               
CONCURRENT  RESOLUTION NO.  28,  Proclaiming the  month of  April                                                               
2012 to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month.                                                                                      
8:07:43 AM                                                                                                                    
RACHEL  KALLANDER,  Staff,  Representative  Cathy  Munoz,  Alaska                                                               
State  Legislature,  presented HCR  28  on  behalf of  the  House                                                               
Community  and   Regional  Affairs  Standing   Committee  (HCRA),                                                               
sponsor,  on which  Representative Munoz  is chair.   She  stated                                                               
that  Alaska has  the  highest  rates of  sexual  assault in  the                                                               
country, estimated  at 2.5 times  the national average; it  is an                                                               
epidemic  that,   until  stopped,  will  continue   to  devastate                                                               
Alaska's individuals,  families, and  communities.  She  said HCR
28,  along   with  the  governor's  "Choose   Respect"  campaign,                                                               
hopefully will  send a message  to Alaskans that  sexual violence                                                               
is not to  be tolerated, silenced, or covered up.   Ms. Kallander                                                               
said the  resolution recognizes the  many volunteers,  staff, and                                                               
agencies  that provide  victims  of sexual  assault with  safety,                                                               
options, and justice.  She  said claiming April as sexual assault                                                               
awareness month  is "an honorable  recognition of the  great need                                                               
in Alaska to combat this  epidemic ... by speaking out, listening                                                               
to those who  have been harmed, and removing the  veil of silence                                                               
from this issue."  She encouraged co-sponsorship of HCR 28.                                                                     
8:10:17 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KALLANDER, in response to  Chair Lynn, said the sponsor could                                                               
work with the  Office of the Governor  to come up with  a list of                                                               
those to whom copies of  the proposed concurrent resolution would                                                               
be sent.                                                                                                                        
8:11:18 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  PETERSEN asked  what would  be done  to make  the                                                               
public aware of  the designation of April 2012  as Sexual Assault                                                               
Awareness Month.                                                                                                                
MS.  KALLANDER indicated  that  a resolution  has  been made  [in                                                               
Alaska]  since 2001,  and she  said many  communities and  states                                                               
across the country have had  similar legislation since the 1990s.                                                               
She said she would bring this  issue up with the sponsor, and she                                                               
expressed her hope  that the delivery of  this campaign's message                                                               
would be aligned with the Choose Respect campaign.                                                                              
CHAIR LYNN  suggested that  a presentation could  be made  by the                                                               
governor in conjunction with HCR 28.                                                                                            
8:12:37 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P.  WILSON, in response to  Ms. Kallander's urging                                                               
committee   members   to   co-sponsor   HCR   28,   offered   her                                                               
understanding that the  committee could not do so  because HCR 28                                                               
is being presented by the  House State Affairs Standing Committee                                                               
CHAIR LYNN suggested that [a  member of the committee] could make                                                               
a statement when HCR 28 reaches the House floor.                                                                                
8:13:41 AM                                                                                                                    
ROWENA  PALOMAR, Executive  Director,  Advocates  for Victims  of                                                               
Violence  (AVV), related  that AVV  is a  shelter for  victims of                                                               
domestic violence and  sexual assault, and stated  her support of                                                               
the designation of April as  Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  She                                                               
said the  proposed legislation will  send the message  to victims                                                               
that there  are people  ready to  listen and  help.   Ms. Palomar                                                               
listed the  following activities  AVV has  planned in  Valdez for                                                               
April   Sexual  Assault   Awareness  Month:     reading   of  the                                                               
proclamation at  the Valdez  City Council meeting  on April  2; a                                                               
Walk a Mile in  Her Shoes event on April 3, which  will be led by                                                               
men walking in  high heels and flip  flops to get an  idea of the                                                               
position  a  woman is  in  when  assaulted; partnering  with  the                                                               
school  district to  have students  draw  depictions on  t-shirts                                                               
showing how  they want to  be protected, and displaying  those t-                                                               
shirts in  the school; and  holding a women of  distinction event                                                               
honoring  female role  models in  the community.   She  expressed                                                               
thanks to  Ms. Kallander and  emphasized the importance  of women                                                               
coming forward to tell their stories.                                                                                           
8:19:01 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  PALOMAR,  in response  to  Representative  Seaton and  Chair                                                               
Lynn,  stated her  preference that  all Aprils  be designated  as                                                               
Sexual Assault Awareness Month - not just 2012.                                                                                 
8:19:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  SEATON suggested  finding  out  what the  sponsor                                                               
would like to do.                                                                                                               
8:20:29 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KALLANDER said she does not  know the position of the sponsor                                                               
regarding   that   question,   but   once   again   offered   her                                                               
understanding  that similar  resolutions  have  been passed  each                                                               
year since 2001.                                                                                                                
8:21:03 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE P. WILSON said she  carried a resolution that made                                                               
February Heart Awareness  month, and she said  the American Heart                                                               
Association stated  a preference  for the  resolution to  be made                                                               
each year.   However, she noted that that resolution  is still in                                                               
the possession of  the Senate, so it  is too late for  2012.  She                                                               
said she thinks it would be a good  idea to pass HCR 28 as a one-                                                               
time  resolution that  would make  every succeeding  April Sexual                                                               
Assault Awareness Month.                                                                                                        
MS. PALOMAR concurred.                                                                                                          
8:22:23 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  offered his understanding  that that would  require a                                                               
bill, not just a resolution.                                                                                                    
8:22:42 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG echoed the chair's remark.                                                                             
CHAIR LYNN said  National Guard Day just passed in  the form of a                                                               
bill.   He  commented that  no one  knows today  what legislative                                                               
schedules will be a year from now.                                                                                              
8:23:53 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  KELLER said  he would  resist making  a permanent                                                               
designation, because  people are uncomfortable talking  about the                                                               
issue and there  is value in bringing  it up each year.   He said                                                               
he would  like a direct  response from  the sponsor on  the issue                                                               
before making this decision.                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN  said it was unfortunate  that Gavel to Gavel  was not                                                               
present to televise this meeting.                                                                                               
8:25:16 AM                                                                                                                    
MS.  KALLANDER stated  a preference  to speak  with all  involved                                                               
agencies before  the committee  considered changing  the proposed                                                               
concurrent resolution to be perpetual.                                                                                          
CHAIR  LYNN suggested  that that  conversation take  place before                                                               
considering the issue again next year.                                                                                          
8:26:41 AM                                                                                                                    
SARALYN  TABACHNICK, Executive  Director, Aiding  Women in  Abuse                                                               
and Rape  Emergencies (AWARE); Chair, Alaska  Network on Domestic                                                               
Violence  and Sexual  Assault (ANDVSA),  testified in  support of                                                               
HCR 28.   She said the  resolution states many reasons  that this                                                               
designation   is  important   for  Alaska,   and  she   expressed                                                               
appreciation  for  the  committee's  focus on  the  issue.    She                                                               
related  that a  2010 survey  revealed  that over  37 percent  of                                                               
adult  women  in  Alaska  experience  sexual  violence  in  their                                                               
lifetime.   She said the survey  did not count the  number of men                                                               
or  children who  have  been  victims of  sexual  violence.   She                                                               
stated that bringing  awareness to the issue through  HCR 28 will                                                               
invite  individuals   and  communities  to  speak   about  sexual                                                               
assault,   which  will   allow  for   greater  intervention   and                                                               
prevention services.   She  said, "It helps  take away  the shame                                                               
and take away the blame."                                                                                                       
MS. TABACHNICK listed the following  activities planned in Juneau                                                               
for April:   a training  to engage men in  the work of  AWARE, on                                                               
April  3; a  healing  art  exhibit on  April  6;  and the  annual                                                               
waterfront race  on April  7.   She said  next week  the governor                                                               
will hold his Choose Respect march,  which will take place in 120                                                               
communities  in   Alaska.    She   said  AWARE   appreciates  the                                                               
legislature's  support   for  victims   of  sexual   assault  and                                                               
CHAIR  LYNN pointed  out that  the  elderly are  also victims  of                                                               
sexual assault.                                                                                                                 
8:29:56 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  asked Ms.  Tabachnick to clarify  that she                                                               
was  talking about  the normal  response of  the victims  to feel                                                               
shame and blame themselves.                                                                                                     
MS. TABACHNICK answered that is correct.                                                                                        
CHAIR  LYNN remarked  that often  there is  shame and  blame with                                                               
family  members who  question why  they were  not aware  of abuse                                                               
going on within the family.                                                                                                     
8:32:01 AM                                                                                                                    
LAUREE MORTON,  Executive Director, Council on  Domestic Violence                                                               
& Sexual Assault  (CDVSA), Department of Public  Safety, said she                                                               
is  currently in  Fairbanks, Alaska,  overseeing the  training of                                                               
eight   sexual  assault   response   teams,   comprised  of   law                                                               
enforcement  officers,  advocates,  health  care  providers,  and                                                               
prosecutors.   She  stated her  belief that  it is  important for                                                               
"the leaders  of the  state to  say with one  voice that  help is                                                               
available,  survivors will  be believed,  and  offenders will  be                                                               
held  accountable."    She  talked   about  the  opportunity  the                                                               
legislature has  to spread  awareness, not  only through  HCR 28,                                                               
but through  constituent outreach.   She spoke of safety  at home                                                               
and work,  noting that  coworkers and  relatives are  more likely                                                               
than others to commit acts of sexual violence.                                                                                  
MS. MORTON  expressed her appreciation  of the  acknowledgment in                                                               
HCR 28  of "the  people who  are dedicated to  this work  and the                                                               
call to assist  them in this effort."  She  said there are heroes                                                               
around the state  who respond to help victims  of sexual assault.                                                               
She thanked the  committee for its "constant support  and work on                                                               
these issues over  the years," and she asked  for the committee's                                                               
support of HCR 28.                                                                                                              
8:35:10 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR LYNN,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony.                                                                                     
8:35:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG reported that  legal holidays are listed                                                               
in AS  44.12.010.  He said  Martin Luther King Day  was first set                                                               
up as a  "day of honor," then  it moved to become a  statute.  He                                                               
said, "There are  a whole bunch of those  statutes," ranging from                                                               
AS 44.12.030  to AS  44.12.118.   He offered  some examples.   He                                                               
suggested  that the  committee may  want to  consider designating                                                               
sexual awareness in statute.                                                                                                    
8:37:34 AM                                                                                                                    
MS. KALLANDER said  that is an important question  for next year,                                                               
and she said she will speak with the sponsor and other agencies.                                                                
8:38:54 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE KELLER  moved to  report HCR  28 out  of committee                                                               
with  individual  recommendations  and  the  accompanying  fiscal                                                               
notes.   There being no  objection, HCR  was reported out  of the                                                               
House State Affairs Standing Committee.                                                                                         

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
01 HCR28 Version A.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
HCR 28
02 HCR28 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
HCR 28
03 HCR28 Council DSV 2012 Dashboard Findings.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
HCR 28
04 HCR28 2010 Alaska Victimization Survey.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
HCR 28
05 HCR 28 HSTA Zero Fiscal Note 3-21-12.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
HCR 28
01 HB0347A.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/13/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 347
02 HB 347 Sponsor Statement.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/13/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 347
03 HB347 Sectional Analysis.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/13/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 347
04 HB347 Legislative Research 3-9-2012.pdf HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/13/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 347
05 HB347-DCCED-DCRA-02-24-12.pdf HJUD 4/2/2012 1:00:00 PM
HSTA 3/22/2012 8:00:00 AM
SSTA 4/13/2012 9:00:00 AM
HB 347