Our Public Policy Advocacy
UDVC’s advocacy role is to work with service providers, people impacted by domestic violence, and other Coalition members and stakeholders to develop and implement a statewide public policy strategy that:
- Advances safety and stability for those who experience domestic violence
- Improves treatment and accountability systems for those who cause harm
- Promotes the prevention of intimate partner violence before it happens
2023 Policy Highlights
Utah’s 2023 Legislative Session was historic for domestic violence issues. All five of UDVC’s domestic violence policy priorities were widely supported and passed/funded. These changes strengthen our state’s response system, prioritize survivor support, ensure offender accountability, and save lives. UDVC is committed to continued positive change through legislative advocacy.
Five Successful Policy Priorities
Strengthening Victim Services: $6 million in new ongoing funding has doubled previous state funds for Domestic Violence Service Providers (DVSPs). A total of nearly $30 million in new support for victims of all crime types was appropriated by the legislature, including $12 million ongoing and $12.5 million over the next three years.
Utah Victim Services Commission (HB 244): Establishment of the Utah Victim Services Commission, launched in September 2023, marks a significant step toward creating a statewide strategy for better service coordination.
Lease Termination Protections (HB 314): Amendments to Utah’s lease termination protections statute make it easier for domestic violence survivors to terminate rental leases early for their safety and housing security. This legislation became effective in May 2023.
Lethality Assessment Protocol (SB 117): Use of the lethality assessment protocol by all Utah enforcement agencies began rolling out in May 2023, improving the process for connecting survivors with shelter services and other support. Full implementation was achieved on July 1, 2023.
Task Force for Data Improvement (HB 43): Creation of a time-limited task force focusing on improving statewide domestic violence data – with an emphasis on prevalence, lethality risk, and protective orders – was launched in September 2023.
Overall, UDVC considered and monitored 125 bills and 8 funding requests for domestic violence impact, actively engaging with policymakers on 32 of those bills and all 8 funding requests.
Public Policy Committee
UDVC’s membership-based Public Policy Committee is charged with advocating for the needs of domestic violence survivors and service providers, one of the four essential areas of the coalition’s mission to end domestic violence in Utah through advocacy, education, collaboration, and leadership. The Committee guides UDVC’s advocacy for public policy-making that enhances victim/survivor safety and empowerment, strengthens accountability, promotes prevention efforts, and ensures the prompt availability and accessibility of services for victims of domestic violence across the state of Utah. The Public Policy Committee also supports UDVC and domestic violence service providers’ advocacy for state and federal appropriations to ensure that services that are delivered appropriately, in line with best practices on trauma-informed care, and in a manner that preserves human dignity and overcomes cultural, linguistic, and economic barriers to the receipt of such services.
Public Policy Members
Committee membership is open to all UDVC Members but must be proportionately representative of the primary purpose domestic violence service providers, as licensed by the Utah Department of Health and Human Services. Other stakeholders who support UDVC’s mission and purpose may also be approved to join the Committee through a simple majority vote of Committee Members present. Committee votes are restricted to UDVC Members.