Gender-based violence is a pervasive global issue that affects millions of individuals, predominantly women and girls, every day. In response to this alarming crisis, legislative measures have been enacted to provide protection and justice to survivors of such violence.
One crucial piece of legislation that plays a significant role in addressing gender-based violence is the Gender Motivated Violence Protection Law (GMVPL). In this blog, we will explore the purpose and significance of the GMVPL, its historical context, the types of violence it aims to prevent or address, and the mechanisms it employs to safeguard survivors of gender-based violence.
The Historical Context of the Gender Motivated Violence Protection Law
The GMVPL emerged from a growing recognition of the urgent need to address gender-based violence as a violation of human rights. Its inception can be traced back to the tireless efforts of feminist activists and advocates who fought for greater gender equality and an end to violence against women. The act represents a milestone in acknowledging that violence targeted at individuals due to their gender is not only a crime against individuals but also an affront to the fundamental principles of equality and dignity.
Types of Violence Addressed by the GMVPL
A "crime of violence motivated by gender" refers to any criminal act committed against a person based on their gender, gender identity, or gender expression. The motivation behind the crime is rooted in the perpetrator's prejudice or bias against the victim's gender.
- Domestic Violence: The act addresses violence that occurs within intimate relationships or households, recognizing the vulnerable position survivors often find themselves in when facing abuse from partners or family members.
- Sexual Violence: The GMVPL tackles sexual assault, rape, and any non-consensual acts of a sexual nature, seeking to empower survivors and ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.
- Stalking and Harassment: The act also covers stalking and persistent harassment, providing safeguards against these insidious forms of violence that can profoundly affect a survivor's mental and emotional well-being.
- Human Trafficking: Recognizing the heinous nature of human trafficking, the GMVPL takes measures to protect victims from this form of exploitation and hold traffickers accountable under the law.
What Does This Law Do?
Any individual who claims to be harmed by a party involved in a gender-motivated violent crime has the right to seek legal action in a suitable court. They may seek various types of relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive and declaratory relief, attorney's fees and costs, and any other relief deemed appropriate by the court.
2-Year Lookback Window
The GMVPL offers a 2-year lookback window for survivors of gender-motivated violence to file civil lawsuits, even if the incident occurred decades ago. This window will be available from March 1, 2023, to March 1, 2025. Additionally, the law extends the statute of limitations, giving survivors 7 to 9 years from the date of the gender-motivated violent act to bring their claims. This extension is essential because, without this law, civil claims for sexual assaults would have a shorter statute of limitations.
Moving Forward with Levy Konigsberg
The Gender Motivated Violence Protection Law stands as a beacon of hope for survivors of gender-based violence, emphasizing their rights, protection, and access to justice. By addressing various forms of violence and providing essential support mechanisms, the act sends a strong message that society will not tolerate violence based on gender. As we move forward, it is vital to uphold the spirit of the GMVPL, work towards its effective implementation, and build a world where gender-based violence becomes a thing of the past – where everyone can live free from fear and violence, regardless of their gender.
If you’ve been the victim of sexual violence, contact Levy Konigsberg today at (800) 315-3806 to begin your healing journey.