PRESS RELEASE: Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center on Gubernatorial Vetoes of HB573 and SB297 (Medical Debt Reform)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2022 Virginia Poverty Law Center and Legal Aid Justice Center state that Governor Youngkin’s vetoes of Del. Clark’s HB573 and Sen. Deeds’ SB297 have derailed critical, popular, and thoughtfully crafted bipartisan consumer debt reforms for thousands upon thousands of Virginians. Richmond, VA – Outstanding bills for medical treatment are one […]

2022 Session Update: Week Two

This was a busy week at the General Assembly for VPLC advocates. We often must try and follow bills being heard in two or even three committees that meet at the same time! Please encourage your legislators to do the right thing and publicly praise them when they do. Below, an update on some of our issues […]

2022 Session Update: New Leadership, Same Mission

The 2022 General Assembly is off and running, with 1,938 House and Senate bills filed — and more expected to come. Our advocates are dealing with a lot of change this year: a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, members in the House of Delegates, and committee chairs. But among the change, one thing remains […]

Why Language Access is Essential for Domestic Violence Survivors

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this post comes from VPLC’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Attorney, Susheela Varky. Imagine you have to go to court — whether it’s to pursue your own case against someone who has wronged you or because you’ve received a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case. Most […]

PRESS RELEASE: New anti-poverty laws take effect in Virginia today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 1, 2021 The suite of new laws will protect tenants, help families with food assistance, expand health coverage, protect consumers, and more. Richmond, VA – Effective today, several new laws in the Commonwealth will benefit hundreds of thousands of low-income Virginians. The new laws include better protections for tenants, expansion of […]

Sexual Assault Can and Does Happen to Everyone: Musings on Serving Male Victims

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we are featuring a blog post from Susheela Varky, Staff Attorney for Domestic and Sexual Violence at the Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC). To learn more, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Recently, I held a virtual training for advocates about the types of services VPLC provides to […]

Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 19, 2021 Statement from the Virginia Poverty Law Center The Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) stands in solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in light of the tragic shooting that occurred in Atlanta, GA, Tuesday night. We mourn the loss of these victims and send condolences to their loved ones. We are outraged over the rise […]

New landlord-tenant laws, foster care reform, and restored driver’s licenses: new Virginia laws take effect July 1

Today, hundreds of new laws that passed during this year’s General Assembly go into effect, from new landlord-tenant laws to foster care reform. Here are a few to note. Other New Laws Related to VPLC Focus Areas Medicaid and Mental Health: An adopted budget increases reimbursements for Medicaid primary care physicians and licensed mental health […]

After 10 long years, a LA VIDA client finally receives her green card

Alicia* was getting ready to have nursing school graduation pictures taken when she got a call from VPLC.  “Don’t make me cry!” she squealed with delight.  After waiting 10 long years, she’d been granted her green card, or Lawful Permanent Resident status. Alicia and her mother came to VPLC in 2011, when she was just […]

VPLC’s 2019 Legislative Review

With another General Assembly session behind us and the dust settled after this month’s veto session, here is a review of what occurred during the 2019 legislative session. This year brought several wins—foster care reform, fairer laws for tenants in the wake of a report detailing Virginia’s high eviction rates, and the end of driver’s […]

Surviving domestic and sexual violence while undocumented: one woman’s story

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To learn more, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Ana* met her husband online through a Christian dating website. He was charming, handsome, and seemed to adore her when they first met. After they married, all that changed. Her husband became manipulative, jealous, and controlling. He began […]

Promoting Consent for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This year’s theme for SAAM is “I Ask,” championing the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions. Sexual Assault is Widespread Nearly one in five women in the US have experienced rape or attempted rape at some point in […]

Crossover Report | 2019 General Assembly

Tuesday, February 5, 2019, was “Crossover Day” in the General Assembly—the last day for bills to be heard in the Senate or House of Delegates before crossing over to the other chamber for review. Check out our 2019 Crossover Report to learn more about the bills we support, oppose, and monitor. Take Action! We need your help […]

Working to Improve Laws for Domestic and Sexual Violence Victims

Every year at the Virginia General Assembly, VPLC supports, opposes and/or works to amend legislative initiatives that affect domestic and sexual violence victims. This year is no exception. As we approach Crossover (the point at which each chamber—the House of Delegates and the Senate—must finish hearing its own bills), we’ve highlighted some of the bills […]

Susheela Varky with Governor McAuliffe as He Signs Historic Gun Deal that Helps DV Victims

VPLC Staff Attorney Susheela Varky joined Governor McAuliffe along with other advocates while he signed the historic gun legislation that in part significantly helps family Victims of Domestic Violence with up to two year protective orders.  

Virginia Legal Aid Programs Kick Off Expanded Services to Victims of Crime

On June 13th, new and experienced legal aid staff members funded by grants from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) will converge in Richmond to share information, resources and obtain training. Through VOCA funds newly made available to legal aid programs, Virginia’s legal aid agencies will provide increased and more comprehensive services to domestic […]

VPLC supports HB 1851 as a bill that supports victim safety and holds offenders accountable for their crimes.

VPLC Supports HB 1851 as Closing a Loophole Available to 1st Offense Domestic Violence Abusers Who Have Benefited from Deferred Sentencing Provisions §18.2-57.3 is the deferred sentencing provision available to first-time domestic violence abusers. It is only available to first-time offenders over 18 years of age who acknowledge that the Commonwealth of Virginia has enough […]

VPLC supports HB 1344 to make it easier on children presenting evidence in court

Sometimes it can be very difficult for children to testify in court.  For example, a child was willing to testify against his father for (alleged) abuse, but could not do so in open court and instead had a breakdown on the witness stand. It is hard enough for anyone to testify about physical, sexual or […]

VPLC Opposes SB 861 Because It May Have a Chilling Effect on PPO Petitioners Seeking Protection Against an Act of Violence, Force or Threat

  Preliminary Protective Orders (PPOs) are emergency orders designed to protect the “health and safety of the petitioner or any family or household member of the petitioner” against an act of violence, force or threat that results in bodily injury or places one in reasonable apprehension of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. In most jurisdictions […]

VPLC’s Susheela Varky Gives Bold and Vulnerable Interview to Richmond Justice

We’re honored that this month the Richmond Justice project chose to highlight VPLC Staff Attorney Susheela Varky. Her personal story, understanding, and huge desire to help victims is captivating. Read her captivating interview.

VPLC Applauds Historic Gun Agreement that Protects Some Domestic Violence Victims

Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC) applauds the historic agreement between Governor Terry McAuliffe and Republican and Democratic leaders to, among other things, prohibit a person subject to a Family Abuse Protective Order under Code of Virginia §16.1-279.1 from possessing a firearm. This is a common sense step toward promoting victim safety and holding perpetrators accountable […]

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