New York State Equality Amendment
This legislation will amend the state's constitution to comprehensively prohibit discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, and sex — including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. Importantly, the Equality Amendment would prohibit both intentional discrimination and policies that, even if neutral in theory, have a uniquely negative impact on particular communities.
New York Cyber Flashing Act
Cyber flashing is an increasingly common form of sexual harassment impacting women in New York City and across the state. This modern form of harassment can take a number of forms and often involves the digital nonconsensual transmission of lewd still images, particularly of male genitalia and videos of male genitalia, nudes, and pornographic material, via text, email, direct message, or airdrop. NOW is urging lawmakers to support legislation that will make cyberflashing a violation offense under New York law and recognize this unwanted behavior as not only abusive but unlawful.
Implement an Electronic Tracking System for Sexual Assault Evidence
NY State needs to amend public health law to include an electronic tracking system for the collection of sexual assault evidence. This legislation would require the state to maintain evidence used in sexual assault cases within one database. This would provide security for valuable evidence to be used in ongoing legal cases.
Additionally, this legislation would allow sexual assault survivors the ability to track evidence and receive information regarding their case.
Sex Trade Survivors Justice & Equality Act
The legislation — based on a progressive legal framework supported by survivors of prostitution and sex trafficking now known as the Equality Model — decriminalizes people in prostitution in New York, while also vacating and expunging past convictions. It also gives them access to comprehensive, trauma-informed services and options to exit the sex trade should they wish to do so. The proposed law will also hold accountable those who cause lifelong harm, profit off of and drive prostitution and sex trafficking. The legislation will continue to uphold statutes that hold accountable pimps, traffickers, brothel owners and illicit massage parlor owners, strengthen anti-trafficking laws, and address sex buying through a fine using an income-based fine scale.
Empower Home Healthcare Workers
Home healthcare workers are providing essential care for seniors across New York, but they face harsh and unfair working conditions. Often forced to take on 24-hour shifts for days on end, they care for patients around-the-clock, even though they are only paid for 13 hours of each 24-hour shift. This legislation will prohibit the shameful and unconscionable practice of the 24-hour workdays that harm workers and put patients at risk, by limiting shifts to 12 hours and capping required hours per week.
Make Comprehensive Sexual Education a Reality
This legislation would require comprehensive sexuality instruction for students in grades K-12, which would address age and developmentally appropriate physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of human sexuality and would reflect the national sexuality education standards.
Download and read our memo of support below.
Ban Virginity Testing
The invasive and sexist practice of so-called “virginity testing” is still happening in 2020 in the U.S. Subjecting girls to any form of “virginity testing” is sexual violence and a direct violation of their bodily integrity and privacy. The practice is a reflection of the antiquated standards society still hold for girls and young women, and it is in no way accepted as valid by the medical community. In fact, the United Nations and the World Health Organization co-wrote a statement calling to end virginity testing around the world. This legislation would ban virginity testing in New York State, prohibiting medical practitioners from performing these examinations and subjecting them to penalties if they breach the ban. Any “virginity tests” performed outside of a professional medical setting would be considered sexual assault under the proposal.