In early March, the Biden administration renewed the Violence Against Women Act, first passed on 1994 and renewed three times prior to this most recent renewal. The act attempts to address the widespread and varied types of violence often perpetrated against women. With the recent uptick in domestic violence since the start of the pandemic, it is clear that this legislation continues to be integral to ensuring the safety of women throughout the country.

While this landmark legislation addresses federal policy, these issues are particularly salient for women living in New York City as well. There has been an alarming rise in violence against women in New York City over the past several months. The spike in deadly violence against AAPI women has also taken root in the city, even as Mayor Eric Adams expresses his commitment to reigning in violence.

However, even as Adams releases his plans to combat violence in the city, absent from his blueprint is a path for preventing domestic violence. Coupled with the fact that Adams’ plans for addressing violence rely heavily on increased policing–despite the fact that sexual assault survivors typically don’t feel that police adaquetly address their needs–it is clear that there is an opportunity for policy that effectively addresses issues of violence against women.

Wagner Review and Wagner Womxn are partnering to create a call for proposals. We invite you to write a (maximum) 2-page policy memo that proposes some ways in which Mayor Adams’ administration can address issues of violence against people who identify as women and femme-presenting individuals. While we invite students and alumni to consider the following prompts below, it is not mandatory to follow them. You may write on any topics within the scope of the question as you’d like. 

Prompts (5-6 questions for students to respond to with policy proposals)

  • How can Mayor Adams better integrate policies that protect people who identify as women and femme-presenting individuals against violence, especially ones with racially motivated intentions? 
  • What alternative policies can be put in place other than using policing as a solution? How might these policies focus on the prevention of violence?
  • Compare and contrast some policies that communities have put in place to protect vulnerable citizens from increased crime. Which solutions could New York City implement? Which have been less effective?
  • Long-term, sustainable solutions to an increase in crime often take a great deal of time to implement. Suggest some short-term solutions that the City can implement to protect vulnerable women identifying New Yorkers immediately.

Proposals may be submitted here by Monday, April 25th date. Current students who submit by April 18th may be invited to present their proposal at the Wagner Review Policy Conference on Friday, April 29th.

Questions? Please email Emily at