Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence Connects Low Wages, Domestic Abuse

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A growing coalition supports raising Idaho's minimum wage above the federal minimum—$7.25 an hour. That coalition includes United Action and Vision for Idaho, the Idaho Jobs Coalition, labor groups from across the state like AFL-CIO of Idaho and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; and Catholic Charities of Idaho.

Add to that the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, which connected Idaho's low wages to women's ability to leave abusive relationships. 

"The Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence is deeply committed to an increase in minimum wage as a solution to the poverty that creates barriers to escaping an abusive relationship, and in moving from short-term safety to long-term security, and to economically sustainable, independent lives," wrote ICASDV Executive Director Kelly Miller in a press release.

According to CDC studies conducted in 2010 (and updated in 2013 and 2014), a key factor for women leaving abusive relationships is their economic independence. And Idaho has one of the largest rates of minimum-wage employment in the country. 

But Miller said that beyond national studies and surveys, shelters and abuse victim services across the state are reporting similar findings. 

"This is stemming from women who are seeking services. This is coming from research, but it's also coming from what we're hearing from our sexual and domestic problems around the state," she said.

Miller said that current attempts to raise Idaho's minimum wage will likely not put many such wage earners above the poverty line, they're "a step in the right direction."

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