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Women's Rights

We must create a society in which all women are free and able to care for their families, however they are formed, and cultivate fulfilling careers in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.

It was an honor to participant in this year’s women’s march at which my mother, Melissa Svigelj-Smith, was asked to speak. I have always been an advocate for organizations such as Planned Parenthood, NWLC, NOW, and The Project to End Human Trafficking. I believe we need more women as elected officials and worked as a campaign manager for a women’s mayoral campaign. Having been raised by a single, teenage mother, I know how strong women can be and will fight to advance their rights and protections. I will work for an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security, and equity and create workforce opportunities that reduce discrimination against women and the LGBTQIA community.

Harassment and Assault

I hear the thirty-five female lawmakers and staff members whose message in November 2017 in the Ohio Legislature was, "We are not doing enough."

Over the past few months, women and men have bravely shared their stories and experiences, putting faces and names to the epidemic of sexual assault and harassment in this country. Legislators and the private sector need to develop viable solutions to dismantle the culture of sexual assault and harassment. It has no place in our country or in Ohio, and it certainly has no place in our government.

Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of violence against their bodies. One in three women have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. One in five women have been raped. Further, each year, thousands of women and girls are kidnapped, trafficked, or murdered. I will work for a day when all forms of violence against women are eliminated.

Campus Assault

Effectively addressing sexual violence on each of Ohio’s campuses requires a sustained, institution- and community-wide commitment focusing on the following factors:

  • Partnerships with local rape crisis centers and coalitions
  • Confidential resources for survivors
  • Comprehensive primary prevention strategies
  • An embrace of student leadership by campus administrators

Human Trafficking

In 2011, Ohio's first stand-alone human trafficking law went into effect and soon after, Governor John Kasich became the first governor in the United States to establish his own Human Trafficking Task Force. I will seek to be part of the leadership on this issue, which comes from both sides of the aisle.

Ohio currently has over a dozen local human trafficking coalitions operating across the state, and Ohio has the fourth-highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. We must continue extensive outreach and prevention efforts in Ohio and make the state a leader in human trafficking awareness and prevention.

Criminal Justice Reform

I believe it is our moral imperative to dismantle the inequities within the criminal justice system. The rate of imprisonment has grown faster for women than men, increasing by 700% since 1980, and the majority of women in prison have a child under the age of 18. Incarcerated women also face a high rate of violence and sexual assault. I am committed to ensuring access to gender-responsive programming and dedicated healthcare including substance abuse treatment, mental health, and maternal health services for women in prison.

Economic Fairness

I will work for an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. Creating workforce opportunities that reduce discrimination against women and mothers will allow economies to thrive. States and industries that support and invest in caregiving and basic workplace protections have shown growth and increased productivity.

We must end the pay and hiring discrimination that women still face each day in our nation. Equal pay for equal work should be the law of the land. I will fight for the 82% of women who become mothers, many of whom have always worked, and the women who are now 50% of all family’s breadwinners.

Paid for by Cassimir Svigelj for Ohio
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