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Levin Brings Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Advocate to State of the Union

Carmen Wargel, Chief Strategy Officer at Turning Point, played an instrumental role in the Levin Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act. In lifting up this legislative work authored and passed in the House of Representatives with the help of advocates like Wargel, Congressman Levin calls on his Senate colleagues joining the address tonight to take up the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and other important bills awaiting action in their chamber.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) will bring Carmen Wargel, Chief Strategy Officer at Turning Point, as his virtual guest to the State of the Union address. During the pandemic, Congressman Levin had a pivotal meeting with survivors at Turning Point, which provides services to empower survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Metro Detroit. Hearing from survivors and with the guidance and expertise of Wargel, Congressman Levin had an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act included in the reauthorization package in March, 2021.

Carmen Wargel, Turning Point’s Chief Strategy Officer

“My experience with Carmen and the survivors I spoke with at Turning Point was incredibly emotional and meaningful to me, and I’m honored to have Carmen join me tonight and to lift up this story,” said Congressman Levin. “To reach our most vulnerable residents at the height of the pandemic, I had Zoom meetings with a series of shelters and social services agencies. I met a sexual assault survivor at Turning Point who shared that, over the course of her legal proceedings, she’d had five different prosecutors on her case. And, not surprisingly, she felt like none of them were really representing her, rather forcing her to relive her trauma over and over in order to get a new attorney up to speed—this was just unthinkable to me. Carmen helped our office to craft an amendment to fund vertical prosecution, meaning one individual prosecuting attorney remains the primary individual responsible for the case to improve conviction rates, reduce victim trauma, and provide more consistent, appropriate sentencing.”

“The Levin Amendment to the Violence Against Women Act that encourages vertical prosecution is the direct result of Congressman Levin truly listening to the survivors of domestic and sexual violence that he met with at a Turning Point event,” said Carmen Wargel. “Not only will the Levin Amendment help countless survivors and improve systems, the survivor who inspired the amendment says this step is a significant piece of her healing process and she is celebrating in her heart.”

“In bringing Carmen tonight, I’m lifting up some of the incredible legislative work that we have authored and passed in the House of Representatives, and I’m calling on my Senate colleagues joining us at the address tonight to take up the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and other important bills awaiting action in their chamber,” concluded Congressman Levin.