Everyone deserves healthy, happy, and safe relationships. Yet in 2019, one in ten District high school students experienced physical violence from someone they were dating. To help stop domestic and dating violence, OAG works year-round to conduct outreach to thousands of DC teens and young people to teach them about consent and healthy relationships, the warning signs of abuse, and how they can get help if they need it.
During Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (February), OAG is responding to increased requests for trainings by co-hosting its first #RelationshipGoals summit for high school students with the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Break the Cycle. During the summit, OAG aims to train student ambassadors on how to talk to their peers about identifying healthy relationships and eliminating unhealthy behaviors. Through interactive panels and discussion, this unique event will show students the signs of emotional abuse, physical abuse, and cyber abuse and provide them with resources on making smart decisions for their safety.
This teen summit will take place on Friday, February 21, from noon to 5:00 p.m. at R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center (2730 MLK Jr. Ave. SE) and will include a free lunch, giveaways, and a chance to earn school community service credits. High school students who wish to attend can register for this FREE event and learn more by contacting OAGCommunity@dc.gov.
Karl A. Racine
Protecting Your Private Information
Data breaches can put consumers at risk of identity theft by exposing their private information like name, address, Social Security Number, credit card numbers, and more. This week, thanks to Chairman Mendelson and the D.C. Council, our legislation to strengthen the District’s data breach protections moved one step closer to becoming law. The Security Breach Protection Amendment Act of 2019 would require companies to safeguard a broader range of private information, maintain reasonable security procedures, and inform consumers of their rights after data breaches. Consumers can always report data theft, scams, and unlawful or abusive business practices to OAG by calling 202-442-9828 or submitting a complaint online.
Treating Children as Children
Since April 2019, OAG has collaborated with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in the development of new tools for police to productively engage District youth. The recently announced changes to MPD’s policies governing interactions with District youth reflect proven practices which show that responding to the unique needs of children improves public safety. When police can use interactions with young people as an opportunity to establish trust and help kids stay on the right path, everyone benefits. Learn more about MPD’s new policy.
CONSUMER ALERT: "Getaround" App and Auto Thefts
Do you use the car sharing application called Getaround to rent your vehicle and make some extra cash? Use this app with caution. Our office has learned of more than a dozen auto thefts that we believe are connected to the use of this app. Consumers can use Getaround to rent vehicles by the hour or day from owners who make them available through its online platform. However, vehicles listed on Getaround could be at increased risk of theft because keys are left inside of the car and the car’s location is visible to anyone searching the platform. If your car is stolen, report it to the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099. If you’ve experienced any kind of consumer problems while using Getaround, call OAG’s Office of Consumer Protection at (202) 442-9828.
Welcoming OAG's 2020 Ruff Fellows
Congratulations to the 15 new Ruff Fellows who have joined OAG to do challenging and meaningful legal work on behalf of the District and its residents. This year-long fellowship was established in 2012 to promote public interest legal work and give recent law school graduates the opportunity to practice law as Assistant Attorneys General for the District. If you are interested in a career dedicated to public service, learn more about the Ruff Fellowship program.
Transforming District Services for Court-Involved Youth
This week, the District announced a major settlement to end court oversight and monitoring of the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) after 35 years. The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit filed in 1985 on behalf of youth in the District’s secure juvenile detention facilities. This settlement is possible because the District invested in construction of modern facilities, recruited and retained talented leadership, and transformed its policies and practices for supervising and providing services to court-involved youth. The District will continue to enhance public safety by meeting the rehabilitative needs of our young people. AG Racine is thankful for DYRS Director Lacey’s strong leadership in service to the District, and for the significant contributions of our community partners, Special Arbiter Grace Lopes, the Plaintiffs’ counsel, and OAG’s stellar team of attorneys, including Deputy AG Chad Copeland and dozens of others, who helped close the District’s oldest consent decree case. Learn more.
Defending Access to Reproductive Health Care
Last week, AG Racine joined a coalition of seven AGs in suing the Trump administration over an unlawful rule that threatens access to safe and legal abortion care for those who buy health insurance through Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges. This confusing rule would require all ACA health plans to send separate bills for any part of their premiums that go toward abortion coverage. If a consumer doesn't pay both bills, they could lose all of their health care coverage. The burdens this rule imposes could mean that insurance companies stop offering abortion care entirely. AG Racine will continue to stand up for the rights of District women and families to make their own reproductive decisions.
Stopping Downloadable Guns
With a coalition of 21 Attorneys General, AG Racine sued the Trump administration to stop it from allowing 3D-printed gun files to be released on the internet. The reckless move would allow anyone—including criminals—to easily download online instructions to produce 3D-printed firearms at home, effectively eliminating the District’s ability to enforce its sensible gun laws. In 2018, AG Racine joined a nine-state coalition that successfully blocked the Administration from releasing 3D-printed gun files on the internet. Now, the Administration has finalized new rules that would permit the release of these files and a coalition of attorneys general is once again filing suit.