While Congress is at home, remind them of the importance of domestic and sexual violence service providers in your community.
While Congress continues to stall on passing a budget for this fiscal year, the across-the-board spending cuts known as “sequester” are having a devastating impacting on some of America’s most vulnerable, including victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. As more and more cuts go into effect under the sequester, the number of beds available, doors open, and counselors at hand plummets, often leaving victims and their children with no choice but to face homelessness or return to their abusers. Victims at life-threatening crossroads – those seeking emergency shelter, crisis intervention, protection orders, legal advice, advocacy, and other supportive services – are victimized further as they are turned away from services that have had their budgets slashed by sequester.
The truth of sequestration is that the burden on Congress to agree on the federal budget is tragically being passed off to victims, amplifying their vulnerability and forcing them to stay in harm’s way. Victims are bearing the weight of our lawmakers’ inability to agree on federal spending. As members of Congress are home this month for recess, make your voice heard. Take this crucial opportunity while your lawmakers in their districts to tell them about how sequestration is victimizing some of America’s most vulnerable citizens and impacting your community.
ACTION ITEM 1: TALK TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHILE THEY ARE IN DISTRICT
Find a schedule of events on your Members’ websites and go visit them at town halls, open houses, and other community gatherings they hold during recess. While there, ask questions or talk to you Senators/Representative about the importance of serving victims of domestic and sexual violence, the continued needs for these programs in your community, and the devastating impacts of sequestration and other budget cuts. Urge your Members to end the sequester and pass a budget that address the needs of those who are most vulnerable.
ACTION ITEM 2: CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES TODAY AND TELL THEM TO END THE SEQUESTER!
When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles funding or the budget.
Tell (or leave a message for) the staffer:
- I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _____________.
- I am grateful that the Violence Against Women Act has been renewed by Congress, thanks to a strong bipartisan vote in both chambers.
- Please tell Representative/Senator _________, however, that VAWA’s promise cannot be fulfilled if the sequester cuts are maintained.
- Congress must end the sequester and invest in VAWA, FVPSA, and VOCA programs to ensure that life-saving services will continue to be available to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
ACTION ITEM 3: TWEET YOUR Members of Congress
Find your Members’ Twitter handles here.
.@[handle] We can’t afford to hurt victims of DV & SA any further. End sequester cuts that are devastating services victims need! #nomorecuts
- For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit 4vawa.org.
- Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page.
- If you aren't on one of the VAWA email lists or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mailing list, send names and contact information including email to email@example.com.