In a highly partisan Congress, your advocacy made a difference! On the Senate side your hard work yielded a bipartisan real VAWA (S. 1925) and your work on the House side ensured that there was a bipartisan rejection of the anti-victim VAWA (H.R. 4970).
Now, we need to roll up our sleeves for one big last push to get the right bill to the President. The Senate bill includes your recommendations and the recommendations of thousands of victim services experts across the country and improves protections for victims.
The House bill is anti-victim and fundamentally changes the purpose of VAWA. It excludes the voices of victims and victim’s services advocates while rolling back many protections. Both bills will be brought to conference so that both the House and Senate leaders can agree on a bill to send to the President – we need to tell our legislators that they need to send S. 1925 to the President because it protects ALL victims.
ACTION 1: There are significant differences in the Senate and House bill – and the NTF supports the Senate bill because it supports ALL survivors AND does not rollback existing protections in the law. Please take action to urge your legislators to send S. 1925 to the President.
ACTION 2: Make appointments with your Senators and Representatives while they are on recess (this week for the House and next for the Senate) and give them the same message.
I/we urge you to encourage your party’s leaders to move swiftly to a conference or agreement on VAWA and send the President S. 1925, which is a strong, bipartisan Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill that protects all vulnerable victims. H.R. 4970 ROLLS BACK protections for victims, it EXCLUDES victims of violence and it REJECTS AND IGNORES input of thousands of experienced victim service advocates. There is still time for you to support a VAWA that protects ALL victims. I strongly urge Congress to quickly move past politics and send S. 1925 to the President so that victims everywhere are protected.
ACTION 2: MAKE APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES WHILE THEY ARE ON RECESS (THIS WEEK FOR THE SENATE AND NEXT FOR THE HOUSE) AND GIVE THEM THE SAME MESSAGE.
You can use these links to find contact information for your Representative and Senators at their in-district offices. Please reiterate the above message – and feel free to use these talking points, which point out why S. 1925 is the Real VAWA and how H.R. 4970 ROLLS BACK protections for victims. For example, H.R. 4970:
- FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGES THE PURPOSE OF VAWA - REJECTS the input of thousands of advocates who say that S. 1925 is the bill that will serve victims the best and TAKES OUT the provisions in VAWA that allow for advocates to engage in a community coordinated state implementation plan under STOP. Instead, H.R. 4970 gives administrators permission to ignore consultations with community organizations in planning their VAWA programs and spending.
- EXCLUDES victims: H.R. 4970 entirely excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) victims; limits the U visa program, barring the use of unused visas, AND WILL PUNISH victims WHO WORK with law enforcement to bring perpetrators to justice; ails to address the crisis of violence against American Indian women by not recognizing tribal court authority to hold perpetrators accountable. This bill takes away the ability of all Communities of Color to address violence against women in their communities and rolls back on resources for Women of Color and their communities that were gained in 2005. Because it excludes the most vulnerable victims, H.R. 4970 creates a host of protections for abusers.
- TAKES MONEY FROM VICTIMS SERVICE PROVIDERS and spends it on more bureaucracy.
- We’ve had almost 50,000 visits to our website! Continue to come back to our website for fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates.
- Follow us on twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page where you can find a toolkit and other action and information items.
- Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #ReauthorizeVAWA, #RealVAWA and #VAWA.
- 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 Sean Black, firstname.lastname@example.org.