Leahy, Crapo Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill To Reauthorize The Landmark Violence Against Women Act

VAWA Press Conference

When: January 23, 2013 (Wed.)

Time: 2:00 pm

Where:  Capitol Visotor's Center, Room SVC 202

 

. . . SJC Chairman Leahy Calls For Immediate Floor Action This Congress


WASHINGTON (Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013) – U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) reintroduced the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Tuesday—the first day that bills can be introduced in the Senate in the new 113th Congress— and called for the Senate to take up the measure without delay.

The bill, which reauthorizes the landmark Violence Against Women Act law that was enacted more than 20 years ago, strengthens and improves existing programs that assist victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  The measure closely mirrors the bipartisan legislation approved by the Senate last year, and again is coauthored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho).

“This life-saving legislation should be a top priority of the new 113th Congress,” Leahy said of the bill, which won the support of 68 Senators include 15 Republicans and all the women Senators last year.  “It is our hope that the Senate will act quickly to pass this strong, bipartisan bill to help all victims of domestic and sexual violence.”

“The Violence Against Women Act has helped countless victims of domestic and relationship violence for nearly twenty years,” Crapo said. “The path to reauthorization in the 113th Congress begins with reintroduction, and I look forward to working with Senator Leahy and my colleagues on compromise language that can garner the necessary support in both the Senate and House to pass this critical legislation.”

The Leahy-Crapo VAWA bill seeks to protect all victims including those victims who are students, racial minorities, tribal members, immigrants and members of the LGBT community. The bill includes almost all of last year’s bipartisan measure, including campus safety provisions and important all-state minimum funding formulas for key grant programs to ensure that small, rural states like Vermont have access to the victim services grants authorized under VAWA. Added to this year’s measure is the SAFER Act, a bill also approved by the Senate last year that provides for audits of untested rape kits.  The improved version now also provides law enforcement the tools they need to help reduce the backlog of rape kits throughout the country. 

To better ensure passage of the Senate VAWA bill, this year’s measure does not include the modest increase in the number of U visas available to immigrant victims.  House Republicans objected to taking up the Senate-passed measure last year based on technical grounds of the U visa provision, and by setting it aside Leahy said the new VAWA bill should have a stronger chance of passing both chambers this year.  Leahy intends to work to ensure that the provision passes as part of comprehensive immigration reform instead.

“In the interest of making quick and decisive progress, we introduce the bill today without that provision in order to remove any excuse for House inaction,” Leahy said.  “We have retained other important improvements for immigrant victims in the bill we introduce today as part of our commitment to ensuring that all victims are protected.”

The Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized in 2000 and again in 2005, each time with bipartisan support.  The law expired in September 2011.  The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act will provide a five year authorization for VAWA programs, and reduce authorized funding levels by more than $135 million, or 17 percent, from the law’s 2005 authorization.

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Text of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

 

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Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.),

Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee,

On the Introduction of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

January 22, 2013

 

On the first day for bill introductions this year I once again join with Senator Crapo and a distinguished, bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013.  This life-saving legislation should be a top priority of the new 113th Congress.  It is our hope that the Senate will act quickly to pass this strong, bipartisan bill to help all victims of domestic and sexual violence.

The Senate acted just nine months ago to approve the Leahy-Crapo Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 with 68 bipartisan votes.  Despite our best efforts, the House did not join in our bipartisan efforts and enact that bill into law. 

By now, the litany of VAWA’s successes is familiar, but important.  Since this historic legislation first passed in 1994, states have strengthened criminal rape statutes, and every state has made stalking a crime.  The annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50 percent.  We have helped to provide victims with critical services like housing and legal protection.  Those are just a few highlights.  We need to remember that behind those numbers are thousands of lives made immeasurably better.

Despite VAWA’s success, there is a pressing need to update and strengthen its protections.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that one in four women has been the victim of severe physical domestic violence and one in five women has been raped in her lifetime.  These numbers are almost too awful to contemplate.

Real life cases remind us that this reauthorization is long overdue.  Last month, I read in the Burlington Free Press the story of Carmen Tarleton, a woman from Thetford, Vermont.  Five years ago, Carmen’s estranged husband broke into her home, beat her with a baseball bat, and poured industrial-strength lye on her, severely burning a great deal of her body and nearly blinding her.  Her doctors said that she had suffered “the most horrific injury a human being could suffer.”  Today, she is nearly blind, disfigured, and continues to experience pain from her injuries.  Despite this, Carmen is courageously sharing her story. 

Stories like this one remind us that every day that we do not pass legislation that will help to prevent horrific violence and assist victims, more people are suffering.  Late last year while Congress failed to act on our bipartisan bill, we saw tragic domestic violence-related murder-suicides in Missouri and Colorado.  We also learned of harrowing new accounts of sexual assaults on college campuses.  These are just more examples of the kind of tragedies that unfold every day across the country. 

The Leahy-Crapo bill would support the use of techniques proven to help identify high-risk cases and prevent domestic violence homicides.  It would increase VAWA’s focus on sexual assault and push colleges to strengthen their efforts to protect students from domestic and sexual violence.

This reauthorization will allow us to make real progress in addressing the horrifying epidemic of domestic violence in tribal communities, where one recent study found that almost three in five native women have been assaulted by their spouses or intimate partners.  It will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past.

Every VAWA reauthorization Congress has passed has taken steps to help immigrant victims of violence, who are often particularly vulnerable.  Last year’s bill included a modest increase in the number of U visas available to immigrant victims who help law enforcement, which is good for victims and for law enforcement.  Unfortunately, that provision led to a technical objection from House Republican leaders.  In the interest of making quick and decisive progress, we introduce the bill today without that provision in order to remove any excuse for House inaction.  We have retained other important improvements for immigrant victims in the bill we introduce today as part of our commitment to ensuring that all victims are protected.

I still believe strongly in the U visa increase that was in last year’s Leahy-Crapo bill.  I authored that provision after hearing from law enforcement and the experts in the field.  I think it is needed to encourage assistance to law enforcement and to protect immigrant women and I remain committed to enacting it and ensuring that the needed U visa increase is adopted.  I intend to work to include it in comprehensive immigration reform legislation that we should consider early in this Congress. It will be part of our immigration reform effort.

We have included, as well, in this year’s bill the specific provisions of the SAFER bill that I worked out with Senator Cornyn and Senator Grassley last year and that then passed the Senate unanimously late in the session.  I hope that Senators who opposed VAWA last year while supporting those provisions will now join with us in our effort to enact VAWA reauthorization that includes those provisions, as well. 

All of the provisions in our bill were developed with the help of victims and with those who assist them every day.  They are common sense measures that will help real people.  It is past time for Congress to move beyond partisan politics in order to provide help to victims of domestic and sexual violence.

We can make these concrete and important changes in the law that will prevent terrible violence and provide more help to victims.  There is no excuse for delay.  I hope all Senators will join me in quickly moving this bill through the Senate and that the House will quickly work with us to get a strong VAWA bill to the President.

I thank Senator Crapo, the lead Senate Republican cosponsor of our bill and Senators Murkowski, Mikulski, Ayotte, Collins, Coons, Durbin, Bennet, Klobuchar, Shaheen, and McCaskill, who join us as original cosponsors and have all been strong supporters of VAWA.  I look forward to many others joining us to move forward on this vital legislation.  I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record.

 

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Invite Congress to Participate in the National Day of Service

Speak Out about VAWA and the Value of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services

 

As part of Inauguration Week, the President and First Lady have called on Americans across the country to participate in the National Day of Service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Saturday, January 19th

In the spirit of service and citizenship, we’re asking you to invite your Members of Congress to give back to the domestic violence and rape crisis programs in their communities and to recognize the value of VAWA-funded programs. Call or write your Members of Congress, and ask them to honor VAWA through the National Day of Service by volunteering their time at and/or making a donation to programs that truly make a difference in the lives of survivors and in their communities!     

As people around the country volunteer in their communities on this National Day of Service, we also have an opportunity to speak out about the importance of the services that local domestic violence and rape crisis programs provide to victims every single day and how critical the swift passage of VAWA is to be able to serve all victims. 

Programs supported by VAWA provide lifesaving services to millions of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Yet despite VAWA's proven ability to substantially improve lives, it has not reached all victims. VAWA reauthorization provides an opportunity to build upon the successes of the current law by including key improvements, and ensuring that all victims will have access to much-needed services.  Also, federal funding is now more essential than ever to ensure that programs across the country can keep the lights on, answer crisis calls, and provide vital services for victims fleeing violence.

Call, write, or tweet your Member of Congress with this message:

On January 19th, join me in the National Day of Service to recognize the critical support that VAWA provides to survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Volunteer your time at and/or make a donation to [NAME OF LOCAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/RAPE CRISIS PROGRAM], and support the difference these programs make in the lives of survivors and in [NAME OF YOUR COMMUNITY]. Your work on January 19th – and in Congress – is necessary to pass VAWA and fund VAWA programs immediately so that all victims can get the support they need and deserve!

 

Sample Tweet:

  • @YourRep Honor the National Day of Service: Volunteer time or make a donation to [NAME OF LOCAL RAPE CRISIS OR DV PROGRAM] and pass #VAWA now! 

 

Tell them how important VAWA reauthorization and funding is to sustaining and improving services for victims in your community! You can also include stories or pictures that communicate the value of the services you provide every day.

 

Find your Senators and Representatives contact info here

 

Action Items Recap – What You Can Do:

  1. Ask your Members of Congress to do service at a domestic violence program or rape crisis center
  2. Call/write/tweet about the need to reauthorize VAWA and fund VAWA programs

 

Be sure to come back to 4vawa.org to get the latest updates on VAWA, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates.

Follow us on twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page .  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  ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.  

The 113th Congress must pass VAWA immediately.

We wish you a safe and happy new year!  Over the holidays, we have had time to pause to reflect on our progress in authorizing a strong and responsive VAWA.  Now, as 2013 begins, we know that we cannot lose momentum.  Join with us in 2013 to ensure early passage of this essential legislation. 

Thanks to the tireless efforts of you, the countless advocates and supporters, we made critical advancements in educating Congress and the general public on the real needs of all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.   And Congress responded to our efforts, engaging in serious conversation over that language needed to complete a safe and comprehensive VAWA.

While we came very close, time ran out. We were all deeply disappointed that a final bill was not reached in the 112th Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives continued to voice strong opposition to offering basic protections to certain vulnerable populations. 

Our anger is at the missed opportunity in 2012 to enact all the important improvements that we all worked so hard to add to the bill – housing, campus and sexual assault provisions and enhanced services and explicit programs for communities of color, immigrant, tribal and LGBT victims and survivors.  However, we also will not have the harmful provisions added by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Republicans in the 2012 version of the bill. 

It is very important that we celebrate our past three years of awareness and advocacy even as we mourn VAWA 2012’s failure to pass.  While the reauthorization bill is “dead,” VAWA itself is very much alive and will continue in its 2005 version.

Programs and services will not close because we didn’t reauthorize VAWA  but they are certainly threatened because the budget crises at the local, state and national levels are always looming. While the deal on the “fiscal cliff” delayed harmful across-the-board cuts to federal programs until early March, our analysis shows nearly 200,000 victims of violence would lose services if another agreement is not made.  With your help, we can build on the work we’ve done in 2012 to pass VAWA in 2013 and stop these destructive budget cuts.

Today, the 113th Congress will be sworn in. There is no time to waste in addressing the needs of victims.  We call on the 113th Congress to act immediately on VAWA this month and pass a bill that safely and effectively meets the needs of all victims.

Onward together!

Leahy Calls On House To Pass Senate VAWA Bill Before Adjourning For The Year

. . . ‘Only way to reauthorize VAWA’ is for House to take up Senate bill

WASHINGTON (Thursday, December 20, 2012) – U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, called on Thursday for House Republicans to do the right thing in the final days of the 112th Congress and pass the Senate-passed measure that protects all victims against domestic and sexual violence.

In a statement, Leahy noted that he has sought a bipartisan compromise with House Republicans on the key tribal provision in the Senate bill, which was coauthored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and passed the Senate with 68 votes in April. Leahy has repeatedly stated over the last few weeks that legislation authored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) could provide a reasonable, middle ground on tribal jurisdiction and ultimately a groundbreaking deal on VAWA between the two chambers. While no such compromise has materialized, Leahy said there is still time for the House to act.

“I appreciate that there have at last been some renewed discussions about this bill in the House of Representatives but that is not enough,” Leahy said.  “The only way to reauthorize VAWA this year is for the House to take up and pass the Senate-passed bill.  If the House Republican leadership refuses to do that in the final days of this Congress, it is a shame.”

He noted the tragic events like this week’s shooting in Colorado, in which a man just released from jail on domestic violence charges killed his ex-girlfriend, her sister, her sister’s husband and eventually himself, only underscore the need for Congress to focus on passing VAWA. If the House fails to act, Leahy vowed to continue to champion inclusive legislation that protects all victims next year and push Congress to act.

“We have seen enough violence,” Leahy said.  “If we cannot get the Leahy-Crapo bill over the finish line this year, we will come back next year, and we will get it done.  I look forward to other Senators joining us as we continue this vital effort.”

 

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Possible agreement on VAWA just hours away

Urgent that all VAWA advocates make one more phone call!

Call immediately and talk to:

  • Speaker Boehner’s 202-225-0600 or 202-225-6205 and
  • House Majority Leader Cantor’s office 202-225-2815 or 202-225-4000

and emphatically urge them to ...

Be a hero and help pass a VAWA that includes ALL victims and survivors. Your leadership can make this happen. A final VAWA that does not protect Native women and does not hold perpetrators accountable is unacceptable. 

Right now, House leadership is in talks with VAWA’s Senate champions to discuss VAWA.  There is a path to bipartisan passage that protects and provides justice for all victims – including Native American women. Our country must stand to protect all victims. 

Under current law, Native victims face dire and life-threatening violence on Tribal lands at the hands of non-Native offenders who cannot be prosecuted by tribal courts.  The National Task Force is unwilling to support a bill that leaves any victims out.  It’s important for us to tell Republicans that we will stand with them if they do the right thing.

VAWA has bipartisan support and in recent days, dozens of Republican members of Congress have offered real solutions and solid support for the provisions that include all victims.  Last week, Congressmen Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK) introduced H.R. 6625, a stand-alone bill which contains compromise language to address Republican concerns that the tribal jurisdiction over non tribal defendants is unconstitutional. These good faith efforts to find common ground and a path forward must not be dismissed. 

CALL immediately to Speaker Boehner’s 202-225-0600 or 202-225-6205 and House Majority Leader Cantor’s office 202-225-2815 or 202-225-4000 and strongly urge House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Speaker Boehner to seize the moment and get this bill done with the compromise tribal jurisdictional provisions intact. 

This is their opportunity to be leaders in all of this and we are prayerful and optimistic that they will put politics aside and pass a VAWA inclusive of those thus far left behind.  House leadership needs to hear loud and clear that now is the time to pass a VAWA for all victims—Native women included.  And they need to also hear that a VAWA which does not protect Native women and does not hold perpetrators accountable is unacceptable. 

All victims of violence – including Native Women - cannot afford to wait another year for justice.

All Advocates stand together with Native women

Almost 2 years since VAWA expired.

Over 6 months since Congress' last action on VAWA.

3 weeks or less until this Congress ends and VAWA 2012 dies.

In just the past several days there has been real progress in talks with Senate and House leadership about passing a final VAWA now.  However, House Republican leadership is strongly resistant to including Tribal provisions that would protect countless Native women from the brutal violence they face every day.  

Victims face dire and life-threatening violence on Tribal lands and advocates are unwilling to accept a bill that leaves those victims without access to justice.  House Republican leadership knows that taking away provisions that protect Native women could be the demise of the entire VAWA bill because supporters will not abandon justice for Native women.   That is outrageous!  We need to act now.

Earlier this week, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and some of his Republican colleagues introduced H.R. 6625, the Violence Against Indian Women Act, which contains compromise solutions to help address opponents’ constitutional concerns and move VAWA forward.  

Other House Republicans have also co-sponsored the bill.  NTF praises Congressman Issa’s leadership and is committed to working with Congressman Issa and other House and Senate Republicans to enact these provisions.  We are also asking Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor to support the compromise provisions so that VAWA can protect all victims.

ACTION ALERT:   Congressman Issa has given us a path forward that allows VAWA to protect Native victims.  But Republican leadership needs to hear from you.  Urge them to accept this compromise and pass a VAWA that protects all victims.

Please call Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor and tell them ...

A final VAWA that does not protect Native women and does not hold perpetrators accountable is unacceptable.  Urge them to support the Issa compromise on Tribal provisions (H.R. 6625) and include that in VAWA so that VAWA can move forward to protect all victims.

  • Speaker Boehner:           202.225.6205 
  • Leader Cantor:                202.225.2815

Use these tweets to amplify our message:

Background

VAWA must include a key provision that would give tribes jurisdiction over non-Native perpetrators in domestic and dating violence cases.  House Republicans leaders claim that these critical protections might be considered unconstitutional. 

This protection is, however, supported by scores of law professors, the Justice Department, former Republican U.S. Attorneys, the American Bar Association, and the judges of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.  All agree that these protections are legally sound and are needed to address the epidemic rates of violence against Native women.

House Republicans must allow Tribal protections to be in the final VAWA in order for it to pass in lame duck.  NTF cannot support a bill that leaves any victim behind or that suggests that some victims are more worthy of protection than others.  We are working with a dedicated group of Republican House members, who understand the seriousness of the violence Native women face, to keep the Tribal jurisdiction provisions in the VAWA bill. 

For additional fact sheets on Tribal issues and a statement from a Native survivor of violence, click here

All Advocates stand together with Native women

Almost 2 years

 

 

Since VAWA Expired

Over 6 months

 

 

Since Congress’ Last Action on VAWA

3 weeks or less

Until This Congress ends and VAWA 2012 dies

 

In just the past several days there has been real progress in talks with Senate and House leadership about passing a final VAWA now.  However, House Republican leadership is strongly resistant to including Tribal provisions that would protect countless Native women from the brutal violence they face every day.  

Victims face dire and life-threatening violence on Tribal lands and advocates are unwilling to accept a bill that leaves those victims without access to justice.  House Republican leadership knows that taking away provisions that protect Native women could be the demise of the entire VAWA bill because supporters will not abandon justice for Native women.   That is outrageous!  We need to act now.

Earlier this week, Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and some of his Republican colleagues introduced H.R. 6625, the Violence Against Indian Women Act, which contains compromise solutions to help address opponents’ constitutional concerns and move VAWA forward.  

Other House Republicans have also co-sponsored the bill.  NTF praises Congressman Issa’s leadership and is committed to working with Congressman Issa and other House and Senate Republicans to enact these provisions.  We are also asking Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor to support the compromise provisions so that VAWA can protect all victims.

ACTION ALERT:   Congressman Issa has given us a path forward that allows VAWA to protect Native victims.  But Republican leadership needs to hear from you.  Urge them to accept this compromise and pass a VAWA that protects all victims.

 

Please call Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor and tell them

A final VAWA that does not protect Native women and does not hold perpetrators accountable is unacceptable.  Urge them to support the Issa compromise on Tribal provisions (H.R. 6625) and include that in VAWA so that VAWA can move forward to protect all victims.

  • Speaker Boehner:           202.225.6205 
  • Leader Cantor:                202.225.2815

 

Use these tweets to amplify our message:

 

 

Background

VAWA must include a key provision that would give tribes jurisdiction over non-Native perpetrators in domestic and dating violence cases.  House Republicans leaders claim that these critical protections might be considered unconstitutional. 

This protection is, however, supported by scores of law professors, the Justice Department, former Republican U.S. Attorneys, the American Bar Association, and the judges of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.  All agree that these protections are legally sound and are needed to address the epidemic rates of violence against Native women.

House Republicans must allow Tribal protections to be in the final VAWA in order for it to pass in lame duck.  NTF cannot support a bill that leaves any victim behind or that suggests that some victims are more worthy of protection than others.  We are working with a dedicated group of Republican House members, who understand the seriousness of the violence Native women face, to keep the Tribal jurisdiction provisions in the VAWA bill. 

 

For additional fact sheets on Tribal issues and a statement from a Native survivor of violence, click here

Tell Congress to pass a Tribal-inclusive VAWA that provides justice for victims of domestic violence!

 There is still a chance that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will be reauthorized during this Lame Duck session of Congress, but some Congressional leaders are demanding that an important provision for tribal victims be dropped. 

 

Because the NTF supports a VAWA 2012 that includes ALL victims and survivors, this is unacceptable

 

We know that you agree that we must have an inclusive VAWA that contains key protections for Native victims—our nation’s most vulnerable population—and that we must act NOW!  

Call your members of Congress immediately and urge them to tell House and Senate leadership that you will not support a VAWA bill unless it includes the key tribal jurisdictional provisions! 

  • The bipartisan Senate version of the bill, S. 1925, contains Section 904, which is a provision that would restore tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians for certain crimes of domestic violence and dating violence committed in Indian country. 
  • Section 904 has bipartisan support in the Senate and the House.  In fact, just last Friday, Representatives Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Tom Cole (R-OK) introduced a stand-alone bill (H.R. 6625) containing a modified version of Section 904 to show their support for these key protections for Native victims. 
  • Despite this broad support, some leaders in the House are refusing to let VAWA proceed in the lame duck session unless the tribal jurisdictional provisions are completely removed.  This is unacceptable.  VAWA is at a critical juncture and we need your help!!

Call your leaders in Congress right away and urge them to support the tribal criminal jurisdiction provisions—i.e., either Section 904 of S.1925 or the Issa/Cole alternative, H.R. 6625!

NOW IS THE TIME TO SPEAK UP!!  Urge your members of Congress to work with Senate and House leadership to include the tribal jurisdictional provisions in any final VAWA bill. 

Find your Senators and Representatives contact info here.

Additionally, help us draw attention to the epidemic of violence against Native women by posting this video on your Facebook and Twitter pages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDGXqsod9Do

Together, we can ensure enactment of a VAWA that protects all victims!

Time to target Congressional leadership and urge them to move forward on VAWA – there is too much at stake!

The lame duck session is winding down & Congress has some unfinished business.

They MUST PASS theViolence Against Women Act NOW!

 We must get Congress to finish the work of passing a VAWA that safely and effectively protects ALL victims.

TAKE ACTION BY REACHING OUT TO HOUSE LEADERSHIP!

This week, we’re asking advocates across the country to all contact two key leaders in the House:

Speaker John Boehner (OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA)

These two Representatives have substantial influence in moving VAWA forward, and they need to hear from all of you that VAWA must be passed in the lame duck session!

Call these Representatives with the message that the House and Senate versions of VAWA are almost entirely the same, and only a few critical differences remain to be worked through.

 

Tell them we know that by working together in good faith and with a victim-centered approach, these differences can be resolved. There is too much at stake for victims and for the stability of VAWA’s vital programs – VAWA must be passed now!

 

Speaker Boehner: 202.225.6205

Leader Cantor: 202.225.2815

 

You can also tweet at these Representatives using the sample tweets below:

  • @johnboehner Please stand up for women and children exposed to violence. #PassVAWA2012
  • @GOPLeader Put #VAWA on the calendar now to help ensure safety for all victims. #PassVAWA2012
  • @johnboehner #PassVAWA2012 because victims in your community and across the country depend on it!
  • @GOPLeader Congress must reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act before they adjourn #PassVAWA2012

 

Join the #PassVAWA2012 Social Media Campaign

Be a part of a ground-breaking campaign to leverage the full power of social media in fighting for the Reauthorization of VAWA! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Facebook Photo Campaign to tell Congress that it’s time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act! It’s easy, just snap photos of you, your friends, & your colleaguesholding up signs saying why we need to Pass VAWA NOW! Submit your photos via email to lccref@gmail.com or tweetpic with #PassVAWA2012. For more details and sample campaign tweets click here.

 

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

691

  Days

Since VAWA Expired

195

  Days

Since Congress’ Last Action on VAWA

18

Days

Until This Congress ends and VAWA 2012 dies

 

We must get Congress to finish the work of passing a VAWA that safely and effectively protects ALL victims.

TAKE ACTION TODAY!

Let your Members of Congress know why you are thankful for VAWA and why its reauthorization is necessary.

Send a thank you to those who have championed VAWA and urge them to continue to support forward movement on this legislation.

Tweet at your Representatives and Senators today using the sample tweets below!

  • I'm #thankful for my safety. Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act #PassVAWA2012
  • I'm #thankful for men who stand up for Violence Against Women Act #PassVAWA2012
  • I'm #thankful for the power of individuals to make change. Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act #PassVAWA2012
  • I'm #thankful for the support of Congress in eliminating #violence against women. #PassVAWA2012
  • Tell Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act before they adjourn #PassVAWA2012
  • @johnboehner Let’s all come to the table to protect women from violence. #PassVAWA2012
  • @johnboehner Please stand up for women and children exposed to violence. #PassVAWA2012
  • @McConnellPress Let’s all come to the table to protect women and children. #PassVAWA2012
  • @McConnellPress Please ensure that we all have something to be thankful for. #PassVAWA2012
  • I'm #thankful for @SenatorLeahy and his commitment to ending violence against women. #PassVAWA2012
  • @MikeCrapo I'm #thankful for your efforts to end domestic and sexual violence and #PassVAWA2012
  • I'm #thankful for @RepGwenMoore 's support in reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. #PassVAWA2012

 

Join #PassVAWA2012 Social Media Campaign

Be a part of a ground-breaking campaign to leverage the full power of social media in fighting for the Reauthorization of VAWA! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Facebook Photo Campaign to tell Congress that it’s time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act!  It’s easy, just snap photos of you, your friends, your colleagues, & those gathered around your Thanksgiving table holding up signs saying why you are thankful for VAWA and why we need to Pass VAWA NOW!  Submit your photos via email to lccref@gmail.com or tweetpic with #PassVAWA2012. For more details and sample campaign tweets check out the tool kit on www.4VAWA.org!

Congress must pass VAWA NOW!

680

  Days

Since VAWA Expired

184

  Days

Since Congress’ Last Action on VAWA

29

Days

Until This Congress ends and VAWA 2012 dies

 

It’s unacceptable that VAWA resources

have been jeopardized for almost 2 years!

The election is over and it’s time! Congress has some unfinished business.

We must get Congress to finish the work of passing a VAWA that safely and effectively protects ALL victims.

 

TAKE ACTION TODAY! 

Call and tweet your Representatives and Senators today!

By the end of the day, every Member of Congress will hear a unified message:

Work out the differences, pass VAWA before this Congress ends and you go home for the holidays.  Do not let VAWA die and miss this chance to help victims find shelter, help and justice.  There is precious little time left and victims’ lives and futures are in the balance.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

Join #PassVAWA2012 Social Media Campaign

Be a part of a ground-breaking campaign to leverage the full power of social media in fighting for the Reauthorization of VAWA! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Facebook Photo Campaign to tell Congress that it’s time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act!  It’s easy, just snap photos of you, your friends, your colleagues, & sympathetic strangers holding up signs saying why we need to Pass VAWA NOW!  Submit your photos via email to lccref@gmail.com or tweetpic with #PassVAWA2012. For more details and sample campaign tweets check out the tool kit below.

Please join us TODAY

12:00pm eastern on Thursday, November 8th

for a very important VAWA update and organizing call.

Dial-in Number: 1-213-226-0400 Conference Code: 451747 

 

Save Wednesday, November 14 for a VAWA day of ACTION

  • Every national leader will call Congressional leaders
  • Every organization’s state and local leaders will call their U.S. Senators
  • Every local organization and all individuals will call their House members

By the end of the day, every Member of Congress will hear a unified message:

Work out the differences, pass VAWA before this Congress ends and you go home for the holidays.  Do not let VAWA die and miss this chance to help victims find shelter, help and justice.  There is precious little time left and victim’s lives and futures are in the balance.

Join #PassVAWA2012 Social Media Campaign

Be a part of a ground-breaking campaign to leverage the full power of social media in fighting for the Reauthorization of VAWA! Join the #PassVAWA2012 Facebook Photo Campaign to tell Congress that it’s time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act! 

It’s easy, just snap photos of you, your friends, your colleagues, & sympathetic strangers holding up signs saying why we need to Pass VAWA NOW!  Submit your photos via email to lccref@gmail.com or tweetpic with #PassVAWA2012.

For more details and sample campaign tweets check out the below tool kit!

 

Join us for a National Organizing Call for VAWA on November 8th

 As our sisters and brothers, survivors, domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers begin the hard work of repairing the damage done by Hurricane Sandy, our hearts go out to them.

We know that VAWA’s lifesaving services are more important than ever! 

Once the election is over, we must make every effort to get our Representatives and Senators in Congress to make VAWA a priority in the lame duck session of Congress.

Please join us

12:00pm eastern on Thursday, November 8th

for a very important organizing call.

Dial-in Number: 1-213-226-0400 Conference Code: 451747

You’ll hear from national leaders who will outline major actions that everyone in the country can take to ensure VAWA gets passed by the end of the year.


We will discuss a National Day of Action for VAWA to be held on Wednesday, November 14th.

 

Congress has some unfinished business.

They MUST PASS the Violence Against Women Act

when they reconvene in November!

 

Get their word on it. VAWA NOW.

Congress has unfinished business - Pass VAWA NOW!

661

  Days

Since VAWA Expired

163

  Days

Since Congress’ Last Action on VAWA

51

Days

Until This Congress ends and VAWA 2012 dies…


Congress has some unfinished business.

They MUST PASS the Violence Against Women Act

when they reconvene in November!

Advocates should use the next 12 days before the election to let the candidates know that we need VAWA done now! 

 Get their word on it. VAWA NOW. 

 

In the past week, tweeting about VAWA trended and, as a result, women’s issues were a focus of the second Presidential Debates!  All of you did a great job getting the word out and holding our elected officials to their obligation to address the concerns of all people.  Now we have to get them focused specifically on VAWA – we need a commitment from every Congress Member that they will pass VAWA before the end of the year!

 

ACTIONS:  Tell you legislator that you think VAWA is an election issue and MUST be passed by the end of 2012.  Your representatives and senators are home campaigning. Call their district offices with this message and also send it by email:

 

In this election season the most important issue to me is the Violence Against Women Act.  It is unacceptable that it has been 658 days since VAWA expired, 160 days since Congress’ last action on VAWA.  With only 52 days until this Congress ends you can help change that.  I need a commitment from you that VAWA reauthorization will be your priority immediately after the election.   Please tell your colleagues and Congressional leadership that you want to see VAWA reauthorized in the lame duck session.  Make VAWA the number one priority bill passed before January.

 

You can also tweet:

@[your legislator]:  What are you doing to make sure #VAWA is reauthorized in lame duck?  

@[your legislator]:  Make #VAWA a lame duck priority – reauthorize it now! 

 

We have made so much progress on VAWA!

Let’s capitalize on that and get VAWA passed before the end of the year!

In the past year, we have worked together to get an inclusive, survivor-focused Violence Against Women Re-Authorization bill introduced into the Senate!  We also saw a number of bills introduced in the House, and the one that passed had limited and very partisan support. 

At the beginning of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), the White House issued a statement acknowledging the need for inclusive responses to domestic violence:

“Despite considerable progress in reducing domestic violence, an average of three women in the United States lose their lives every day as a result of these unconscionable acts. And while women between the ages of 16 and 24 are among the most vulnerable to intimate partner violence, domestic violence affects people regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, or religion.” 

We can capitalize on this momentum and get VAWA passed by the end of this year!  But to do so we need to make sure that VAWA is a priority for every legislator during the “lame duck” session in Congress between now and January.

Let’s keep the pressure on – because together we can get this bill passed!

SEND YOUR LEGISLATOR THIS MESSAGE: 

By email:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  It’s unacceptable that VAWA expired a year ago.   You can help change that.  VAWA reauthorization MUST be a priority in the lame duck session!  Please tell your colleagues and Congressional leadership that you want to see VAWA reauthorized now.  Make VAWA the number one priority bill passed before January.:

Watch the debates tonight and tweet to about VAWA

  • @crowleyCNN Ask in the #Debate why #DV resources through #VAWA have been expired 4 a yr? 4vawa.org #Women1016
  • @crowleyCNN He chained Claire, an immigrant, to the radiator, beat her with a cord & raped her. Y has #VAWA expired? #DV #Women1016 #Debate
  • A @TransEquality survey showed 64% trans people experienced sexual assault: bit.ly/P7nwJe Pass #VAWA 2012! #Women1016 #Debate #DV
  • “[Sexual Abuse] is not a racial story – it affects every nationality, every tribe” – Donna, AK native. Pass #VAWA now! #Women1016 #Debate
  • Danielle knew she had to get out of the relationship for her safety & her children. Pass #VAWA! 4vawa.org #Women1016 #DV #Debate
  • “The sexual abuse had gone 2 the very core of my human spirit & had taken away who I was, who I was meant 2 b” –Donna,AK #VAWA #Women1016
  • “Rape Assistance Volunteers told me it wasn’t my fault. I can now look @ myself in the mirror.” –Leanna,CO. But #VAWA expired, #Women1016
  • “They beat me & raped me, after that my whole life was different.” –Gabe,IL. Support #VAWA 4 all survivors, men & #Women1016 #Debate
  • Her brother used a knife 2 cut Yvette’s (NH) throat & genitals while assaulting her @ age 12. Men&#Women1016 need #VAWA 4vawa.org
  • “We all deserve to be treated with dignity, respect & love” –Laura,NY. Pass #VAWA 2012 for all! 4vawa.org #Women1016 #Debate #DV
  •  #LGBT survivors face the same rates of #DV, #SA as all – so #VAWA must include them too.  Pass VAWA 2012 for all Men & #Women1016
  •  Homicide rates increased 3x in 2011 for #LGBT victims of #DV.  Pass VAWA 2012 for all people!  4vawa.org Men& #Women1016 #Debate

Make VAWA a debate topic!

During last night's VP Debate we heard Vice President Biden's and Congressman Ryan's views on abortion.  Now it's time we hear from the President and Mr. Romney on another important women's health issue - violence against women.

Add your voice! 

Use these tweets to urge Candy Crowley to include the Violence Against Women Act as a debate topic in next week's presidential debate and share with the public why VAWA is so important:

  • @crowleyCNN Rape is rape and #VAWA is expired. #Debate candidates must respond to these issues
  • @crowleyCNN lets hear about why #VAWA has been expired for a year while #DV, rape and stalking major issues #Debate #DVAM2012
  • @crowleyCNN, it’s #DVAM2012 - #Debate should include women & family issues like #education, #poverty, #dv, #VAWA
  • Claire escaped abuse & obtained permanent residency through #VAWA. Tell ur Rep 2 pass #VAWA in 2012! 4vawa.org
  • He put a knife to Veronica’s throat & threatened to have her & her fam deported from NM. No1 deserves abuse. Pass #VAWA now! #DVAM2012
  • 1 in 3 Native American women will be sexually abused during their lifetime. Pass #VAWA in 2012 to help all survivors. #DVAM2012
  • It’s unacceptable tht #dv resources have been expired for a year. Reauthorize #VAWA now! #DVAM2012 4vawa.org
  • A community org tht helps Black/Latino LGBT was denied #dv funding bc it was “ineligible.” Protect all victims; pass #VAWA in 2012
  • “Rapists take away your childhood, your innocence, your spirit.” –Sasha of WI. Pass #VAWA now so survivors have hope. 4vawa.org
  • Eunice of OH was slapped and locked in her closet for failing to satisfy her partner. It's #DVAM2012; Pass #VAWA in 2012
  • Sexual assault of men remains “a silent epidemic” –Gabe of IL.  Pass #VAWA now to help all victims 4vawa.org

Get VAWA Passed Before The End of the Year!

We have made so much progress on VAWA!  Let’s capitalize on that and get VAWA passed before the end of the year!

During the past year, our collective work ensured that the Senate passed a bipartisan, inclusive and survivor-focused Violence Against Women Re-Authorization bill and have kept Congress and the media focused on the needs of survivors! Our advocacy ensured that a dangerous VAWA bill in the House passed by with limited and very partisan support. 

At the beginning of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), the White House issued a statement acknowledging the need for inclusive responses to domestic violence:

“Despite considerable progress in reducing domestic violence, an average of three women in the United States lose their lives every day as a result of these unconscionable acts.  And while women between the ages of 16 and 24 are among the most vulnerable to intimate partner violence, domestic violence affects people regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, or religion.” 

At the same time, the issue of rape has remained front and center in our nation’s consciousness and a comprehensive policy response is needed.

We can capitalize on our momentum and the public focus on women’s issues and get VAWA passed by the end of this year! 

But to do so we need to make sure that VAWA is an election issue and a priority for every legislator during the “lame duck” session in Congress - after they come back from the election through the end of the year.

Let’s keep the pressure on – because together we can get this bill passed!

Your representatives and senators are home campaigning. Call their district offices with this message and also send it by email:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and 3 women lose their lives every day to this crime.   1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.  Rape, affecting 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men, is unacceptable.  ALL victims of violence must be protected.  Yet VAWA expired over a year ago.    VAWA reauthorization MUST be a priority in the lame duck session!  Please tell your colleagues and Congressional leadership that you want to see VAWA reauthorized now.  Will you publicly state before the election that passing VAWA this year is one of your highest priorities? 

 

You can also tweet:

@[your legislator]:  What are you doing to make sure #VAWA is reauthorized in lame duck?  #DVAM2012

@[your legislator]:  Make #VAWA a lame duck priority – reauthorize it now!  #DVAM2012

@[your legislator]: Rape is rape. Will you let rape victims know you want to help? Prioritize passing #VAWA in lame duck.

@[your legislator]:  Oct is DV Awareness Month.  Reauthorize #VAWA now for ALL survivors!  #DVAM2012


We've done it before and we can do it again together we can get this bill passed!

What are you doing to make sure VAWA is reauthorized?

Congress must know we won’t stop until we get a final bill that protects all victims!

Action: Call your Representatives and Senators today and ask:

“ What are you doing to make sure VAWA is reauthorized?”

Here’s the contact information for your Representatives and Senators.

 

Many who worked to make VAWA a reality in 1994 remember the ceremony on a warm September day in the White House Rose Garden and the sense of relief that followed: we finally had the tools to address the epidemic of domestic violence.

Since that day, VAWA has expanded its protections to victims of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  Since that day, VAWA has saved thousands of lives and brought safety to thousands of homes.  VAWA’s programs have trained law enforcement, prosecution and court personnel to better understand the dynamics that make these four crimes such a burden on U.S. communities. 

Over the years, VAWA has created historic protections for immigrant victims and victims on tribal lands.  VAWA has raised awareness about and improved responses to sexual assault and stalking.  VAWA programs have disseminated prevention programs in middle schools and high schools.  The homicide rates for victims of these crimes has dropped significantly.

Yet any child born on that bright day in September 1994, now turning 18 years old, still faces the specter of victimization, because there are so many areas VAWA did not cover in the 18 years since its passage.  So in 2012 the Senate developed a new improved version of VAWA, a reauthorization that fills in so many of those gaps that pose dangers to youth who have never lived in a world without VAWA. 

Without the new version of VAWA, an 18 year old victim of sexual assault will not be able to secure safe housing.  Without the new version of VAWA, an 18 year old victim of dating violence will find it difficult to obtain justice on campus.  Without the new version of VAWA, many underserved communities, including the LGBT community, immigrant victims, and Native women, will have no place to go for help.

VAWA has done a stellar job of helping millions of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking over 18 years.  Let’s celebrate VAWA’s birthday by making sure all victims of violence can access help and justice.  Congress can best say “Happy Birthday, VAWA!” by completing an inclusive bill and getting it to the President to be signed, as it once was on a bright September day.

Thank you!

  • Continue to check 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  ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

Get a final VAWA passed that protects all victims!

As members of Congress head back to Washington this week and next, it is critical that all of us continue to reach out to Members in their districts and tell them to get a final VAWA passed that protects all victims!  

If recent ill-informed comments about rape and sexual violence, now dominating the national political discussion, have shown us anything it’s that the reauthorization of VAWA must be a priority for our lawmakers now more than ever. (Check out this video where 1,200 advocates at the National Sexual Assault Conference tell Congress: “Rape is rape. Stand up for victims. Pass VAWA now!”).

But Congress will only be in session for just a few weeks in September and then will go home the first of October and may not come back until after the election. Time is running out and they need to act quickly in September to get a final VAWA passed!

Below you will find steps to take action in your community:

 

ACTION 1: FIND YOUR CONGRESS PERSON AT A TOWN HALL, RALLY OR CAMPAIGNING ON THE STREETS AND ASK:

“What are you going to do to get a final VAWA passed that helps ALL victims?”

 

ACTION 2:  CAN’T GET TO A TOWN HALL OR RALLY?  CALL YOUR CONGRESS PERSON AND TELL THEM WHY VAWA IS SO IMPORTANT TO YOU!

Find your Congress Member here.  Tell them why VAWA is critical to you, your loved ones, family and friends and ask them “What are you going to do to get a final VAWA passed?”

 

ACTION 3:  CAN’T FIND YOUR CONGRESS MEMBER IN PUBLIC?  VISIT THEM IN THEIR DISTRICT OFFICE WHILE THEY ARE HOME!

We all know that passing a VAWA that includes ALL victims is the right thing to do – please spend the last two weeks of the Congressional recess telling your Senators and Representative to get VAWA done.  Ask them in their office, on Twitter, through a letter to the editor or on Facebook “What are you going to do to get a final VAWA passed?”

 

ACTION 4: GOT A GREAT PROGRAM SERVING VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC OR SEXUAL VIOLENCE?  INVITE YOUR SENATOR OR REPRESENATIVE IN CONGRESS TO COME VISIT YOUR PROGRAM!

We all know the power of seeing what victims are really going through and Members of Congress need to see it for themselves. Chances are that they will want the press to know about their visit and that’s another opportunity for you to get the message out to the public about the need for VAWA.

Please click here to find tips for activism in August including letters to the editor, how to have an in district meeting, tweets, Facebook posts, and letters to the editor. 

 

Thank you!

  • Continue to check 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  ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.