Statement of Priorities for Response to Sexual Violence in the Military

Sexual violence—including abuse of children, sexual harassment, and sexual assault—is a pervasive problem in the U.S. military. The Department of Defense reports that there were 3,374 reported sexual assaults and 26,000 anonymous incident reports in 2012 alone, and there were likely many more survivors who chose not to make such statements or report other forms of sexual violence. While sexual violence is in no way limited to the armed forces, recent public outcry over particularly inflammatory incidents provide an opportunity to make substantive changes in the culture surrounding, and in particular the response to, sexual violence. Our brave service members deserve respect and safety from everyone around them. These shifts are imperative for the safety of all service members and will make the military an example to civilian society of integrity and responsibility with regard to this issue. In addition, preventing sexual violence and responding to survivors will enhance our military readiness. Mutual trust and respect are key to service members’ performance and well-being.

The following sections provide the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence’s (NTF) broad recommendations regarding the prevention and response to military sexual assault (MSA). They are not tied to particular pieces of legislation pending in the Congress.

Prevention:

Sexual violence occurs across a spectrum of acts, from lewd or sexist comments to rape, and victims include children and adults of all sexes. Prevention of all forms of sexual violence remains the key to ensuring safety for service members and their families and a professional, respectful work environment for all service members. The most effective tool in preventing sexual violence is social norm change – ie, transforming the military’s current culture and attitudes regarding gender and gender roles. Although the NTF appreciates that the military has taken many recent steps to address sexual violence, social norm change requires a multi-pronged strategy that improves upon and expands current military efforts and makes it clear that perpetrators will be held accountable for engaging in such behavior or allowing such behavior to occur.

NTF recommends the following changes to address prevention of sexual violence:

  • Create an office within each branch that is devoted to sexual violence prevention.
  • Strengthen standards for personnel in sexual violence prevention roles.
  • Ensure that all service members receive training on sexual violence that includes: awareness of the spectrum of acts constituting sexual violence, including the connection between sexual harassment and sexual violence; prohibited acts and consequences; bystander intervention; reporting procedures; and available services/assistance. Current modules on the “buddy system” and victims’ actions are not adequate in preventing sexual violence.
  • Ensure that all service members receive such training on sexual violence at multiple instances throughout their time in the armed forces. NTF applauds the military for ensuring that all service members receive training on sexual assault at the beginning of their service, but repetition of broader training will improve retention of the information and reinforce the seriousness with which the military treats this issue. 
  •  Clearly communicate that perpetrating sexual violence, or allowing subordinates to engage in such behavior, will engender a swift response with serious consequences.
  • Prohibit any person who trains service members from engaging in sexual relationships with trainees.
  • Prohibit persons with a history of sex-related crimes from enlisting in the armed forces.
  • Immediately discharge current service members with sexual violence-related convictions in civilian courts.

Survivor Services:

Sexual violence creates short- and long-term needs for survivors. It is important to recognize every survivor of sexual assault responds differently to the attack and thus a range of services as options, but not requirements, will be most effective in meeting that individual’s needs. In addition, services should be available on an on-going basis, as each survivor will be ready for a particular service at a different time. Survivors should not be forced to engage in any services or processes that they do not feel are right for them; for example, survivors should have access to mental health services even if they are not interested in pursuing a court martial or other legal response to the assault. Finally, all members of the armed forces, their families, and associated personnel ages 12 and older should have access to these services, regardless of active duty status.

NTF recommends the following changes to improve survivor support mechanisms:

  • Require that each brigade have at least one trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner to respond to all survivors requesting evidence collection.
  • Require that evidence collection kits be retained for 5 years even if the survivor does not initially want to press charges.
  • Require that all service members receive information about their reporting options, including information about the limits of confidentiality and availability of support services for each option.
  • Ensure that all survivors receive their rights guaranteed under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.
  • Provide survivors with time off to receive services on or off base, as they prefer. These services should be accessible without requiring that their commanding officers be informed of the purpose of these visits.
  • Ensure that survivors can access care through the Veterans Administration without a diagnosis of PTSD.
  • Provide survivors with special counsel to provide legal advice and, if the survivor wishes, representation in a court martial.
  • Prohibit retaliation against survivors for reporting assaults and require that the Inspector General investigate all allegations of retaliation.
  • At the survivor’s request, allow the commander to transfer the survivor or accused in order to ensure the survivor’s safety.
  • Train Sexual Assault Response Coordinators and Victim Advocates on working with immigrant victims, including a basic overview of protections under immigration law that are specific to immigrant victims. At a minimum, the Department and Services should share the USCIS brochure entitled, Immigration Options for Victims of Crimes, with immigrant service members and with non-service member victims who report sexual harassment and assault.
  • Ensure that all training and response efforts recognize and validate the experiences of survivors of all sexes and those who are assaulted by members of the same sex. Ensure that all survivors are treated with respect regardless of the nature of the assault.

Offender Accountability:

NTF supports offender accountability that meets the needs of the survivor and community. NTF recommends that the military retain a range of options to meet these needs and not institute mandatory court martial nor long mandatory long minimum sentences. All options should emphasize the seriousness of sexual violence and be instituted with the survivor’s best interests in mind. The statute of limitations on sex crimes should be removed so that survivors may pursue legal options when they are ready or when the evidence is available to support a court martial.

In order to ensure accountability, Congress should make the following changes to the handling of sexual assault reports and court martials:

  • Require commanding officers to inform the investigative division immediately after receiving a report of a sexual assault. The commanding officer should also enter the report into an electronic database within 48 hours (or as soon as possible if there are internet connectivity problems).
  • Remove the decision of whether and how to proceed with a court martial from the chain of command for the survivor and accused. In other words, at no point should commanding officers have control over the sexual assault report nor the prosecution of the case.
  • Appoint special prosecutors to handle sexual assault cases within the military justice system. These prosecutors should have a rank of at least Lieutenant Colonel in order to ensure that experienced officers are responsible for these cases.
  • Prohibit commanding officers from overturning or mitigating guilty verdicts and sentences.
  • Require convicted service members to receive a punitive separation or dishonorable discharge.
  • Note all substantiated complaints of sexual violence in a convicted service member’s personnel records.
  • Promptly enter all convicted service members into the civilian sex offender database.
  • Retain all reports (unrestricted and restricted) for at least 50 years.
  • Periodically review reports and case files—while maintaining confidentiality—to ensure compliance with new procedures.
  • Ensure uniform treatment of sexual violence cases across the Department.

Next Steps:

NTF looks forward to working with Members of Congress in their efforts to make the military a safer place for all service members and encourages swift action in making these recommendations law. 

 

Over the Memorial Day Recess...

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Commonsense Background Checks that will Save Women’s Lives!

Members of Congress are headed home to their districts for the Memorial Day Recess – and now is the time to let them know that the issue of gun violence and domestic violence homicide is critically important and must be addressed! In this country, on average, three women are killed every day by their intimate partners. (For more compelling statistics on guns laws and violence against women, check out this infographic.) Congress must move forward on legislation that will close dangerous loopholes in the background checks system!    

In the House, a bill identical to the Manchin-Toomey Senate Amendment is gathering support. This bipartisan bill, H.R. 1565, introduced by Congressmen Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), would require background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings, including at gun shows, on the internet and in classified ads. It currently has over 170 co-sponsors, but we need more to sign on! And while the Senate failed to pass their bill last month, there promises to be another vote on this issue soon – but not without your help! Your Senators also need to hear from you that background checks will help prevent domestic violence homicides.

ACTION ITEM 1): CONTACT YOUR HOUSE MEMBERS AND ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR H.R. 1565, BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION THAT WOULD EXPAND BACKGROUND CHECKS AND SAVE WOMEN’S LIVES!

Call your Representative’s office by dialing (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Congressperson. Don’t know your Member of Congress? Look them up here. You can check to see if your Representative is already a co-sponsor by searching on THOMAS for House Bill H.R. 1565.

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun violence legislation and say:

  • I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________. 
  • I urge Representative [insert name] to co-sponsor H.R. 1565, the King/Thompson bill that would expand background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings. There are too many loopholes in current law that allow domestic abusers to access firearms and by expanding the background check system, this commonsense, bipartisan bill will reduce violence against women and save lives.
  • Thank the staffer for their time and ask if they will let you know if and when the Member co-sponsors or supports this gun safety bill.  

ACTION ITEM 2): CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND TELL THEM THAT AN IMPROVED BACKGROUND CHECKS SYSTEM IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDES

Call your Senator’s office by dialing (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senator. Don’t know your Senators? Look them up here.

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun violence legislation and say:

  • I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________. 
  • I urge Senator [insert name] to continue to work towards passing legislation that would require background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings. There are too many loopholes in current law that allow domestic abusers to access firearms and by providing for commonsense additions to the background check system, we can reduce violence against women and save lives.
  • Thank the staffer for their time.  

ACTION ITEM 3): TWEET THESE MESSAGES TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS! 

  • Just called my Rep. [or Sen.] in support of expanded background checks that will save women’s lives! Learn more & take action @ 4vawa.org 
  • Presence of guns in domestic violence situations increases risk of homicide 4 women by 500%. Act now! 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • When states require bkgrnd checks 4 all gun sales 38% fewer women shot 2 death by intimate partners 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • Over 6 million guns transferred each yr thru private transfers without bckgrnd checks. Take action! 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • [Insert Representative’s Twitter handle] Take the lethal impact of guns in domestic & sexual violence & stalking cases seriously. Support HR 1565! #savewomenslives

ACTION ITEM 4): SHARE YOUR STORIES TO HELP IMPROVE OUR ADVOCACY

The National Task Force is collecting stories about firearms-related domestic violence homicides, the role of background checks in domestic violence cases, and other issues at the intersection of guns and domestic violence. We are asking all of you to please share with us compelling stories you have on this topic, whether from personal experience (stories can be shared anonymously), from your organization, things you read in your local newspaper, etc. These stories will be used in NTF's advocacy with Members of Congress, shared with other organizations and advocates, and shared with the public at large. If you would like to share a story, you can do so here.

ACTION ITEM 5): WATCH THIS SPACE!

Stay tuned for more action alerts and ways you can make your voice heard on other important issues related to sexual and domestic violence, including funding for programs and services, and immigration reform.

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  • 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 want to be added or add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

NTF supports gun safety legislation that saves women’s lives.

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support House bill providing for Commonsense Background Check!

As we continue to keep up the pressure on our Senators to reconsider critical gun safety legislation, our focus shifts to the House of Representatives where legislation was recently introduced to expand background checks! This bill, H.R. 1565, introduced by Congressmen Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) mirrors the bipartisan Manchin/Toomey Senate compromise measure that would require background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings, including at gun shows, on the internet and in classified ads.  While the Senate bill fell 5 votes short of passage last month due to a procedural hurdle, Senators promise to have another vote SOON.  It’s time to work with our House members if we hope to have gun safety legislation this year.

Due to loopholes in current law, domestic violence abusers are easily able to obtain firearms through private sales and transfers, even though they should be prohibited from doing so under federal law. Over 6.6 million guns are transferred each year through private transfer not subject to background checks and just the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%. The King/Thompson bill would help keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, reduce violence and save women’s lives. This legislation already has over 160 co-sponsors, including 3 Republican representatives- but we need more! To check if your representative is a co-sponsor, click here.

Now, we need you to urge your representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 1565, the King/Thompson background check bill and take a stand for women, children and families!

ACTION ITEM 1):  CONTACT YOUR HOUSE MEMBERS  AND ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR H.R. 1565, BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION THAT WOULD EXPAND BACKGROUND CHECKS AND SAVE WOMEN’S LIVES!

Call your representative’s office by dialing (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Congressperson. Don’t know your Member of Congress? Look them up here

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun violence legislation and say:

  • I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________. 
  • I urge Representative [insert name] to co-sponsor H.R. 1565, the King/Thompson bill that would expand background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings. There are too many loopholes in current law that allow domestic abusers to access firearms and by expanding the background check system, this commonsense, bipartisan bill will reduce violence against women and save lives.
  • Thank the staffer for their time and ask if they will let you know if and when the Member co-sponsors or supports this gun safety bill.  

ACTION ITEM 2) TWEET THESE MESSAGES TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS! 

  • Just called my Rep in support of expanded background checks that will save women’s lives! Learn more & take action @4vawa.org 
  • Presence of guns in domestic violence situations increases risk of homicide 4 women by 500%. Act now! 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • When states require bkgrnd checks 4 all gun sales 38% fewer women shot 2 death by intimate partners 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • Over 6 million guns transferred each yr thru private transfers without bckgrnd checks. Take action! 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • [Insert Representative’s Twitter handle] Take the lethal impact of guns in domestic & sexual violence & stalking cases seriously. Support HR 1565! #savewomenslives

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue visit us at 4vawa.org.
  • Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page!      
  • If you would like to be added to our grassroots alerts e-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

Legislation needed to address domestic violence homicide!

Recently, the Senate had an opportunity to vote on legislation that would have expanded background checks and protected victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from gun violence. The intersection between gun violence and sexual and domestic violence cannot be overstated. Research shows that firearms possession by those who commit sexual and domestic violence crimes is an indicator of lethality (causing death).  

Access to firearms yields a more than five-fold increase in risk of intimate partner homicide when considering other factors of abuse, suggesting that abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners.

Many offenders are easily able to obtain firearms through private sales and transfers, even though they should be prohibited under federal law from doing so – and the Manchin-Toomey amendment to S. 649 would have closed this dangerous loophole by expanding background checks to all gun sales on the internet and commercial settings. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to pass the Manchin-Toomey Amendment.

Now, we need you to let our Senators know that you took notice of their vote! Senators Manchin and Toomey promise to bring this issue back to the Senate floor and we need every Senator who voted no to revisit and rethink their vote on behalf of their state’s women, children and families.

ACTION ITEM:  EMAIL, TWEET, AND CALL YOUR SENATORS TO EITHER THANK THEM FOR OR EXPRESS DISAPPOINTMENT IN THEIR VOTE ON MANCHIN-TOOMEY.

You can reach your Senators by calling (202) 224-3121, or you can look them up here: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun violence legislation

Find out how your Senators voted on the Manchin-Toomey Amendment here.

If your Senator voted YES on Manchin-Toomey: 

Tell or leave the following message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________. 
  2. I wanted to thank Senator ______ for supporting legislation that would expand background checks and protect victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from gun violence.
  3. I hope that the Senate will reconsider the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, and I would support the Senator’s efforts to enact effective gun safety laws that will reduce violence against women and save lives.

Tweet a thanks to your Senator:

  •  [@handle] Thanks for supporting gun safety laws that will reduce domestic violence homicides & save lives! I hope the Senate will reconsider.

If your Senator voted NO on Manchin-Toomey:

Tell or leave the following message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.
  2. I am calling to let Senator ____ know that I am very concerned and disappointed the he/she voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment, a common-sense, bipartisan proposal to close the loopholes that make it all too easy for criminal offenders to obtain firearms and ammunition that endangers the safety of victims of domestic and sexual violence and their children.
  3. I hope that when the Senate reconsiders this legislation, the Senator will stand up for victims and take their safety needs seriously.

Tweet your Senator a message:

  • [@handle] Take the lethal impact of firearms in domestic & sexual violence & stalking cases seriously. Vote to close background check loopholes.

VAWA is law – now it needs to be funded!

After VAWA’s recent reauthorization, our attention must turn to the funding (“appropriations”) process to ensure that all of VAWA’s programs receive the money that they need to provide services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

The first step in the appropriations process involves Members of Congress circulating “Dear Colleague” letters asking their fellow Members to support certain funding priorities. The House letter for VAWA funding, circulated by Representatives Moore (D-WI), Schakowsky (D-IL), and Conyers (D-MI), received over 100 signatures thanks to all of the calls you made! Now, Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Crapo (R-ID) are circulating a letter in the Senate in support of funding for VAWA and other programs that provide services for victims.

This is a critical time to make your voices heard – ask your two Senators to stand with victims and provide needed funding for VAWA’s programs that work every day to serve victims.  Every Senator who voted for VAWA should be on this letter!

ACTION ITEM:  EMAIL, TWEET, AND CALL YOUR SENATORS AND ASK THEM TO SIGN ON TO THE DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER IN SUPPORT OF FUNDING VAWA & VOCA

You can reach your Senators by calling (202) 224-3121, or you can look them up here:http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles appropriations.  

Tell or leave the following message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________. 
  2. I want to urge Senator____ to sign onto the Dear Colleague letter circulated by Senators Leahy  and Crapo in support of funding for VAWA, VOCA and all of the programs that serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
  3. These funds provide life-saving services to victims in our community and we would appreciate the Senator’s support.

 

Tweet your Senators and ask them to sign on:

  •  [@handle] Please support funding for services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence & stalking in the FY14 budget!

 

VAWA Support Letter

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  • Continue to visit us on 4vawa.org ror more information, 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 hashtag #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-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

VAWA is law – now it needs to be funded!

After VAWA’s recent reauthorization, our attention must turn to the funding (“appropriations”) process to ensure that all of VAWA’s programs receive the money that they need to provide services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

The first step in the appropriations process involves Members of Congress circulating “Dear Colleague” letters asking their fellow Members to support certain funding priorities. Representatives Moore (D-WI), Schakowsky (D-IL), and Conyers (D-MI) have just circulated a letter to House Members in support of funding for VAWA and other programs that provide services for victims.

Your Representatives now have an opportunity to sign on to that letter, especially those who voted for VAWA at the end of February. Now is a critical time to make your voices heard – tell Congress to stand with victims and provide needed funding for VAWA’s programs that work every day to serve victims.  

ACTION ITEM:  EMAIL, TWEET, AND CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND ASK THEM TO SIGN ON TO THE DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER IN SUPPORT OF FUNDING VAWA

You can reach your Representatives by calling (202) 224-3121, or you can look them up here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles appropriations. 

Tell or leave the following message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________. 
  2. I want to urge Representative____ to sign onto the Dear Colleague letter circulated by Representatives Moore, Schakowsky, and Conyers in support of funding for VAWA and all of the programs that serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
  3. These funds provide life-saving services to victims in our community and we appreciate/expect the Representative’s support.

 

Tweet your Representatives and ask them to sign on:

  •  [@handle] Please support funding for services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence & stalking in the FY14 budget!

 

ACTION ITEM:  STAY TUNED!

Watch for alerts in the coming weeks about a similar letter in the Senate and other actions you can take to ensure VAWA is funded!  

 

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit www.4vawa.org
  • Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page.
  •  Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtag #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-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

 

What’s next for VAWA?

Tweet with us TODAY at 2 p.m. EST!

The President signed VAWA into law on March 7th and it is now reauthorized for five more years!  So what happens next?  Join us for a Twitter Chat TODAY, March 14th at 2 p.m. EST to find out!

ACTION ITEM:  TWITTER CHAT ON MARH 14TH!

Join us this afternoon, March 14th, 2013 at 2pm EST for a Twitter Chat to discuss the final version of the Violence Against Women Act!  A week after President Obama signed an inclusive VAWA into law questions still remain about what it means for survivors and service providers moving forward.  Join us to discuss important issues—from program funding to expanded protections for victims of abuse—and learn more about what you can do to support the cause. Join the conversation on Twitter using #VAWAchat!

 

ACTION ITEM:  JOIN THE VAWA PHOTO CAMPAIGN!

Join us in celebrating and saying thanks for getting VAWA done! Make a fun sign, snap a quick photo and send it to reauthorizeVAWA@gmail.com. You can find examples on our Facebook page. Help us thank everyone who made this new inclusive VAWA possible!

 

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates: www.4vawa.org 
  • Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page.
  • Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #VAWA4all 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-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

 

What’s next for VAWA? Tweet with us TODAY at 2 p.m. EST!

The President signed VAWA into law on March 7th and it is now reauthorized for five more years!  So what happens next?  Join us for a Twitter Chat TODAY, March 14th at 2 p.m. EST to find out!

 ACTION ITEM:  TWITTER CHAT ON MARH 14TH!

Join us this afternoon, March 14th, 2013 at 2pm EST for a Twitter Chat to discuss the final version of the Violence Against Women Act!  A week after President Obama signed an inclusive VAWA into law questions still remain about what it means for survivors and service providers moving forward.  Join us to discuss important issues—from program funding to expanded protections for victims of abuse—and learn more about what you can do to support the cause. Join the conversation on Twitter using #VAWAchat!

 

ACTION ITEM:  JOIN THE VAWA PHOTO CAMPAIGN!

Join us in celebrating and saying thanks for getting VAWA done! Make a fun sign, snap a quick photo and send it to reauthorizeVAWA@gmail.com. You can find examples on our Facebook page. Help us thank everyone who made this new inclusive VAWA possible!

 

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates, continue to visit www.4vawa.org
  • Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page.
  • Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #VAWA4all 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-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org. 

What’s next for VAWA? Tweet with us on 3/14 and find out!

The President signed VAWA into law on March 7th and it is now reauthorized for five more years!  So what happens next?  Join us for a Twitter Chat on March 14th at 2 p.m. EST to find out!

 

ACTION ITEM:  TWITTER CHAT ON MARH 14TH!

Join us on Thursday, March 14th, 2013 at 2pm EST for a Twitter Chat to discuss the final version of the Violence Against Women Act!  A week after President Obama signed an inclusive VAWA into law questions still remain about what it means for survivors and service providers moving forward.  

Join us to discuss important issues—from program funding to expanded protections for victims of abuse—and learn more about what you can do to support the cause. Join the conversation on Twitter using #VAWAchat!

 

ACTION ITEM:  JOIN THE VAWA PHOTO CAMPAIGN!

Join us in celebrating and saying thanks for getting VAWA done! Make a fun sign, snap a quick photo and send it to reauthorizeVAWA@gmail.com. You can find examples on our Facebook page. Help us thank everyone who made this new inclusive VAWA possible!

 

###

 

  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit www.4vawa.org
  • Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page.
  • Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #VAWA4all 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-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

 

 

Thank you!!!

You did it!!  Your phone calls, your emails, your tweets, your petitions, your Facebook posts, your visits to your Members of Congress, your absolute determination and dedication to victims and survivors did it!

 

In a strong, bipartisan effort, the Senate first voted 78-22 for S. 47, the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization that protects ALL victims, and the House followed last week by voting 286-138 for the same bill. 

 

We want to thank you and your colleagues for turning out in record numbers to support a historic bill that ensures protections for LGBT, tribal, campus and immigrant victims as well as taking the next steps to improve our nation’s response to rape and prevent domestic violence homicides. 

 

The President will sign the bill on Thursday and VAWA will then be reauthorized for 5 more years!

 

ACTION ITEM:  THINK ABOUT THE VICTIMS WHO WILL NOW GET SERVICES THANKS TO YOUR EFFORTS!!! 

So many of you reached out to the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence to let us know about the needs of victims in your communities.  In fact, three years ago, more than 2,000 of you participated in national conference calls, surveys, and local meetings to identify exactly what worked in VAWA and what still needed to be done. Thanks to your contributions, we now have a VAWA that will provide more and better services and will reach so many more victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, including those who are immigrants and LGBT and those living on tribal lands and are from communities of color.

 

ACTION ITEM: EMAIL, TWEET, AND CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES TO THANK THEM IF THEY VOTED FOR THE SENATE VERSION OF S. 47; LET THEM KNOW HOW DISAPPOINTED YOU ARE IF THEY DID NOT.

You can reach your Senators and Representatives by calling (202) 224-3121, or you can look them up here: 

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. 

 

If your Senator or Representative voted for the Senate version of S. 47, tell or leave a message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.
  2. I want to thank Senator/Representative____ for supporting the Senate version of S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

 

If your Senator or Representative did NOT vote for the Senate version of S. 47, tell or leave a message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.
  2. I am disappointed that Senator/Representative ____ did not vote for the Senate version of S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. 

 

Note:  many House Republicans voted for the weak substitute for VAWA and then against the “real” S. 47 but they are telling their constituents that they “voted for VAWA.”  If you receive or read about any of these statements, please write a letter to the editor or directly to these members and set the record straight.

Tweet your Senators and Representatives to thank them for voting for the Senate version of S. 47, the reauthorization of VAWA that protects ALL victims.

  • [Name of organization] thx all Senators and Representatives voting for real S.47, bipartisan #VAWA bill!

 

ACTION ITEM:  STAY TUNED!

Watch for alerts in the next weeks as we host another VAWA Twitter Chat to talk about our success and what this means for all victims! 

Stay tuned for a “Thank you for passing VAWA” photo campaign we’ll unveil soon!

Take a break to celebrate, but please be ready as we continue the fight against  budget cuts that will devastate services. Let’s work to get VAWA and VAW-related programs fully funded.  There is still so much to do to prevent and end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking experience by girls and women, boys and men.  Our families and communities MUST be safe so that all can live, work and thrive.

 

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit www.4vawa.org
  • Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page.
  • Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #ReauthorizeVAWA, #VAWA4all 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-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

 

 

 

 

The House passed the inclusive Senate VAWA reauthorization!

The bill will be sent to the President to sign!

Congratulations! We did it!!

In a strong, bipartisan vote, the House has just voted 286-138 for S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill that reauthorizes the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This bipartisan legislation improves VAWA programs and strengthen protections for all victims of violence.

We want you to take action TODAY and thank your Representatives and Senators for supporting a historic bill that ensures protections for Native, tribal, and immigrant victims.

ACTION ITEM: CALL YOUR SENATOR(s) TODAY!!!

You can reach your Senator(s) by calling (202) 224-3121, or you can look them up here:

Ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. Check here to see if your Representative voted for S. 47:

If your Senator or Representative voted for the inclusive Violence Against Women Act, tell or leave the following message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.
  2. I want to thank Senator/Representative____ for supporting S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill that would reauthorizes the Violence.

 

If your Senator did NOT vote for S. 47, tell or leave the following message for the staff person:

  1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.
  2. I am disappointed that Senator/Representative ____ did not vote for S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

 

ACTION ITEM: TWEET YOUR SENATORS BEFORE THE VOTE ON VAWA

Tweet your Senators and Representatives to thank them for voting for S. 47, the reauthorization of VAWA that protects ALL victims.

[Name of organization] thx all Senators and Representatives voting for S.47, bipartisan #VAWA bill!

###

  • 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. Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #ReauthorizeVAWA, #VAWA4all 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-mail list, send names and contact information including email tontfvawaalerts@icasa.org

 

Today is the day!

Tell the House to pass the inclusive Senate version of VAWA!

The House will begin discussion in the House on VAWA starting around 9 a.m. with votes sometime before 12:30 p.m.  The first vote will be on the House substitute and we must defeat that in order to have a vote on the bipartisan Senate version.

Thanks to your work yesterday we have a dozen Republican members committed to defeating the House substitute passing the Senate bill.  But we need a dozen more!  

WE ONLY HAVE A FEW HOURS LEFT.  Your tireless efforts have gotten us this far.  Let’s get this done!

URGENT ACTION ITEM: 

Call and leave a phone message or email the following Representatives.  To reach your Congress Member, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look them up here http://www.house.gov/representatives/.  When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA.   We need to pay particular attention to the members listed below.

These members (in alphabetical order by state) signed the Republican letter to the House leadership but have not committed to vote against the House substitute.  Ask all Representatives:  Will you commit to voting NO on the House substitute and YES on the Senate version of VAWA?

 

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL 13th District) (202) 225-2371

 

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE 2nd District) (202) 225-4155

  • Women's Issues LA: Nick Magallanes
  • @LEETERRYNE
  • Omaha Office: 11717 Burt Street, Suite 106
  • Phone: (402) 397-9944

 

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ 11th District) (202) 225-5034

  • Legis. Dir.: Kathleen Hazlettkathleen.hazlett@mail.house.gov
  • @RodneyforNJ
  • Morristown Office: 30 Schuyler Place, 2nd Floor
  • Phone: (973) 984-0711 Fax: (973) 292-1569

 

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ 7th District) (202) 225-5361

  •  Legis. Dir.: Jon Taets jon.taets@mail.house.gov            
  • @LeonardLanceNJ7
  • Westfield Office: 425 North Avenue East
  • Phone: (908) 518-7733 Fax: (908) 518-7751 
  • Flemington Office: 361 Route 31, Unit 1401
  • Phone: (908) 788-6900 Fax: (908) 788-2869

 

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ 2nd District) (202) 225-6572

  • Legis. Dir.: John Bresslerjohn.bressler@mail.house.gov
  • @RepLoBiondo
  • Mays Landing Office: 5914 Main Street, Suite 103
  • Phone: (609) 625-5008 Fax: (609) 625-5071

 

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY 19th District) (202) 225-5614

  • Legis. Dir.: Brad Gentile brad.gentile@mail.house.gov
  • @RepChrisGibson
  • Glens Falls Office: 136 Glen St. Glens Fall, NY 12801
  • Phone: (518) 743-0964 Fax: (518) 743-1391

 

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY 11th District) (202) 225-3371

  • Legis. Dir.: Aaron Ringel aaron.ringel@mail.house.gov
  • @repmichaelgrimm
  • Staten Island Office: 265 New Dorp Lane, 2nd Floor
  • Phone: (718) 351-1062 Fax: (718) 980-0768 
  • Brooklyn Office: 7308 13th Avenue
  • Phone: (718) 630-5277 Fax: (718) 630-5388

 

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY 23rd District) (202) 225-3161

  • Legis. Dir.: Steve Pfrang steve.pfrang@mail.house.gov
  • @RepTomReed
  • Geneva Office:433 Exchange St Geneva, NY 14456
  • Phone: 315-759-5229 Fax: 315-325-4045

 

Rep. David Joyce (R-OH 14th District) (202) 225-5731

  • Legis. Dir.: John Miceli john.miceli@mail.house.gov
  • @DaveJoyceOH14
  • Painesville Office: 1 Victoria Place, Room 320
  • Phone: (440) 352-3939
  • Twinsburg Office: 10075 Ravenna Road
  • Phone: (330) 425-9291 Fax: (330) 425-7071

 

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA 15th District) (202) 225-6411

  • Legis. Dir.: Kristin Dini kristin.dini@mail.house.gov
  • @DentPressShop
  • Allentown Office: 3900 Hamilton Boulevard, Suite 207
  • Phone: (610) 770-3490

 

Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA 8th District) (202) 225-4276

  • Legis. Dir.: Kyle Whatleykyle.whatley@mail.house.gov
  • @RepFitzpatrick
  • Langhorne Office: 1717 Langhorne Newtown Rd. Suite 400
  • Phone: (215) 579-8102 Fax: (215) 579-8109

 

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA 6th District) (202) 225-4315

  • Legis. Dir.: Lauryn Schothorstlauryn.schothorst@mail.house.gov
  • @JimGerlach
  • Exton Office: 111 East Uwchlan Avenue
  • Phone: (610) 594-1415 Fax: (610) 594-1419 
  • Wyomissing Office: 840 North Park Road
  • Phone: (610) 376-7630 Fax: (610) 376-7633 
  • Trappe Office: 580 Main Street, Suite 4
  • Phone: (610) 409-2780 Fax: (610) 409-7988

 

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA 7th District) (202) 225-2011

  • Acting Legis. Dir: Brian Schubertbrian.schubert@mail.house.gov
  • @RepMeehan
  • Springfield Office:940 West Sproul Road
  • Phone: (610) 690-7323 Fax: (610) 690-7329

 

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA 8th District) (202) 225-7761

  •  Legis. Dir.: Zachary Rudisillzachary.rudisill@mail.house.gov
  • @davereichert
  • Issaquah Office: 22605 SE 56th Street Suite 130
  • Phone: (425) 677-7414 or (877) 920-9208 Fax: (425) 270-3589

 

TWEET TO YOUR CONGRESS MEMBER:

@[congress person’s handle]: Vote NO on the House substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S. 47. #VAWA

 

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continute to visit www.4vawa.org.
  • 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

 

URGENT ACTION on VAWA NEEDED TODAY

There has been an important and TIME SENSITIVE development with VAWA. 

  • On WEDNESDAY, February 27th, the House will vote on a rule to proceed with consideration of VAWA.  We want them to vote YES on the Rule. 

 

  • On THURSDAY, February 28th, the vote on the actual bill will occur.  We want them to vote NO on the House substitute bill and YES on the Senate version of VAWA.

 

Your Congress Members are listening to you!  We only have a few hours to act so please call today and tomorrow morning. Members must hear loud and clear that they need to pass the bipartisan Senate version of VAWA!  Your work has gotten us this far – let’s get this done!

 

URGENT ACTION ITEM: 

To reach your Congress Member, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look them up here http://www.house.gov/representatives/.   When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. 

 

MESSAGE:   

I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.  I’m calling about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  I urge Congress Member ________ to vote NO on the House substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S. 47.  VAWA can and must protect all victims.

 

Tweet to your Congress Member:

@[congress person’s handle]: On 2/28 vote NO on the House substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S. 47. #VAWA

 

###

  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit www.4vawa.org.
  • 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

 

VAWA ALERT - URGENT action needed TODAY!!!

There has been an important and TIME SENSITIVE development with VAWA. 

 

  • On WEDNESDAY, February 27th, the House will vote on a rule to proceed with consideration of VAWA.  We want them to vote YES on the Rule. 
  • On THURSDAY, February 28th, the vote on the actual bill will occur.  We want them to vote NO on the House substitute bill and YES on the Senate version of VAWA.

 

Your Congress Members are listening to you!  We only have a few hours to act so please call today and tomorrow morning. Members must hear loud and clear that they need to pass the bipartisan Senate version of VAWA!  Your work has gotten us this far – let’s get this done!

 

URGENT ACTION ITEM: 

To reach your Congress Member, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look them up herehttp://www.house.gov/representatives/.   When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. 

 

MESSAGE:   

I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.  I’m calling about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  I urge Congress Member ________ to vote NO on the House substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S. 47.  VAWA can and must protect all victims.

 

Tweet to your Congress Member:

@[congress person’s handle]: On 3/28 vote NO on the House substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S. 47. #VAWA

 

###

  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit www.4vawa.org.
  • 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

URGENT ACTION NEEDED TODAY

There has been an important and TIME SENSITIVE development with VAWA. 

 

  • On WEDNESDAY, February 27th, the House will vote on a rule to proceed with consideration of VAWA.  We want them to vote YES on the Rule. 
  • On THURSDAY, February 28th, the vote on the actual bill will occur.  We want them to vote NO on the House substitute bill and YES on the Senate version of VAWA.

 

Your Congress Members are listening to you!  We only have a few hours to act so please call today and tomorrow morning. Members must hear loud and clear that they need to pass the bipartisan Senate version of VAWA!  Your work has gotten us this far – let’s get this done!

 

URGENT ACTION ITEM: 

To reach your Congress Member, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look them up herehttp://www.house.gov/representatives/.   When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. 

 

MESSAGE:   

I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.  I’m calling about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  I urge Congress Member ________ to vote NO on the House substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S. 47.  VAWA can and must protect all victims.

 

Tweet to your Congress Member:

@[congress person’s handle]: On 2/28 vote NO on the House substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S. 47. #VAWA

 

###

  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit  www.4vawa.org.
  • 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

 

URGENT – ACTION NEEDED

There has been an important and TIME SENSITIVE development with VAWA.  Today, the House Rules Committee voted on a rule that provides one hour of general debate on S. 47 with 20 minutes of debate on the Republican substitute to the Senate bill. 

If the Republican substitute fails, the House will vote on the full bipartisan Senate bill.  This vote will happen on THURSDAY (2/28) so we only have a few hours to act.

Your Congress Members are listening to you!  In the next two days, Members must hear loud and clear that they need to pass the bipartisan Senate version of VAWA!  Your work has gotten us this far – let’s get this done!

URGENT ACTION ITEM:  Please call the following Congress Members (on the list below) who have expressed a desire to vote for a bill that protects all victims and urge them to vote NO on the partisan substitute bill and then vote YES on the bipartisan Senate version of S.47.  Tell them that they can and must protect ALL victims of violence.   

If your Congress Member is not on the list below, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask the operator to connect you to your Representatives. If you don’t know who your Representatives are, you can look them up herehttp://www.house.gov/representatives/. When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. 

These 19 members (in alphabetical order by state) signed the Republican letter to the House leadership See letter and signatories here (Poe and Ros Lehtinen signed after this was posted):

 

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [R-FL] (202) 225-3931

  • Legis. Dir.: Joshua Salpeter joshua.salpeter@mail.house.gov
  • @RosLehtinen
  • Miami Office: 4960 SW 72 Avenue, Suite 208
  • Phone: (305) 668-2285 Fax: (305) 668-5970

 

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL 13th District) (202) 225-2371

  • Legis. Dir.: Bobby Frederick robert.frederick@mail.house.gov
  • @Rodneydavis
  • Champaign Office: 2004 Fox Drive
  • Phone: (217) 403-4690 Fax: (217) 403-4691

 

Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE 2nd District) (202) 225-4155

  • Women's Issues LA: Nick Magallanes
  • @LEETERRYNE
  • Omaha Office: 11717 Burt Street, Suite 106
  • Phone: (402) 397-9944

 

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ 11th District) (202) 225-5034

  • Legis. Dir.: Kathleen Hazlett kathleen.hazlett@mail.house.gov
  • @RodneyforNJ
  • Morristown Office: 30 Schuyler Place, 2nd Floor
  • Phone: (973) 984-0711 Fax: (973) 292-1569

 

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ 7th District) (202) 225-5361

  • Legis. Dir.: Jon Taets jon.taets@mail.house.gov
  • @LeonardLanceNJ7
  • Westfield Office: 425 North Avenue East
  • Phone: (908) 518-7733 Fax: (908) 518-7751 
  • Flemington Office: 361 Route 31, Unit 1401
  • Phone: (908) 788-6900 Fax: (908) 788-2869

 

Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ 2nd District) (202) 225-6572

  • Legis. Dir.: John Bressler john.bressler@mail.house.gov
  • @RepLoBiondo
  • Mays Landing Office: 5914 Main Street, Suite 103
  • Phone: (609) 625-5008 Fax: (609) 625-5071

 

Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ 3rd District) (202) 225-4765

  • Legis. Dir.: Joe Heaton joe.heaton@mail.house.gov
  • @RepJonRunyan
  • Ocean County Office: 600 Mule Road, Unit 6 Toms River
  • Phone: (732) 279-6013  Fax: (732) 279-6062

 

Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY 19th District) (202) 225-5614

  • Legis. Dir.: Brad Gentile brad.gentile@mail.house.gov
  • @RepChrisGibson
  • Glens Falls Office: 136 Glen St. Glens Fall, NY 12801
  • Phone: (518) 743-0964 Fax: (518) 743-1391

 

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY 11th District) (202) 225-3371

  • Legis. Dir.: Aaron Ringel aaron.ringel@mail.house.gov
  • @repmichaelgrimm
  • Staten Island Office: 265 New Dorp Lane, 2nd Floor
  • Phone: (718) 351-1062 Fax: (718) 980-0768 
  • Brooklyn Office: 7308 13th Avenue
  • Phone: (718) 630-5277 Fax: (718) 630-5388

 

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY 22nd District) (202) 225-3665

  • Dep. Chief of Staff: Adam Hepburn  adam.hepburn@mail.house.gov
  • @RepRichardHanna
  • Utica Office: 258 Genesee St. Utica, NY 13502
  • P: 315-724-9740 F: 315-724-9746

 

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY 23rd District) (202) 225-3161

  • Legis. Dir.: Steve Pfrang steve.pfrang@mail.house.gov
  • @RepTomReed
  • Geneva Office:433 Exchange St Geneva, NY 14456
  • Phone: 315-759-5229 Fax: 315-325-4045

 

Rep. David Joyce (R-OH 14th District) (202) 225-5731

  • Legis. Dir.: John Miceli john.miceli@mail.house.gov
  •  @DaveJoyceOH14
  • Painesville Office: 1 Victoria Place, Room 320
  • Phone: (440) 352-3939
  • Twinsburg Office: 10075 Ravenna Road
  • Phone: (330) 425-9291 Fax: (330) 425-7071

 

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA 15th District) (202) 225-6411

  •  Legis. Dir.: Kristin Dini kristin.dini@mail.house.gov
  • @DentPressShop
  • Allentown Office: 3900 Hamilton Boulevard, Suite 207
  • Phone: (610) 770-3490

 

Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA 8th District) (202) 225-4276

  • Legis. Dir.: Kyle Whatley kyle.whatley@mail.house.gov
  • @RepFitzpatrick
  • Langhorne Office: 1717 Langhorne Newtown Rd. Suite 400
  • Phone: (215) 579-8102 Fax: (215) 579-8109

 

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA 6th District) (202) 225-4315

  • Legis. Dir.: Lauryn Schothorst lauryn.schothorst@mail.house.gov
  • @JimGerlach
  • Exton Office: 111 East Uwchlan Avenue
  • Phone: (610) 594-1415 Fax: (610) 594-1419 
  • Wyomissing Office: 840 North Park Road
  • Phone: (610) 376-7630 Fax: (610) 376-7633 
  • Trappe Office: 580 Main Street, Suite 4
  • Phone: (610) 409-2780 Fax: (610) 409-7988

 

Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-PA 7th District) (202) 225-2011

  • Acting Legis. Dir: Brian Schubert brian.schubert@mail.house.gov
  • @RepMeehan
  • Springfield Office:940 West Sproul Road
  • Phone: (610) 690-7323 Fax: (610) 690-7329

 

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX 2nd District) (202) 225-6565

  • Leg Dir lindsay.pitts@mail.house.gov
  • Women's Issues LA: Blair Bjellos
  • @JudgeTedPoe
  • Harris County East Office:1801 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood, TX 77339
  • Phone: (281) 446-02 Toll Free: (877) 446-0242

 

Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA 8th District) (202) 225-7761

  • Legis. Dir.: Zachary Rudisill zachary.rudisill@mail.house.gov
  • @davereichert
  • Issaquah Office: 22605 SE 56th Street Suite 130
  • Phone: (425) 677-7414 or (877) 920-9208 Fax: (425) 270-3589

 

Rep. Shelley Capito (R-WV 2nd District) (202) 225-2711

  • Legis. Dir.: Adam Tomlinson adam.tomlinson@mail.house.gov
  • @RepShelley
  • Charleston Office:4815 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
  • Phone: (304) 925-5964 Fax: (304) 926-8912 
  • Martinsburg Office: 300 Foxcroft Avenue, Suite 102
  • Phone: (304) 264-8810 Fax: (304) 264-8815

 

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  • 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. 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

House Republicans introduce partisan VAWA that fails to protect all victims

Legislation will be before the House Rules Committee TODAY(2/26/13) and debated on the House floor as early as WEDNESDAY

TAKE ACTION NOW!

The Republican’s version of VAWA, which substitutes the Senate’s inclusive, comprehensive version of S.47 for a bill that excludes effective protections for LGBT, tribal, immigrant, and campus victims, will likely be on the House floor this Wednesday.  NTF opposes this bill.  We need to call our Representatives and urge them to vote against the House Republican Leader’s substitute VAWA and ask them to vote for the field-approved VAWA that passed in the Senate with strong bipartisan support.

Representatives Issa and Cole may ask the Rules committee to allow them to offer an amendment to replace the House’s flawed tribal provisions with improved language that will provide effective, constitutionally sound protections for Native victims of domestic violence. Call your Representatives and ask them to tell House leadership to accept the Issa/Cole amendment.

78 Senators from both parties and over 1,300 local, state and national professional and policy organizations support the Senate-passed bill as do law enforcement officials, health care professionals, community program and service providers, and the tens of millions of survivors and their families, friends and loved ones who rely on and have benefitted from and used the services and resources provided by the 19 year old law which has now expired.

It must be noted that after months of tireless efforts by advocates working with the Republican leadership staff, there are some small but very important improvements in this substitute and the bill is not the punitive version of last year’s House bill. 

Nonetheless, this House version of the bill  fails victims in a number of critical ways:

  • Fails to include the protections for LGBT victims from the Senate bill
  • Weakens and limits opportunities for culturally specific racial and ethnic minority community based organizations to provide culturally specific services to members of their communities who are disproportionally the victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Provides non-tribal batterers with additional tools to manipulate the justice system, takes away existing protections for Native women by limiting existing tribal power to issue civil orders of protection against non-Native abusers, while weakening protections for Native women
  • Contains harsh administrative penalties and hurdles for small struggling domestic violence and sexual assault programs and an additional layer of bureaucracy through the office of the Attorney General
  • Drops the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, which is included in the Senate bill, that improves the handling of sexual violence and intimate partner violence on college  campuses
  • Drops important provisions in the Senate bill that that work toward erasing the rape kit backlog
  • Weakens protections, that were included in the Senate bill, for victims in public housing 
  • Drops the inclusion of “stalking” among the list of crimes covered by the U visa (a critical law enforcement tool that encourages immigrant victims to assist with the investigation or prosecution of certain enumerated crimes)

 

We must oppose this partisan substitute and pass the Senate version of VAWA.  201 Democrats are sponsors of H.R. 11, the House replica of the Senate bill as introduced. 19 Republican Representatives have asked the House Republican leaders to pass a bipartisan bill that “reaches all victims” and dozens more Republicans support some or all of the Senate provisions that are not included in the Republican VAWA imposter.

BIPARTISAN ACTION ITEM: Call your Democratic House members to ensure that they will oppose the Republican leadership’s substitute and support the “real” S. 47, the Senate passed bill.

Find out if your Republican Representative is one of the 19 who supports a bipartisan, inclusive VAWA and ask them step up and to oppose the Republican leader’s substitute and demand and support a vote on the Senate bill

  1. Call or email the 19 (Poe R-TX and Ros-Lehtinen R-FL have added their names) who signed the letter to House leadership. See letter and signatories here. Names and contact information here
  2. Call or email the 7 Members who voted against last years’ harmful, non-inclusive Republican VAWA
  3. Call or write the 26 House members who have interest in one or some of the Senate’s inclusive provisions

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit www.4vawa.org.
  • 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.

 

 

Statement on the House legislation filed today

Unfortunately, the National Task Force must oppose the House proposed VAWA legislation filed today.  This legislation lacks necessary protections for victims of violence and rolls back current law.  NTF supports efforts to move the House legislation closer to the inclusive, bipartisan Senate-passed bill.

 

Please see below for The Facts Supporting VAWA S.47.

 

 

TELL the LEADERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES to PASS THE SENATE VAWA!

We need to call the Leaders of the House of Representatives who have the power to bring up the Senate-passed VAWA for a vote. 

Reports are that the House Republican leaders will bring up VAWA as early as next week – either the Senate version or a bill of their own.  We must demand that they take up S. 47, the bipartisan, inclusive bill that passed the Senate 78-22.  We must remind them that S. 47 has victim-centered support in the House from both parties and will pass if it comes to the House floor for a vote.  Any effort to weaken or delay VAWA does not reflect the will of our country, of our Congress or the desperate need of victims in our homes and communities all across the nation.  Survivors of violence cannot wait any longer!

The numbers add up for a victory for VAWA on the House floor:  201 Democratic sponsors of the House version of the Senate bill; 19 Republican Representatives asking the House Republican leaders to pass a bipartisan bill that “reaches all victims…”; 8 Republican sponsors of the Issa/Cole bill (H.R. 780) that closely mirrors the tribal jurisdiction section of the Senate-passed bill, dozens more Republicans who support some or all of the Senate provisions, and 1,300 local state and national organizations who have signed a letter to the House to pass S.47.

 

ACTION ITEM #1 Contact the House Republican leadership.

They need to hear from activists all across the U.S.  “The numbers add up – the majority of the House supports the bipartisan inclusive Senate bill.  Please do not stall this vital bill.  Bring S.47 to the House floor for a vote next week.” 

Ask Cathy McMorris Rodgers to step up for the women and children of this nation and courageously support the Senate bill.

 

  • Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), (202) 225-0600 or 225-6205
  • Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), (202) 225-4000, (202) 225-2815
  • Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), (202) 225-0197 (202) 225-291
  • Chair, House Republican Conference Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) (202) 225-5107, (202) 225-2006

  

ACTION ITEM #2: Find out if your Republican Representative is one who supports a bipartisan, inclusive VAWA and ask them step up and to support a vote on the Senate bill.

  1. Call or email the 19 who signed the letter to House leadership. See letter and signatories hereNames and contact information here
  2. Call or email the 7 Members who voted against last years’ harmful, non-inclusive Republican VAWA
  3. Call or email the 8 House sponsors of anti-trafficking legislation
  4. Call or write the 26 House members who have interest in one or some of the Senate’s inclusive provisions (this includes sponsors of the Issa/Cole tribal provisions and many of the supporters of the sex-trafficking Senate amendment).

 

ACTION ITEM #3:  PARTICIPATE IN OUR PHOTO CAMPAIGN!


Join our “We need VAWA because…” campaign on Facebook and Instagram!  Tag your photos on Instragram with #VAWA or submit your photos via email to our partners from The Leadership Conference Education Fund at lccref@gmail.com.    Make sure to include your state name and your state representative’s name in your statement so that your representative knows that their state cares about VAWA.

 

ACTION ITEM #4. TWEET YOUR REPRESENTATIVES:

If you can’t call your Representative next week, you can find their Twitter handle at http://www.tweetcongress.org/

  • @TWITTERHANDLE Tell Speaker Boehner to decide on #VAWA + take up bipartisan S.47 in the House.  Pass a bill that protects ALL survivors!

 

ACTION ITEM #5. Sign onto the letter to the House. 

Check here to see if you’re already on the letter, and go here to add your organization's name.  All local and state groups are encouraged to add their names.

 

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  • For more about the National Task Force’s multi-year effort to ensure the reauthorization of a strong, bi-partisan VAWA that protects all victims, and for expert factsheets, sign-on letters, and other resources, continue to visit www.4VAWA.org.
  • Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page. Don’t forget to tweet about VAWA using the hashtags #ReauthorizeVAWA, #VAWA4all 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-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.

 

We’re Half Way There

 It’s TIME for the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES to PASS VAWA!

Contact your Representative while they are in district this week!

On February 12th, the Senate passed S. 47, a strong, inclusive bill to reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Michael Crapo (R-ID), by a 78-22 bipartisan vote!  Thank you for all of your hard work to make this happen!  And thank you to our Senate champions and the Administration for their unwavering support. 

Now we need to tell the House of Representatives to bring the bipartisan Senate bill to the House floor for a vote - and to get this done immediately!  Right now the House leadership is pondering about what direction to take on VAWA. 

Speaker Boehner has given us an opening, saying,

  “No decision has been made about…whether we take up the Senate bill or move our own version of the bill.”  

We need to help Speaker Boehner and the House decide to take up the Senate bill S. 47.  The House is on recess this week so call your district offices and/or visit your representative in their district office.  Survivors of violence cannot wait any longer!

NTF is circulating a letter urging the House of Representatives to immediately take up the bipartisan Senate-passed VAWA and pass this inclusive bill that protects all survivors.  This letter has the same message as the Senate letter submitted last week. Senator Leahy waved it around when he spoke on the Senate floor just minutes before VAWA’s final passage.  If you or your organization has already signed the Senate version of this letter, we will include your name unless you opt out (email qjafree@ywca.org).  To add your organization, go HERE or tweet-friendly go HERE.

 

 

ACTION ITEM 1: THANK YOUR SENATORS WHO VOTED FOR S.47

Please thank your Senator(s) who voted for the final VAWA.

 

ACTION ITEM 2:  CALL OR VISIT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY!!! 

Find your representative http://www.house.gov/representatives/ and click on their webpage to get their district office number – call them at their district office or make an appointment to visit them THIS week (2/18 - 2/22).  When you’re connected to their offices, ask to speak to the staff person who handles VAWA. 

If your Representative is one of the 201 sponsors Democratic sponsors of the House version of the Senate VAWA ( H.R. 11), thank them profusely and encourage them to talk to and work with their Republican colleagues to get a bipartisan VAWA passed.  (For further updates on sponsors, go to http://thomas.loc.gov/home/thomas.php, choose Bill number, type in H.R. 11 and search.)

If your Representative is one of the 17 Republicans who signed onto a letter to Republican House leadership urging a bipartisan VAWA that reaches all victims, thank them and urge them to talk to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor and suggest to them that the Senate bill should be considered on the House floor.  See letter and signatories here.  Twitter handles for these members are at http://www.tweetcongress.org.

If your Representative is NOT on the sponsor list or the Republican letter, call them and tell (or leave a message for) the staff person:


I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________. 
I want to urge Representative _________ to support a strong, bipartisan, inclusive Violence Against Women Act and hope that they will urge Speaker Boehner to bring the recently-passed bipartisan Senate VAWA (S.47) to the House floor immediately.  As you know, VAWA passed the Senate on Tuesday with a resounding bipartisan vote of 78-22 in favor of an all-embracing bill that strives to serve all victims of  violence in our communities, homes, campuses and workplaces all around the country.

 

ACTION ITEM 3:  TWEET YOUR REPRESENTATIVES:

If you can’t call or visit, tweet your representative next week.  You can find their Twitter handle at http://www.tweetcongress.org/ and tell them:

@TWITTERHANDLE Tell Speaker Boehner to decide on #VAWA + take up bipartisan S.47 in the House.  Pass a bill that protects ALL survivors!

 

Also, thank the Senators who voted for S. 47 with this tweet:

@TWITTERHANDLE Thank you for voting yes for S. 47, a bipartisan #VAWA that supports ALL survivors of violence!