Happy Spring Recess—hope you’re rested for the next round!

VAWA (S. 1925) now has 61 sponsors – and while Congress is in recess, now is the time to urge Senate Majority Leader Reid to schedule a vote on VAWA by the end of April.

Talk with the senators and representatives in your state to urge them to support S. 1925 in the Senate and similar legislation in the House. 

Tell them that it’s important to get VAWA passed ASAP without harmful or weakening amendments and that alternative versions of VAWA, with severely reduced funding levels, fail victims in critical ways. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month so consider tying your meeting to the important provisions S.1925 includes to improve community responses to the crime of sexual assault.

TAKE ACTION:

  1. Urge Senator Reid to schedule VAWA for a vote the week of April 16.
  2. Contact Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and ask her to support the “real VAWA” (S.1925) and not a substitute that leaves out too many victims.
  3. Visit your senators in their district offices and urge them to sign on to S.1925, or if they are already supporting the bill, thank them for their support and ask them to oppose any partisan attempts to trim or undermine S.1925, the “real VAWA". Ask your representatives to move VAWA forward ASAP in the House.

ACTION 1: S.1925 has enough sponsors to go to the Senate floor for a vote without a filibuster.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has the power to schedule VAWA for a vote.  Ask him to do it ASAP. 

Suggested message: Senator Reid, you have 61 co-sponsors. You can get a vote for cloture now. While you wait, those who oppose VAWA are developing a bill that will undercut everything VAWA stands for. How can you stand back and let those who would limit services in our time of greatest need takeover? Please give us a specific date in April that VAWA will be heard on the Senate floor.

  • If you are not from Nevada, call 202-224-3542 (D.C. office).
  • If you are from Nevada, call 775-686-5750 (Reno office).

ACTION 2: Contact former VAWA sponsor and retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) immediately She authored an Op/Ed in the DesMoines Register saying she would offer an alternate VAWA which weakens a number of provisions critical to victim safety. 

Suggested message:  If Senator Hutchison opposes the real VAWA, S.1925, and offers Senator Grassley’s substitute she will be letting down victims of violence not just in Texas but all over the nation.  Immigrant women, Native women and LGBT victims of domestic and sexual violence have long been under-served and ill-served and S. 1925 simply attempts to address this oversight and help more victims.

  • If you live in Texas:  contact her Dallas office (214) 361-3500.  
  • If you live in or outside Texas, contact her DC office (202) 224-5922.
    • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
    • Chief of Staff: Cliff Shannon
    • Legis. Dir.: Dave Davis
    • Judiciary and Women’s issues LA: Jenifer Healy
    • Native American Affairs LA: David Haines

ACTION 3: Contact your Senators and RepresenativesThey will be home for a few more days. If your Senator  is one of the 39 who is NOT a sponsor of VAWA, find out where they will be during the break and/or call their office today and ask them to co-sponsor S.1925. If they are unable or unwilling to add their name as a co-sponsor, ask them to at least vote for cloture (needs 60 votes) so that the bill can come to the Senate floor for amendments, debate and a final vote for passage. 

Ask your Representative to move VAWA through the House as soon as possible – because VAWA is expired and victims cannot wait.

Suggested message: A lot of misinformation is being circulated by the bills detractors about S. 1925, the real VAWA.  I want to set the record straight:  

  1. Since VAWA first passed, the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34% for women and 57% for men. VAWA has saved lives while saving money, saving $12.6 billion in its first 6 years alone.
  2. S.1925 saves money by consolidating and repealing more than 15 programs, ensuring more funding will go directly to needed victim services rather than grant administration.
  3. S.1925 adopts almost word-for-word the accountability measures developed by Senator Grassley for the Trafficking Victims Reauthorization Act.
  4. S.1925 does not create “new victims” or support “special interests.”  The real VAWA protects all victims of these crimes, regardless of their age, gender, race, citizenship, sexuality, or faith. 
  5. Our nation must not say, "There are too many victims” or “You are not the ‘right’ kind of victim.” All victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking deserve help.  That’s what S. 1925, the real VAWA, does.  Please support VAWA’s reauthorization. 

 

Please contact these senators – they are either former sponsors* or have expressed interest or support for VAWA currently, or in the past, or hold a Senate leadership position:

  • Cochran, Thad - (R - MS) (202) 224-5054 Judiciary LA: Carlisle Clarke, Women's Issues LA: Elyse Marcellino
  • Cornyn, John - (R - TX) 202) 224-2934 Judiciary LA: Matt Johnson, Women's Issues LA: Michelle Chin
  • Hutchison, Kay Bailey - (R - TX) (202) 224-5922 Judiciary and Women’s issues LA: Jenifer Healy
  • Alexander, Lamar - (R – TN (202) 224-4944 Judiciary LA: Peter Oppenheim, Women's Issues LA: Mary-Sumpter Lapinski
  • Enzi, Michael B. - (R - WY) (202) 224-3424 Judiciary LA: Wendy Gnehm, Women's Issues LA: Travis Jordan
  • Graham, Lindsey - (R - SC) (202) 224-5972 Judiciary and Women’s Issues LA: Walt Kuhn
  • Kyl, Jon - (R - AZ) (202) 224-4521 Judiciary LA: Stephen Higgins, Women's Issues LA: Elizabeth Maier
  • Lugar, Richard G. - (R – IN) (202) 224-4814 Judiciary and Women’s Issues LA: Joe O'Donnell
  • McConnell, Mitch - (R - KY) Minority Leader  (202) 224-2541 Judiciary LA: Russell Coleman,  Women’s, Native American and Child/Family Issues LA: Sarah Arbes
  • Moran, Jerry - (R - KS)  (202) 224-6521 Judiciary LA: Darby O'Donnell, Women: Brian Perkins, Native American Affairs: Jesse Rundle.  Click here to watch Senator Moran's video.   
  • Portman, Rob - (R - OH)  (202) 224-3353 Judiciary and Women’s Issues LA: Aja Brooks, Native American Affairs LA: Stephen Kittredge
  • Risch, James E. - (R – ID (202) 224-2752 Judiciary LA: Brianne Miller,Women LA: Rebecca Cotton, Native American  LA: Darren Parker
  • Toomey, Patrick J. - (R - PA) (202) 224-4254 Judiciary & Women LA: Tessie Abraham, Native American Affairs LA: Mitch Vidovich

Thank you for all your great work!!  

  • Be sure to check out the rest of our website for fact sheets, press coverage, and support letters.
  • Check out 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 and #VAWA.
  • If you aren't on one of the VAWA email lists or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mailing list, send names and contact information including email to Sean Black, sblack@icasa.org.