Will Congress be Naughty or Nice?
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) can be renewed before the end of this Congressional session. Unbelievably, some lawmakers are opposed to its renewal, in part because the 2012 version will extend protections to same-sex couples, undocumented immigrants, and Native Americans. Most of the opposition is coming from the House of Representatives.
Obstructing protection for victims of domestic violence? Yeah, that's a pretty easy way to get on the naughty list. Contact Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and tell them that Congress must pass the Violence Against Women Act NOW. Then tell your friends to do the same.
- Click here to tweet @johnboehner: Stand up #forwomen and reauthorize #VAWA this year. There's no time to lose.
- Click here to tweet @GOPLeader: Do the right thing #forwomen and reauthorize #VAWA before the end of 2012.
- Speaker John Boehner: 202-225-6205
- Rep. Eric Cantor: 202-225-2815
What is the VAWA?
Originally passed in 1994 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the Violence Against Women Act included a variety of provisions aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence, such as:
- Providing funding toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women
- Imposing automatic and mandatory restitution on people convicted of domestic violence
- Establishing the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.
- Providing programs and services to help victims of domestic violence.
VAWA was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, easily passing in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Each time, lawmakers reached out to experts in the field of domestic violence to see if the Act could be improved. As a result, the law was expanded to cover crimes such as dating violence and stalking; a legal assistance program was created for victims; provisions were included developing prevention strategies; and much more.
VAWA is universally recognized as a success; since its passage:
- domestic violence against women has decreased (down 60% between 1993 and 2010)
- reporting of domestic violence crimes has increased
- more arrests have resulted from reported incidents
- the number of women killed by their intimate partner decreased by 30%.
Why the &*^# Would Anyone Oppose This?!!?
In the past, VAWA was easily reauthorized, so why is this time different? Some lawmakers oppose the expansion of the law to include protections for:
- People involved in same-sex relationships
- Undocumented immigrants
- Native Americans living in tribal areas
It is absolutely outrageous to deny any woman protection from abuse--regardless of her sexual orientation, where she lives, or where she comes from. We need to stand up for all women and their children. We need Congress to pass VAWA now.
Spread the Word
Tell your friends to support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Let's ensure that it includes protections for all women, including those in same-sex relationships, undocumented immigrants and Native American women!