I just received the following correspondence regarding VAWA from WeAreUltraviolet.org:
Last night, the House of Representatives did the unthinkable: They actually gutted the Violence Against Women Act and rolled back protections that have been on the books for years.1
Now the entire piece of landmark legislation is in danger–leaving millions of women and funding for shelters, training programs for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges at risk.
House Republicans are able to get away with playing divide-and-conquer politics because reporters in their home districts aren’t covering this story–so their constituents don’t know what they’re up to.
Together, we can change that. Next week, every member of Congress that voted to gut this law will be back home. We’re planning a major campaign–local advertisements, office visits from outraged constituents and outreach to local media outlets to get the word out to make sure they’re held accountable. But it’s going to cost at least $15,000 to make it happen. Can you chip in $20?
Under the House version, abusers would be able to exploit their victims’ immigration status and prevent them from reporting the crime. It would also make it harder for immigrants–one of the most vulnerable communities–to cooperate with law enforcement to prosecute abusers. And it eliminates confidentiality protections for immigrant women–forcing law enforcement to tell the accused abuser who reported them.2
And the House of Representatives refused to expand protections to cover LGBTQ and Native American communities–protections that passed a bipartisan vote in the Senate.
Now the whole law is in danger. This important piece of legislation ensures over 500,000 law enforcement officers receive special training in domestic abuse each year, helps strengthen state and local laws against stalking and sex crimes, and funds countless non-profit community centers that serve women who need a safe haven and a fresh start.3
The good news is that the fight isn’t over yet. The Senate passed a much better version of the law and the two houses of Congress are going to have to figure out if and how to reconcile their differences.
If the lawmakers who voted to put millions of women at risk are held accountable by constituents back home right away, we can make sure we get the protections that people need passed this year.
Thanks for standing up for all women.
–Nita and Shaunna, UltraViolet
1. Just Plain Wrong: House Republican Bill Undermines the Violence Against Women Act, Huffington Post, May 16, 2012
2. FM Statement on House Judiciary Committee Passage of the Cantor/Adams VAWA Reauthorization Bill,Feminist Majority, May 8, 2012
3. Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act, WhiteHouse.gov
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