We are sad to report that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has been in place since 1994, was not reauthorized before the 112th Congress officially ended. The House Republicans did not want to include provisions that would protect immigrants, Native Americans, and LGBT survivors. The bill now must be reintroduced in the new Congress–that is, the process will begin all over again.
VAWA has helped hundreds of survivors of domestic violence since its introduction, and the protection it provides are crucial. The National Network to End Domestic Violence urges everyone to show their support by contacting their Members of Congress. And not many days would be more appropriate for this than January 19th, the National Day of Service. On this day, which commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr., members of the public are encouraged to help their community.
Please call or write your Member of Congress, and tell them the following (text courtesy of the National Network to End Domestic Violence):
On January 19th, join me in the National Day of Service to recognize the critical support that VAWA provides to survivors of domestic and sexual 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 immediately and fund VAWA programs so that all victims can get the support they need and deserve!
And here is a sample tweet:
@YourRep Honor the National Day of Service: Volunteer time or make a donation to [NAME OF LOCAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAM/Rape Crisis program] and pass #VAWA now!
The National Network suggests stressing “how important VAWA reauthorization and funding is to sustaining and improving services for victims in your community” and maybe including pictures or stories to drive home the point that such services are of tremendous importance.
Find out more about VAWA: Wikipedia