Congress just failed to renew VAWA again (signatures needed)

Tell Congress: Survivors can't wait any longer. Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act now.

The petition to Congress reads:
"Reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act."

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Dear 5849376,

Tell Congress: Survivors can't wait any longer. Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act now.

Congress didn't just pass a racist anti-immigrant budget bill. They also failed to renew important protections for survivors of violence.1

Congress first passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994 and reauthorized it three times with bipartisan support. But Trump Republicans are not really interested in protecting women. Instead of passing legislation to fully fund VAWA, they've been tacking on short-term VAWA extensions as part of must-pass spending bills.

Democrats plan to introduce a standalone reauthorization bill soon, but survivors can't afford to wait any longer. We must turn up the pressure on Democrats to make sure they follow through and on Republicans to support the bill. Stopping violence should be a priority for every member of Congress.

Tell Congress: Reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. Click here to sign the petition.

Since Congress first passed VAWA 24 years ago, the program has funded prevention programs like the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which has received more than 4 million calls since its launch, and hundreds of non-profit organizations and social service programs that provide housing, counseling and legal aid to survivors of violence.2 Since VAWA became law we have seen a massive culture shift toward accountability for perpetrators and away from victim-shaming but, there is still so much work to do.

One in four women experience severe intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.3 Survivors often grapple with lasting mental and physical impact as well as heightened economic insecurity. If Congress does not restore VAWA, violence against women will get worse and survivors won't have access to the resources they need to stay safe.

With the youngest, most progressive and most diverse group of members in history now controlling the House, we have new champions in Congress who could fight for VAWA and push forward legislation to strengthen it. It's up to us to make sure they act.

Tell Congress: Reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. Click here to sign the petition.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee's Violence Against Women Act of 2018 is model legislation. It improves on previous versions and would:4

  • Bar evictions of survivors based on the actions of their abusers.
  • Prohibit people with dating violence or stalking convictions from possessing firearms.
  • Improve access to federal crimes databases for Native American women and affirm tribal criminal jurisdiction in cases where the assailant is not a member of the tribe.
  • Strengthen protections against online harassment.
  • Expand protections for LGBTQ survivors.

It seems impossible to imagine that just as survivors are feeling safe speaking out and sharing their #MeToo stories, Congress could defund the programs that provide them with support. But Republicans are nothing if not consistently hostile to women. They tried to play games around reauthorization in 2013 because they opposed protections for LGBTQ people, immigrants and Native Americans, but with massive pressure from CREDO members and our allies, Democratic champions gained the bipartisan support they needed to pass VAWA.5

We need to unleash that same grassroots power to make sure Congress reauthorizes VAWA again – and we must do it now. Speak out now to demand that every Democrat and Republican of good conscience do everything they can to pass reauthorization legislation immediately.

Tell Congress: Reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. Click the link below to sign the petition.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/VAWA-feb-2019?t=10&akid=31630%2E3291973%2EwAwl3K

Nicole Regalado, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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References:

  1. Sophie Tatum, Phil Mattingly and Ashley Killough, "Funding bill leaves out Violence Against Women Act extension," CNN, Feb. 15, 2019.
  2. Kate Thayer, "Violence Against Women Act lapse is part of government shutdown. Advocates: What message does that send?" Chicago Tribune, Jan. 3, 2019.
  3. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, "Statistics," accessed Feb. 15, 2019.
  4. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, "H.R.6545 - Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018," accessed Feb. 15, 2019.
  5. Ashley Killough, Maeve O'Brien and Dan Scully, "Democrats pitch plan to reauthorize Violence Against Women Act," CNN, July 26, 2018.

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