Thursday, May 17, 2012

There is still hope: Follow up with your Representative on Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Vote on H.R. 4970

From Pat Reuss of the National Organization for Women:

Please forward widely
May 17, 2012

Thank you for your extraordinary advocacy around VAWA's reauthorization and your work to defeat H.R. 4970, a bill that moves backward on VAWA reauthorization. Although the bill passed in the House, it was a divided and very close vote.  Our work is not done!  This will help to strengthen the voice of victims when the House and Senate bill are reconciled in the conference process and NTF will continue to work hard to get a VAWA that protects ALL victims. 

Now we must thank those who stood for and with victims of violence and express our disappointment in those who did not and voted to weaken VAWA.  We can look forward to the conference process, where we can push to ensure that the vote will more closely reflect the Senate passed S. 1925.    Please take the following actions – we have to keep the pressure up to get the best final bill we can!

ACTION 1: THANK REPRESENTATIVES WHO VOTED AGAINST HR 4970
Now we need to thank Representatives who voted against H.R. 4970.  Please call these Representatives and say, "Thank you for listening to the needs of victims and for voting against H.R. 4970.  We look forward to your continued leadership as VAWA is addressed in the conference process." 

Click this link to find those who voted "NO"  http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll258.xml#N.  To find your Representative, click here http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.  Use the Capitol Switchboard to be connected with your Representative's office (202) 224-3121

ACTION 2: SEND LETTERS TO THE EDITORS
Modify and send this Letter to the Editor to express your disappointment with the following Representatives who voted yes (AYE) for H.R. 4970, a bill that moves backward on VAWA.  

Find out if your Representative voted for the flawed H.R.4970 through this link http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2012/roll258.xml#Y (an "AYE" vote is a yes on H.R. 4970).  To find your Representative, click here http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.  Use the Capitol Switchboard to find your Representative's phone number – (202) 224-3121.

This letter is designed for individuals and organizations who expressed their concern with H.R. 4970 and were disappointed in their Representative's vote. 

Listen to victims – move forward on VAWA
I am writing to express my extreme disappointment in the passage of H.R. 4970 in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I called my Representative, XX and urged her/him to vote against this bill which rolls back protections for victims and does not meet the urgent needs of many victims.  Not only did my Representative not listen to me, he/she did not listen to any of the thousands of organizations and thousands of individuals engaged in the work to end violence against women who urged them to vote against the bill.  Many Representatives claimed that the provisions in the Senate bill were included to make this a political fight.  As a victim advocate, I have no interest in such a fight.  I just want to ensure that all victims are protected from abuse and that perpetrators are held accountable.  And make no mistake, H.R. 4970 is not a bill that is supported by my organization and it does not address many of the most pressing needs of victims

The House had the opportunity but failed to take up the bipartisan Senate bill that enjoyed the support of thousands of victim-centered organizations working to end domestic and sexual violence.  We urge the House and the Senate to come together to pass a bipartisan bill that builds upon VAWA's strengths, moves the legislation forward and meets the urgent needs of victims. 

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