During the past year, our collective work ensured that the Senate passed a bipartisan, inclusive and survivor-focused Violence Against Women Re-Authorization bill and have kept Congress and the media focused on the needs of survivors! Our advocacy ensured that a dangerous VAWA bill in the House barely passed with limited and very partisan support. At the beginning of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), the White House issued a statement acknowledging the need for inclusive responses to domestic violence: "Despite considerable progress in reducing domestic violence, an average of three women in the United States lose their lives every day as a result of these unconscionable acts. And while women between the ages of 16 and 24 are among the most vulnerable to intimate partner violence, domestic violence affects people regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, or religion." At the same time, the issue of rape has remained front and center in our nation's consciousness and a comprehensive policy response is needed.
We can capitalize on our momentum and the public focus on women's issues and get VAWA passed by the end of this year! But to do so we need to make sure that VAWA is an election issue and a priority for every legislator during the "lame duck" session in Congress (after they come back from the election through the end of the year).
Let's keep the pressure on – because together we can get this bill passed!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and 3 women lose their lives every day to this crime. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Rape, affecting 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men, is unacceptable. ALL victims of violence must be protected. Yet VAWA expired over a year ago. VAWA reauthorization MUST be a priority in the lame duck session! Please tell your colleagues and Congressional leadership that you want to see VAWA reauthorized now. Will you publicly state before the election that passing VAWA this year is one of your highest priorities?
You can also tweet:
@[your legislator]: What are you doing to make sure #VAWA is reauthorized in lame duck? #DVAM2012
@[your legislator]: Make #VAWA a lame duck priority – reauthorize it now! #DVAM2012
@[your legislator]: Rape is rape. Will you let rape victims know you want to help? Prioritize passing #VAWA in lame duck.
@[your legislator]: Oct is DV Awareness Month. Reauthorize #VAWA now for ALL survivors! #DVAM2012
Want more info: go to www.4vawa.org