Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reintroduced in US House and Senate in 2013

serious woman face
Annually, twelve million seven hundred thousand (12.7) Americans are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners. That is approximately the number of people in New York City and Los Angeles combined. Every minute, twenty-four (24) people are abused. These are people we know. House Republicans let the Violence Against Women Act expire last December — for the first time in nearly 25 years. It is time to end the silence and shame once and for all. With that said, reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is long overdue and should be a priority in the 113th Congress.

“For nearly 20 years, Congress recognized the severity of violence against women and our need for this landmark federal law’s comprehensive approach. VAWA truly provides life-saving protections and services needed by victims and their families. It is unacceptable that this law has become politicized while three women a day are still killed by an intimate partner. Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating violence need a VAWA law that does not roll back protections for immigrant women and their families; includes protections for all victims, including the LGBT community and Native women; and directs resources to this urgent task in the most effective way possible.”

United States Senate Update on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
This week, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Michael Crapo (R-ID) introduced S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It has been reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) that this bill closely mirrors the bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Leahy and Crapo last Congress and would improve VAWA programs and strengthen protections for all victims of violence. Thus far, the bill has the following co-sponsors in addition to its chief sponsor, Senator Leahy (D-VT): Senators Ayotte (R-NH), Bennet (D-CO), Cantwell (D-WA), Casey (D-PA), Collins (R-ME), Coons (D-DE), Crapo (R-ID), Durbin (D-IL), Hagan (D-NC), Kirk (R-IL), Klobuchar (D-MN), McCaskill (D-MO), Mikulski (D-MD), Murkowski (R-AK), Murray (D-WA), Shaheen (D-NH), Tester (D-MT), Udall (D-CO), and Whitehouse (D-RI).

US House of Representatives Update on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Also this week, Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 11, a House companion identical to the bipartisan Senate bill. The National Task Force calls on the United States House of Representatives to work together in a bipartisan effort to build on the momentum from the last Congress in order to reauthorize VAWA as a matter of priority.

Action Item:
Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121and ask the operator to connect you to your Senators. When you are connected to their offices, tell the person who answers the phone:

1. I am a constituent from (city and state) and my name is _________.

2. I urge Senator _________ to co-sponsor the S. 47, a strong, bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

3. Thank you and I look forward to hearing that the Senator is a co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings, and rape combined. And studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic abuse annually. Urge your senators to cosponsor VAWA and move this bill forward. With an equal amount of conscience, mind, heart, and collective action, we can end violence against women. In 2013, each of us should commit ourselves to halting violence within our homes, our communities, and our nation—toward that goal, contact your about co-sponsoring the Violence Against Women Act.

Source(s): National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women Action Alert; National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV); American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

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