President Obama will sign legislation
Update for February 28, 2013: YOU did it! The calls and urging from across the nation resulted in the passage of the S47 version of the Violence Against Women Act this morning! The version passed is comprehensive and ensures coverage for all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Thank you to everyone who advocated for the reauthorization of this critical legislation and for taking a stand in support of the rights of every person to live without fear.
Our thanks to Congresswoman Matsui for sharing the story of a WEAVE client and the importance of our work in her comments on February 27. You can read her comments below in the February 27 updates.
Update for February 27, 2013: There have been new developments in Congress! The House of Representatives will allow a vote on the strong, bipartisan Senate VAWA bill. This is the version that provides comprehensive protection for ALL victims and the version we need passed.
This is a great development, but before the vote on the Senate
bill there will be a vote on the House leadership bill as a
potential substitute. If the substitute fails, the House will
vote on the full bipartisan Senate (S. 47) bill. We are strongly
urging all members of Congress to vote NO on the House substitute
and YES on the Senate bill (S. 47).
We have to keep the calls going to members of Congress to ensure
that they understand the importance of opposing the House bill
and supporting the Senate bill. Voting will begin TODAY, with a
final vote tomorrow. If you haven’t already called your
Representative, please make calls now!
Call the Capitol switchboard at 888.269.5702 and ask the operator to connect you to your Representative. When connected, urge your Representative to vote NO on the House substitute and YES on the Senate bill (S. 47).
Voting will begin TODAY, with a final vote tomorrow. If you
haven’t already called your Representative, please make calls
You can call the Capitol switchboard at 888.269.5702 and ask the operator to connect you to your Representative. When connected, urge your Representative to vote NO on the House substitute and YES on the Senate bill (S. 47).
You can look up your House Member here.
See below for comments made by Congresswoman Matsui in support of
the Senate version of VAWA and her acknowledgement of the
importance of WEAVE’s services.
February 27, 2013 – Congresswoman Matsui Speaks on the Importance of Reauthorizing VAWA
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06), a
vice-chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues, spoke
on the floor of the House of Representatives expressing strong
support for the bipartisan Senate-passed Violence Against Women
Reauthorization Act (S.47) and opposition to the House Substitute
Amendment to S.47. Her remarks, as prepared for delivery, are as
“Since the Violence Against Women Act first became law in 1994, the incidence of domestic violence is down more than fifty percent.
“It is with that same record of success that we should address the prevalence of domestic violence in underserved communities.
“In my district of Sacramento we are fortunate to have an organization called WEAVE, and others like it, that are supported by the Violence Against Women Act. They provide crisis intervention services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.
“Recently, WEAVE admitted a woman and her eight year old son,
Tucker, to their Safehouse. By the time Tucker reached the
Safehouse, his father’s verbal abuse had convinced him that he
was stupid and insignificant.
“For an eight year old boy to no longer smile, to play games, to enjoy life, is heartbreaking.
“Fortunately, Tucker’s mother rescued herself and her son by using the resources that the Violence Against Women Act makes available. Tucker is now away from his father, in counseling, and on his way to a happy and healthy future.
“Time and time again we hear that programs like this ‘break the cycle’ of domestic abuse. We must view this legislation not just as a women’s issue, but as a community issue that touches all of our lives.
“It is essential for all past and future victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking, that we strengthen and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.
“I urge my colleagues to reauthorize an all inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act.”
The bipartisan Senate-passed bill significantly strengthens the ability of the federal government, states, law enforcement, and service providers to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It also includes provisions to ensure that all victims of domestic violence receive the protection they need, including providing new protections for tribal members, immigrants and members of the LGBT community.
The House Substitute Amendment to S.47 would reauthorize VAWA; however, it eliminates the protections for the LGBT community and significantly weakens the protections for Native American women and immigrant women granted in the bipartisan Senate bill.
Background on 2013 VAWA reauthorization efforts.
VAWA expired at the end of 2012 when the Senate and the House of Representatives failed to agree on a common version. It marked the first time in 18 years this critical legislation was not available to ensure protections to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Regardless of your political affiliation, VAWA represents critical protection to vulnerable victims and essential funding for a myriad of critical programs encompassing victim services, law enforcement, courts, and public safety.
Please contact your Representative and encourage them to support
the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act! To learn
more about VAWA, why the comprehensive version is critical, how
to contact your elected officials (including suggested language
for calls, letters and emails), and what you can do support its
reauthorization, click here.