Urge Congress to End Violence Against Women – Pass VAWA
THE ISSUE: The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA or H.R. 1620) is urgently-needed legislation to protect abuse survivors and allocate funding for survivor services. VAWA strengthens the health care system’s response to domestic abuse and improve access to resources like housing for survivors while also expanding assistance to LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities of color. Beyond helping survivors, VAWA critically invests in prevention, ends impunity on tribal law enforcement officers, improves enforcement of court orders, and protects individuals from firearm homicides. VAWA would also importantly help survivors gain sustainable economic independence.
WHY IT MATTERS: Ending violence against women is one of NOW’s six core issues. NOW recognizes that violence against women is perpetuated through gender bias in the judicial system and systems of economic oppression and that we must address these deeply-seeded structural problems.
THE STATUS: In 2019, the House of Representatives passed (VAWA) which then stalled in the Senate where it was blocked by Republican Senate leadership. On March 8, 2021, a group of bipartisan lawmakers including Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) reintroduced VAWA with vital enhancements addressing the needs of survivors in underserved communities and communities of color. The bill is once again likely to face pushback from Republican lawmakers, especially in the Senate.
WHAT CAN I DO? Make sure this critical bill gets much needed bi-partisan support by contacting your Representative, voicing your support of VAWA, and urging them to ensure its swift passage in the House.
HOW DO I DO IT? Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and be connected to your Representative‘s office. Here is a directory of current Representatives where you can find their websites and ways to contact them online:
WHAT DO I SAY? “I am calling to urge Representative [NAME] to vote in favor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and show their support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. This is a critical step needed to allow the rights, safety, and protection of women to be supported by the letter of the law for ALL constituents of [STATE].”
**SPREAD THE WORD**
Contacting your representatives is just a start. Help us keep the conversation going by spreading the word on social media and urging others to take action. You can find their Twitter handles here and below are some sample social media posts you can use:
TY @JacksonLeeTX18 & @RepBrianFitz, for introducing the bipartisan #HR1620, a VAWA that includes key enhancements 4 all survivors of domestic and sexual violence. [@Rephandle] can I count on you to vote YES?! #VAWA21 #VAWA4ALL
I’m with @JacksonLeeTX18 & @RepBrianFitz. Pass the bipartisan #VAWA4ALL because all survivors deserve justice! [@RepHandle], please co-sponsor and vote for #HR1620 #VAWA21