The United States Senate this week is expected
to vote on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women
Act (VAWA). This landmark piece of legislation provides both local
communities and women essential resources to help combat domestic abuse, sexual
assault, and stalking.
VAWA – originally approved in 1994, and then
reauthorized with bipartisan support in 2000 and 2005 – has been extraordinarily
successful. According to the U.S. Department of
Justice, the number of women killed by an intimate partner fell by roughly
34 percent between 1993 and 2008, while the number of nonfatal violent acts
against women by intimate partners decreased by 53 percent. This should come as
no surprise: incidents of domestic and sexual violence tend to go down when
victims have the ability to access legal representation and protection.
The new version of VAWA both continues and
strengthens previously proven measures, but also extends protections to several
unprotected populations. For example, it would bar shelters from discriminating
against domestic violence victims who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or
transgendered. It would also allow battered illegal immigrants easier access to
visas, and support Native American tribes in working to protect Native American
women from domestic and sexual violence on their private lands.
The Center for Inquiry (CFI) believes these are
important expansions. Domestic violence remains a serious problem for women – 1
in 4 will experience it in her life – but also poses serious risks to gay,
lesbian, bisexual, transgendered persons, immigrants, and Native Americans. Indeed,
the national domestic abuse hotline receives an astounding 23,000 calls per
Yet despite its success, some Republicans in the
Senate and House are opposing the new version of VAWA on the grounds that the
expansions are costly and unnecessary.
It’s up to you to tell them that they are wrong.
The evidence is clear: VAWA works. It helps to
prevent domestic and sexual violence, save lives, and hold offenders
accountable. Furthermore, no human being should be denied protections against
domestic or sexual violence simply because of his or her gender, sexual
orientation, or nationality.
Don’t let lawmakers hold up essential
legislation due to mere partisan bickering. Stand with CFI and tell your
Senator to reauthorize the expanded Violence Against Women Act today!
Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a friend of the Center for Inquiry, I am writing to you because I have heard that some Republicans are threatening to vote down the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which the Senate is expected to consider later this week. This landmark piece of legislation provides both local communities and women essential resources to help combat domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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