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The United States House of Representatives will vote today, Wednesday, May 16, 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 and sexual
assault, and stalking.
Unfortunately, the House
measure differs from the already approved Senate version of
VAWA – which the Center for Inquiry supported
– in several important ways.
For example, the Senate bill
bars shelters from discriminating against domestic violence victims who are
gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered; allows battered illegal immigrants
easier access to visas; and helps Native American women who suffer domestic and
sexual violence on their private lands. It also prohibits religious organizations from using VAWA funds to
discriminate against a qualified job applicant based on his or her religious
Yet the House bill either
weakens or completely strips all of these significant protections.
The evidence is clear: VAWA
has helped to prevent domestic and sexual violence, save lives, and hold
offenders accountable. 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. Furthermore, 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 month.
No human being should be
denied protections against domestic or sexual violence simply because of his or
her gender, sexual orientation, or nationality. And taxpayer dollars should never be used to underwrite
jobs in which religion is a factor in hiring decisions.
for the House to drop the current version of VAWA and work to pass the expanded
Contact your Representative today and tell him or her to vote
down the flawed version of the Violence Against Women Act, and push for the House
to take up the Senate’s expanded version
URGENT: Tell Your Representative to Reject Flawed House Version of Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Dear [Decision Maker],
As a friend of the Center for Inquiry, I am writing to you with serious concerns over the U.S. House of Representatives' expected vote today on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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