Take Action to Reauthorize and Expand VAWA

The Violence Against Women Act, the single most important legislation addressing domestic and sexual violence, expired during the recent government shutdown. For the second time in a few months, survivors protected under VAWA have been disregarded amid the chaos of the Trump presidency. Indifference toward vulnerable women is part of a shameful, ongoing pattern displayed by this administration. When 1 in 4 women will experience intimate partner violence during their lifetime, we cannot wait to take action.

 Legislation that seeks VAWA reauthorization has yet to be introduced in Congress, but it is critical we begin building support for a future bill now. With every reauthorization since its initial passing in 1994, VAWA has been updated to address the current needs of survivors. The lapsed VAWA bill provided critical funds for survivor services and prevention programs: Not updating this legislation as we learn how to best serve survivors sets a dangerous precedent. A reauthorized VAWA must be expanded to include: 1) housing protections for survivors; 2) protections for Native American women, who face domestic and sexual violence at rates higher than all other women in the country; 3) expansion of youth education and prevention programs; and 4) common-sense gun reforms prohibiting anyone convicted of dating violence or stalking from possessing a handgun.

We urge Congress to support legislation that reauthorizes and boldly expands VAWA. In 2018, Congress had the opportunity to pass H.R. 6545, in which many critical expansions to VAWA were included. The Bible is clear who we are to help – those who are the most vulnerable. As people of faith, let’s take action to care for and protect those in distress.

Join Sojourners in urging Congress to support bold, moral action by entering your information in the fields below to send a letter to your member of Congress.

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Message

Support Legislation to Reauthorize and Expand VAWA

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a person of faith, I believe God is near to the suffering of abuse survivors. The pervasive reality of domestic and sexual abuse in our nation is not only discouraging, it is inexcusable. For this reason, I believe reauthorization and bold expansion of the Violence Against Women Act is critical to ensuring that our nation cares for the most vulnerable.

I urge you to support legislation to combat and prevent sexual and domestic abuse. The expiration of VAWA during the recent government shutdown is one example of what has become a shameful pattern of indifference displayed toward vulnerable women, increasingly revealed since the rise of the #MeToo movement. The lapsed bill provided critical funds for survivor services and prevention programs: Not updating this legislation based on continued learnings on how to best serve survivors would set an irresponsible and harmful precedent. In 2018, Congress had the opportunity to pass H.R. 6545, which included many critical VAWA expansions.

As your constituent, I urge you to support future legislation that reflects the necessary expansions set forth in H.R. 6545. By supporting expanded legislation, you are boldly affirming the image of God inherent in all people. Thank you for taking action on this important issue.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]