The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on its version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act this week, as early as tomorrow. The House version (H.R. 4970) will weaken many vital improvements contained in the recently passed Senate VAWA bill (S. 1925) and in turn will have distinct negative impacts on the ability of many survivors to be safe and economically secure.
The Violence Against Women Act must be responsive to the needs of all survivors, especially regarding the economic issues that are critical to ensuring a survivor’s physical safety and independence. After spending years consulting with advocates and experts in the field, S. 1925 was designed to responsibly consolidate duplicative programs while increasing the safety of previously underserved and more vulnerable populations: Native women, immigrants and the LGBT community. These populations, targeted for exclusion from the House bill, face distinct barriers to achieving economic security and unique challenges as victims of domestic or sexual violence.
VAWA is essential to the safety of survivors and must be reauthorized and reinforced to ensure that all survivors of violence are protected equally.
Please call and urge your Representative to pass a bill that includes the critical Senate provisions that support Tribal, immigrant and LGBT survivors. You can also use the AAUW Two-Minute Activist tool to send a message to your Representative.
Together, our voices and advocacy can help to promote the economic security of all survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking.
From our friends at Wider Opportunities for Women and AAUW.