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VAWA: You Can Help End Violence Against Women And Girls!

11/30/2011

March 23, 2012 - The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (VAWA - S.1925) still needs your help. In the coming days Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may bring VAWA to a floor vote and he needs more co-sponsors to make sure it passes. Please call AND email your senators and urge them to co-sponsor and support a "clean" VAWA with no harmful amendments. NOW has made it super easy for everyone to contact their Senator, just click on the link below and add in your zip code, it won’t take you more then a minute and your support will go a long way towards ensuring that this vital piece of legislation get’s passed.

TAKE ACTION >

On February 2nd, 2012, The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S.1925) was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is a huge victory, however our work has not ended. Next comes the full Senate vote. Right now, 38 senators are co-sponsors, but 60 are needed to assure final passage. We urge all of our activists call your senators TODAY to make sure that they are on board before the floor vote.

On November 30th, 2011, nearly 20 years after the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first signed into law, U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced legislation (S.1925) to further strengthen and improve the programs authorized under the landmark law to assist survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act includes several updates and improvements to the law, including:

  • An emphasis on the need to effectively respond to sexual assault crime by adding new purpose areas and a 25 percent set-aside in the STOP state formula grant program and the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies and Enforcement of Protection Orders Program;
  • Improvements in tools to prevent domestic violence homicides by training law enforcement, victim service providers, and court personnel on identifying and managing high risk offenders and connecting high risk victims to crisis intervention services;
  • Improvements in responses to the high rate of violence against women in tribal communities by strengthening concurrent tribal criminal jurisdiction over perpetrators who assault Indian spouses and dating partners in Indian country;
  • Measures to strengthen housing protections for victims by applying existing housing protections to nine additional federal housing programs;
  • Measures to promote accountability to ensure that federal funds are used for their intended purposes;
  • Consolidation of programs and reductions in authorizations levels to address fiscal concerns, and renewed focus on programs that have been most successful;
  • Technical corrections to updates definitions throughout the law to provide uniformity and continuity throughout the law.

The Leahy-Crapo legislation also includes important all-state minimum funding formulas for key grant programs, to ensure that small, rural states like Vermont and Idaho have access to the victim services grants authorized under VAWA, including STOP grants, grants under the Sexual Assault Services Program, the Rural Program, Rape Prevention Education grants, and transitional housing grants.

READ: Text of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011

Section-By-Section Analysis of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011

Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy, November 30, 2011 >

Over the last eleven years, V-Day members have accomplished amazing results in the fight against gender-based violence everywhere. Now we need your help to make VAWA a reality for women worldwide.

Simple Ways To Take Action!

Write to your Senator/Representative
Download Sample Letter >

Write an Op-Ed
Download Sample Template >

Spread the word! Inform your online community be it in Facebook, Myspace,
Twitter or on your Blog!
Download Sample Blog Post >

Note: To find out who your member of Congress is, go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/

FOR MORE RESOURCES check out The National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence TOOL KIT

For information about the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), click here >