The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is due for reauthorization. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID), introduced a bipartisan bill, S. 1925, on Wednesday, 11/30/11 to reauthorize and improve VAWA. Not only will this bill continue to fund proven effective programs, but it will make key changes to streamline VAWA and make sure that even more people have access to safety, stability and justice.
The National Task Force to End Violence Against Women has worked closely with the Senators on the bill and the language clearly represents the voices of survivors. This is an important step forward for VAWA and the hope is to get even more improvements as the bill moves forward. Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) have been working closely with the National Task Force to End Violence Against Women and will introduce House legislation soon.
What can you do?
What’s most important now is to get ALL legislators to support VAWA’s reauthorization. As a constituent, it is especially important for you to tell your members of Congress how important VAWA is to victims and service providers in your community.
CLICK HERE to locate your Senators. CLICK HERE to locate your Representatives. Email them the following message:
I am writing to you about the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, in order to encourage Senator/Representative __________ to sign on as a co-sponsor. The Violence Against Women Act has had an enormous impact since it was first reauthorized 17 years ago. Thousands of judges, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, civil legal attorneys, and victim service providers have had access to DOJ-approved training and resources and, as a result, have become significantly more effective in addressing the crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Research has shown VAWA's effectiveness. A law enforcement training program developed in Maryland by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence and the Johns Hopkins University has developed state of the art protocols for law enforcement officers who answer domestic violence calls. The officers are taught how to collect evidence appropriately, how to establish if there is probable cause to arrest an alleged perpetrator, and how to conduct lethality assessments on the spot to ensure that victims get the services they need for safety. Since this training was rolled out, domestic violence homicides in Maryland have dropped by 41%. A 10 year study conducted in Kentucky found that the issuance of protection orders reduced lethality and serious injury and saved the state $85 million in averted criminal justice, healthcare, and property costs.
Tweet this on Twitter
Help reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Call your senators TODAY & RT! #vaw #VAWA bit.ly/ReAuthVawa
Share this with your friends on Facebook
Share a link of this page http://www.mcasa.org/support-the-reauthorization-of-vawa/
with your friends on Facebook.
Include with the link: "The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is due for reauthorization. Not only will the bill introduced continue to fund proven effective programs, but it will make key changes to streamline VAWA and make sure that even more people have access to safety, stability and justice. Visit MCASA's Web site to learn how you can support VAWA."
Learn More about VAWA
Download a fact sheet
that illustrates that VAWA has been instrumental in making victims safer, ensuring Constitutional protections for all parties, and improving the effectiveness of justice system and victim service responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking:
There are critics of VAWA who believe that VAWA encourages bad practices by the police and the courts. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact sheet addresses many of those criticisms, so I invite you to read it and share it with your colleagues.