Basic services for rape victims are in jeopardy. The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides the backbone of support for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence by funding programs that support rape crisis centers including MCASA’s member programs, legal services such as SALI, and law enforcement to help hold sex offenders accountable. VAWA provided over $2.8 million to help survivors in fiscal year 2001. VAWA was originally passed in 1994 and was re-authorized with bi-partisan support in 2000 and 2005. VAWA is up for reauthorization this year but has stalled over differences between House and Senate versions of the bill.
Rape victims and rape crisis centers need VAWA passed this year and we need everyone’s help. Please let Congress know that VAWA is important and we expect our political leaders to work out their differences.
To help, please urge our congressional leaders to act. Send this message:
“I urge you to pass a bipartisan VAWA reauthorization bill, like S.1925, that protects ALL victims of violence. Doing nothing is not an option. VAWA provides core support for Maryland's rape crisis and domestic violence programs and helps hold offenders accountable. Please pass VAWA this summer so that programs and services can continue to serve victims and make our communities safer."
Call these leaders:
- Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): (202) 225-0600
- Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA): (202) 225-4000
- Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): (202) 225-0100
- Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): (202) 224-3542
- Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): (202) 224-3135
- Chair of the Democratic Conference Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): (202) 224-6542
- Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL): (202) 225-7931
Please also let our Maryland Senators and your House member and let them know that we appreciate their work and support efforts to compromise and pass VAWA.
- Senator Mikulski: 202-224-4654
- Senator Cardin: 202-224-4524
- Rep. Andy Harris – District 1: (202) 225-5311
- Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger – District 2: (202) 225-3061
- Rep. John P. Sarbanes – District 3: (202) 225-4016
- Rep. Donna F. Edwards – District 4: (202) 225-8699
- Rep. Steny H. Hoyer – District 5: (202) 225-4131
- Rep. Roscoe Bartlett – District 6: (202) 225-2721
- Rep. Elijah Cummings – District 7: (202) 225-4741
- Rep. Chris Van Hollen – District 8: (202) 225-5341
For those of you who tweet, a great short message is: "Victims can’t wait, advocates can’t wait, move #VAWA now!"
Thank you so much for all your efforts. We know our list is long, but please work together with your friends and colleagues to contact as many leaders as possible.
-- Lisae C. Jordan, Esq.
MCASA General Counsel and Director Sexual Assault Legal Institute
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