I have personally just have come out of a 9 year violent(both physically and emotionally) relationship,and was inspired by Vice President Joe Biden's speech, given on April 18, addressing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, S.1925., to get actively involved in supporting the re-authorization of the VAWA. Why this is even an issue is beyond my understanding,but since it is I am driven to fight for it, and to get others to tell the ones in the Senate and House of Representatives that are opposing the VAWA, the NEED for this bill. I also have started a Facebook page@
Vice President Joe Biden said it all today(April 18). This could have not been said better!!
One quote out his many "That this is a debatable subject is truly sad!"
"Nobody should question whether this is needed,” said Biden, “Just imagine the impact on the moral approbation of society if the Congress refuses to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.”
"Unfortunately there are those in Washington who are blind to the needs of these victims and are trying to prevent the passage of this bill. We need your help pushing forward the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act."... Senator Kay Hagan(NC)
“We are devastated that provisions that will endanger vulnerable immigrant victims passed in the House today. For the first time in nearly 20 years, this bill would weaken crucial protections in VAWA for battered immigrants, putting them at risk of retaliation by their abusers and undermining law enforcement and public safety" - Grace Huang, Public Policy Director of the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
We have to save S. 1925's important provisions that provide better access to law enforcement for women in Indian country, better access for immigrant women who fear deportation if they report violence, and better access for LGBT victims who are finding doors to shelters and programs closed to them.
*The House bill H.R.4970, excludes LGBTQ survivors entirely despite the great need for support and services and the gap in meeting this need as determined by a coalition of more than 1,000 organization and groups.
*Existing law denies Native women equal access to justice,while the provisions in S.1925 that passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support do not in any way alter or remove the current criminal jurisdiction of the United States or of any state. Rather, S.1925 restores concurrent tribal criminal jurisdiction over a very narrow set of crimes that statistics demonstrate are an egregious problem on Indian reservations.
*HR 4970 not only leaves out moderate improvements to VAWA’s protections for immigrant survivors that were included in S1925, the widely supported bipartisan Senate bill that just passed by a vote of 68-31, but it also seeks amendments that would dramatically undercut existing protections for immigrant survivors in VAWA.The changes proposed in HR4970 to VAWA’s current protections for immigrant survivors would create obstacles for immigrant victims seeking to report crimes, increase the danger to immigrant victims by eliminating important confidentiality protections, undermine current anti-fraud protections, and roll back years of progress and commitment on the part of Congress to protect vulnerable immigrant victims.
The passage of the VAWA, S.1925..NOT the H.R.4970, sends the message that survivors of sexual assault, domesic violence, and stalking must have the TOOLS to heal and RECLAIM their lives; that women and girls, our communities and our families, must be safe; that the next generation must be engaged in this effort-and that the evolution of our collective thinking on how to break the cycle of violence is a national priority. To send any other message is unconscionable.
The House had the opportunity but failed to take up the bipartisan Senate bill that enjoyed the support of thousands of victim-centered organizations working to end domestic and sexual violence. We urge the House and the Senate to come together to pass a bipartisan bill that builds upon VAWA’s strengths, moves the legislation forward and meets the urgent needs of victims.
The House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 4970 weakens or deletes entirely some of the vital improvements in the “real VAWA” passed by the Senate last month by a resounding bipartisan vote of 68-31
The House bill passed ignores the needs of vulnerable communities, rolls back years of progress aimed at protecting victim safety, weakens provisions in the Senate bill to protect victims in public housing and on college campuses, and strips the rights of community stakeholders to give input on VAWA programs. The bill has been soundly rejected as dangerous to victims by more than 325 diverse organizations and leaders representing millions of constituents throughout the country.
The Administration urges the House to find common ground with the bipartisan Senate-passed bill and consider and pass legislation that will protect all victims. H.R. 4970 rolls back existing law and removes long-standing protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault – crimes that predominately affect women. If the President is presented with H.R. 4970, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.
Congress must act swiftly.
Please tell the Senate and the House of Representatives to vote for the bi-partisian S.1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (the original one).