The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), landmark legislation first passed with bipartisan support in 1994, had it’s funding expire on February 15th after Congress failed to include it in the compromise federal spending bill passed the day before. The VAWA was initially set to expire last September, however Congress approved short-term stopgap funding legislation while negotiations continued.
The act establishes and funds the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women and provides funding for the investigation and prosecution of domestic and other interpersonal violence, stalking, and sexual assault. In July of 2017, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced a reauthorization bill that would not only reauthorize funding for VAWA's existing programs but also establish new policies to help abuse victims remain in stable housing, expand red-flag laws to block people convicted of dating abuse or stalking from accessing guns, and broaden protections against abuse for Native American women. Unfortunately, the legislation failed to pass due to Congressional Republican push back on expanding the protections provided by the act.
With a new Congress now in place, Rep. Jackson Lee is again pushing forward with a new and expanded VAWA reauthorization bill. Congress must act quickly to restore funding for crucial programs while also modernizing the legislation to be more inclusionary.
Call your members of Congress today!
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from _________.
I’m calling to support reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act to ensure the continuation of crucial programs protecting people from domestic violence. I also fully support the expansion of the act to include
(pick 2-3 reasons important to you):
adding protections for transgender individuals,
broadening protections for Native American women,
helping abuse victims remain in stable housing,
expanding red-flag laws to block people convicted of dating abuse or stalking.
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