The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Call House and Senate Leadership and insist they finish their work, solve the procedural problems and reconcile The Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization (VAWA).
Since the early 1990s, AFA has supported victim protections from domestic violence and we will continue our legacy of fighting to end abuse in personal relationships.
Both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have passed versions of the Violence Against Women Act. However, the House and Senate bills are very different and it is up to Congressional leadership to reconcile the differences.
AFA continues to support reauthorization of VAWA and is participating in a National Day of Action on June 26 to send one national, unified message that Congress must finish their work and pass the REAL VAWA now!
Call House and Senate leadership today and insist that they stop the posturing, solve the procedural problems and move quickly to conference.
Domestic violence remains a troubling part of our society. A staggering 1.3 million women and 800,000 men annually are physically assaulted by an intimate partner.(1) At AFA, one percent of Flight Attendants reported abuse committed by an intimate partner to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Of course, because domestic violence is underreported, we suspect these already high numbers to be higher in reality.
First signed into law in 1994, VAWA seeks to decrease the frequency of assault on victims of domestic violence. From its enactment through 2010, the number of women killed by their intimate partner fell 30%, and the annual rate of domestic violence against women fell more than 60% .(2) VAWA funds rape crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and other community based organizations to provide a safety net from abuse, while aiding investigation and prosecution of the assailant.
Traditionally, VAWA was meant to protect women from domestic violence and over the years, the reach of VAWA has extended to the elderly, disabled, and teens. However, eleven percent of gay women and fifteen percent of gay men report some form of violence from their partner.(3) AFA EAP representatives encourage victims of domestic violence to file police reports in order to be eligible for the funds to help individuals. Unfortunately, under the current law, we must tell Flight Attendants who are victims of same sex abuse that reporting abuse to the police is ineffective because they will not be eligible for services. The proposed reauthorization extends VAWA protection to same-sex couples and victims of international sex trafficking.
Calling is easy but please call during the Day of Action on Tuesday, June 26
|Speaker John Boehner (R-OH),
|Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA),
|Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA),
|Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV),
|Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY),
|Chair of the Democratic Conference Senator
|Chuck Schumer (D-NY),
Once connected, a sample script would be:
“I am calling on the leader to reconcile and pass a bipartisan VAWA reauthorization bill that resembles S.1925. It is time to pass a VAWA that protects ALL victims of violence, doing nothing is not an option. This year victims of domestic violence do not deserve partisan stalemate. Reconcile and pass a “real” VAWA soon so programs and services can continue to serve victims and make our communities safer.”
Your call will be answered by staff member who will tally your opinion. They may ask for your name, address, city and/or zip code to verify you are a constituent.
(1) Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 183781, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at iv (2000), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/183781.htm
(3) Patricia Tjaden, Symposium on Integrating Responses to Domestic Violence: Extent and Nature of Intimate Partner Violence as measured by the National Violence Against Women Survey, 47 Loy. L. Rev. 41, 54 (2003).