Target: Members of Congress
Goal: Approve reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to include protections for gays and lesbians, immigrants, and Native Americans.
Initially enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has provided life-saving assistance to millions of women and families in the form of legislative and social protections. In both 2000 and 2005, the reauthorization expanded to include more minority populations and passed with bipartisan support. This year, House Republican leaders have failed to extend the legislation because of new protections granted to gays and lesbians, immigrants, and Native Americans. Please sign this petition and demand that the new Congress immediately vote to approve the proposed VAWA with inclusive protections for minority groups.
According to CCN, Senate took up the VAWA in 2012 and added increased protections for women on college campuses, included new law enforcement measures to safeguard women on tribal reservations, and included nondiscrimination language for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community who had been unfairly left out of previous bills. The proposed reauthorization also provided protections to immigrant women, regardless of their status, who are often scared into silence by their abusers.
Weeks after the bill passed in the Senate, House Republicans passed a very different bill that not only removed the new provisions, but also removed protections that exist under current law. Since the Senate bill passed in April, advocates, citizens, and survivors have continued to fight for their rights and tell their stories. Moderate Republicans have said they would change their vote, thus enabling passage of the reauthorized bill, if it were brought up again by House leadership. Unfortunately, the vote was not re-visited and the bill expired, thereby continuing the discrimination against minority victims.
Please sign this petition and demand that the new Congress immediately vote to pass the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act and extend protections to vulnerable populations.
Dear Members of Congress,
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is important and far-reaching legislation that provides life-saving protections to millions of women and families. The Senate passed a reauthorization in 2012 to include protections for gays and lesbians, immigrants, and Native Americans. Unfortunately, House Republicans of the last Congress failed to pass the inclusive bill, but rather passed a version that excluded the new provisions and removed protections that currently exist. Please immediately call for a vote on the VAWA and support the Senate bill including provisions for vulnerable, minority populations.
The Violence Against Women Act has easily passed in both 2000 and 2005 with bipartisan support for expanding legislation to include protection for more populations. Despite all 15 Republican women senators voting for the bill, House Republican leadership refused to follow. Instead, the House GOP put forth their own version without the expanded provisions and a re-vote was never called. The VAWA expired in early January and vulnerable women are now left without the protections they deserve.
It is absolutely imperative that reauthorization be immediately approved with the extended protections included. To limit protections to specific groups of Americans in need is disgusting, exclusionary, and unethical. It is shocking that any elected public servant would support legislation refusing aid to a victim of abuse based on their culture, citizenship, or sexual orientation.
Please immediately call for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and support additional protections extended to gays and lesbians, Native Americans, and immigrants.
[Your Name Here]
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