Target: U.S. House of Representatives
Goal: Pass the Senate-approved version of the Violence Against Women Act in the House of Representatives.
Two decades ago, Bill Clinton signed the first Violence Against Women Act, (VAWA) which resulted in significant reductions in national domestic violence rates and positively impacted millions of women. In 2012, the act expired, leaving it up to the Senate and the House of Representatives to vote to renew it. The Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of renewing the act, this time with provisions which protect gays and lesbians, immigrants, and Native American women. The House of Representatives refused to compromise. A year later, on February 12th, 2013, the Senate again voted in favor of renewing the act, and the House of Representatives is expected to respond promptly.
While the Senate has been persistent in their endeavor to renew the act, they have been ceaselessly met with opposition from the House of Representatives. The version of VAWA that has been approved by a significant majority in the Senate includes provisions that provide specific protection to gays and lesbians, immigrant women, and Native American women. Over the past few decades, civil rights and women’s rights activists have sought to raise awareness about the fact that women from these groups are affected just as much as women from more widely represented communities. All women deserve equal protection, regardless of whether they are abused by a man or a woman and regardless of their background or ethnicity. The majority of the Senate have recognized this and taken action by voting in favor of this act.
Now it is time for the House of Representatives to take action. In order to reach a compromise that Congress will approve, the House must realize the critical importance of these provisions to the VAWA. These provisions provide essential protection to women who otherwise would be left to fend for themselves. Many of them will choose to remain in abusive relationships in fear that if they run away, they will have nowhere to go and no one to help them. Nobody deserves to feel like this. The United States government is here to support them. The Senate has proven this to be true, and the House of Representatives must too.
By signing this petition, you will urge the House of Representatives to pass the Senate’s version of the VAWA which provides protection for all women, regardless of who they are and where they come from.
To the United States House of Representatives:
As you are well aware, the Senate voted on February 12th, 2013 to renew a version of the Violence Against Women Act which includes provisions for protecting homosexual/bisexual women, immigrant women, and Native American women. Each of these groups of women are affected by domestic violence as much as women of more widely represented groups. All women deserve equal protection under the law. Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. Specific provisions such as these provided in the Senate’s most recent version of VAWA are critical components if the House of Representatives truly does aim to protect all women.
Last year the Violence Against Women Act expired, and every day that it is not renewed, more women are abused. More women are beaten and battered, and many of them have nowhere to run. Some of these women are Native Americans. Others are immigrants. Others find themselves in abusive same-sex relationships. No matter who these women are or where they come from, they deserve to be protected.
It is up to you, as members of the House of Representatives, to take action to protect these women. I urge you to vote in favor of passing the Senate’s recently-approved version of the act, and to do so promptly. Each day that you wait, innocent women suffer. Please pass a bill that includes the previously mentioned provisions and help these women. They need you.
[Your Name Here]