We Need to Continue Action on VAWA

VAWA

It may not have been in the news in recent weeks, but that doesn’t mean that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is over and done with. In fact, since both houses of Congress passed separate versions of the bill, the next step is a conference committee, where members from both houses must come together to come up with a final version of the bill.

The House passed a version of VAWA that fails women. If this version prevails:

  • Tribal courts will have no power to prosecute non-Native perpetrators of sexual violence against Native American women.
  • Immigrant women will have little legal protection to prevent abusers from using immigration status as a tool of exploitation and control.
  • LGBT persons will continue to face discrimination and denial of social services.

This is why action needs to continue, even though this committee is likely to take place after the election! These provisions include protections for Native American, undocumented immigrants, and gay, lesbian, and transgender victims. Because of this, we need to continue advocating for this issue, and making sure that the final legislation that is passed by Congress includes these provisions.

Below is a statement from Frank Jannuzi, head of Amnesty International’s Washington D.C. office:

“This vote is a devastating blow to legal protections for all women. H.R. 4970, as it currently stands, fails to protect some of the most vulnerable sectors of our society: immigrant women, LGBT individuals, Native American and Alaska Native women who fall victim to domestic violence and sexual assault. The House bill removes existing protections and severely limits access to essential resources provided for under the Senate-approved bill. In fact, in comparison with existing law, the House version represents a retreat for women’s rights.”

“The facts are grim. Murder is the third leading cause of death for Native women, and Native American and Alaskan Native women are two-and-a-half times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than other women in the United States. These unfortunate statistics demonstrate the need for a more comprehensive piece of legislation that would guarantee the protection of all women. It is imperative that Congress passes a bill that protects all women.”

Below is the contact information for Missouri’s representatives and senators. Please demand that the final version of this bill protects ALL women, not just ones that the Republicans support!

MISSOURI 1ST DISTRICT

William “Lacy” Clay

2418 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington D.C., 20515

Phone: 202-225-2406

 

MISSOURI 2ND DISTRICT

Todd Akin

117 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

Phone: 202-225-2561

 

MISSOURI 3RD DISTRICT

Russ Carnahan

1710 Longworth House Office Building

Washington DC, 20515

Phone: 202-225-2671

 

MISSOURI 9TH DISTRICT

Blaine Luetkemeyer

1740 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Phone: 202-225-2956

 

Senator Claire McCaskill

Hart Senate Office Building, Ste. 506

Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: 202-224-6154

 

Senator Roy Blunt

260 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202-224-5721

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One thought on “We Need to Continue Action on VAWA

  1. Pingback: AIUSA Legislative Priorities for the Remainder of 2012 | Amnesty International, St. Louis Blog

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