National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence calls for unified efforts to end racism, abuse, and oppression and calls for legislation to curb gun violence

The member organizations of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence -- that represent the thousands of programs and advocates serving victims and working to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking across the country – mourn the tragic loss of life this past weekend in the latest horrific mass shootings that occurred in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH. We call on all policy makers to condemn the bigotry and hateful rhetoric that is fueling increased violence. We also call on policy makers to enact common-sense laws to curb gun violence and help prevent countless murders and the severe harm inflicted on individuals, families, and communities.

The work of ending domestic and sexual violence is, at its core, an effort to end the harm caused when one person exerts dominance over someone else through tactics of abuse and control, which often results in violence. With each incident of mass violence, it becomes more evident that gender-based violence, abuse, oppression, and bigotry are inextricably tied, and efforts to prevent these heinous acts require a larger societal commitment to end abuse and oppression in all its forms, particularly at the intersections. The quest to end domestic and sexual violence must align with the quest to end racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, religious bigotry toward Jewish and Muslim communities, and other forms of oppression toward marginalized communities, including immigrant and Native American communities.

What happened in El Paso was a result of white nationalism in which an attacker felt emboldened by the hateful and racist rhetoric of white supremacy, the dehumanization of those considered to be outsiders, and the slander of their communities. Failure to condemn hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric only further fuels the actions of those who feel entitled to use violence to further their ideology. This was  demonstrated by the actions of the El Paso shooter who drove nine hours to a peaceful border community to inflict  grievous harm to a  majority Latino and immigrant population and whose published  statements demonstrate his white supremacist ideology and the purpose of his violence, with a call to others to engage in similar violence.

Seeking to characterize mass murder as primarily the acts of someone with a mental health issue runs the risk of further stigmatizing individuals with mental illness while deflecting attention from the failure of policy makers to pass common sense gun laws and support other initiatives to enhance prevention, accountability, and safety for all individuals in this country. Congress needs to act immediately to update laws, support programs, and insist on policies that meet the complex challenges that the United States is facing with horrific levels of gun violence not seen in other countries, despite the fact that other countries have similar rates of mental health issues.

It is also important to uphold our nation’s commitment to critical protections for immigrant victims of violence. At a time when many migrants are women and children who are fleeing persecution and gender-based violence in search of safety under international human rights laws, the administration has repeatedly sought to undermine access to safety and protections under international and national laws for those seeking asylum.  Using terms such as “invasion” to characterize the plight of refugees seeking assistance, and other such language characterizing minority communities as outsiders, only further fuels the dehumanization and bigotry that has resulted in violence by white supremacists.

Furthermore, as the climate of fear grows among immigrants, it is well known that domestic abusers, sexual predators, and traffickers-- whether in the home, the workplace, or on the streets-- count on the climate of fear to engage in abuse and exploitation. This climate of fear also hinders immigrant victims from seeking safety and services, as recently demonstrated in a survey of attorneys and advocates working with immigrant survivors.  Additionally, policy makers need to address numerous recent policy decisions that undermine access to safety and protection for immigrant victims and their families under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

Hateful rhetoric furthers violence, whether it is directed toward immigrants or toward other marginalized communities, including Black and Brown communities, religious minorities, LGBTQ people, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and others, as well as language that furthers misogyny. It is important to address the roots of bigotry and hatred and work together to end violence in all its forms. We call on the leadership from both political parties to speak out against hateful rhetoric and policies that seek to dehumanize individuals, and instead stand in support of all people in our country. We must come together to promote the values and principles that celebrate the diversity of our country as one of its greatest strengths. It is also critical for leaders to have the courage to take action that seeks to enhance access to safety and well-being for all. This also means taking meaningful action on gun violence prevention legislation.  We must show that hate has no home in the United States of America.

Your Senators are home for recess. Make sure they hear from you - the Senate must pass a bill substantially similar to H.R.1585!

On April 4th, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA), with strong bipartisan support. As the Senate is working on their VAWA reauthorization, we have to pressure the Senate to ensure the bill is as similar to H.R.1585 as possible. It must maintain important protections for vulnerable survivors while making critical enhancements to prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

Your Senators will be home for FIVE WEEKS for the August Recess - and they need to hear from you!!! Go to town hall meetings and with your Senators and with others holding events in your state. Go to events where your Senators are appearing. Meet one-on-one with them and/or their staff.

This EASY TO USE toolkit provides information about what to say, how to set up meetings, and what 501(c)(3)s can and cannot do at candidate meetings.


Please feel free to email rgraber@ncadv.org, drosenbloom@jwi.org, or edahl@nnedv.org with questions and with the results of your meetings, town halls, or other events!

Copy and Paste a Weekly Tweet in Support of VAWA!

On April 4th, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA), with strong bipartisan support. It is time for the Senate to take action on a substantially similar bill that maintains important protections for vulnerable survivors while making critical enhancements to prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

We must keep the pressure up on the Senate! Senators need to know their constituents care - and are watching!

We are asking you to post one tweet a week on WEDNESDAYS AT 3:00 PM EST/12:00 PST until the END OF AUGUST. You can COPY and PASTE tweets and graphics from THIS LIST or write your own! Hashtags are #VAWA2019 and #VAWA4All!

You can find your Senators’ social media handles here.

Don’t forget to add a weekly reminder to your calendar - with a link to the tweets!

With your help, we can get VAWA past the finish line!

ACTION ALERT: Your Senators are home for recess. Make sure they hear from you - the Senate must pass a bill substantially similar to H.R.1585!

On April 4th, the House of Representatives passed H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA), with strong bipartisan support. As the Senate is working on their VAWA reauthorization, we have to pressure the Senate to ensure the bill is as similar to H.R.1585 as possible. It must maintain important protections for vulnerable survivors while making critical enhancements to prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

Your Senators will be home next week for the Memorial Day Recess - and they need to hear from you!!! Go to town hall meetings with your Senators and with others holding town halls in your state. Then, write an op-ed or letter to the editor!

Tell them:

  • Almost two months ago, the House passed H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, with strong bipartisan support.

  • H.R.1585 is a modest bill that contains vital enhancements to prevent and respond to sexual and domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.

  • The Senate must follow the House’s lead and pass a substantially similar bill.

  • A straight reauthorization with no improvements is NOT acceptable.

  • The bill must:

    • Contain NO rollbacks;

    • Increase investment in prevention;

    • Ensure domestic and dating abusers and stalkers do not have firearms;

    • Affirm Tribes’ inherent authority to prosecute non-Native rapists who prey on Native women on tribal lands;

    • Improve access to housing for survivors;

    • Promote economic security for survivors;

    • Address the criminal-legal system’s revictimization of survivors.

  • Victims and survivors cannot wait for these critical enhancements! Every day that we delay is a day in which more people experience violence. We cannot afford to maintain the status quo, and we cannot wait. NO STRAIGHT REAUTHORIZATION!

More talking points and background on VAWA can be found here.

Myths and facts about H.R.1585 can be found here.

Please send published op-eds and letters to the editor to rgraber@ncadv.org and drosenbloom@jwi.org. Please also feel free to email them with the results of your town halls!

ACTION ALERT: The House is Voting on VAWA 2019 on THURSDAY!

ACTION ALERT: The House is Voting on VAWA 2019 on THURSDAY! 

Contact your Representative by 5:00 EST on WEDNESDAY and tell them to support victims and survivors - to pass H.R.1585 with no harmful amendments!  

Join our TWITTER STORM at 1:00 EST, Tuesday, April 2! 

Add your organization’s name to our sign-on letter in support of H.R.1585!

And you can read our statement in response to attacks on VAWA by the gun industry lobby here.

 

The House of Representatives will vote on Thursday on H.R.1585 on the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, introduced by Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA-37) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). H.R.1585 is a modest reauthorization bill that includes narrowly focused enhancements to address gaps identified by victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the people who work on the ground with them every day.

 

Right now, opponents of VAWA want to  use the “motion to recommit” to add a poison pill to H.R.1585. The “motion to recommit” is a procedural maneuver that would allow  a Member who opposes VAWA to submit a last minute amendment after all the regular amendments have been voted on. Members then only have ten minutes to decide whether to support or oppose the measure. Any “motion to recommit” before the vote on VAWA will be used to damage H.R.1585. Please tell your Representative that H.R.1585 is a strong bill that victims and survivors support--it needs no last minute amendment via a motion to recommit before the vote.

 

Call your Representative and tell them to vote YES on H.R.1585 and  NO on the motion to recommit. You can find your Representative and their contact information here. Facebook pages and Twitter handles can be found here. This updated toolkit contains scripts, talking points, a list of key enhancements, Tweets, Facebook posts, graphics, and letter-to-the editor and op-ed templates. If they are already a co-sponsor or have told you they are voting in support of H.R.1585, you can even contact them again to thank them for their support and to urge them to vote NO on the motion to recommit.

 

Please sign our ORGANIZATIONAL LETTER OF SUPPORT by COB Wednesday, April 3 to show Congress that organizations around the country care about this issue and support H.R.1585.

 

BACKGROUND:

When H.R.1585 went through the House Judiciary Committee, several Representatives tried to roll back vital VAWA protections by:

●       Allowing non-Natives to prey on Native women on Tribal lands with impunity;

●       Allowing publicly-funded domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers to discriminate against survivors and turn away vulnerable victims in need of protection and help; and

●       Taking money away from communities and giving it to organizations like the NRA to teach people how to use guns.

Instead of committing to improve VAWA, other lawmakers introduced a year-long  reauthorization of VAWA with no improvements to meet the identified needs of survivors. Lawmakers need to take a principled stand and fight for improved access to safety and justice for victims and survivors. A reauthorization of VAWA with no improvements will leave many survivors behind. In the era of #MeToo, we have the opportunity to make meaningful positive change to protect and support all survivors - anything less is unacceptable.

 

If you have questions or want to report the outcome of your contacts with Members of Congress, please email rgraber@ncadv.org and dkarp@jwi.org.

Saving the Lives of Victims of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking is Not Controversial

Firearms are the leading cause of homicide in domestic violence cases, and firearms are the weapon of choice for abusers intent on intimidating their intimate partners. Firearms threaten the lives of law enforcement officers responding to domestic violence emergencies. Victim advocates in shelters and on hotlines have heard too many chilling stories from survivors living in terror of abusers’ firearms violence to ignore the lethal threat that firearms pose in domestic violence, dating violence and stalking cases.


Congress has agreed with victim advocates for more than two decades, since enacting the federal firearms prohibitions at 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8) and (g)(9) in 1994 and 1996: persons who have been found by a court to have used physical force or threats of gun violence against an intimate partner should not have access to firearms. The Supreme Court also agrees, having upheld these laws against every challenge that has been brought.


Victim advocates have asked Congress to strengthen the critically important laws that protect victims from firearms violence. Yet the gun industry lobby has falsely called the life-saving provisions that victim advocates have asked Congress to provide in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act “a poison pill” and “shameful politics.” The NRA has announced that they will actively oppose H.R. 1585. The NRA’s opposition will support abusers’ access to guns.


The member organizations of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence -- who represent the thousands of programs serving victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking across the country -- want Congress to know that we stand with victims. And we want to know if Congress stands with victims alongside of us. Do we save lives? Or do we continue to give abusers access to firearms?

Despite the groundless protestations of members of the gun industry lobby, none of the provisions in the Violence Against Women Act of 2019 (H.R.1585) aimed at preventing firearms homicides are controversial. There is nothing controversial about trying to save lives H.R.1585 reflects the consensus of the 91% of Americans who support strengthening laws to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers.

The provisions in H.R. 1585 simply address lethal gaps in current federal law and give law enforcement the tools they need to enforce existing laws.

- Close the “boyfriend loophole.” The laws prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing firearms are two decades old, written when dating violence was not a federal crime. Dating violence is now a federal crime, yet current law does not reflect that. The result is that if you are married, federal law protects you. If you are in a dating relationship that does not meet the more limited definition of “intimate partner,” then federal law does not protect you. We believe outdated laws need to be updated so that all victims of abuse receive the protections they deserve.

-Close the stalking loophole. Almost half of stalking cases involve violence, and almost 20% involve threats with a weapon. Research has shown that Americans who are stalked are at least 200 times more likely to be murdered than Americans who have not. In domestic violence situations, stalking is a key indicator of lethality. Stalkers are a danger to their victims and their communities, and it is in the public interest to ensure that perpetrators who have been convicted of stalking by a court should not have access to guns.

-Give law enforcement the tools they need to enforce the law and save lives. If a court of law has found a person to have used physical force or threats of firearms violence, and as a matter of law the adjudicated abuser must relinquish firearms, then we should give law enforcement the tools they need to safely carry out the orders of the court. Victims and law enforcement deserve the best resources possible to protect their lives from a convicted abuser’s or stalker’s firearms violence.

H.R.1585 is not about guns; it is about saving lives of the thousands of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking across the country. It is about improving prevention of sexual and domestic violence, ensuring victims have access to vital services, providing victims with a safe place to go when they are escaping abuse, and ending impunity for non-Natives who sexually assault and prey on Native women on tribal lands. These are the priorities of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, which is a national collaboration comprising a large and diverse group of national, tribal, state, territorial, and local organizations, advocates, and individuals that focuses on the development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. A vote against H.R.1585 is a vote against the safety and well-being of survivors, their families, and their communities.

Important information regarding domestic violence and firearms

  • A full 35% of American women who are murdered by men annually are killed by an intimate partner wielding a firearm.

  • Approximately 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened by an abuser with a firearm. Of these, one million have either been shot or shot at.

  • Among respondents to a survey of people who contacted the National Domestic Violence Hotline whose abusers had access to firearms, 67% believed their abusers were capable of killing them.

  • A plurality of law enforcement officers killed on the job are killed while responding to domestic violence situations, and 95% of them are killed with guns.

  • Even when a firearm is not used directly against the victim, an abuser’s mere possession of a firearm correlates with increased severity of physical abuse.

  • The percentage of intimate partner homicides that are committed by spouses have steadily trended downwards, while the percentage of intimate partner homicides that are committed by dating partners have increased.

  • Law enforcement now respond to four times the number of dating violence calls than they do to domestic violence calls.

For more information, contact Rachel Graber (rgraber@ncadv.org) or Rob Valente (rvalente@ncadv.org) of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

ACTION ALERT: VAWA will be on the House floor first week of April!

It’s not too late to counter attacks against and to improve VAWA!  

Use our NEW toolkit to pressure Congress to do the right thing! Vote for H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019!  

Add your organization’s name to our sign-on letter in support of H.R.1585!

Please forward widely!

The House of Representatives is slated to vote next week on H.R.1585, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, introduced by Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA-37) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01). H.R.1585 is a modest reauthorization bill that includes narrowly focused enhancements to address gaps identified by victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the people who work on the ground with them every day.

 

Please sign our ORGANIZATIONAL LETTER OF SUPPORT by Wednesday, April 3 to show Congress that organizations around the country care about this issue and support H.R.1585.

 

Then, use this NEW TOOLKIT to contact your Representative by phone, by email, or on social media. And don’t forget to write a letter to the editor or an op-ed! The toolkit contains scripts, talking points, a list of key enhancements, Tweets, Facebook posts, graphics, and letter-to-the editor and op-ed templates.

 

Also, in case you missed it, you can listen to a recording of last Thursday’s VAWA call explaining the contents of H.R.1585 HERE.

 

BACKGROUND:

When H.R.1585 went through the House Judiciary Committee, several Representatives tried to roll back vital VAWA protections by:

●       Allowing non-Natives to prey on Native women on Tribal lands with impunity;

●       Allowing publicly-funded domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers to discriminate against survivors who they don’t like and turn away vulnerable victims in need of protection and help; and

●       Taking money away from communities and giving it to organizations like the NRA to teach people how to use guns.

Instead of committing to improve VAWA to address the identified needs of victims and survivors through moderate enhancements, other lawmakers introduced a year-long ‘straight reauthorization of VAWA (with no improvements) that ignores the identified needs of survivors. Lawmakers need to take a principled stand and fight for improved access to safety and justice for victims and survivors. In the era of #MeToo, we have the opportunity to make meaningful positive change to protect and support all survivors - anything less is unacceptable.

 

If you have questions or want to report the outcome of your contacts with Members of Congress, please email rgraber@ncadv.org and dkarp@jwi.org.

ACTION ALERT: VAWA PROTECTIONS UNDER ATTACK!!!

Your members of Congress are home for the recess! Go to town hall meetings, write op-eds, call them, or use social media to get them to do the right thing!

PASS VAWA 2019 H.R. 1585 without adding any harmful restrictions. 

Then, join our call with Members of Congress and experts in the field on THURSDAY, MARCH 21 at 4:00 EST for the latest updates (see action item #5).

Please forward widely!

Two weeks ago, House Judiciary Crime subcommittee Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA-37) and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) introduced H.R.1585, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. H.R.1585 is a modest reauthorization bill that includes narrowly focused enhancements that address gaps identified by victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the people who work on the ground with them every day.

 

When H.R.1585 went through the House Judiciary Committee, several Representatives tried to roll back vital VAWA protections by:

●       Allowing non-Natives to prey on Native women on Tribal lands with impunity;

●       Allowing publicly-funded domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers to discriminate against survivors who they don’t like and turn away vulnerable victims in need of protection and help; and

●       Taking money away from communities and giving it to organizations like the NRA to teach people how to use guns.

 

Instead of committing to improve VAWA to address the identified needs of victims and survivors through moderate enhancements, other lawmakers introduced a year-long ‘straight reauthorization of VAWA (with no improvements) that ignores the identified needs of survivors. Lawmakers need to take a principled stand and fight for improved access to safety and justice for victims and survivors rather. Every moment Congress delays in passing much-needed updates puts more people at risk. In the era of #MeToo, we have the opportunity to make meaningful positive change to protect and support all survivors - anything less is unacceptable.

 

Congress must act NOW to pass H.R.1585!

 

There are five key things you can do to propel H.R.1585 forward today:

1.      Attend a town hall meeting or call your Representative right now and ask him/her to support H.R.1585. If they haven’t signed on as a co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 1585), ask them to do so immediately. It is particularly important to get support from Republican Representatives. If your Representative has signed on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 1585, please call them and thank them. Use this link to find your Representative and his/her contact information, and then check out this list to see if they have signed on to support VAWA yet. Click HERE for a sample script.

2.      Attend a town hall meeting or call your Senators and ask them to support a bill in the Senate similar to H.R.1585. The Senate is currently writing their own VAWA bill. We need to make sure the Senate bill is substantially similar to H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. Use this link to find your Senators and their contact information. Click HERE for a sample script.

3.      Write an op-ed or letter to the editor for your local paper about the importance of reauthorizing VAWA with vital enhancements. Members of Congress and their staff closely monitor local media, and if your Representative knows that there is community support for H.R. 1585, they’re more likely to support it. Check out this great resource from The New York Times about how to write and submit an op-ed on an issue that matters to you. Click HERE for talking points.

4.      Contact your Members of Congress on social media. Make your support visible to everyone! Use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks to contact your Members of Congress. You can find their Facebook accounts and Twitter handles here. Click HERE for sample posts and for images to share.

5.      Join a call to learn more about H.R.1585 and the path forward in the House. After contacting your Members of Congress, join Representatives Bass and Fitzpatrick, who introduced the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019, and experts in the field for a phone call for more information about what is in the bill and a discussion of what lies ahead. The call is on Thursday, March 21 at 4:00 EST. Click HERE to register.

If you have questions or want to report the outcome of your contacts with Members of Congress, please email rgraber@ncadv.org and dkarp@jwi.org.

 

ACTION ALERT: Call Your Members of Congress and Ask Them to Support H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019!!!

House Judiciary Crime subcommitte Chairwoman Karen Bass (D-CA-37) and Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1) have just introduced H.R.1585, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019! This important legislation reauthorizes VAWA grant programs and makes modest yet vital enhancements to existing law. Among other things, H.R.1585:

● Invests in prevention;

● Ends impunity for non-Native perpetrators of sexual assault, child abuse co-occurring with domestic violence, stalking, sex trafficking, and assaults on tribal law enforcement officers on tribal lands;

● Improves enforcement of court orders that require adjudicated domestic abusers to relinquish their firearms;

● Improves access to housing for victims and survivors;

● Protects victims of dating violence from firearm homicide;

● Helps survivors gain and maintain economic independence;

● Updates the federal definition of domestic violence for the purposes of VAWA grants only to acknowledge the full range of abuse victims suffer (does not impact the criminal definition of domestic violence); 

● Maintains existing protections for all survivors; and

● Improves the healthcare system’s response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.

Call your REPRESENTATIVE now and tell them to SPONSOR H.R.1585

Then call your SENATORS and tell them the Senate needs to introduce a bill WITH THE PROVISIONS in H.R.1585 - half-measures such as a straight reauthorization are not acceptable, nor are rollbacks of existing protections for survivors!

VAWA is Unauthorized -- Now What?

What does VAWA’s unauthorized status mean?

Authorization is different from appropriations:

●     Authorization created the laws and legislators can change or add to the laws each time it is reauthorized. Regardless of VAWA being unauthorized, the law of the land stays intact. Authorization occurs every 5 years.

●     Appropriations allows the government to spend money and outlines what money can be spent on. Appropriations occurs every year.

While VAWA’s status is currently unauthorized, this does not impact its funding for the 2019 fiscal year since money has already been appropriated for the fiscal year. Congress can continue to appropriate funds for a law even if it’s unauthorized.

The reauthorization process allows us to improve and expand services. We can accept some delay in reauthorizing VAWA to ensure the resulting bill improves investments in prevention and includes enhancements to better meet the identified needs of victims and survivors.

What are the implications for ...

●     the law?

As with other laws, only the VAWA grant program authorizations expire -- the underlying law and all the provisions that are not tied to specific funding levels do not expire. All legal protections for victims and survivors continue, including protections in federally-subsidized housing, special tribal jurisdiction, and protections for immigrant victims. Grant conditions that protect survivor confidentiality and safety remain intact.

●     the definition of domestic violence?

A recent article suggesting that the Trump Administration changed the definition of domestic violence is creating some panic in the field. The law did not change; no Administration has that power. The only thing that changed was the definition listed on a website, which does not change the legal definition nor definitions for grant funding.

●     funding for programs and agencies?

VAWA programs and services are funded for 2019 in several already-passed appropriations bills (including Labor, Health, and Human Services) and have been funded in the continuing resolutions funding Department of Justice programs.

 

What are some advocacy strategies we can use at the local level to ensure a modestly enhanced version of VAWA passes?

The NTF relies on you and other advocates to support out work in Washington, DC by answering our call to rally when the time is right. We will be in contact as the process plays out with periodic updates and calls to activate. Be sure to engage with NTF action alerts when they arrive and take action by calling or writing to your Representative and Senators. Visit the NTF’s webpage on VAWA, where you can find helpful resources.

In the meantime, advocacy at the district level is the most effective way to connect with your Members of Congress. Plan on district advocacy when your Members of Congress are home during the 3rd week of March and the 3rd and 4th weeks of April. Meet with them in your home district and tell them it’s important to pass VAWA, that uncertainty about VAWA’s future harms survivors and advocates, and even though fiscal year 2019 funding is in place, keeping VAWA unauthorized is not a good message to send to survivors.

If you’re looking for district advocacy resources, visit raliance.org/tools

If all of your Members of Congress already support VAWA, thank and recognize them -- publicly acknowledge by thanking them at your next organization’s event, giving them an award, thanking them in an op-ed, etc. You can also collect stories about how VAWA has helped and highlight gaps that could be improved.