June 26, 2012
Take Action: Please call your senators and representative and urge them to pass the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act now. Tell them, "We can't wait any longer -- survivors of violence need your help right away!"
NOW President Terry O'Neill helped launch 10 Days of Action to Save the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) at a Capitol Hill press conference and rally this morning. Together with Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), plus dozens of allied organizations, NOW is pushing hard for passage of this critical anti-violence bill.
Shamefully, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has manufactured a fake procedural hurdle. But we can overcome this obstacle and get the "Real VAWA" (S.1925) sent to President Obama to sign before the end of summer. To do that, we need to mobilize immediately, forcefully and -- most important -- loudly.
Extremists with a broad anti-woman agenda have turned their sights on VAWA. We have scored two big victories in stopping their attacks on this life-saving legislation. First, the Senate passed S.1925 by a bipartisan supermajority vote, 68 to 31, with 15 Republican senators voting in favor.
Second, John Boehner's anti-VAWA bill in the House (H.R. 4970) failed to get bipartisan support, and 23 brave Republican representatives voted against it. The Senate bill improves services for underserved populations -- immigrant women, LGBT survivors, women living on tribal land, women of color and women on college campuses -- and these are the improvements that the extremists in Congress want to reject. But we will not leave our sisters behind.
You may be told that the Senate bill cannot be voted on because of a "blue slip problem" or some other procedural issue. You need to know that this is simply not so. The Speaker of the House decided to create a technical "blue slip" issue in order to thwart the Senate bill, but he can untie that knot any time he wants. The Senate bill is the bipartisan, inclusive version of VAWA, and that is the bill that must pass now.
After you call your senators and representative, consider also calling House and Senate leadership at the numbers below. Tell them to solve the procedural problems and move quickly to pass the Senate version of VAWA.
Your Member of Congress, 202-224-3121 (Capitol Switchboard)
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), 202-225-0600
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), 202-225-4000
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), 202-225-0100
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), 202-224-3542
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), 202-224-3135
Chair of the Democratic Conference Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), 202-224-6542
Here's your message:
I urge you to pass the bipartisan Senate version of VAWA, which protects ALL victims of violence. VAWA has positively impacted my community with professional services and shelters from violence. You are a leader in this state, and I know you care about stopping violence against women, so please find a way to solve the procedural "blue slip" problem as quickly as possible. We must have a reauthorized, inclusive Violence Against Women Act so that VAWA programs and services can continue to help violence survivors and make our communities safe.
More Action Needed:
During these 10 Days of Action, activate your NOW network for a local event. Hold a rally, vigil, press conference or a speak-out. Send an op-ed to your local paper. Demand a meeting with members of your congressional delegation, as they will be home for the Fourth of July recess. Meet with the member or staffer; tell them that we need the Real VAWA (S. 1925) -- now.
For updates, suggested Tweets and Facebook comments, sample op-eds, fliers and other information, go to www.4vawa.org