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VAWA: What domestic violence and sexual assault organizations are saying about the failure to reauthorize VAWA

By The NO MORE Team|
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North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault

We wish you a safe and happy new year!  Over the holidays, we have had time to pause and reflect on our progress toward a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization that protects all victims. Now, as 2013 begins, we know that we cannot lose momentum.  Join with us in 2013 to ensure early passage of this essential legislation!

Thanks to the tireless efforts of countless advocates and supporters, we made critical advancements in educating Congress and the general public on the real needs of all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.   And Congress responded to our efforts, engaging in serious conversations over the language needed to complete a safe and comprehensive VAWA. While we came very close, time ran out. We were all deeply disappointed that a final bill was not reached in the 112th Congress.  However, we know that, with your help, we can build on the work we’ve done in 2012 to pass VAWA in 2013!

While VAWA reauthorization legislation failed to pass, VAWA remains in effect. Funding for programs will not end now because VAWA was not reauthorized—VAWA programs can still be appropriated. But VAWA is the cornerstone of our nation’s commitment to end violence against women and each reauthorization of VAWA builds on the last to take the next critical steps in that response. That is why we must pressure the 113th Congress to reauthorize VAWA immediately.  Key improvements that we must keep fighting for include sexual assault provisions, domestic violence homicide reduction provisions, housing and campus protections, and enhanced services and programs for communities of color, immigrant, tribal and LGBT victims and survivors.

In terms of future funding for programs, the deal on the “fiscal cliff” delayed harmful across-the-board cuts to federal programs until early March. However, the analysis of the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence shows nearly 200,000 victims of violence would lose services if another agreement is not made.

Today, the 113th Congress will be sworn in. There is no time to waste in addressing the needs of victims.  As we call on the 113th Congress to act immediately on VAWA this month and pass a bill that safely and effectively meets the needs of all victims and stop destructive budget cuts, we ask you to join us in reinvigorating your advocacy efforts toward passage of final VAWA legislation.

Onward together on behalf of all victims!

Futures Without Violence

Pushing VAWA Forward in 2013

While we are deeply disappointed that the 112th Congress was unable to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we’ll continue our efforts to ensure the passage of this essential legislation in 2013. VAWA serves as the guiding infrastructure and national commitment to addressing violence against women in the United States and we must see it continue and adapt to the needs of victims. With your support, we can keep the momentum going and pass a new VAWA soon.

It’s important to note that, while the reauthorization bill has expired, VAWA itself is very much alive and will continue in its 2005 version. Programs and services will not close because VAWA was not reauthorized, but they are certainly threatened because the budget crises at the local, state, and national levels are always looming.

While President Obama and Congress addressed some critical tax issues of the “fiscal cliff,” funding cuts for core programs that help victims and prevent future violence against women and children will be on the table during the next budget debate in the months ahead.

“We estimate that nearly 200,000 victims of violence could lose services if another agreement is not made,” said Futures Without Violence Director of Public Policy and Advocacy Kiersten Stewart. “That figure does not even reflect the number of victims who will never be touched by a VAWA program because of limited funding.”

We must continue our efforts to preserve funding for programs and services, and ensure the reauthorization of a comprehensive VAWA that will provide protections for all victims of domestic and sexual violence.

 Safe Horizon

“As the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, we know how important it is that victims of violence in need of emergency shelter, case management, counseling and other essential services can access these programs without delay.  The failure of the House to consider renewing the Violence Against Women Act – which had already passed the U. S. Senate – sends a chilling message to victims of crime throughout the entire country.  We strongly urge Congress to reintroduce this comprehensive measure immediately and call on the leadership of the House to move this bill forward without delay.  Victims of violence should not be vulnerable to further abuse and even death because of political differences in Washington.”

 National Coalition to End Domestic Violence

The 113th Congress must pass VAWA immediately.

We wish you a safe and happy new year!  Over the holidays, we have had time to pause to reflect on our progress in authorizing a strong and responsive VAWA.  Now, as 2013 begins, we know that we cannot lose momentum.  Join with us in 2013 to ensure early passage of this essential legislation.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of you, the countless advocates and supporters, we made critical advancements in educating Congress and the general public on the real needs of all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. And Congress responded to our efforts, engaging in serious conversation over that language needed to complete a safe and comprehensive VAWA. While we came very close, time ran out. We were all deeply disappointed that a final bill was not reached in the 112th Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives continued to voice strong opposition to offering basic protections to certain vulnerable populations.  Our anger is at the missed opportunity in 2012 to enact all the important improvements that we all worked so hard to add to the bill – housing, campus and sexual assault provisions and enhanced services and explicit programs for communities of color, immigrant, tribal and LGBT victims and survivors. However, we also will not have the harmful provisions added by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Republicans in the 2012 version of the bill.  It is very important that we celebrate our past three years of awareness and advocacy even as we mourn VAWA 2012’s failure to pass.  While the reauthorization bill is “dead,” VAWA itself is very much alive and will continue in its 2005 version.

Programs and services will not close because we didn’t reauthorize VAWA  but they are certainly threatened because the budget crises at the local, state and national levels are always looming.  While the deal on the “fiscal cliff” delayed harmful across-the-board cuts to federal programs until early March, our analysis shows nearly 200,000 victims of violence would lose services if another agreement is not made.  With your help, we can build on the work we’ve done in 2012 to pass VAWA in 2013 and stop these destructive budget cuts.

Last week, the 113th Congress was sworn in. There is no time to waste in addressing the needs of victims.  We call on the 113th Congress to act immediately on VAWA this month and pass a bill that safely and effectively meets the needs of all victims.

Onward together!

 

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