This is what we’re up against: A group of well-financed and extremely mobilized conservative advocacy groups have come together to fight the reauthorization of the life-saving Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it is “bad for men.”
Seriously. In a statement to reporters, Heritage Action and FreedomWorks called VAWA “unprecedented, unnecessary and dangerous,” and said “Under VAWA, men effectively lose their constitutional rights.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Three women die every single day as a result of domestic violence.
The VAWA has helped save countless lives and helped reduce violence by 67%.
Right-wing politicians in the House blocked the reauthorization of VAWA for the first time in history last year and they are gearing up to do it again.
The good news? We can stop them. If we can spread the word that House conservatives are blocking legislation to reduce domestic violence because “it’s not fair to men,” we can create a political firestorm no politician will want to get caught up in. To do it, we’ll need to reach out to local reporters, mobilize UltraViolet members in key districts, and run ads in the homestate papers of the members of Congress who are standing in the way.
After the 2012 election, conservative politicians know that they alienated women voters. And they know that they can’t afford to do that again. That means no local politician will want to be seen as standing in the way of a bill that reduces violence against women.
That’s one reason why the Senate is expected to pass the expanded VAWA with a strong bipartisan vote in just a few hours. And why 17 House Republicans have sent a letter to Speaker Boehner to bring that bill up for a vote–something that could be a game-changer in the fight to reauthorize VAWA. But too many House conservatives are still refusing to act.
These members of Congress have gotten away with blocking VAWA for the last year simply because the media and voters in their home districts don’t know that they are blocking the bill–and if we can get ads up and voters mobilized in these districts, we can change that.
Since VAWA has been law it has:
Strengthened federal penalties for repeat sex offenders and created a federal “rape shield law,” which prevents offenders from using survivors’ past sexual conduct against them at trial.
Trained over 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges every year to ensure they understand the realities of domestic and sexual violence.
Established the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which has answered over 3 million calls and receives over 22,000 calls every month; 92% of callers report that it’s their first call for help.
We can’t let politicians get away with blocking VAWA one minute longer.
Thanks for speaking out!
1. Conservative Advocates: Violence Against Women Act Unfair To Men, Talking Points Memo, February 11, 2013
3. “Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act,” The White House, accessed January 24, 2013
5. “Factsheet: The Violence Against Women Act,” The White House, accessed January 24, 2013
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- Conservative Advocates: Violence Against Women Act Unfair To Men (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Davis demands Boehner reauthorize Violence Against Women Act (illinoisreview.typepad.com)
- Conservative groups oppose Violence Against Women Act because it’s not fair to wife-beaters (dailykos.com)
- FreedomWorks: Protection From Domestic Violence Is For Wusses (wonkette.com)
- Freedom Works Exposed as Behind Opposition to Violence Against Women Act (politicususa.com)
- The Indefensible Demise of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (amnestyusa.org)
- What motivates opponents of the Violence Against Women Act (maddowblog.msnbc.com)
- Leahy’s domestic violence bill is moving quickly to the Senate floor (vtdigger.org)
- Sen. Cantwell rips GOP over Violence Against Women Act: This is about life or death (rawstory.com)
- Silence Against Women: House GOP silent as Senate poised to pass VAWA (tv.msnbc.com)