Friends of VAWA Coalition Calls on the House to Defeat the Substitute to S. 47 and Pass the Bipartisan Senate Bill
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. – The 75 undersigned national organizations issued the following statement opposing the House Republican substitute for the bi-partisan Senate bill (S.47), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which includes provisions to protect vulnerable communities, including Native American women, college students, and LGBT individuals:
The House Republican Leadership’s bill puts a barrier to the protection of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Conversely, the Senate version of VAWA, which was adopted with strong bipartisan support (78-22), addresses gaps in current service programs that left Native American women, college students, LGBT individuals, and other vulnerable groups without vital protections.
Today, House Republican Leadership will offer a substitute to the bipartisan Senate version of VAWA (S. 47), eliminating these important provisions and weakening the Office of Violence Against Women. These omissions deny critical services to many victims and reinforce the perception of the Republican Party as hostile to the needs of women, college students, LGBT persons, and communities of color. The House substitute:
- Limits the authority S. 47 provides to tribal authorities to prosecute non-tribal members who commit domestic violence or sexual assault crimes on tribal land. This makes it more difficult for Native American women to hold their abusers accountable. Native Americans are disproportionately affected by dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
- Eliminates provisions of the Senate bill that would require colleges and universities to keep students safe and informed about policies on sexual assault and enhance programs that help to prevent and combat sexual violence on college campuses.
- Drops the anti-discrimination provisions from S. 47, which were designed to ensure that LGBT victims receive the services they need regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Studies have shown that LGBT individuals are victims of domestic and sexual violence at equal or greater levels than the rest of the population.
Even in today’s polarized political climate, we should at least be able to agree that when we send our daughters and sons to college, they should be protected from stalking, date rape and sexual assault; that one-third of tribal women who have been the victims of rape or domestic abuse should have equal access to justice no matter who the perpetrator is; and, that domestic violence is still violence regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
It is critical that Representatives reject the exclusionary substitute bill and support passage of the bipartisan Senate bill. If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Zirkin, Executive Vice-President, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, at 202-263-2880 [email protected] or Sakira Cook, Senior Policy Associate, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, at 202-263-2894 or [email protected] or Norma Gattsek, Director of Government Relations, Feminist Majority at [email protected] or 703-522-2214.
African American Ministers in Action (AAMA)
Alaska Federation of Natives
Alliance for Children and Families
American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA)
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO
American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence
Black Women’s Health Imperative
Break the Cycle
Casa de Esperanza: National Latino Network for Healthy Families and Communities
Catholics for Choice
Center for Reproductive Rights
Coalition of Labor Union Women
Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO
Community Action Partnership
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice
Enterprising and Professional Women – USA
Equal Justice Society
Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO)
GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality
Human Rights Campaign
Institute for Science and Human Values, Inc.
International Community Corrections Association (ICCA)
International Convocation of Unitarian Universalist Women
International Union, UAW
Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law
Media Equity Collaborative
Methodist Federation for Social Action
Metropolitan Community Churches
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Association of Social Workers
National Black Justice Coalition
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of Jewish Women
National Council on Independent Living
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
National Immigration Law Center
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Legal Aid and Defender Association
National Organization for Women
National Partnership for Women & Families
National Women’s Law Center
People For the American Way
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN)
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
The National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc.
The Religious Institute
The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society
Unitarian Universalist Association
United Methodist Women
US Human Rights Network
US National Committee for UN Women
Wider Opportunities for Women
Women Enabled, Inc.
Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND)
Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section
Women’s Law Project