You Didn’t Give Up on the Violence Against Women Act!February 28, 2013
Can you believe it?! Only six weeks ago I wrote on AAUW’s blog, “Don’t Give Up on Reauthorizing VAWA.” And you didn’t!
This morning, the House of Representatives passed the AAUW-supported, bipartisan, Senate-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) by a vote of 286-138. The House and Senate-passed bills will protect all victims, including Native American and immigrant women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals; and students on college campuses.
AAUW’s support of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act comes directly from our public policy program, which advocates for “freedom from violence and fear of violence in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.” And we put those words into action.
Less than two years ago, at the 2011 AAUW National Convention here in Washington, D.C., we took Capitol Hill by storm. More than 600 AAUW members stopped by congressional offices to urge their senators and representatives to support the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act and improve campus safety. That bill is a part of the VAWA now passed by both the House and Senate.
After the convention, AAUW members began reaching out using our Action Network — sending messages to senators and representatives in every state, encouraging them to pass a Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act that protects all victims and helps students. We cheered last year when the Senate passed a strong, bipartisan bill and shook our heads when the House took up a problematic, AAUW-opposed version instead of the Senate-passed bill. The AAUW Action Fund’s It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard get-out-the-vote campaign also spotlighted the issue this fall during the election. Finally, we got right back to work this January, with a new Congress and new hope that we could get VAWA reauthorization signed into law. Our Lobby Corps stopped by offices in the House and Senate, the Action Network once again geared up, and AAUW members in all 50 states wrote to and called their members of Congress. If not for our tireless action, the House would have never agreed to bring up the strong, Senate-passed bill today.
Read AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz’s statement on our Facebook page — and feel free to share. Finally, thank YOU for not giving up on this important bill!