3-2-1: Fighting for gun legislation, against sexual harassment, and for veterans.

3 Sign our petition to encourage gun legislation

The deadly connection between domestic violence and gun violence has been overlooked by our elected officials for far too long. Nearly 4.5 million American women report they have been threatened by an intimate partner with a gun and another 1 million women have been shot at in a domestic violence dispute. Research also shows that over half of mass shootings are related to domestic or family violence situations.

It is time for our elected officials to look at the facts and take action to protect all Americans from gun violence – sign our petition to tell Congress enough is enough!

2 Advocate for sexual harassment policies and training

No workplace is immune from the injustice of sexual harassment. Last week, the Senate took a step forward by unanimously passing a resolution mandating sexual harassment training for all Senators and staff. This important first step works towards creating an environment in which individuals can feel safe at work. 

Ask your human resources department if your workplace mandates training and has specific sexual harassment policies – if they do, please send your policy to JWI. We're collecting policies from organizations around the country to learn more about what gaps are common in workplaces, and how we can help. If your workplace doesn't have a policy, advocate for one in your workplace!

1 Protect the women who protect our country

Today, there are more women in the military than ever before. We must hold the military accountable as gender discrimination persists. Sexual assault in the military remains extensive with nearly sixty percent of victims experiencing reprisals or retaliation for reporting their assault. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) are leaders on this issue, sponsoring two bipartisan pieces of legislation that work to hold perpetrators accountable and support survivors.

Call your Senators and tell them that honoring our service members means protecting women in the military.

And for you...  

2017 has had its setbacks, but here's a reminder of the ways this year has been great for women.

3-2-1: Take action against Gun Violence

 

Tragically, our country is in mourning once again. At a Sunday afternoon worship service a man, armed with an assault weapon, entered a small church and murdered twenty-six people in cold blood, near San Antonio, Texas. The ages of those twenty-six innocent victims ranged from five to seventy-two. A barrage of gunfire, in a church, on a Sunday, leaving carnage and devastation everywhere. While we still don’t know all of the facts, we do know that in 2012 the shooter was court-martialed and sentenced to a year in military prison for assaulting his wife and child. This man never should have had access to a military-style assault rifle – and the fact that he did is unconscionable. The laws on the books that prohibit people convicted of domestic violence from possessing guns failed the twenty-six slain, their families, and the entire community of Sutherland Springs. 

Mass shootings with no recourse. A Congress that is beholden to the National Rifle Association (NRA). Gun violence and the emotional toll of these constant mass shootings are felt deeply by all Americans. We cannot allow this to become the new normal. We must stand up and take action now. 

3 Close the "boyfriend" loophole

The lives of countless women and girls across our country are at risk without sensible gun legislation. Senator Klobuchar and Representative Dingell are sponsors of a bill that would close the “boyfriend” loophole that does not restrict individuals who have been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from purchasing or possessing firearms, as long as they have not lived with their partner. In addition, individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking are allowed to purchase and possess firearms through this loophole. It is up to you to demand that your Senators and Representatives co-sponsor this common-sense piece of legislation!

2 Learn the facts about how mass shootings are predicted by domestic violence

We can no longer stand idly by while fifty-four percent of mass shootings involve the death of a partner or other family member. Data clearly shows that domestic violence is a key predictor of gun violence and mass shootings. To learn more about this issue, watch Samantha Bee’s powerful segment from last week. Now is the time to make this an urgent priority – call on your elected officials to support legislation that protects and supports survivors of abuse.

1 Join an advocacy group

Locally, we can make our voices heard by banding together and taking action. Join Moms Demand Action, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, One Pulse for America, or Guns Down and connect with people like you who believe it is time to make gun violence prevention an urgent priority at the local, state, and federal level. Next month you can participate in a vigil in your community to remember and honor the five years since the Sandy Hook tragedy. We must use our unified voice to shine a light on the horrific consequences of the gun violence epidemic in our country. 

And for you...  

The best way to make change is to vote. Important elections are happening around the country tomorrow. Your vote is critical.

JWI Petitions Congress to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Violent People

This Sunday, a man wearing a tactical vest and armed with a military-style assault weapon, entered a small church in Texas, and murdered twenty-six people. In fewer than four minutes, the gunman killed four percent of the tiny town of Sutherland Springs.  

Considering his history, it is clear that he never should have had access to a gun, let alone a military-style assault rifle. After being court-martialed in 2012 for beating his wife and breaking his young stepson’s skull, he served 12-months in confinement and was released from the Air Force with a Bad Conduct Discharge. While federal law prohibits convicted domestic violence abusers from purchasing a firearm, his offense was never entered into the federal database, allowing him to purchase four guns after his release.

He is not the only mass shooter with a history of domestic violence – fifty-four percent of mass shootings involve the death of partner or other family member. Data clearly shows that domestic violence is a key predictor of gun violence and mass shootings.

Ninety-three Americans die each day to gun violence. Sluggish federal regulation and an disconnectedpatchwork of state laws created an opportunity for this violent offender’s domestic violence conviction to fall through cracks. We desperately need to update the infrastructure of the system we already have and at the same time implement commonsense gun violence prevention legislation

Here are some reforms we can make now!

  • Without improvements to the background check system more violence offenders will be able to access firearms. Only approximately 5% of domestic violence misdemeanor conviction records have been entered into the federal database, and most states don’t input protective orders at all. 
  •  It is time to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004. There is no legitimate reason for a civilian to own a weapon capable of such horrendous violence. Only seven states and the District of Columbia have an assault weapons ban. 
  • It is time to close the “boyfriend” loophole – it puts countless lives at risk. An individual who has been convicted of assault, but the person he assaulted is not his spouse or the mother of his child, is able to purchase and possess a firearm. In other words, a man convicted of assaulting his girlfriend can own a gun. 

Until we pass comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation we will continue to mourn lives cut short.

The time for relying on hopes and prayers is over. We must act.

Sign our petition here!

JWI Applauds Introduction of Legislation to Protect and Support Domestic Violence Survivors

Jewish Women International Applauds Introduction of Legislation to Protect and Support Domestic Violence Survivors

Washington, D.C. — Today, Jewish Women International (JWI), the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls, applauded the introduction of domestic violence legislation by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI), Representative Jim Himes (D-CT), and Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) to protect and support survivors of abuse.

The Domestic Violence Gun Homicide Prevention Act would provide funding for states and localities to enforce the law prohibiting domestic abusers from possessing a gun, as well as allow law enforcement to remove a gun from a domestic violence situation.

The Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act closes a loophole in federal law that allows a domestic violence perpetrator to possess a firearm during a temporary restraining order, often the first recourse of survivors of domestic violence. Currently, a perpetrator of domestic violence can possess a dangerous weapon until a permanent restraining order is issued, leaving victims without protection when they are in the most danger.

The Security and Financial Empowerment (SAFE) Act allows survivors of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking to take time off from work to receive services related to the abuse without penalty.

Jewish Women International CEO Lori Weinstein made the following statement:

“Domestic violence is a public health crisis with one in four women suffering severe physical violence by an intimate partner. I applaud the introduction of these bills, which will help protect women from violence and provide them with protection and economic security after violence has occurred. On behalf of JWI and our members across the country, I call on Congress to pass these bills immediately. The lives and livelihoods of countless women and children are at risk. The stakes could not be higher.”

3-2-1: Support IVAWA, health, care and gun legislation.

 

3 Support International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA)

Statistics of violence against women around the world are staggering: 39,000 girls under the age of 18 are forced into marriage daily, 1 in 3 women will face abuse in their lifetime, and nearly 11.5 million women and girls are victims of human trafficking. IVAWA makes ending this violence a top priority by ensuring the U.S. government works with other countries to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

Tell your Senators to support IVAWA when it is introduced by co-sponsors Senator Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Isakson (R-GA) this week! Sign up get our advocacy alert for when it's introduced.

 

2 Demand re-authorization of CHIP

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides funding to make sure millions of low-income children have access to healthcare--and the funding for this vital program expired over three weeks ago, leaving 9 million children without health care. All children deserve access to health care, no matter their parents’ socio-economic status.

Call your Senators and demand they reauthorize CHIP.

1 Let us know where you stand on gun legislation

Over 360 people have been killed and 1,365 people have been injured in mass shootings in 2017. Thousands more have been victims of urban gun violence, accidental shootings, and domestic violence. Once again, this public health crisis is failing to get the attention it deserves in Congress.

As we work with lawmakers to pass common sense measures to reduce gun violence, let us know where you stand by filling out this survey

And for you...  

Join us for a fun run on Sunday and help us build a children’s library in a D.C. domestic violence shelter! Enjoy acai bowls, a dance warm-up from 305, and test-drive your Halloween costume at the "We Run, They Read 5k", while supporting the National Library Initiative.

3-2-1: Fight against domestic violence, immigration policies, and healthcare attacks.

 

3 Support Efforts for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Help us shed light on economic abuse by supporting JWI through the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse ChallengeNew data shows a clear link between poverty, domestic violence, and social inequality. Your support helps us raise awareness and funds for programming that combats domestic violence and financial abuse

JWI creates financial literacy resources for women and families in domestic violence shelters throughout the country. Donate today and help us win an additional $10,000 in the challenge.

 

2 Undocumented Youth Held Hostage

Learn more about the impact of recent immigration policies on survivors of domestic and sexual violence by watching our panel discussion hosted by JWI’s Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence via Facebook live tomorrow at 10 am EST and follow #FaithSupportsSurvivors on Twitter throughout the month.

 

1 Further Weakening of Healthcare System

Last week, President Trump signed two executive orders intended to dismantle our healthcare system, denying millions of Americans affordable access to comprehensive healthcare coverage. The first allows insurers to provide plans that gut essential health benefits like maternity care and substance abuse. The second order will result in a drastic increase in premiums for individuals and families. Call your Senators now to stand up against attacks on our country's health.

 

And for you...  

Women and men have come together using #MeToo on Twitter and Facebook, raising awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment. The importance of this campaign is to acknowledge and validate these stories without questioning experiences or victim blaming. For those who have posted and those who don’t feel comfortable sharing, we support and stand with you in this fight.

3-2-1: Gun laws protected while women's healthcare attacked

 

3 Women’s Health Care Under Attack

The Trump Administration limited access to birth control by allowing employers with moral or religious objections to opt-out of providing contraceptive care. A dangerous twenty-week abortion ban passed the House of Representatives, preventing women from accessing this procedure unless they can prove incest or rape. A budget passed by the House cuts $5 billion from safety net programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which provide access to healthcare for millions of women.

To stand up against these attacks, call your Senators and tell them to vote against H.R. 36 and the House budget and object to tampering with a woman’s right to contraceptive care.

 

2 Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

Our hearts go out the all of the victims injured or killed, and the families affected by last week’s horrific shooting. In response to the massacre in Las Vegas, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act to close a loophole that allows semi-automatic weapons to be modified to fire at the rate of automatic weapons.

With the Senate out of session this week, this is the time to go to a town hall or call your Senators’ local offices to demand they support the this common-sense legislation as the first step in comprehensive gun reform.

 

1 Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

News reports illuminating the despicable actions of Roger Ailes and Harvey Weinstein provide a public face for a problem that has been overlooked for far too long. It is estimated that at least twenty-five percent of women in the United States have been sexually harassed at work. Women in the workplace are protected by the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, or religion.

Learn more about the law and the best ways to move forward if you are being harassed in the workplace. 

 

And for you...  

Join our webinar to learn from a panel of experts from the Muslim, Catholic and Jewish faiths about how faith serves as a resource and a barrier for seeking help, and gain strategies for engaging with faith leadership.

JWI's Statement Following Mass Shooting in Las Vegas "We must act now."

Washington, D.C. – In the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Jewish Women International (JWI), the leading Jewish organization working to end violence against women and girls, offers the following statement from CEO Lori Weinstein:

“Monday morning we awoke to the news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, likely the most deadly shooting in American history. Now we add Las Vegas to the all too long list we all can recite – Aurora, Columbine, Newtown, Orlando, San Bernadino, Charleston. But today we must also think of the daily shootings that don’t make the headlines. Every day, 93 Americans die from guns. Every day, American children are 14 times more likely to die from guns than children in other developed countries.

“It is too easy to feel overwhelmed, too easy to mourn and to try to accept these deaths as part of modern life. But the fact is there are things we can do. Universal background checks, bans on possession of guns by anyone who has committed domestic or sexual violence, proper storage requirements, regulating silencers. Simple steps that will make a difference. We have seen too many innocent victims gunned down. We owe it to every child in Newtown, every young person in Orlando, every concert goer in Las Vegas, every nameless victim whose story we don’t hear because there are far too many.

“Stronger gun laws have been proven to reduce gun violence. We cannot let wealthy lobbying groups hold our nation hostage any longer. We must act now."

 

LET'S GET TO WORK: Civic action to-do list for 10-2-17

3. House Seeks to Deregulate Gun Silencers  

Yet again, our nation is mourning the loss of innocent life on a horrific scale, and now is the time for our elected representatives to take concrete action. This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is due to vote on the SHARE Act, that seeks to deregulate silencers. Silencers make it more difficult for police to hear and locate an active shooter. In the wake of last night's tragedy, it is unconscionable that any elected officials would vote for this legislation.

Call your Representative today and tell them to vote "no" on the SHARE Act.

 

2. Unconstitutional Limits on Abortion Access 

This week, Congress will vote on an unconstitutional and dangerous abortion ban. H.R. 36 mandates that incest survivors and rape survivors who are minors report their abuse in order to seek an abortion. This reporting requirement places an unfair burden on these children who need time-sensitive and safe care. The bill also would prevent women from obtaining an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, placing an arbitrary restriction that cannot account for the many reasons women may need an abortion later in their pregnancy. 

Demand that your member of Congress vote against H.R. 36!

 

1. Playing Politics with Children's Health Care

Due to Congress' inaction this weekend, no new money will go to states to help them insure nearly 9 million children across the country. For decades CHIP reauthorization has been a bipartisan priority. We must call on Congress to work together to stabilize the insurance markets and fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Call your Senators and tell them to stop playing politics with our children's health.

 

And for you... October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Join JWI's Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and help raise awareness.

Learn more about what JWI is doing for DVAM2017 here.

LET'S GET TO WORK: Civic action to-do list for 9-25-17

3. Healthcare Under Threat

The Graham-Cassidy bill allows states to increase premiums for any pre-existing condition – including pregnancy, cancer, or even physical and mental health issues resulting from abuse, rape, or assault. Millions of Americans will be forced off Medicaid and millions more will see premium and out-of-pocket costs increase drastically.

Call your Senators and tell them that forcing through a piece of legislation that will devastate access to healthcare is not the answer!

As of now, the following Senators are undecided. If you live in one of these states, call NOW and tell them to vote NO! – Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Mike Lee (R-AZ), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), David Perdue (R-GA), Todd Young (R-IN), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Steve Daines (R-MT), Rob Portman (R-OH), James Lankford (R-OK), Pat Toomey (R-RI), John Thune (R-SD), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Bob Corker (R-TN), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

2. State Buy-Offs

Rather than work in a bipartisan manner to improve access to healthcare, the Senate Majority is trying to pass a cruel piece of partisan legislation by providing minor additional funding to Alaska, Arizona, and Maine in order to influence the votes of key senators. Healthcare is a fundamental right, and all Americans deserve equal access.

Call Senators Lisa MurkowskiJohn McCain, and Susan Collins and tell them not to fall for these tricks!

1. Opportunity for Bipartisan Action

For weeks the chair and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee have been working on a bipartisan solution to stabilize the insurance markets across the country that would result in greater competition between insurance companies and reduced premiums for individuals in the marketplace. The Senate should listen to Senator John McCain’s reasons for opposing Graham-Cassidy, and work together.

Call your Senators and tell them to work with Senator Alexander (R-TN) and Senator Murray (D-WA) on a bipartisan plan to improve and fix the Affordable Care Act!

 

And for you... 

We were deeply moved by this video created by the NFL and salute the players, who use their platforms to speak out against violence and the owners and coaches, who stand with them in unity.

JWI is honoring Anna Isaacson, the NFL's VP of Social Responsibility at Women to Watch. Don't miss your chance to meet all 10 of our inspiring women on December 11th.

 

 

Department of Ed must support the Dear Colleague letter

Jewish Women International (JWI), a leading advocate against campus sexual assault and dating violence, condemns Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’s announcement today as an attack on survivors of sexual assault and dating abuse. The guidelines issued by the Department of Education in 2011 have helped school administrators and students provide all students with equal protection and have improved student’s rights. Rolling back these guidelines will further victimize the one-fifth of female college students who experience rape or sexual assault.

"Today’s action is an insult to victims, advocates, administrators and campus sexual assault coordinators throughout the country," said JWI CEO Lori Weinstein.  "The facts speak for themselves-- every year, hundreds of victims of sexual assault do not get the justice they deserve. This is why the Obama Administration put the Dear Colleague letter in place. Devos’s action today erases the progress we have made in the past eight years.”

JWI provides critical proactive programming on college campuses, teaching students about sexual assault, dating abuse, and bystander intervention.  We call on the Department of Education to support the Dear Colleague letter and further bolster the rights of survivors of sexual assault, dating abuse, and stalking on college campuses across the country.

Ending DACA runs counter to the very ideals of our country

Jewish Women International (JWI) is deeply disappointed in the Trump Administration’s decision today to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Over 800,000 young people who call America home will now be deported to a country they haven’t lived in for at least a decade. 
 
DACA recipients have used the protection of this program to enroll in college and graduate school and participate in the workforce as social workers, EMS professionals, and members of the military. Sending away our best and the brightest will do unconscionable harm to our economy and to families across the country. 
 
Ending DACA runs counter to the very ideals of our country.  It is imperative that Congress act now and pass the bipartisan DREAM Act to provide a pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young people who are Americans in every way, except on paper. Call your senators and representative to demand action!

LET'S GET TO WORK: Civic action to-do list for 8-7-17

3. Speak Out During Recess

With both houses of Congress in recess for the month of August, now is the perfect opportunity to tell your Representative and Senators about your policy priorities!  You can attend a town hall or call one of their local offices to schedule a meeting. Push for bipartisan healthcare reform, advocate against concealed carry reciprocity, or demand that the Administration continue collecting important data about the wage gap. Take this time to engage with members of Congress about what's important to you!

2. Demand Accountability for Sex Trafficking Websites

A two-year Senate investigation into online sex trafficking found that the website Backpage.com knowingly aids the criminal sex trafficking of women and girls. Current federal law doesn't allow survivors whose abusers used Backpage.com to file lawsuits, even though it is well-established that Backpage facilitates sex trafficking. In an attempt to close this unconscionable loophole, a bipartisan group of Senators has introduced the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA).  Call your Senators and tell them to co-sponsor this bill to make it clear that websites like Backpage should be held accountable!

1. Stand Up for Paid Family Leave

Only one in three employees in the United States has access to paid parental leave, reports a new study published by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study also shines a light on the large gap in access to paid sick days that leaves part-time workers at a great disadvantage. This disparity is indefensible - every new parent deserves paid time off. The Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would guarantee this right to every American. Call on your elected officials to sponsor the FAMILY Act!

And for you... 

If you haven't given much thought yet to the impending solar eclipse, NASA is here to help you plan your viewing; the New York Times recommends some reading material for historical context; and Bonnie Tyler has you covered for a soundtrack to this once-in-a-lifetime event. Protect your eyes, and prepare to be amazed!

Trump's transgender military ban is an insult to all servicemembers

President Trump’s commitment to ban transgender people from serving in the United States military is blatant discrimination, and his use of social media to announce this measure adds insult to injury. This ban runs counter to JWI's work and beliefs, and disparages the brave service of all members serving in our military. Instead of moving backward to the days of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell," we must continue the progress made in the last few years to create inclusive policies for all military personnel.