ATF Advocacy, Survivors' Services, and Separated Families: Civic action to-do list for 6-11-18

3. ATF Advocacy to Prevent Gun Violence

Even when gun violence is not in the news, we must persist in advocating to make it stop. While we continue to implore Congress and state elected officials to pass laws that prevent gun violence, we can also advocate for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) to regulate bump stocks (the accessory that makes semi-automatic weapons fire like automatic weapons). There are only two more weeks to write a comment to in support of this ATF regulation. Learn how to submit a comment by watching JWI’s webinar, “Easy Steps to Influence Policy that Supports Women and Girls.”

2. Support Services for Survivors of Violence

Every survivor of violence should have access to housing and supportive services when they make the decision to leave their abuser in search of safety. The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) is the primary funding stream for shelters, domestic violence coalitions, some training programs, and a program that addresses the needs of victims' children. FVPSA was first passed into law in 1984, but it has gone unauthorized since 2010. A straightforward FVPSA reauthorization has been introduced in the Senate (S. 2784) by Senators Heller, Casey, Grassley, Coons, and Cornyn, and in the House of Representatives (H.R. 6014) by Representatives Thompson, Blunt Rochester, Stefanik, and Moore. Call your Representative and Senators today and tell them to co-sponsor this life-saving legislation!

1. Unethical, Unlawful Family Separation

Survivors seeking asylum, fleeing violence and persecution, should not be re-victimized upon entering the United States - yet that is exactly what's happening under the Trump Administration's policies. Separating children as young as 18 months from parents seeking legal asylum and holding them in cells for weeks, if not months, is barbaric, cruel, and goes against decades of precedent. Join thousands of people on Thursday, June 14th, to rally against this inhumane treatment of immigrants by declaring that #FamiliesBelongTogether.