Important improvements to VAWA - Let's keep it going! (Civic action to-do list for 3-11-19)

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Last week JWI CEO Lori Weinstein stood alongside Representatives Karen Bass and Brian Fitzpatrick as they introduced the bipartisan Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2019 (H.R. 1585). Here are three important improvements in the bill that ensure the safety of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

Tell your Representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 1585 and watch the House Judiciary Committee mark up the bill on Wednesday!


3. Firearms

The Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2019 will close loopholes in federal law that allow violent offenders to possess firearms illegally. Homicide reduction must be a key component in any new legislation that attempts to tackle violence against women.

Learn More: Approximately 4.5 million American women alive today have been threatened by intimate partners with firearms, and one million have actually been shot or shot at by their abusers. Congress must do everything it can to protect victims and survivors from death or injury due to gun violence.

2. Prevention 

H.R. 1585 increases the funding levels for prevention programming across the country. Demands for programs have skyrocketed in the wake of the #MeToo movement and a corresponding increase in funding is critically necessary to meet the needs of communities.

Learn More: One in four girls is sexually abused before the age of 18, and girls ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. Increased funding for programs that engage men and boys and promote healthy relationships are key to reducing gender-based violence.

1. Tribal 

This new legislation ends impunity for sexual assault perpetrators on Tribal land. Currently, the vast majority of non-Native men who rape women, abuse children, and harm law enforcement officials on Tribal land go unpunished because the Tribal courts are unable to prosecute.

Learn More: Tribal communities continue to be plagued by the highest crime victimization rates in the country. A recent study by the National Institute of Justice found that over 80% of Native Americans will be a victim of intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or stalking in their lifetime. Native women deserve the same level of protection as every other woman in the nation.