Protecting abuse survivors, Senate staffers, and hungry families: Civic action to-do list for 4-30-18

3. Funding for life-saving services

Federal funding for life-saving domestic violence and sexual violence services is imperative to meet the needs of millions of survivors, but the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) has been unauthorized for the last two years, putting this critical funding at risk. Last week Senators Heller, Casey, Grassley, Coons, and Cornyn introduced FVPSA to provide essential support to emergency shelters, crisis hotlines, counseling, and programs for underserved communities. Survivors fleeing life-threatening violence count on these programs to provide them shelter and safety – without this funding survivors are at great risk. Call your Senators and tell them to join the bipartisan group of senators in sponsoring FVPSA (S. 2784).  

2. No one should go hungry

Protecting food assistance for America’s most vulnerable is vital, but lawmakers have advanced a version of the Farm Bill that would make it harder for nearly two million people to purchase food for their families. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps lift 8 million people out of poverty, including 4 million children – cutting or restricting these benefits would have dire effects across our country. While your Senators and Representatives are back in their district this week, tell them to oppose the House Agriculture Committee’s version of the Farm Bill and work with Chairman Conaway to pass a bill that protects SNAP.  

1. Senators must protect their staff

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, it has become abundantly clear that gender‐based violence, including sexual harassment, is commonplace. The House of Representatives passed legislation to prevent sexual harassment within its own offices, but the Senate has failed to follow suit. Thirty-two male Senators have joined the call to overhaul the workplace misconduct rules shepherded by the Senate’s 22 female members. Call your male Senators and thank them for signing on or urge them to support the majority of the senate in protecting its staff from discrimination.