Look back at 2018: #MeToo, Gun Violence, and VAWA

3. Advancing change in a MeToo era!

In 2018 we saw the growing voice and power of the #MeToo movement. JWI solidified its position as a leading organization working to end sexual harassment and sexual misconduct and to empower all women and girls through our program and policy work:

  • We helped to successfully pass a bill in Congress that extends protections from harassment and discrimination for all Congressional employees.

  • We leveraged our partnerships with fraternities and sororities on college campuses to educate male and female students about consent, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention.

  • We worked with leaders of Jewish organizations throughout the country to strengthen the commitment and process for creating safer and more supportive workplaces.

2. Making Gun Violence Prevention a national priority! 

This year there were 54,717 incidents involving gun violence in which 14,031 people died and 27,063 were injured. Four of the biggest mass shootings in the last five decades happening this year – Borderline Bar and Grill (12 died), Tree of Life Synagogue (11 died), Sante Fe High School (10 died), Parkland (17 died). 

  • JWI and our members across the country joined millions of people at March for Our Lives events and our CEO was on a panel with survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting to speak to the devastation of gun violence. 

  • We advocated, and will continue to advocate, on a number of gun violence prevention policies including closing the “boyfriend loophole” and banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

  • We submitted a formal comment to the ATF in support of a bump stock ban that has now been enacted by the Department of Justice and held a webinar to engage our members to do the same.

1. Ensuring a stronger VAWA in the next reauthorization!

The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018 was introduced over the summer, but instead of Congress working together to pass this bill with meaningful updates to the VAWA passed in 2013, they kicked the can down the road, three times. The original deadline to come up with a new bill was September 30th, then December 7th, then December 21st, and now February 8th. Congress can not keep postponing the deadline -- victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking need critical enhancements in the law.

  • JWI had over 80 meetings on the Hill advocating for a VAWA that strengthens housing protections, ensures that abusers can’t access firearms, ends impunity for non-Native offenders of sexual assault on Tribal land, and increases funding for rape prevention education.

  • JWI’s Interfaith Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence met with nearly 80 House of Representative offices to use our collective faith voice to push for a VAWA with improvements.

  • JWI and The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence hosted a webinar with nearly 500 attendees to learn more about the needs of survivors and the critical enhancements included in the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2018.

Action AlertDanielle Cantor