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Violence Against Women Act 
January 23, 2013


On January 22, the Senate introduced S.47, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID). The bill closely mirrors the bipartisan legislation that overwhelmingly passed the Senate last year providing protections for Native American, immigrant and LGBT women.

Last year, Congress fell short of reauthorizing (VAWA), a critical piece of legislation that has provided a national, streamlined response to address domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking for 18 years. As the largest provider of domestic violence shelters in the U.S., serving over half a million women each year through anti-violence programs, the YWCA was deeply disappointed with Congress’ inability to work across party lines and reauthorize legislation that is so vital to the health and safety of women and children across the country.

The YWCA is hopeful that the 113th Congress will work together to swiftly reauthorize VAWA in 2013, and ensure that vital programs to protect victims of domestic and sexual violence can continue. Ask your Senator to sign on as a co-sponsor to pass this crucial legislation by Jan. 31! 
Call Your Senators TODAY!

So far, the bill has the following co-sponsors in addition to its chief sponsor, Senator Leahy (D-VT):

Senator Ayotte (R-NH) 
Senator Bennet (D-CO) 
Senator Cantwell (D-WA)
Senator Casey (D-PA)
Senator Collins (R-ME)
Senator Coons (D-DE)
Senator Crapo (R-ID)
Senator Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Feinstein (D-CA)

Senator Hagan (D-NC)
Senator Kirk (R-IL)
Senator Klobuchar (D-MN)
Senator McCaskill (D-MO)
Senator Mikulski (D-MD)
Senator Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Murray (D-WA)
Senator Shaheen (D-NH)
Senator Tester (D-MT)
Senator Udall (D-CO)
Senator Whitehouse (D-RI)

The time to act is NOW! Call and email your Senators today to encourage them to sign on as a cosponsor to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (S.47). Help us get 60 Senators to co-sponsor by January 31!

Take Action TODAY! To find out who your Senator is, click here.

Phone Call Talking Points
  • I am a constituent from [city, state] and my name is_______.
  • I know that Senator_______ cares about ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
  • I urge Senator_______ to cosponsor S.47, a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Mike Crapo.
  • I am hopeful that the Senator will co-sponsor this bill.
  • Please contact Anya McMurray or Noah Bookbinder at (202)224-7703 to sign on to the bill.

Sample Tweets

To find your Senators twitter handle, click here

@[insert Member of Congress twitter handle], cosponsor S.47 to reauthorize VAWA. Victims of violence depend on it. #YWCA #VAWA

@[insert Member of Congress twitter handle], [your twitter handle] serves [#of clients served] at our domestic violence shelter each year. Support these women – cosponsor S.47 to reauthorize VAWA now. #YWCA #VAWA

@[insert Member of Congress twitter handle], [your twitter handle] uses VAWA $ to take [#number of hotline calls] hotline calls each year. Support your constituents – cosponsor S.47 to reauth VAWA today.  #YWCA #VAWA
And if they have already co-sponsored S.47, here are some messages you can use to thank your Senator:
@[insert Member of Congress twitter handle], thank you for your commitment to ensuring women’s safety by being a cosponsor to S.47 to reauthorize VAWA! #YWCA #VAWA
@[insert Member of Congress twitter handle], thank you for being a champion for women’s rights by being a cosponsor to S.47 to reauthorize VAWA! #YWCA #VAWA

VAWA movement in the House of Representatives

Yesterday, Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) introduced H.R. 11, a House companion identical to the bipartisan Senate bill. We urge the House of Representatives to work together in a bipartisan effort to build on the momentum from the last Congress in order to reauthorize VAWA as a matter of priority. 

The YWCA USA will keep you apprised of next steps regarding reaching out to your House of Representative Member. 
Pass it on! 
Like what you're seeing here? Pass it on! Here are two ways to stay engaged with the YWCA:


Timeframe: Bi-weekly on Wednesday's, 3PM EST.

Bottomline: Join these calls if you are passionate about advocating for the issues that matter the most to the women and families you serve. Hear from the national office and engage with locals from across the country on ways that you can advocate for change in your communities. 

Washington Update

Timeframe: Monthly e-newsletter. 

Bottomline: This e-newsletter serves as a monthly legislative round up with policy highlights from Washington D.C. on issues that impact YWCAs around our policy priorities such as women's health and safety, racial justice, and economic empowerment. 

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