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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Co-Sponsor H.R. 11, the companion to S. 47, the Senate-passed VAWA

Advocacy Letter - 02/19/13

Source: The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Recipient: U.S. House of Representatives


Dear Representative:

On behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 210 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States, we write to urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 11, the companion to the bipartisan Senate-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA). H.R.11 significantly strengthens the ability of the federal government, law enforcement, and service providers to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The Leadership Conference believes that the reauthorization of VAWA is critical to protect the civil and human right of Americans to be free from domestic violence. For nearly two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has protected women from harm and saved lives. Overall, the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 64[1] percent since VAWA became law in 1994 and reporting rates for women and men have increased by 51 percent and 37 percent respectively.[2]

Last week, the Senate passed (78-22) S.47, a bipartisan VAWA reauthorization. Twenty-three Senate Republicans voted for S. 47, including every Republican woman senator. Like S. 47, H.R. 11 would improve our nation’s ability to prosecute perpetrators of violence and provide protection to all victims, by strengthening protections for Native Americans who experience the highest rates of domestic violence and sexual assault. For example, a staggering 46 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native women and 45 percent of American Indian or Alaska Native men experience intimate-partner victimization.[3] Further, it is essential that these safeguards be enhanced for immigrant women and extended to all instances of intimate partner violence, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people (LGBT).

VAWA has provided for a coordinated approach, improving collaboration between law enforcement and victim services providers and supporting community-based responses and direct services for victims. As a result, victims’ needs have been better met, perpetrators have been held accountable, communities have become safer, and progress has been made toward breaking the cycle and culture of violence within families. Without question, swift adoption of an inclusive, bipartisan, VAWA reauthorization is the key to ensuring that victims and survivors of violence, including Native Americans, immigrant women, and LGBT people, will have access to these critical services.

For these reasons, we urge you to co-sponsor H.R. 11, the companion to the bipartisan, inclusive, Senate-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, to continue a strong federal response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact June Zeitlin at 202-263-2852 or zeitlin@civilrights.org or Sakira Cook at 202-263-2894 or cook@civilrights.org.

Sincerely,

Wade Henderson
President & CEO

Nancy Zirkin
Executive Vice President


[1] Catalano, S. (2012, Nov.) Intimate Partner Violence (1993-2010).” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs: Bureaus of Justice Statistics.

[2] “Intimate partner Violence in the U.S.” U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Jan 2008.; Cassandra Archer et al., Institute for Law and Justice, National Evaluation of the Grants to Encourage Arrest Policies Program 14 (Nov. 2002). 

[3] Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Findings on Victimization by Race or Ethnicity (January 2013). Available at  http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf

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