Action Alert: Violence Against Women and Victims of Crime Acts

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Forwarded from the NC Women United alerts list. This is the detailed information that I referred to in the e-mail you received.
Mary

The US House and Senate are now making final decisions about VOCA and VAWA funding, please call Representative David Price at (202) 225-1784. North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual AssaultACTION ALERT – Please Forward Widely

FINAL VAWA AND VOCA FUNDING DECISIONS HAPPENING NOW! YOUR VOICE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

If you live in one of these states, we need you to make calls this week and next:

L, AK, CA, CT, HI, IA, KS, KY, MD, MS, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NM, PA, RI, TX, TN, VT, WI, WV

YOUR CALLS MADE THE DIFFERENCE ON IMPORTANT FUNDING AMENDMENTS THIS YEAR. YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED NOW AS CONGRESS MAKES FINAL SPENDING DECSIONS!

THE SITUATION

Thanks to YOUR CALLS, the House of Representatives and the Senate both recognized the urgent need for services for victims of domestic and sexual violence and voted to provide funding for the Sexual Assault Services Act as well as increasing VAWA funding and raising the VOCA cap in their Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bills.

Now the House and Senate must resolve the differences in the two versions of their appropriations bills and create one final bill that is passed by Congress and signed by the President. To secure increases for VAWA and VOCA, we must make sure that victim’s voices are heard during this process.

Check out this link to see how the House and Senate have funded the programs: http://www.nnedv.org/docs/policy/VAWApgm-CJS-fundingchart.pdf

As you will see, for some programs the House has allocated more funding while the Senate has allocated more funding for other programs. We are urging the Representatives and Senators to protect the larger increases in funding for each program.

The calls you made last week and over the summer about VAWA and VOCA amendments made a tangible difference in the outcomes of those amendments. Amendments in the House passed by landslide margins!

We are on a roll but we haven’t won yet! We need the final CJS Appropriations Bills to include the larger of the House or Senate numbers for each grant program.

Check out this link for more information on the budget and appropriations process: http://www.naesv.org/Resources/VAWACJSfy2008.pdf
Check the list below to see which Senator or Representative to call. The list is in order by STATE. If you live in that state, call the Senator or Representative(s) on the list. Call them this week and next!

Tell them:

  • Your name and the city and state you’re calling from.
  • “Thank you for working so hard to provide funding for the Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) as well as supporting increased funding for Violence Against Women Act programs and to raise the cap on the Victims of Crime Act Fund in the Fiscal Year 2008 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bills.” “Please protect the increases that the House and the Senate have provided for VAWA and VOCA.” While the House and the Senate have each offered funding increases in different programs, strongly urge them to protect the larger increase in funding for each program.
  • If you have time or the opportunity, tell them about why you need more funding: Sexual assault is a devastating, life-threatening crime that faces our nation. It impacts men, women and children.
  • VAWA programs work: Tell them about successes in your local programs.
  • Rape crisis centers do wonderful work but they are underfunded and must place victims, (e.g., children) on waiting lists for services.
  • Some rape crisis centers are even closing their doors. Tell them about the unmet needs in your community.

Never called your Senators or Representatives before? Don’t worry, it’s easy!

When you call your Senator or Representative, your call will be answered by a receptionist. Tell him or her that you want to leave a message for the Senator or Representative. The receptionist will take down your message.

THANK YOU!!!

Thanks again for all the amazing work you do. We know that you are busy empowering survivors and saving lives every day. Your voices – your stories – help Members of Congress understand the issues that truly impact upon victims and services – and how VAWA and VOCA programs save lives, rebuild families and prevent future crimes.

For more information, contact Ellen Fern (efern@wpllc.net) or Michelle White (mwhite@wpllc.net).