Read the latest update on the Violence Against Women ActJuly 30, 2012
Following House passage of their version of the Violence Against Women Act on May 16th, which cut key provisions from the Senate version including protections for illegal immigrants and LGTB, the bill now sits in limbo. The Senate and the House are locked in a stare-down over their respective versions despite a bi-partisan appeal from senators Patrick Leahy (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R) to bring the senate VAWA to the House floor for a vote. President Obama threatened to veto the House bill.
In order to move forward, both houses must appoint negotiators, but as of now, progress has ground to a halt. But unfortunately, the same isn’t true for violence against women.
VAWA provides crucial services to victims and funding for shelters, hotlines and advocacy. Without any renewed version, funding for these critical programs will vanish. Women around the country can’t afford for a Congressional standstill to make them more vulnerable to violence. At that, our country as a whole can’t afford it. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- The cost of domestic violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
- Victims of domestic violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence.
- There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to domestic violence annually, which costs $37 billion.
Call, email or write to your representatives today and ask them to come to a compromise. Millions of women and the services that help them can’t afford to hang in limbo.
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