Hey Congress, How About Giving Half the Population Some Love?

By Janet Hill, Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) jhill@usw.org

Woo hoo! Call your senator and thank him or her! Violence against women and children has been eliminated!  No domestic violence, no date rape, no stalking, no workplace violence.  It’s all gone!  All those stories about domestic violence going up when the economy is bad, those are just tall tales!  After all that has to be why funding levels  are being slashed back to  2000 levels in VAWA 2011  (Violence Against Women Act 2011) and some people don’t want to reauthorize it at all.

After all it’s not like women are half the population or anything and surely it’s not better to prevent women from being killed or injured by violence than to just let the chips fall where they may….

By the way, the act also protects men and children from violence.  That funding cut – more than three fourths of VAW programs have had their overall funding cut from state local and private sources and are reporting that demand for programs has increased, so maybe it’s just not a tall tale? As a matter of fact the Centers for Disease Control reports that as many as 24 people per minute are victims of violence by an intimate partner.

The Network to End Domestic Violence estimates that more than 3.5 million violence survivors were turned away due to inadequate funding and staffing of VAW programs.  So when you make that call to your senator – let them know that you think it’s wrong and costly to turn away violence victims.  VAWA not only provided training to youth and boys to help prevent violence, it also provides assistance to local law enforcement  to investigate and prosecute crimes and support to nonprofits to  assist survivors with transitional housing, legal assistance and supervised visitation services.  It provides tools to help police the courts and other providers to help identify those at high risk of homicide.  It also provides help in tribal communities.

So make that call and ask your senator why he or she is cutting services to your sister, mother, aunt, niece or grandchild?  After all doesn’t being half the population count for something?  Doesn’t it make sense and isn’t it less expensive to prevent violence before it occurs.  While you are at it – talk to your neighbor and let them know what Congress is up to.  Violence occurs in neighborhoods and schools and it’s up to us all to prevent it.

Part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

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