We call on our senators

Published 5:02 pm Friday, June 14, 2019

I am writing today to urge our community and our elected officials to support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act with vital enhancements and targeted fixes.

VAWA, for which authorization lapsed in mid-February, saves lives, supports families and needs to be reauthorized. A strong, bipartisan VAWA reauthorization bill (H.R.1585) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 263-158. The Senate is currently working on its own bill, and it must be substantially similar to the House bill.

Around the country, one in five women has been raped in her lifetime, one in three women will experience domestic violence and more than three women are murdered by their partners every day. In our own community, Ruth’s House served close to 200 clients suffering some form of domestic violence last year. It is crucial that we know where our elected officials stand when it comes to preventing gender-based violence and protecting survivors.

Every current Member of the Congress should publicly declare their support for the reauthorization of VAWA with key enhancements and targeted fixes and with no rollbacks. It’s time to hold Congress accountable for helping to make sure all survivors are safe and free from violence and fear. We call on senators Burr and Tillis to support victims and survivors by supporting a bill substantially similar to H.R.1585 in the Senate.

Valerie Kines is the executive director of Ruth’s House.