This week, we are asking our followers to take action on an important issue. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a bipartisan law designed to improve the law enforcement response to violence against women and to create specialized victim services. Since its unanimous bipartisan enactment in 1994, VAWA has undeniably saved lives. It is a vitally important program both nationwide and right here in Westmoreland County.
VAWA is now under threat by the Trump administration plan to cut federal spending, which includes all funding for VAWA. Without this critical funding, victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and other types of gender-based violence may lose access to emergency shelters, rape crisis services, legal assistance, direct counseling and other services. No matter who you voted for in the election, we can all agree that services for victims of this type of violence and crime are necessary and important. We join the National Network to End Domestic Violence, and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in asking you to help us protect VAWA.
Studies across the country and our own experience here in Westmoreland County as an organization providing these services have shown that they are still very much in need. On just one day in September, 12,000 requests for services for domestic violence victims were unmet in this country due to a lack of funding and resources. On average, three women in the United States are murdered every day due to domestic violence. If anything, we need more funding — not less.
We need you to help us protect VAWA funding. Take action now by following these simple steps, and encourage your friends and family to do the same:
There is strength in numbers, and by coming together to speak out against cuts to VAWA, we CAN make a difference. The above steps only take a few minutes, and are the best way to let your Senators and Representatives know where you stand. Gender-based violence — including domestic and sexual violence — can only end when we commit the time, energy and funds to combatting it. Please join us in making sure that VAWA is protected.