June 26, 2012
Washington, D.C. -- Today, over 500 advocates gathered on Capitol Hill to rally in support of reauthorization of the “Real” Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Organized by the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, the rally is one of several being hosted today across the country, and part of the larger National 10 Days of Action taking place from June 24-July 4 to push VAWA forward. Speakers included singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, several members of Congress such as Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL), and advocates and leaders like Juana Majel Dixon of the National Congress of American Indians, Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever of the National Council of Negro Women, Terry O’Neil of the National Organization for Women, Veda Shook of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, and Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.
“Real” VAWA, also known as S. 1925, is the version of VAWA that was passed in the Senate two months ago, on April 26, by a bipartisan vote of 68-31. Within the bill exist provisions that would restore concurrent special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction to tribes over non-Indians who choose to commit crimes of domestic and dating violence, and violate protection orders on tribal lands. The House of Representatives recently passed a watered-down version of the bill, H.R. 4970, which fails to include the key tribal provisions. Congress now needs to resolve their differences through a conference committee or otherwise in order for the “Real” VAWA reauthorization to move forward.
For more information about the National 10 Days of Action (June 24-July 4) visit www.4vawa.org.