NATIONAL TASK FORCE

National Task Force to End Sexual And Domestic Violence Against Women

ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT toolkit, can be  accessed at:
http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/features/detail/1875

After 7 Years, Senate Finally Confirms Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) Director! Tell Your Senators This is Only the First Step: We Need Universal Background Checks to Save Women’s Lives!

 August 6, 2013 Last week, the United States Senate finally came together to confirm Todd Jones at the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is an important and symbolic moment for gun violence prevention advocates, as this Bureau has been without a director for 7 years and the NRA remained neutral on this vote! A group of 60 Senators, including six Republicans, voted for cloture and to consider his nomination and a group of 53 bipartisan Senators, including a few key Senators who voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise, voted for his nomination. This vote was a meaningful step forward to address gun violence and shows the pressure we have been putting on our members of Congress is working- and they are listening! If we can get the same 60 votes for gun safety, we can pass the Senate bill on background checks. 

This August, Senators are home in your states and they need to hear that the debate over gun safety measures in our country is far from over. Without changes to current law, domestic abusers can continue to access guns through loopholes in the background check system. Zina Haughton, who was murdered last year by her husband with a firearm in a Wisconsin spa, is just one example of how domestic abusers with restraining orders can circumvent the background check system by buying guns through private sellers. 

The nomination of the ATF Director was an important first step in the right direction, but Congress still needs to tackle universal background checks that will keep women, children and families safe so that perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence cannot access firearms! Please contact your Senators’ offices today to tell them their job is not done! We need Congress to stand up for women, children and families and pass comprehensive gun safety legislation. 

Some resources for your advocacy:

Fact sheet on gun violence and violence against women

Infographic on gun violence and violence against women

ACTION ITEM 1): CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND URGE THEM TO REVISIT GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION!

Find your Senators’ phone numbers here. 

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun safety issues and say:

  • · I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________.
  • · I am a leader in the community working to end violence against women and I urge Senator [insert name] to support gun safety legislation that would expand background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings. There are too many loopholes in current law that allows domestic abusers to access firearms and by expanding the background check system, we can pass commonsense proposals that will reduce violence against women and save lives.
  • · Thank the staffer for their time. 

ACTION ITEM 2) TWEET THESE MESSAGES TO YOUR SENATORS!

Just called [Insert Twitter Handle] in support of expanded background checks that will #savewomenslives! 4vawa.org #demandaction

Presence of gun in domestic violence situations increases risk of homicide 4 women by 500%. Act now! 4vawa.org#savewomenslives

When states require bkgrnd checks 4 all gun sales 38% fewer women shot 2 death by intimate partners 4vawa.org#savewomenslives

Over 6 million guns transferred each yr thru private transfers without bckgrnd checks. Take action! 4vawa.org#savewomenslives 

.[Insert Senator’s Twitter handle] Take lethal impact of guns in domestic & sexual violence cases srly. Support univ background checks! #savewomenslives

For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and Updates: www.4vawa.org.

Follow us on Twitter at @NTFVAWA and “like” our Facebook page.

If you aren’t on one of the VAWA email lists or want to add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mailing list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org. For more info, go to www.4vawa.org.   

How does VAWA make a difference for children and youth?

 Children who are exposed to even one type of violence are at far greater risk of experiencing other types of violence, including teen dating violence and then domestic violence.
 
The recent Department of Justice study, National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence, found that 15.5 million children live in two-parent homes where adult partner violence occurred in the previous year.
 
Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner – a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.
 
 This year’s VAWA bill would create a $15 million program that is a consolidation of two existing prevention programs (Services for Children Exposed to Violence and Abuse and Engaging Men and Youth) and within this comprehensive program include a teen dating violence and sexual violence prevention focus. It would also allow states to use up to 5 percent within the STOP grant program for prevention or education.
 
This year’s VAWA bill would create a $15 million program that is a consolidation of two existing prevention programs (Services for Children Exposed to Violence and Abuse and Engaging Men and Youth) and within this comprehensive program include a teen dating violence and sexual violence prevention focus. It would also allow states to use up to 5 percent within the STOP grant program for prevention or education.
 
For these reasons, Members of Congress need to hear that prevention of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking is an important part of the VAWA.The time is now to reach out to Congress and support VAWA through letters, online media, and highlight the programs and issues important to you!
 
Background materials, including the VAWA toolkit, can be accessed at: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/content/features/detail/1875If you have questions or want to report back about your efforts or results, please email ReauthorizeVAWA@gmail.com