I heard some very exciting news today. The International Violence Against Women Act will move to Senate mark-up this Wednesday, August 4th! This is a huge milestone towards final passage of this bill.
Senator Jim Webb became a cosponsor yesterday and it is because of an outpouring of calls, letters, and facebook messages. It is clear the efforts of all IVAWA supporters have been really been paying off.
With 116 cosponsors in the House and 29 in the Senate, the momentum for this movement has been steadily building.
However, we cannot celebrate just yet.
Our success so far should serve as both a catalyst for pushing harder and proof of what we can accomplish when we do. We cannot rest until IVAWA is signed into law by President Obama. The next few weeks will be critical for the ultimate success of this piece of legislation.
So, I would like to use this opportunity for a call to action. Send a powerful message to your Senator before this Wednesday. Let them know that you want the United States to make ending violence against women and girls a diplomatic priority. Inform them that you find it unacceptable that one in three women worldwide will be beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused over the course of lifetime. Convey how inadequate the U.S. has been at responding to this violation of human rights. Then ask them why they haven’t publicly endorsed a bill that would help to end violence against women and girls.
It is imperative that our voices are heard before the Senate mark-up. If your Senator is already supportive, thank them and urge them to convince their colleagues to do the same. Violence against women affects all aspects of women’s lives, from their access to education and economic opportunities to their personal well-being and safety. IVAWA offers a real chance at eradicating this worldwide epidemic.
Call before Wednesday!
Sample Phone Script:
Find out the number of your member of Congress at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/%5D
1.) Telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member. Ask to speak with the aide who handles women’s issues or foreign affairs issues.
2.) After identifying yourself as a constituent, tell the staffer that you would like to leave a brief message.
“Please tell Senator ____________ that I support the International Violence Against Women Act.”
3.) Ask for the position of your member of Congress on the bill. If they are a co-sponsor thank them for their support and urge them to support the bill when it comes to the floor.
4.) If not leave a message saying:
“Please urge the member of Congress to cosponsor the bill and support it when it comes to the floor.”
5.) And add:
“I support the bill because:
- Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation occurring globally.
- At least one in every three women globally has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime.
- The International Violence Against Women Act supports measures to prevent violence, protect survivors and bring perpetrators to justice.