Cuts would put millions of Americans in harm's way.
Our new President is considering eliminating funding for local, state, and federal programs that are funded through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), as reported in The Hill, Newsweek, Slate, and other news media. These cuts—if implemented by Congress—would put millions of women and children in grave physical danger.
As you may know, in 1994, Legal Momentum, working with then-Senator Joe Biden, was instrumental in drafting VAWA. It is no exaggeration to say that VAWA has saved countless lives:
- From 1994 to 2011, the rate of serious intimate partner violence declined 72% for women and 64% for men.
- There has been a 51% increase in reporting of such violence by women and a 37% increase in reporting by men.
- Between 1993 and 2007, the rate of intimate partner homicides of women decreased by more than a third, and the rate of intimate partner homicides of men decreased by nearly half.
- VAWA has saved taxpayers billions of dollars in costs for medical and mental health services, as well as costs for law enforcement and justice system expenditures.
- VAWA’s 25 grant programs are not wasteful, and they represent just over one hundredth of one percent of the federal budget.
Since VAWA was introduced, Legal Momentum has worked with a broad coalition of women's rights. civil rights, faith-based, labor, and law enforcement groups to make sure that victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking, and dating violence are safe and have the services they need. We worked hard to update the law three times to ensure that VAWA protects immigrant women, members of the LGBT community and tribal women. Without the crucial preventive programs and services VAWA supports, many lives will be lost. Cutting funding for these essential programs will also significantly increase costs to states, local governments, law enforcement, businesses, and taxpayers.
"I don't think it is extreme if I say to you that women will die. Over the years of VAWA, we have brought down the number of women killed in this situation because, by having programs and safety procedures and transitional housing, we've made it possible for victims to leave these dangerous situations and make new lives. But if we do not have programs that are actively seeking ways to prevent this kind of violence, and are providing ways for endangered women and their children to be safe, women will die."
—Lynn Hecht Schafran, Legal Momentum Senior Vice President
and Director of the National Judicial Education Program
It is urgent that you speak out today to save girls and women, by making sure that critical VAWA funding is not cut. Calling your Senators’ and Congressional Representatives’ offices is quick and will have the biggest impact. Call every day. You can find phone numbers and tips on effective calling at these links:
- Tips for effective calling
- Senate phone list
- House phone list
- Track your legislators’ positions and get issue alerts
Act with Legal Momentum now! Working together, we can ensure that victims of sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, and domestic violence continue to receive the services and support they desperately need. Let’s save VAWA and the millions of people it protects.