The Sunday Review of the New York Times published an editorial entitled The G.O.P. and Violence Against Women. The editorial asks Republicans to step aside and allow for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to be reauthorized, largely blaming the G.O.P. leadership for blocking the reauthorization. With the Presidential election behind us, it is now more imperative than ever that we watch the finger pointing and instead focus on finding ways to reach across the aisle to secure VAWA’s passage .
VAWA is set to expire this December.  It is essential that VAWA not become a partisan issue because sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking are not restricted to party lines, race, ethnicity, gender, persons of one sexual orientation over another, immigration or socio-economic status. As advocates, we know that if one human being is vulnerable to sexual, stalking and domestic violence, we all are. Today more than anytime in the past history of VAWA is the time for us to find ways to create new allies and guard against alienating one another.    
CALCASA, alongside our national policy advocacy group the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) and the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, and other state coalitions, has been actively promoting a Reauthorize VAWA Campaign. Most recently California participated in the national VAWA Day of Action on November 14th, via alerts encouraging participation in the social media efforts to ask Congress to pass/reauthorize VAWA before December 31, 2012..
At the core of the controversy between the two houses is language surrounding the inclusion of protections for immigrant and LGBTQ survivors. The language in the Senate’s version is more inclusive, providing for protections for underrepresented groups, and is supported by many Democrats and advocates around the nation.  The House version is more narrowly focused and does include such protections. We must come together with our elected officials and advocate for an inclusive VAWA, which doesn’t eliminate needed protections for underrepresented and vulnerable populations.
If VAWA is not passed by the end of this year, the bill will have to be re-introduced in the new 2013 Congressional session, opening the door for the drafting of new language.  Please contact your representative today. Take action today, see sample tweets.