Violence Against Women’s Act to be Considered for Reauthorization on February 2nd

The Violence Against Women’s Act is a law that has been in effect since 1994 and has been reauthorized by both President Clinton in 2000 and President Bush in 2005. Thanks in part to this ground-breaking law, incidents of domestic violence have decreased in the past decade, but this horrible crime is still far from being eliminated. One on four women will still experience domestic violence in her lifetime and 12 million people a year are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner. On February 2, 2012, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider reauthorizing VAWA for the third time. This legislation is crucial to HRI’s work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and violent crime.  Several important amendments have been introduced to strengthen the law and ensure that victims of these heinous crimes are properly protected.  Although this bill typically receives bipartisan support, we strongly urge you to read the proposed amendments to VAWA and contact your local Senator’s Office and advocate your support this act and the proposed amendments:”



Support S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Act – Reauthorization 

Tell Your Senators to Stand Up for Safer Communities and Protections for Victims

On February 2, 2012, the Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).  With bipartisan support, Senator Leahy introduced amendments to VAWA that will strengthen the law and ensure that all domestic violence victims are protected as Congress initially intended.

Members of Congress need to hear from Americans now to know that we want our government to make our communities safer by encouraging undocumented victims to report crimes and providing protection to victims. Call your Senator and ask for their support of VAWA, including the immigration amendments introduced by Senator Leahy.


Important provisions to make communities safer and protect victims include:

  •  Adding dating violence and stalking to list of crimes covered by the U visa;[1]
  •  Allowing any law enforcement supervisor, not only the head of the agency, to sign U visa law enforcement certifications;
  •   Allowing victims who have sufficient evidence of cooperating in an investigation or prosecution of a crime to submit an application for U visa when law enforcement certification is not available;
  •   Recapturing up to 5,000 unused U visas each year during the next 5-year period;
  •  Clarifying that if the principal U visa applicant files a petition while the derivative child is under 21 years of age, the child will be treated as under 21 for the purposes of adjudication as a derivative;
  •   Allowing VAWA self-petitioners and U visa applicants to be granted work authorization 180 days after filing the application for VAWA or U visa relief or upon approval of the application, whichever occurs first; and
  •  Extending the application of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA) to all immigration detention facilities were under the authority of the DHS and HHS. PREA requires the adoption of national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of rape and sexual assault in federal facilities. 


Members of Senate Judiciary Committee


Patrick Leahy, Chairman (D-VT)

T: (202) 224-4242

Herb Kohl (D-WI)

T: (202) 224-5653

F: (202) 224-9787

Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member (R-IA)

T: (202) 224-3744

F: (202) 224-6020

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

T: (202) 224-3841

F: (202) 228-3954

Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

T: (202) 224-5251

F: (202) 224-6331

Chuck Schummer (D-NY)

T: 202-224-6542

F: 202-228-3027

Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

T: (202) 224-4521

F: (202) 224-2207

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

T: (202) 224-2152

F: (202) 228-0400

Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

T: (202) 224-4124

F: (202) 224-3149

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

T: (202) 224-2921

F: (202) 228-6362

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

T: (202) 224-5972

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

T: (202) 224-3244

F: (202) 228-2186

John Cornyn (Washington & Texas)

T: (202) 224-2934                         T: 972-239-1310

F: (202) 228-2856                         F: 972-239-2110

or contact his office online here

Al Franken (D-MN)

T: (202) 224-5641

Michael Lee (R-UT)

T: (202) 224-5444

F: (202) 228-1168

Christopher Coons (D-DE)

T: (202) 224-5042

F: (202) 228-3075

Tom Coburn (R-OK)

T: (202) 224-5754

F: (202) 224-6008

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

T: (202) 224-2823

F: (202) 224-9673


[1] A valuable law enforcement tool that is available to non-citizen victims of certain enumerated crimes who have been or are likely to be helpful to the investigation or prosecution of a crime

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