Protect Immigrant Women- and All Women- from Domestic Violence

September 7, 2012

The Violence Against Women Act is set to expire September 30th. This law protects millions of women across the country from domestic violence. While the U.S. Senate strengthened VAWA, the House bill stripped critical protections for vulnerable populations, including undocumented women and victims of human trafficking. The House bill puts undocumented women in a precarious situation in which they could be deported for reporting acts of violence against them. Act now to protect all women by calling on the House to pass the Senate’s version of VAWA.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops states, “As pastors of the Catholic Church in the United States, we state as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified. Violence in any form—physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal—is sinful; often, it is a crime as well.” It is also important to remember that we were all created in God’s image. Women, regardless of their citizenship status, should not live in fear and deserve protection.  Following the Gospel message to defend the rights of women, ask the House to pass a strong VAWA here.

At the Columban Border Mission Center, Columban Fathers and Sisters, lay missionaries, and staff minister to many immigrant women who are fleeing the ongoing violence against women in Juarez, Mexico or the violence in their homes here in the U.S.  Women should not have to choose between being hit, raped, or otherwise mistreated, or between deportation to their home country where they may also face violence. Lift up your voice and tell the House that their current version of VAWA is unacceptable. Urge the House to pass a strong VAWA here.