As people of faith we are called to care for the least of these and the stranger among us. We have an opportunity to protect victims of domestic violence, including immigrants, from their perpetrators by asking our Senators to pass S. 47 , titled Important Protections for Immigrant Victims in the Violence Against Women Re-authorization Act of 2013.
The Violence Against Women Act was passed and renewed twice in a bipartisan effort since 1994. Last year Congress failed to agree on shared language to strengthen VAWA. S. 47 represents a bipartisan effort by the House and Senate to introduce shared language to protect immigrants and victims of human trafficking from domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. Senators will vote on S. 47 this Thursday February 7th. The time is now to call your Senators. Find a sample script and number below.
Help break the barriers of fear and misconception that keep women from reporting abuse. We know that when these protections are not in place that it is much harder for women, and in particular immigrant women and victims of human trafficking, to leave dangerous situations or provide testimony against their victimizer.
S. 47 will give protections to victims of human trafficking, immigrant women, and their children under age 21 in the United States by allowing them to apply for a U Visa. This will ensure that families can stay together safely. It also enables immigrant women to access critical information about violent crime histories of their partners before they enter potentially abusive marriages. Call your Senators now and ask them to pass S. 47 and continue to protect women and other victims of domestic violence and abuse.
Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202)224-3121. Ask to speak to your Senators. You will need to make two calls to speak with each of them. You can also find your Senators and direct numbers to their offices at www.senate.gov.
Once you reach the office, tell the receptionist:
I am calling to urge Senator _____________ to support bill S. 47 regarding the protection of immigrant victims under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. As a person of faith, I recognize that we must love our neighbor, care for the least of these, and ensure family unity. S. 47 would protect victims of human trafficking, non-citizen immigrants, and their families who fear speaking out in cases of abuse because of their status; and they are at greater risk to exploitation various forms of abuse for this reason. It would also help law enforcement to find and stop perpetrators of abuse. Thank you for your time.