Honorable MembersUnited States House of RepresentativesWashington, DC 20515
Dear Honorable Members of the United States House of Representatives,
We, the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (“NTF”) and our allies, applaud your consideration of H.R.1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. The NTF is a national collaboration comprising a large and diverse group of national, tribal, state, territorial, and local organizations, advocates, and individuals that focuses on the development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking (“the four crimes”). Signatories to this letter include both organizations affiliated with the NTF and allied organizations that support VAWA reauthorization. H.R.1585 makes modest yet vital updates to the existing Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) that are based on the needs identified by direct service providers who work daily with victims and survivors of the four crimes. We appreciate Congress's shared commitment to passing the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 that is tailored to appeal to Members of Congress across the political spectrum.
H.R. 1585 makes important investments in prevention, a priority identified not only by people who work with victims and survivors daily but also by the bipartisan Women’s Caucus. Providing resources to implement evidence-based prevention programming makes our communities safer and, ultimately, saves taxpayer money. It also safeguards important protections that ensure all victims and survivors have access to safety and justice and provides a mechanism to hold predators who prey on Native women accountable. Moreover, it provides law enforcement with new tools to protect their communities, offers protections for survivors in federal public, subsidized, and assisted housing, supports victims and survivors who need assistance rebuilding financially, addresses the needs of underserved communities, and improves the healthcare response to the four crimes.
Now is not the time to maintain the status quo, nor is it acceptable to turn back the clock and reduce access to safety and justice for victims and survivors. Survivors and communities have very real, identified needs. H.R.1585 responds to these needs, preventing future violence, serving victims, and holding offenders accountable. In short, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 is a narrow bill with a wide impact. We hope that all both sides of the aisle will recognize the importance of this legislation to their constituents and join us in supporting it. Thank you, again, for being a champion for victims and survivors and safe communities.
The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence & Allied Organizations