The Honorable Sheila Jackson LeeUnited States House of RepresentativesWashington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Sheila Jackson Lee,
We, the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (“NTF”), applaud you for introducing the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018. 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”). Your bill 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 your shared commitment to passing a bipartisan Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018 that is tailored to appeal to Members of Congress across the political spectrum.
Your bill 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 taxpayers 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.
Women who have experienced abuse in the past are also frequently more vulnerable to those who are predatory in their selection of women and girls to abuse. A victim of domestic violence may end up in a relationship with a man who chose and manipulated her in particular so that he may continue his pattern of sexual abuse. By the time the woman becomes aware of his predatory lies and true motives, another generation has been harmed by sexual abuse.
In short, the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2018 is a narrow bill with a wide impact. We hope that your colleagues on 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.
[The undersigned organizations]