On August 21st Senator Ernst met with staff of the Domestic Violence Intervention Program and pledged her support to sponsor the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA). Last week Senator Joni Ernst made a floor statement in which she reported that negotiations had broken down and characterized H.R.1585 (VAWA) as a partisan political statement. Ernst also announced her intention to introduce her own proposal to reauthorize VAWA in the near future. The most contentious provision in the House-passed bill would lower the criminal threshold to bar someone from buying a gun to include misdemeanor convictions like stalking and other crimes related to domestic abuse.
Urge the Senator to keep the key components found below in mind regarding the safety and due process that survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, human trafficking, and stalking need.
Key Components are as follows:
- make important improvements in prevention programming and funding this work
- safeguard important protections that ensure all victims have access to safety and justice
- offer protections for survivors in federal, public, subsidized, and assisted housing and improve access to housing
- enhance the safety of tribal communities by removing barriers that prevent tribal governments from prosecuting crimes committed on tribal lands
- keep firearms out of the hands of adjudicated abusers and stalkers including closing the “boyfriend loophole”. The need for due process to be honored on behalf of the victim intimate partner violence is of utmost safety concerns.
- improve support for survivors who need assistance in rebuilding financially
- address the needs of underserved communities
- improve the healthcare response to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking with the help of advocates that work with survivors
You can find a sample letter here.
Contact her here: www.ernst.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
DC Office Phone: (202) 224-3254
Cedar Rapids Office Phone: (319) 365-4504