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Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

Human Rights Initiative of North Texas executive director and friend of the show Bill Holston passed along this piece, written by the group’s legal director Chris Mansour:

Our client Lisa was raped by her stepfather for over a year, starting when she was nine years old. When he was finally caught, she courageously told the police what he had done to her, even though she was terrified that he would make good on his threats to kill her mother if she reported him. Now her stepfather is in jail and Lisa is a permanent resident who is attending college and hopes to be a pediatrician, veterinarian, or a police officer.

This story of survival and justice would not have been possible without the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) which provides for U Visas for immigrants who are victims of violent crimes and cooperate with law enforcement to prosecute the perpetrator. This law, which has enjoyed broad bipartisan support since 1994, should have been reauthorized months ago, but stalled last spring because the Senate and House of Representatives passed different versions of the bill.

Today, Human Rights Initiative, along with a national coalition of organizations who work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, is participating in a VAWA National Day of Action. Please call your Senator and Representative today and ask them to pass VAWA now! We are urging Congress to pass the Senate’s version of the bill before Congress’s special session ends on December 14.

For the rest of the post, and for more information on VAWA National Day of Action, head to the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas’ website.