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Anti-violence act must be reauthorized

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

Riverview Center needs your support for an important piece of legislation: Violence Against Women Act. VAWA was first approved in 1994, and every reauthorization since then has received overwhelming bipartisan support.

At the end of 2012, it again came up for reauthorization. However, a resolution couldn’t be reached, and the act expired. A new version of that bill has been reintroduced.

Please get involved and ask your legislators to support VAWA.

Why?

1) It protects crime victims in our community. Riverview Center is awarded VAWA funding specifically to assist victims in Carroll County. It ensures that victims of domestic and sexual violence receive the help needed in our rural area and has allowed Riverview Center to maintain an office in Mount Carroll for free and confidential services.

2) It works. Reports of domestic and sexual violence have increased and lethality has decreased dramatically.

3) It saves money. In its first 6 years, VAWA saved more than $14 billion. Budget cuts shouldn't happen at the expense of victims.

4) It moves us forward. In 1994, VAWA was revolutionary. Now we need to enhance those protections. The new VAWA pushes for better training and regulation on college campuses and extends protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) abuse victims.

5) It's the right thing. VAWA has always been a bipartisan initiative. It communicates that we believe domestic and sexual violence are serious crimes that deserve national attention and resources.

Go to www.riverviewcenter.org/Home/GetInvolved/LegislativeActionNetwork.aspx to join our legislative action network. We will provide you with the information needed to contact your elected officials and stay informed about efforts that affect survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Sign up now. We need your voice.

Note to readers – Diane Heath is a legal advocate serving Carroll and Jo Daviess counties.

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