Tell the Senate: Protect LGBT people from domestic violence!

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Too often, people are turned away from domestic abuse shelters and support groups simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s wrong, and we can stop it.

Bipartisan legislation in the Senate would make sure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people are explicitly included in an updated Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

A vote on VAWA could come as soon as tomorrow, but some senators oppose the bill solely because of its special protections for LGBT people. We don’t have much time to show the Senate how serious this is. We need 50,000 people to speak out now. Can you help?

Urge the Senate: Support the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill and vote against any attempts to strip protections for LGBT people.

The VAWA reauthorization bill would vastly improve access to domestic violence services like support groups and hotlines, and prevent discrimination by service providers. It could even establish grants to help organizations that serve LGBT victims of domestic violence.

But senators could try to turn the lives of desperate victims into political football. Hostile amendments could strip the anti-discrimination language and grant provisions from the bill – leaving thousands of LGBT domestic violence survivors on their own.

Don’t let anti-LGBT bias sink this critical bill. We have to rally to defeat any anti-LGBT amendments, and show our allies like Sen. Patrick Leahy that if they continue to champion equality, we’ll have their backs.

Make sure the Senate supports all domestic violence victims – send your message now.

We need 50,000 people to speak out TODAY. Tell the Senate to support all domestic violence victims, including LGBT victims.

This isn’t just another DC insider battle. It matters for millions – for the next person who faces abuse.

We’ve worked hard for this moment and the support of pro-equality Americans like you makes all the difference. This bill could literally be a life-saver for thousands of LGBT domestic violence survivors, but only if people like you speak out and tell the Senate to stand firm. Thank you for standing with us.

 

Suggested language:

Dear Senator, 

As a supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, I am writing to urge you to vote for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill, introduced by Sens. Leahy and Crapo, and to vote against any amendments that strip out vital protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) victims. 

This bipartisan legislation would prevent discrimination by service providers against LGBT victims and would provide critical funds for domestic violence services for millions of Americans, including important resources for underserved populations like the LGBT community.

VAWA works. Since its passage in 1994, domestic violence reports have increased as much as 51% and the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased by 34% for women and 57% for men. 

Studies indicate that LGBT people experience domestic violence at roughly the same rate as the general population, but many of these victims suffer unnecessarily because service providers and law enforcement lack the capability to respond adequately. The LGBT-inclusive provisions in the VAWA reauthorization bill are the product of a long, collaborative process where those on the front lines identified these real needs. 

It’s time to advance VAWA. I’m counting on you to vote to support the legislation and oppose any amendments to strip out key protections for LGBT people.

Sincerely,

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