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April 14, 2000

The constitutionality of one small part of the Violence Against Women Act (the civil rights remedy) is pending before the Supreme Court. Some members of Congress are using this as an excuse to defer action on the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization (HR 1248). The legality of VAWA programs and services are not in question, but funding must be reauthorized or programs to prevent violence against women such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline will be discontinued. The NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (which defended VAWA before the Supremes) has sent a letter to Congress explaining the need to move quickly on this vital legislation. Add your voice to theirs by contacting your members at 202-225-3121. (WFF 4/14/00)


Activists who called to urge Reps to stop dragging their feet on the new Violence Against Women Act (WFF 4/14) should take a bow. Yesterday, the House Crime, Justice, & State Subcommittee marked-up the bill (H.R. 1248), and it can now go to the full Judiciary before hitting the floor for a vote. The good news is that there is bi-partisan support, and the current version continues VAWA programs for the next five years, at full funding levels. The bad news is that coverage for victims of dating violence was dropped. It is important to keep the momentum going -- urge Rep. Hyde (R-IL) (202-225-4561), and Judiciary staffer Carl Thorsen (202-225-3926) to restore dating violence coverage to H.R. 1248, and schedule a mark-up of the bill in full committee.)




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