Progress in the House, Now We Need to Zero in on the Senate

Started by RADAR, Aug 21, 2005, 11:55 PM

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RADAR Alert: Exciting Progress in the House, Now We Need to Zero in on the Senate

The thousands of letters, faxes, phone calls, and personal visits we've been making are beginning to work. Our lobbyists in Washington say the doors are beginning to swing open, and our message is being heard more sympathetically.

Encouraging news comes from the House of Representatives:
  • As we reported previously, the House added language to make VAWA “gender-neutral.” There's still some ambiguity in the wording, so our lobbyists continue to work on fixing that.
  • In order to make the bill gender-neutral, the House Judiciary Committee has now removed the Findings that say DV is a problem that only affects women (go to, where it says Search Bill Text, enter HR 3402, to see how the bill now reads).
  • The House Judiciary Committee moved VAWA into the Appropriations bill for the Department of Justice. This may delay the final vote on VAWA, possibly into October.
    Now we want the Senate to make the changes the House has made. Since the Senate Judiciary Committee will be tied up with the Supreme Court hearings after Labor Day, we're now going to zero in on the Senate.

    If you've scheduled a face-to-face meeting with your Representative or Senator, go ahead with the meeting. We've added a TAKE ACTION NOW column on the RADAR website with the key information you'll need, including a summary of the VAWA bill, RADAR's analysis, requested changes to the bill, and Key Articles.

    If you don't have a face-to-face meeting scheduled, we recommend you set up a 10-minute telephone appointment with the Legislative Assistant (L.A.) in your Senator's office.
    Please do it this week – we have only two weeks until Congress goes back to session.

    Here's an approach we've found works: When you get on telephone with the L.A., invite them to get on their computer and go to the RADAR website: Invite them to open the Fact Sheet in the Press Room. Now highlight the information that shows that women are equally likely to commit DV, and that men comprise over one-third of persons injured by DV.

    You don't have to do any “arm-twisting” or high-pressure sales jobs – let the facts speak for themselves!

    Then highlight our two main requests:
  • Make VAWA male-inclusive, and
  • Allocate 36% of funding to programs that focus on male victims, since the 835,000 men physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually represent 36% of all victims.
    This is what our lobbyists are asking you to emphasize:
    “What is clear is that legislators need to keep hearing that men are victims of domestic violence in significant numbers, and that VAWA must be made unambiguously nondiscriminatory as both a fairness and constitutional matter.”

    Finally, invite the L.A. to peruse any of the Key Articles that may be appropriate. For example, if you're talking to a liberal official, Cathy Young's article in the Boston Globe may be most helpful. A conservative official will likely be more impressed by Phyllis Schlaffly's column.

    Above all, be courteous and respectful in your conversations. Do not become angry or get into an argument. Chances are, you will have more contacts with this same person in September!

    We've got the BIG MO. Now let's keep riding the wave!!


    Be ready for Shock and Awe, Phase II, coming September 6!


    Date of RADAR Release: August 21, 2005

    To track the current status of VAWA, go to and enter the bill number: Senate bill S. 1197; House of Representatives bill H.R. 3402.

    To receive RADAR Alerts, press releases, and other special announcements, sign up for the RADAR E-lert. You can sign up for the E-lert on the RADAR home page at Your e-mail address will be kept confidential, and will not be shared with any outside organization. It's fast, easy, and keeps you in the loop.

    Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting (RADAR) is a coalition of men and women working to assure media balance and accuracy in coverage of the domestic violence issue.

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