Chair - Global Disability Caucus and Violence Against Women Task Force -----Global Women's Caucus Steering Committee-- Medicare Portability Task Force

  • published Every 90 Seconds: From Awareness to Action in Events 2023-01-15 13:12:41 -0500

    Every 90 Seconds: From Awareness to Action

    Working Together in New Ways to End Violence against Women


    Democrats Abroad Salutes International Women’s Day 2023
    with Anne DePrince, Noted Author and Expert on Violence Against Women

    On March 5, at 9 am Eastern Time, U.S. citizens from around the globe will be joined via Zoom by Anne DePrince, the author of Every 90 Seconds: Our Common Cause Ending Violence Against Women.  The event precedes and celebrates International Women’s Day on the 8th.

    This event will include remarks from the author who will also take questions from participants.  In her book, DePrince provides perspective on the overwhelming scope of violence, its frequency, its pervasiveness and its many devastating forms.  She also examines the impact it has on every aspect of society and the ways societal attitudes and conditions can exacerbate the crimes and the damage that results. In her comments to Democrats Abroad, DePrince will focus, in particular, on the needs for action and the ways each of us can contribute to making change.

    From Awareness to Action follows a continuing series of conversations on related subjects sponsored by the Democrats Abroad Violence Against Women Action Team as part of an on-going research, education and action project.. These have ranged from Gender-based violence and the military justice system (with Nancy Parrish & Col. Don Christensen from Protect Our Defenders) , the correlations between the status and safety of women and the security of countries and the world  (with Dr. Valerie Hudson, author of The First Political Order)  and the challenges in finding support for U.S. victims of violence when they are abroad (with Paula Lucas from Pathways to Safety International).  

    To join us and get the zoom link for this event click the RSVP button below.

    For further information, to learn about volunteering  for the VAW team or to suggest a question in advance of the event, please contact [email protected]


    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

    ANNE DE PRINCE

    Anne DePrince is a clinical psychologist, distinguished university professor at the University of Denver (DU), and expert in intimate violence who believes change is possible. Author of Every 90 Seconds: Our Common Cause Ending Violence against Women (Oxford University Press, 2022), Anne has worked closely with victim service providers and policy makers over more than two decades to study the impact of multiple forms of violence against women on a range of outcomes -- from health and economic wellbeing to education and safety. The U.S. Department of Justice recognized her contributions to the nation’s understanding of crime victims with the Vision 21 Crime Victims Research Award.  She also serves as DU’s first Associate Vice Provost for Public Good Strategy and Research.

    https://annedeprince.com/

    https://www.amazon.com/Every-90-Seconds-Violence-Against/dp/0197545742



    WHEN
    March 05, 2023 at 9:00am
    7 rsvps rsvp

  • rsvped for DA RTF January 2023 Meeting 2023-01-10 03:35:30 -0500

    DA RTF January 2023 Meeting

    The Democrats Abroad Reparations Task Force is dedicated to tackling economic, racial, and political injustice head on. Join us as we fight to keep the Biden Administration accountable to its own promises to address racial disparities. We intend to use our global organizing to not only push for a federal reparations commission, but to support state and local efforts, too. 
    On January 31st at 1 p.m. Eastern US Time / 19:00 Central European Time, we will be discussing recent developments in the US reparations movement, ongoing successes in reparations activism/advocacy, and further opportunities to get involved.  
    WHEN
    January 31, 2023 at 7:00pm
    WHERE
    Zoom
    12 rsvps rsvp

  • Fighting For and Fighting Back...

    - The Battle to Eliminate Gender-Based Violence

    This election proved that women, especially young women, have found their voices and  said “no” to a massive attempt to assert control over their rights, their bodies and their futures.

    There is no question - these attempts will continue and the need to fight for our rights and fight back against patriarchal attitudes and assaults will be as massive as ever.

    Like reproductive rights, the ERA and legislation addressing the broken care economy, sexual assault, intimate partner violence and the entire sordid spectrum of violence against women demand our attention.

    Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was included in the Senate’s Omnibus Spending bill passed earlier this year.  To achieve passage, however, its supporters had to eliminate the section which addressed the “boyfriend loophole” which allows access to guns to ex-boyfriends or stalkers who have been convicted of (or had a restraining order related to) domestic violence.

    The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, passed subsequently, did narrow the loophole somewhat, but it still exists.  About 31 states have some sort of relevant legislation but this could change at any moment.

    In the House, 137 Republicans voted against reauthorization of VAWA because it included gun regulation and offered protections for same sex couples and transgender individuals.  With a majority in the House, the Republican agenda will only become more aggressive.  

    Dozens of other positive pieces of legislation languished without attention this year and, without doubt, there will be continued attempts to relax regulations in the coming years.

    Hate crimes have risen dramatically in the U.S and intimate partner violence has as well.  Rarely is violence against women treated as a hate crime though it should be.  With 3 women a day murdered by an intimate partner, it is well past time to raise this particular pandemic to crisis status.  Gender-based violence is unquestionably a life or death issue.

    Incidentally, passage of the Equal Rights Amendment would make all of our fights easier.  We should never let our attention on the need to ground our rights in the Constitution flag.  

    Please consider joining the Democrats Abroad  Violence Against Women team and the fight against gender-based violence.  We need leadership for everything from tracking legislation or building coalitions, to writing social media or helping organize events. We also need people who may not have lots of time but would be willing to help how and when they are able. There are many particularly vulnerable populations and we also hope to find team members who will advocate on their behalf.  You can write to Marnie Delaney [email protected] for more information or to volunteer as part of our small but mighty team.  

    This is what we can do in a year without an election.  We can fight for rights and we can fight against attempts to oppress, demean or marginalize women.  Please consider joining us.


  • published MS. on the Issues #64 in Violence Against Women 2022-09-12 13:25:50 -0400

    MS. on the Issues #64

     

    With Guests:

    Jackson Katz is a scholar and activist working on issues of gender, race and violence. He is co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), as well as the author of two acclaimed books and creator of the award-winning Tough Guise educational documentary series.

    In this Episode, we consider the American landscape as children go back to school.  As mass shootings devastate communities across the country, parents are packing bulletproof protection in their children’s backpacks and sending them to school with lessons on how to survive a mass shooting. Jackson Katz joins Dr. Michele Goodwin to discuss the complicated issues at the heart of this crisis including questions related to masculinity, why mass shootings are overwhelmingly committed by men, and the implications in light of the rise in white supremacy in the United States.

    Click here for details, to listen to the podcast, or read the transcript.


  • published It's Women's Equality Day in Violence Against Women 2022-08-22 06:54:11 -0400

    It's Women's Equality Day

    It’s Women’s Equality Day

    Let’s Talk About Men

    By: Marnie Delaney

    When people talk about “women’s issues” I feel a slight tightening of my jaw; somehow the phrase seems to imply women are at the core of certain problems. From where I sit, in most cases, women aren’t the problem, the core of the problem is with men.  I’ve found that most men get that.  However, too few of us actually do anything to change it.

    Despite the love and trust I have experienced with men throughout my life, I’ve also experienced the other side of the coin:  men who menace, rape or manipulate, those who use their positions of power to coerce or control, those who demean or diminish, those who consider women to be “less than”.  I must say this is one of the reasons I don’t think our objective should be equality with men.  It should perhaps be the other way around.  We get all the rights and freedoms we deserve as humans and we all turn our attention to eliminating the violent tendencies of too many men.

    While some of my (and others’) experiences happen in private, many happen in the light of day, in full view of other men and women.  Donald Trump proved that what should be thoroughly unacceptable is sadly a matter of common practice, not worthy of censure or punishment – “Locker room talk” is now code for proud sexual predator.  

    The violence happening behind closed doors is, however, even more difficult to stop.  Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in the U.S was welcome news but still has holes and it is still far more difficult to address intimate partner violence.

    It is often said that domestic violence is a gateway to murder, to femicide.  In fact, two women every day in the U.S. are murdered by their intimate partner, most often with a gun (the American way).  In North America the numbers increased by 8% between 2019 and 2020.  Perhaps we should also call “locker room talk” a gateway to rape and domestic violence.

    Globally, 47,000 women were killed in 2020 by an intimate partner or other family member. 

    The numbers suggest we all know someone (or many ones) who are guilty of “minor” or major examples of violence against women.  We may or may not suspect.  We may or may not intervene when “bad behavior” occurs.   But, it occurs and there is a cost, to the victims of that behavior and to the community at large – physical, mental, emotional, financial and in the quality of future experience.  

    The absence of an ERA, the disproportionately low numbers of women in elective office as well as in the top tiers of business are just some of the reasons for the perpetuation of patriarchal behavior.  

    Victims of sexual assault or domestic violence represent 35% of women globally.  No one is immune.  In our recent webinar with Dr. Valerie Hudson, we heard about the impact of violence on women to the safety and peace in the countries in which they live. She demonstrated how the overall status and security of women relates clearly (check her statistics) with individual state security and peace between countries.  Yet there is no specific and binding international instrument (treaty, law, agreement…) on violence against women.

    In 2019, a coalition of 1,700 women from 128 countries, after 7 years of research and discussion, published a call for a new global treaty to end violence against women.

    This link is to a summary of their first draft proposal.

    I ask you to read this treaty document and consider its worth and the urgency of its challenge - then consider sharing it with the men in your life to get their point of view.  I welcome any input. Then consider joining the Violence Against Women team as we work to change a desperate situation.  

    The language of the treaty makes sense and, watching a senseless war and the rise of domestic terrorism (abetted by equally senseless Republicans), we must find a way to sanity, safety and an end to bullying of the highest magnitude.

    The first thing we all MUST do is vote - we must snag two more Senate seats and we must hold the House (of course, preferably by a large margin).  So, go register everyone you know and push them to vote, early and carefully.  We can't afford to mess up one ballot.

    Please consider joining the Violence Against Women team.  We are looking at the many, complicated issues of violence and could use your help as we initiate plans to address them.

    Come join us - all pronouns are welcome!

    [email protected]


  • published Help Remove Guns in Violence Against Women 2022-07-13 06:14:25 -0400

    Help Remove Guns

    The Violence Against Women Action Team hopes you can help remove guns from the hands of potential murderers, including the two abusers every day in the United States who murder their intimate partners and the countless others who every day use guns to intimidate, coerce, control and terrorize them. These women need your help.

    Please plan to JOIN US on Saturday September 10 for a zoom event with the Global Black, Hispanic and AAPI Caucuses where we will discuss and take action concerning 

    Violence, Race & Gender: Taking Action & Voting for Our Lives.

    Please make a note on your calendar today (September 10, 10 - 11:30 AM ET)

    EVERY DAY on average - in the U.S.

    • There are more than 110 gun deaths by intent (CDC), 210 people are shot and survive (TeamEnough) typically with life-long physical and/or emotional burdens
    • Nearly 6 children or teens are killed by gun violence (CDC)  22 are shot (Brady) and 8 are shot by an an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home “family fire” (Brady)
    • More than 2 women are killed with guns by an intimate partner (in general women in America are 28x more likely to be killed by gun violence than in any other high-income country. (Everytown)
    •  65 Americans die from gun suicide (Brady)
    • More than 10 Hispanic Americans die by gun violence (Brady)
    • More than 27 Black Americans die by gun violence (black Americans experience 8x the gun violence than do white Americans) (Brady)

    Tell your legislators to do their jobs by doing what the President and the American people are demanding

    by passing the budget and the essential legislation necessary  to reduce gun crime - including legislation to:

    • require background checks for all gun sales, 
    • ensure that no terrorist can buy a weapon in the United States, 
    • ban the sale and possession of unserialized firearms — ghost guns, 
    • ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and 
    • repeal gun manufacturers’ protection from liability.

    The U.S. gun homicide rate is 26x higher than any other high income country (Everytown)

    Firearms are the leading cause of death for American children and teens (Everytown)

    This is not the way to regain our leadership in the world

    This is not the way to keep American citizens and their children safe

    This has never been acceptable, is now thoroughly intolerable and will determine the way the majority of Americans vote in November

     

    THINGS HAVE BEEN GETTING WORSE
    (though it hardly seems possible after so many 
    thoughts and prayers)

    Gun sales have surged during the coronavirus pandemic. Based on the number of background checks, Everytown estimates that people purchased 22 million guns in 2020, a 64 percent increase over 2019.

    Unintentional shooting deaths by children increased by nearly one-third comparing incidents in March to December of 2020 to the same months in 2019.  (Everytown)

    Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rise in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, particularly against AAPI women. (Everytown)

    Even if the virus disappears, 
    the guns will not.

    The American People Don’t Want Citizens with Guns to perpetuate terror and violence throughout the country. 

    They want to see the end of absurd laws and lax enforcement of good ones allowing Domestic Violence to persevere as a gateway to Femicide.

    Who Could Possibly want to allow the conditions that cause this many women, men and children to die?

    Here’s a Clue …..

    There are 8 million new small arms and up to 15 billion rounds of ammunition produced each year.

    The small arms trade is worth an estimated US $8.5 billion per year.    (Amnesty International)

    It is well past time to acknowledge the obvious reality

    The Second Amendment Does Not Guarantee the Right To Own a Gun 

    (From Gun Control, P 99-102, 1992, Charles P Cozic, ed. -- See NCJ-160164) Abstract

    NCJ Number 160176

    Author(s) W E Burger (Chief Justice Warren Burger)

    Date Published 1992

    Former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Warren Burger argues that the sale, purchase, and use of guns should be regulated just as automobiles and boats are regulated; such regulations would not violate the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    Abstract

    The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees a "right of the people to keep and bear arms." However, the meaning of this clause cannot be understood apart from the purpose, the setting, and the objectives of the draftsmen. At the time of the Bill of Rights, people were apprehensive about the new national government presented to them, and this helps explain the language and purpose of the Second Amendment. It guarantees, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The need for a State militia was the predicate of the "right" guarantee, so as to protect the security of the State. Today, of course, the State militia serves a different purpose. A huge national defense establishment has assumed the role of the militia of 200 years ago. Americans have a right to defend their homes, and nothing should undermine this right; nor does anyone question that the Constitution protects the right of hunters to own and keep sporting guns for hunting anymore than anyone would challenge the right to own and keep fishing rods and other equipment for fishing. Neither does anyone question the right of citizens to keep and own an automobile. Yet there is no strong interest by the citizenry in questioning the power of the State to regulate the purchase or the transfer of such a vehicle and the right to license the vehicle and the driver with reasonable standards. It is even more desirable for the State to have reasonable regulations for the ownership and use of a firearm in an effort to stop mindless homicidal carnage.

    From the U.S. DOJ Office of Justice Programs

    Read more about it:

    Among gun owners there are large partisan gaps in opinion about restricting and expanding gun rights | Pew Research Center

    https://publichealth.jhu.edu/sites/default/files/2022-05/2020-gun-deaths-in-the-us-4-28-2022-b.pdf

    https://everytownresearch.org/maps/mass-shootings-in-america/

    https://giffords.org/lawcenter/gun-laws/second-amendment/the-supreme-court-the-second-amendment/


  • published VAW Project Update in Violence Against Women 2022-07-13 06:00:05 -0400

    Violence Against Women Task Force Women Safe Abroad Project Update

    The initial purpose of this project was to identify ways to support  U.S. Victims of gender-based violence overseas who currently have no easily accessible, full-range safety net to meet their needs. 

    It turns out the problem is far more massive than we imagined.  We did, however, find what should be a simple first fix - getting Pathways to Safety International, the only organization created specifically to meet this need, back up and running after they lost funding during the previous administration. That is, back up and running at even greater capacity than they were before. Expansion will be necessary because of our commitment to building awareness of their services and the reasons they exist.   

    We are happy to report that we’ve just helped PTSI edit/submit the first of several anticipated grant proposals.

    However, the innumerable holes in legislation, consular policy, funding allocations within agencies, training, communications and more, will require a lot of additional attention. We are working on highlighting those deficiencies in a comprehensive report on the international GBV landscape.

    We are in the penultimate stage in preparation of this support and could use help - writing, editing, fact-checking, designing and assembling the final document.  If you are interested in becoming part of our small but mighty team, please email Marnie Delaney [email protected].  

    We plan to turn our attention next to Advocacy planning and execution.

    We welcome help from those of you interested in developing public relations and lobbying efforts, writing GOTV messages highlighting the need for attention to this issue and identifying specific opportunities for action we want to see from legislators and the administration.

    This isn’t, in the end, a project that will only benefit the American victims of crimes. If we are successful, we think there can be implications for the situation for potential victims in countries around the world.  While we are addressing the international crisis of gender terrorism, we believe, as established by the work of Dr. Valerie Hudson and others, that any abatement of that crisis benefits the peace and security of all people and of nations.  

    Please join the DA GWC Women Safe Abroad Project and help address the problems of gender-based violence in the US and around the globe.

    Contact: Marnie Delaney [email protected]


  • The Violence Against Women Act (2022 Reauthorization) What it does and a couple of things it doesn’t

    The Violence Against Women Act (2022 Reauthorization)

    What it does and a couple of things it doesn’t

    The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first passed in in 1994, sponsored by then-Senator and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Joe Biden, who has called it the proudest accomplishment of his career.

    At the time, domestic violence,  one of the key crimes VAWA addressed, frequently flourished and persisted without mitigation, in part due to the state-specific nature of pertinent laws.  Impact at the time was that perpetrators of domestic violence could just flee their state to avoid prosecution, if their crimes were (atypically) about to be addressed.

    Compounding the lack of protections for women in domestic violence situations was an oftentimes laissez faire attitude of law enforcement.  This typically derived from a combination of the common attitude that such crimes were “family business” along with lack of response from police as an avoidance of the risks to themselves involved in interventions.  The pleas of, and risks to, the victims were, as a result, unanswered (sometimes in clearly stated policy) and many women suffered and many women died.  The impact on their children was also extremely damaging and in too many cases created a breeding ground for the perpetuation of violent behavior.

    Read more

  • published A Podcast with Heather Cox Richardson in News 2022-05-07 12:12:14 -0400

    A Disability Discourse - Podcast

    A Disability Discourse - Podcast with Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman



    PodcastDC.pngHow has America historically defined physical disabilities? How have disability rights activists achieved hard-fought wins? And how does the current debate over mask mandates and pandemic restrictions leave out those with disabilities or chronic illness? 
    Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman discuss the impact of pensions for disabled war veterans in the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, the interlocking histories of racism, sexism, and ableism, and the impact of the 1970s disability rights movement. 

     


  • donated on ActBlue via 2023-01-14 04:06:57 -0500

  • VAW Project: Call for Volunteers!

    The Violence Against Women Project is urgently seeking volunteers to gather information that will help American women overseas who are victims of violent situations.
    We’re looking for a minimum 6 month commitment, a passion for this cause, and people who are team players.
    Either email us at [email protected], or join one of the upcoming Zoom calls . We look forward to meeting you!

  • signed up on Global Disability Caucus - Signup 2021-07-30 11:17:57 -0400

    Global Disability Caucus Signup Page

    Join the team working on our newest caucus, the new Global Disability Caucus!

    We would like to build the broadest possible membership in this new and important team within Democrats Abroad. 

    The mission of the Democrats Abroad Global Disability Caucus is to provide a voice for individuals with disabilities across its global membership. In addition to participating in voter and electoral support work the team will collaborate with allies within the Democratic Party and disability rights groups to ensure that all activities and venues are accessible; advocate on proposed legislation addressing disability rights; and educate and empower Democrats Abroad members and leaders about the issues impacting individuals with disabilities.

    In addition to Democrats Abroad members with disabilities, we welcome and encourage the involvement of supporters of our members and our issues.  We hope to form an inclusive, diverse, active and effective community which provides fulfilling experiences for all.

    **Please note that if you sign up to volunteer with us, you may be contacted directly via email by Chair, Marnie Delaney.

     

    Sign up

  • Call to Action: The Military Justice Improvement and Increased Prevention Act

    Immediate attention needed from across the globe - You CAN make a difference.

    OUR GOAL IS TO HAVE EMAILS SENT BY NEXT WEEK SO PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON TO YOUR MEMBERSHIP ASAP!!

    We have shared our support of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s MJIA legislation -now called The Military Justice Improvement and Increased Prevention Act (MJI-IPA) with you over the past several months. At this very moment, we have the opportunity to help push it over the finish line!

    This legislation has been introduced consistently since 2013 and has, just as consistently, been blocked in the Senate. We believe that there must not be any further delay in implementing the changes reflected in the Military Justice and Increased Prevention Act. This past week we saw major shifts in support and greatly increased possibility for passage. Senator Gillibrand has worked hard to refine and strengthen the legislation, now called The Military Justice Improvement and Increased Prevention Act. As a result, it has gleaned additional co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle (see the New York Times article below for more information on this powerful coalition which has continued to grow.

    The object of Senator Gillibrand’s plan is to create a fair and impartial military justice system, for all felonies (rape, murder, child abuse, etc), to create a professional system, less subject to unqualified or improperly motivated decision-making.

    In essence, it removes the power to make investigative and prosecutorial decisions from the purview of 3% of Commanders within the accused’s chain of command and puts them into the hands of professional, trained senior military prosecutors.

    For more comprehensive background information on the MJI-IPA go to: https://www.gillibrand.senate.gov/mjia

    Ways to help ensure the necessary changes are made:

    1. CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS TO THANK THEM OR TO ASK FOR THEIR SUPPORT

    Use the link below to find the latest position of your Senators (and a direct link to send messages via their email and twitter).You can be sure that every communication is being counted and will count.

    It is critical that our messaging be positive - Use a light touch. Aggressive advocacy will backfire. Our targets currently are Whitehouse, Sinema, Rosen and Carper. BUT again, a light touch is imperative.

    FYI - On the chart it appears we have the 60 votes needed. But that is just a list and certainly no guarantee. A lot can happen between now and the conclusion of the process which will occur over the coming month(s). This is the time to both solidify support and increase the numbers.

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/senate/

    The link below is a fact sheet if you’d like to incorporate more specifics in your message. But don’t worry! That you’ve taken the trouble to contact them is what matters most.

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/factsheet/

    2. SEND A LETTER TO YOUR LEGISLATOR

    Here is a link to obtain addresses:

    https://www.senate.gov/senators/senators-contact.htm

    Sample letter for survivors:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m a US Air Force veteran. Like so many service members, I left the military after I was sexually assaulted. All I ever wanted to do was serve my country. Thousands of servicemembers and civilians are sexually assaulted each year. Sadly, the number of reported sexual assaults keeps rising, and the number of convictions is falling.

    To fix our military justice system we need to put the prosecution of serious crimes like rape and murder into the hands of trained military law professionals. I urge you to support veterans like me by voting for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act. Thank you.

    Sample letter for general public:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m writing to you about the issue of sexual assault in our military. Today, the Department of Defense reports increasing sexual assaults by servicemembers, but decreasing conviction rates. Despite years of Congressional inquiries, thousands are raped or sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their heinous, violent crimes.

    The bipartisan Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act is designed to professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes like sexual assault, and to remove the fear that survivors of military sexual assault experience when deciding whether to even report these crimes. A Pentagon survey found that 64% of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. Please vote for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act

    3. USE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA to ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO CONTACT THEIR LEGISLATORS

    Tag your Senators if you can because their staff monitors social media mentions.

    Sample Tweet: Senator @MittRomney, will you stand with military sexual assault survivors to pass the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act? Veterans like me need your help! #MeToo #MeTooMilitary #IAmVanessaGuillen #MJIIPA

    Below are links to articles and videos you can use as posts:

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/new-york-times-gillibrand-makes-major-push-to-reform-military-justice-system/

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/remarks-from-protect-our-defenders-president-don-christensen-at-the-senate-armed-services-committee-hearing-on-sexual-assault-in-the-armed-forces/

    https://www.facebook.com/DemsAbroad/videos/28886917629236

    4. SEND A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    Amplify your voice and reach the public and your legislators.

    This doesn’t need to be a massive missive.

    Sample letter for survivors:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m a US Air Force veteran. Like so many service members, I left the military after I was sexually assaulted. All I ever wanted to do was serve my country. Thousands of servicemembers and civilians are sexually assaulted each year. Sadly, the number of reported sexual assaults keeps rising, and the number of convictions falling.

    To fix our military justice system we need to put the prosecution of serious crimes like rape and murder into the hands of trained military law professionals. I urge you to support veterans like me by voting for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act. Thank you.

    Sample letter for general public:

    Dear Senator ______, I’m writing to you about the issue of sexual assault in our military. Today, the Department of Defense reports increasing sexual assaults by servicemembers, but decreasing conviction rates. Despite years of Congressional inquiries, thousands are raped or sexually assaulted every year. In many of those cases, the assailant is someone in the survivor’s own chain of command. Only a small fraction of the perpetrators are ever held accountable for their heinous, violent crimes.

    The bipartisan Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act is designed to professionalize how the military prosecutes serious crimes like sexual assault, and to remove the fear that survivors of military sexual assault experience when deciding whether to even report these crimes. A Pentagon survey found that 64% of survivors say they have experienced some form of retaliation for reporting the crime. Please vote for the Military Justice Improvement & Increased Prevention Act.

    Here is another sample:

    :https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/denise.dpca%40gmail.com/KtbxLxgNKCnmdTjlrpNdJGnGvgcTFmkcPL?projector=1&messagePartId=0.1

    IF YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF SEXUAL ASSAULT WITHIN A MILITARY CONTEXT, YOU MAY CHOOSE TO SHARE YOUR STORY WITH LEGISLATORS VIA A SHORT VIDEO

    The testimony of victims has been very powerful and has built support among the growing group of “pro” legislators. Protect Our Defenders (with whom we have been working) has set up a process:

    https://www.protectourdefenders.com/upload/


  • signed up on AAPI Signup 2021-04-05 12:37:11 -0400

  • signed up on LGBTQ+ Signup 2021-04-05 12:36:48 -0400

  • signed up on Hispanic Caucus Signup 2021-04-05 12:36:12 -0400

  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month

    Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

    The Global Women’s Caucus Violence Against Women Action Team hopes you will join us in observing Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

    The impact of sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence is felt universally throughout the world. No segment of society is unaffected, although some disproportionately suffer more directly than others. There is no country free of this raging epidemic, and the United States is certainly not a leading light in the prevention or prosecution of sexual crimes. 

    Read more

  • @kidartistry tweeted link to ERA Stories. 2021-03-14 16:04:09 -0400

    Why ERA is Important to Me

    2021 could be the year that women’s rights are secured in the U.S. Constitution – just 245 years after white men. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is positioned to be the 28th amendment once either the Senate removes the deadline from the 1972 resolution OR the Department of Justice instructs the US Archivist to add it. The threshold of 38 states ratifying it happened in 2020 but it has been held up due to some technicalities. YOU can help promote awareness and action on the ERA. 

    Would you like to tell Congress why the ERA is important to you? Here's how: Take a selfie, then add your picture and story in the textbox. You can also make a video and send in the url (just add the link in the textbox).   Your story can be up to 500 words.   If you need more words, just continue with additional posts.

     

    Please include your Country of Residence, and Voting State at the end of your story.  Including your Name is optional.

    We'll share these stories with Congressional allies to help them in their fight to finally add the ERA to the US Constitution. 
    Please note that the stories below are all user submitted and reflect individual opinions. By sharing your story here you are consenting to sharing your story publicly both on this site and with Congress. 

    Click here to read the first set of over 100 stories sent on March 25 to the Senate.


  • Too many generations of women in my family have died without seeing the ERA passed.

    Having been a political activist beginning in the 60's I have gotten used to "hurry up and wait" experiences and have heard many specious arguments . However, the absolutely baseless arguments against the ERA and the painfully long battle they have engendered is , as the expression goes, getting on "my last nerve". I quit my job to work on the ERA campaign full time after the deadline was extended to June 30, 1982. I worked in Washington and travelled to the three targetted, unratified states and lobbied, helped organize events and supported NOW's leader Eleanor Smeal in her efforts to coordinate the fight against, ignorance and disinformation,, the insurance industry and other business interests and against misogynistic and/or successfully lobbied legislators. I saw and heard things which ruined forever my blind admiration for "public servants" which several members of my family had created by actually delivering service to the public in their elected positions. The legislatures in Oklahoma, Florida and Illiinois didn't ratify and on June 30 I joined with many other men and women across the street from the White House, in shock and mourning. My grandparents, parents, sisters, all of my family struggled to understand why something so fair, reasonable and highly popular was so difficult to achieve. I still struggle 39 years later. Once again the ERA not only makes sense but is absolutely necessary to protect women against the regressive actions of an unprincipled group of leaders in the Republican Senate who have forced their members into similarly unprincipled obstructionism. The right decision would be to do whatever is necessary to get this done. The archivist should be signing, Congress should be overturning an unnecessary and unusual deadline and finally women should be written into the Constitution. The vast majority of people want this to happen. Most of the rest aren't paying attention or are misinformed or are involved with a business which profits from discriminating against women. If this doesn't happen, I can only say with confidence that the rising tide of women with political, social and economic power will use it to replace those who have fought against women's rights and opportunities. When I think of my grandmothers and my mother, I am very aware of how their opportunities were limited. When I think of myself and my sisters, I think of the many battles we had to fight , law by law, to even approach a playing field, never mind a level one. My nieces and my nephews daughters will not accept what we put up with. They won't fight over and over again for the same crumbs. They will demand and, I assure you they will get what we have always deserved and nothing less. Check the numbers, boys, and do the math. What you've been doing isn't smart, isn't popular, and isn't in the public good. So, let's try something different, shall we? Marnie Delaney/ Living in France/Vote in California


  • RED ACTION

    Reauthorization Of The Violence Against Women Act  

    The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a U.S. federal law, signed by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994.  It was authored by then-Senator Joe Biden (DE), and co-authored by Representative Louise Slaughter (NY). It was passed in Congress (234/195 House, 61/38 Senate).

    The law established a budget (initially $1.6 billion) to: 

    • Investigate violence against women crimes 
    • Prosecute perpetrators of such crimes
    • Impose requirements for restitution to victims by perpetrators
    • Provide reparations, if prosecutors opt not to prosecute a crime

    Extensions of the Law were passed in 2000, 2005 and 2013. In each case, there were changes which met with varying degrees of opposition, generally from Republicans and organizations such as the NRA and other conservative groups.  In 2019 reauthorization was defeated in the Republican Senate.

    Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is on President Biden’s 100-day agenda, and set to be taken up by the House the week of March 18th.

    CURRENT SITUATION

    • The House will take up and vote the week of March 18. Passage is expected but not guaranteed, therefore contacting Representatives is urgent.
    • We’ll be watching the Biden Budget to demonstrate his priority on this legislation
    • Senate battle will be difficult with opposition based on 1) the “boyfriend loophole”  2) indigenous people and immigrant components and 3) partisanship
    • The challenge is to demonstrate a strong commitment to this legislation, and make sure to only support legislators who recognize its importance, including all of the “controversial” elements.

    CALL to ACTION

    Contact your representatives in Congress to urge their support for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Here are sample messages, however, we encourage you to add any message about your personal connection to this issue with which you feel comfortable.  This will increase the impact of your message.

    Short version (appropriate for quick messages or for supportive legislators): 

    “Violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, and a deterrent to an equitable and peaceful world. It is devastating and its impact is enormous and widespread. I support the Violence Against Women Act and call on you to support it as well.”

    Extended version:

    “The crisis of gender-based violence continues to grow, far outpacing available resources (many of which have been disappearing for lack of funds). The need for funds to prevent, prosecute and provide resources to victims is overwhelming and Congress has not done enough to provide these resources to all Americans.  This unending culture of violence has serious impacts on the majority of the population, either directly or indirectly, and inaction is not acceptable.  I support the Violence Against Women Act and will demonstrate that support with my vote. I call on you to support it too.”

    Ways to contact representatives:

    • Email
    • Phone call
    • Postcard

    Find your Representative here and your Senators here

    Encourage your family and friends, both in the US and abroad, to do the same.  Also, encourage anyone who can possibly visit the local or DC office of their legislator to do so in a more dramatic show of support and importance.