A new House version of the Violence Against Women Act leaves LGBT, immigrant and Native women and men without vital services or protections, according to an official from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights’ main officers sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives on May 7, Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member John Conyers, urging them to oppose H.R. 4970.
Leaving the new version H.R. 4970 as is, is the same as inflicting a terrible wound on several underserved populations known to lack the appropriate government protections.
In the letter, the senders explain that “Despite the well-documented unacceptably high rates of domestic violence on tribal lands, H.R. 4970 eliminates provisions that would make it easier for Native women to obtain orders of protection from their abusers,” stated Wade Henderson, President & CEO and Nancy Zirkin, Executive Vice-President, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
In terms of LGBTQ survivors of violent crimes, the letter further explains that “H.R. 4970 drops all the provisions that would ensure access to services for LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence.”
In addition, H.R. 4970 hurts immigrants without any resources available to them when they are involved in cases regarding police and/or company misconduct and abuse.
Adds the letter, “confidentiality rolls back current law on confidentiality, making it more risky for immigrant victims to seek help from the police and thus imperiling their safety and survival.”
Henderson and Zirkin close the letter by stating their opposition to H.R. 4970 and their support of VAWA.
“Every battered person deserves protection, regardless of the race, sex, sexual orientation or immigrant status of the abused. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights opposes H.R. 4970 because it fails to provide services and protection for all victims. Therefore, we urge all members of the Judiciary Committee to oppose the bill. Instead, we urge you to support a VAWA reauthorization resembling the bipartisan Senate-passed bill that provides needed protections for all who suffer domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.”
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 210 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States.