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Eric Cantor – Please do not push women over the Physical Cliff!

Eric Cantor – Please do not push women over the Physical Cliff!

December 29, 2012


Open Letter to Eric Cantor:

Millions of women are asking that you pass the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act before the end of this Congressional session. The Senate bill passed with bi-partisan support with 68 votes in April. It is our understanding that you are holding up a vote on that bill due to your objection to full protection for Native American Women.

The Violence Against Women Act was first passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized with unanimous bipartisan support with increased protections in 2000 and 2005. This is the first time VAWA has not been reauthorized in time.

We ask that you please help us to understand your objection to protect Native American women knowing that it will prevent protection for every woman in this country.

VAWA and its subsequent reauthorizations have vastly improved services for victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, as well as education and training about violence against women for victim advocates, health professionals, law enforcement, prosecutors and judges.  The numerous new legislative provisions include a ban on states charging rape victims for forensic sexual assault examinations and the criminalization of stalking by electronic surveillance.

  • 1 in 3 Native American women will be raped in their lifetime
  • 39% of Native American women will be subjected to domestic violence
  • Native American women are 10 times more likely to be murdered than other American women
  • 52% of violence crimes on reservations are not prosecuted
  • 1 in 4 women are victims of domestic violence
  • 3 women are murdered every day by their partners
  • 1.3 million women REPORTED being raped or sexually assaulted in 2009 alone
  • 1 in 6 women have survived attempted or completed sexual assault
  • 15 million children are exposed to domestic violence each year

VAWA is also an economic issue:

  • Cost of intimate partner violence annually exceeds 5.8 billion, including 4.1 billion in direct health care costs
  • Rape is the most costly crime to its victims, totaling 127 billion a year, which includes medical costs, lost earnings, pain, suffering and lost quality of life
  • Sexual Violence survivors experience a reduced income in adulthood as a result of victimization in adolescence, with a lifetime income estimated at 214, 600
  • Domestic Violence has been estimated to costs employers in the U.S. up to 13 billion a year
  • VAWA saved an estimated nearly 12.6 billion in net averted costs in it’s first 6 years

Congress works for all women in this country. The grim statistics above clearly show that Native American women are especially vulnerable. Surely it is not your intention to block millions of citizens from the protections they so clearly need.

UniteWomen.org stands with millions of women in this country in asking that you reauthorize VAWA during this 112th Congressional session by taking up a vote on the Senate version already passed.

Karen Teegarden

cc: Senator Patrick Leahy
Congressman Darell Issa

Video Link on our Youtube Channel re: VAWA Discussion


About Karen TeegardenKaren Teegarden, CEO Karen Teegarden is the CEO of UniteWomen.org, founded on February 19, 2012. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and works in the marketing and advertising sales industry in Michigan. Her daughter was raised to believe in her core that she was created equal. Karen began this journey to assure that all women live in a country that protects their equality.

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