AFGE activists and hundreds of supporters gathered in front of the United States Capitol on Tuesday to support the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women’s “Save the VAWA National Action Rally.” The rally was held to encourage Congress to pass S. 1925, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization (VAWA) Act of 2011.
Augusta Thomas, the national vice president for Women and Fair Practices (NVP) for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), praised the rally’s efforts to raise awareness. “Reauthorizing VAWA would address many growing domestic violence concerns and provide better services and support to victims of domestic violence,” said Thomas. “AFGE has long been a supporter of legislation than enhances women’s safety.”
Many national, state and local organizations–from victim service providers to law enforcement officers and survivors themselves—were also present. In addition, the rally featured over 15 speakers including singer and songwriter Michael Bolton, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Daniel K. Akaka and Executive Director of the National Council of Negro Women Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever.
All of these organizations and speakers worked together to promote the notion that domestic and sexual violence is not a women’s issue, but a human issue. Congresswoman Judy Biggert reinforced this by asserting, “This is about recognizing that anyone can be a victim of domestic violence.”
The “Save the VAWA National Action Rally” was only one part of the VAWA 10 Day Action Plan. Other events to save VAWA will be taking place across the United States until July 4th.