A poem in response to the Vio­lence Against Women Act (VAWA) re-authorization debate in Congress.

Eigh­teen years ago, this week, VAWA was signed into law. In April 2012, the Sen­ate approved a ver­sion of VAWA that extends ser­vices and pro­tec­tions to bat­tered undoc­u­mented immi­grants and to gay, les­bian, and trans­gen­der vic­tims. In May 2012, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives passed the alter­na­tive Repub­li­can ver­sion, explic­itly avoid­ing any exten­sion of pro­tec­tion to LGBT, Native Amer­i­cans, and undoc­u­mented immi­grant women. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of the two ver­sions remains to be seen. His­tor­i­cally, Con­gress has renewed VAWA with­out con­tro­versy, but this debate came at a time when women’s rights, par­tic­u­larly to their bod­ies, are being sys­tem­at­i­cally chal­lenged in the polit­i­cal arena.

Take action and learn more with the National Task Force to End Sex­ual and Domes­tic Vio­lence Against Womenand on Sep­tem­ber 25, par­tic­i­pate in an Orange Day.

Late At Night… dear House
By Kathryn Krastin

The TV mur­murs with redun­dant sounds,
but noth­ing else be it abounds.
The world around me seems to sleep
yet I know there is another world which
works while our sleep is deep.

Know this to be true as I have worked it myself
just like Santa’s best elf.
The phone would ring with a new cri­sis
for this advo­cate to have no biases
and help the vic­tim in tears
to ward off their fears.

Each call would be dif­fer­ent
each call would be affer­ent.
A life­line beats fast at one end of the phone
and depen­dent upon the advo­cate alone
for guid­ance and sug­ges­tions of hope to help them be safe and as strong as one.

Resources fac­ing fund­ing issues
and more vic­tims than the shel­ters can uphold.
Where are the tis­sues
for those lost among the fold?

More fund­ing is needed
as folks in the House pleaded
in 2012; the House ante up their votes
with a reworded Bill 4970 in hopes that no one would notice
while they honed in upon not pro­tect­ing cer­tain folks and all that it denotes.

Why leave out groups like the Native Amer­i­cans
and immi­grants who would like to be some­day Amer­i­cans?
Who is to say that one vic­tim isn’t wor­thy to be pro­tected
or that another deserves more detected?

When is it really going to be about the human being as a vic­tim
so that they never need feel alone
and so that they can learn to trust once again
and believe that we are truly one
Nation inter­ested in the dic­tum
of our judi­cial system?

Late at night,
I’m sit­ting in my chair
whilst the hum of the TV is the only noise I hear
and hop­ing that the House takes heart
and recon­sider leav­ing out that part
which makes us Nations among Nations
and no longer rings as one.

It’s about the every­one,
dear House, all for all, and all for one.

Sign Kathryn’s peti­tion, ask­ing Pres­i­dent Obama to approve the Senate’s ver­sion of VAWA.

(Note:  This was published in UNBOUND:  An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice)


6 comments on “DEAR HOUSE….

  1. Pingback: Still Fund Raising for Delegate Role | United Nations Delegate

  2. Pingback: Call to action for Wednesday, November 14th – re VAWA Reauthorization | United Nations Delegate

  3. Pingback: Speak Out Sunday | Unbound | United Nations Delegate

  4. Pingback: NCADV Call to Action — only 3 weeks left! (Keep passing the message forward!!) | United Nations Delegate

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