YWCA USA, along with YWCAs across the country, have selected top three national advocacy priorities
for the 113th Congress.
1. Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA): As the largest provider of domestic violence shelters in the U.S.,
serving over half a million women each year,
the YWCA is deeply committed to initiatives that promote safety and security for women and families. YWCA anti-violence programs include:
emergency shelters; 24-hour hotlines; transitional and supportive housing for victims of violence; non-residential counseling and therapy;
sexual assault response teams, and court advocacy and case management. In ranking the top three women's health and safety issue areas,
local associations indicated that the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is their top legislative priority for the 113th Congress.
The YWCA USA is calling for the swift and immediate passage of the reintroduced VAWA bill, S.47.
2. National Immigration Reform: Historically, the YWCA has advocated for racial justice and for equitable and just laws in communities
across the country. Local associations nationwide provide racial justice programs to more than 330,000 clients annually, including: assisting immigrant victims of violence in navigating the justice system; providing racial justice training to the community; working with victims of human and sexual trafficking; voter education and mobilization; affirmative action, and working to end hate crimes. YWCAs across the country are deeply committed to advocating for a common sense immigration process that keeps families together here in the U.S., provides adequate protections for immigration victims of sexual violence and trafficking and that creates a roadmap for citizenship for the 11 million aspiring to be citizens.
3. A Fair Budget that Protects Women and Families: The YWCA is greatly invested in programs and legislation that foster opportunities
for women to achieve economic and
financial security and stability. Many YWCAs nationwide that help women pursue these goals, rely, at least in part, on federal funding to ensure the sustainability of their programming. Key funding streams like the Child Care Development Block Grant (CDBG), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Violence Against Women Act, allow local associations to serve countless women and families. With policymakers in Washington D.C. focused on cutting spending, including deficit reduction and the sequester, the YWCA is concerned that cuts to non-defense discretionary spending and benefit and eligibility changes to of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security would negatively impact the women and families we serve.