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Letter to Constituents


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Dear Friend:

Thank you for reading another edition of my e-newsletter, the Carson Courier. For additional information on these and other topics, please visit my website at

In this week's Carson Courier:

Republican Leadership Rolls Back Protections in Violence Against Women Act
Republican Leadership Rolls Back Protections in Violence Against Women Act

Congress passed in 1994 the Violence Against Women Act, a landmark piece of legislation that revolutionized the U.S. response to violence against women and provided critical resources for victims of domestic abuse. Since that time, the bill has been twice reauthorized with overwhelming bipartisan support and with expanded provisions that have significantly enhanced the legislation.

This week, my Republican colleagues in the House passed a bill (H.R. 4970) that undermines the Violence Against Women Act, jeopardizing critical protections for victims and excluding key provisions included in the bipartisan Senate bill, which passed last month by a vote of 68-31.

Specifically, the Republican bill ignores the high rates of dating violence and sexual assault on college campuses, endangers protections for members of Native American and immigrant communities, and fails to include language prohibiting discrimination against LGBT victims.

Every victim of domestic abuse deserves support, assistance, and protection. It is troubling that my Republican colleagues are undercutting this effort by turning something that should have been unanimously supported into a partisan issue.

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I was honored to join with hundreds of national organizations, as well as many from the Indianapolis area, in opposition to this bill. We need a real reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, one in which all victims are protected and no groups are discriminated against.

HR 4970 would greatly, negatively impact our ability to prosecute domestic violence cases and protect domestic violence victims and witnesses who are most often women and children. I support Congressman Carson in his vote to protect our most vulnerable citizens.

- Terry Curry, Marion County Prosecutor

H.R. 4790 not only strips important provisions that were passed by a bipartisan Senate vote of 68-31, but also changes and weakens many initiatives and preventive provisions that have been included in VAWA by both Republicans and Democrats over the past 18 years. We must pass a "real" VAWA reauthorization to continue and expand services for victims while holding perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

- Melissa Pershing, Julian Center

The Domestic Violence Network strongly supports Congressman Carson as he votes No for H.R. 4970, a dangerous version of the Violence Against Women Act that ­­­­prioritizes partisan politics over victim safety. The passage of H.R. 4970, as written, would increase the victimization of marginalized communities and further endanger immigrant victims.

- Marla Taylor, Domestic Violence Network

HR 4970 is bill that would undermine the core principles of the Violence Against Women Act and fails to meet victims' needs. In fact, it weakens, rather than enhances, protections for victims of domestic violence. The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence supports a bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act that is similar to the Senate-passed bill which provides equal protection for all victims of domestic and sexual violence.

-Laura Berry, Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Thank you for reading the Carson Courier. l


André Carson
Member of Congress

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