Understanding Domestic Violence: TWC Fall Interns Work with NNEDV
This fall TWC launched their new Domestic Violence Fall 2012 Civic Engagement Project in partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a highly-respected social change organization dedicated to creating an environment where violence against women no longer exists. As part of the advocacy component, students worked with NNEDV to support reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act (VAWA). This legislation has dramatically improved how law enforcement deals with domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking. It has also provided support for domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers and other community organizations that assist victims.
More than 40 interns participated in this advocacy project, representing 15 different states and five countries including Belgium, Canada, Italy, Korea and Mexico. While lobbying, students visited 26 congressional offices: 9 in the House and 17 in the Senate.
The students reflected on their memorable and life-changing experiences after completing the advocacy portion of their project:
“The aide [for Senator Sherrod Brown D-OH] was impressed by our presentation, especially by our statistics on domestic violence in Ohio. He was visibly moved when one student told him how she had been a victim of dating violence. He even invited us back for coffee to continue the discussion!”
Holly Klesta-Tiffin University
"We were lucky because Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) actually sat down with us. He was incredibly supportive, saying Members of Congress like to see more positive supporters like us, not just those opposed to this or that bill. McGovern has the kind of enlightened and open-minded attitude people in government need to have.”
Denise Barstow-University of New Hampshire
"The aide [to Senator Jon Kyl R-AZ] said he had met with other groups about VAWA but that we were the most convincing. I think he really paid attention to our comments about dating violence on college campuses, and why reauthorizing VAWA is so important to people our age.”
Paige Wambold-Arizona State University
"He [aide to Senator Robert Menendez D-NJ] wrote down all the information we gave him and seemed really interested in the conversation. He seemed a little bit surprised about how much we knew and how we were really into this civic engagement project.”
Caitlin Baehrle-Richard Stockton College of New Jersey