Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank You Congresswoman Gwen Moore

3719 W. Center Street  * Milwaukee, WI  * 53210
(414) 875-1511  *  fax: (414) 875-1217



  May 17, 2012


Congresswoman Moore, on behalf of Asha Family Services, Inc., and the women we were created to serve, I thank you, we applaud you and we celebrate you for your strong and courageous advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic, sexual and dating violence. Your Speech yesterday still resonates in our minds with your passionate, powerful and content rich words that illustrate to us, your strength and of whom Gwendolyn Moore is and why she does what she does.

I was blessed and inspired by the story you shared. A story you shared from your life that was pre-VAWA, on how you tried to prosecute a man who had raped you. You said, “I had to prove as a victim that I was not being fraudulent in my accusations! That brought up how I was an unwed mother with a baby. Maybe I seduced him. They talked about how I was dressed.”  In the end, you stated that he was found “not guilty”, however your initial courage and pursuit of justice moved you to pursue holding that rapist accountable at a time it was not safe for a woman to do, but you did and that same fueled-courage is what ushered you into your destiny and to the United States Congress.   I see many spiritual gifts in you including Advocacy, Mercy and Counseling. You are a fighter, a survivor and a hero…our hero.

As you can imagine, we are deeply saddened by the GOP written Bill that narrowly passed the House. That version is scary to me as an Advocate in the field and movement, because I know in essence it is a death sentence for some women as the revised bill affords them little or no protections.  In your address, you gave the warning, “The GOP revisions give perpetrators the tools to prevail over the rights of victims”, and I can only hope they heed that. 

As a primarily women serving agency and the only culturally specific domestic abuse agency for African American victims in the State of Wisconsin, we are struggling daily to survive, especially given the economic realities of our State. For many of us culturally specific organizations across the Country, VAWA 2005 was a huge historical feat given the inclusion of Culturally Specific services for Communities of Color. These culturally specific programs allow organizations such as Asha Family Services to develop, maintain or enhance our services to victims. We see and feel the daily war against women and are shocked by the on-going erosion of protections, benefits and rights for women, All women.

I know the fight is not over and we stand with you, President Obama and Vice President Biden to urge Congress to come together to do the “Right Thing” and pass a bipartisan measure that will protect all women.  Thank you again for all that you do.


Antonia A. Vann,


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