Contact your local members of Congress and Senators and let them know that you support the mission of First Response Action.· Tell your elected officials that you'd like for them to support the upcoming legislation, the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, which will increase support Peace Corps Volunteers who become victims of crime.· Refer them to this site for more information or to www.katesvoice.net. The legislation is being introduced by Congressman Poe of Texas and Senator Isakson of Georgia.
Supporting American victims of crime is a non-partisan issue.· This is a collaborative effort, so please contact your members of Congress, regardless of their party affiliation. To reach out to your local representatives to ask them to sign on to legislation, First Response Action has drafted the following letter that you can use as a template or write your own.
You can also take use of the following resources:
The House of Representatives has a “Write Your Rep” page. You can also search for your representatives if you aren't quite sure who covers your district: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
The Senate provides a pretty easy to use list to the Senate roster, plus the Senator’s phone number and a weblink that will take constituents to a form that will allow them to write comments. http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Dear <Name of Congressional Representative or Senator>
As your constituent and a concerned citizen <or Returned Peace Corps Volunteer or family/friend of a current or Returned Volunteer>, I am writing to respectfully request your support of the “Kate Puzey Peace Corps Protection Act”(HR2337 introduced by Representative Poe; S.1280 introduced by Senator Isakson). I strongly believe that <Congress or the Senate> should enact this important bill to support Peace Corps Volunteers who become victims of crime during their time of service. This bill improves training to staff and Volunteers in the areas of sexual assault prevention, as well as provides critical care and confidentiality when a crime is reported. Volunteers are the heart of Peace Corps and they deserve a network of safety that will protect and assist them during and after the report of a crime.
The key provisions of this bill include:
- Redesigning training to increase staff training on the issue of sexual and physical violence. Volunteers, pre-departure and in-country, will receive training on Peace Corps’ prevention and response to incidents of sexual violence.
- Improving response mechanisms for cases of sexual assault or other violent crime. Victim Advocates will be established to assist Volunteers to access coordinated services in-county and in the United States.
- Establishing a Sexual Assault Advisory Council to revise and review training curriculum and relevant protocol to ensure that Peace Corps policies are in alignment with best-practices in the fields of sexual assault prevention and international victim assistance.
- Providing strong confidentiality protection for Peace Corps Volunteers who report crime as victims or whistleblowers. This bill also enhances evaluation of Peace Corps so that issues that could potentially endanger the safety of Volunteers are recognized and reversed immediately.
The “Kate Puzey Peace Corps Protection Act” is supported by the Peace Corps and the bill drafters worked closely with Peace Corps, First Response Action and Kate’s Voice to create a balanced piece of legislation that will increase Volunteer support. The legislation provides critical, commonsense protections and support for Volunteers, and imposes no additional burden on the American taxpayer.
[Note to letter-writer: If applicable, include personal story of why the bill is important to you; for example, if you or someone you know has served, is serving, or will serve in the Peace Corps]
You can find more information about the bill on the websites of these two groups: www.firstresponseaction.org and www.katesvoice.net.
I sincerely hope you will support the “Kate Puzey Peace Corps Protection Act.”
Thank you for your time and consideration of this important issue.
<Optional contact info or address>