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RADAR ALERT:
Step 5: Followthrough Makes for a Successful Pitch

In step 4 we gave tips on how to meet with your Congressman and persuade him or her of the need for Congressional hearings into the egregious civil rights violations fostered by VAWA. Just as important as holding the meeting is following up after the meeting:

  1. As soon as possible after the meeting, review your notes. Your recall about the meeting will be much better if you review your notes sooner rather than later. Add to your notes any details that you did not have time to write down.
  2. Pay particular attention to the following:
    • Write down any actions the staffer asked you for, such as looking up statistics or providing other documentation. If you promised you'd get them information, you do not want to forget what you promised them. So write down what you promised. And then be sure to look up the information and get back to them as soon as you can. If the things they ask for require explaining, set-up another meeting.
    • Write down any tips they gave you about other legislators, etc. Pass this information on to RADAR so other people can take advantage of it as well. Send email to
  3. Regardless of the outcome, be sure to send a thank you to your legislator by mail or FAX. The thank you should summarize what was discussed during the meeting, as well as any followup actions agreed to during the meeting, both actions that you agreed to take and actions that they agreed to take.
  4. Phone the office to follow up on any action items they said they would do for you. Be persistent, without making yourself a pest. Unless the action item is time-critical, calling every week or so should be sufficient.

And above all, regardless of whether or not your Congressman or his staff seem supportive, always remember to be polite and courteous when you talk to anyone in the Congressman's office.


Date of RADAR Release: July 31, 2006

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Register now for the National Family Law Reform Conference, to be held September 15-16 in Alexandria, Virginia (near Washington, DC). The conference will address the crisis of family law, including biased family courts, false allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, and much more. For more information: http://www.acfc.org/site/Calendar?view=Detail&id=100021

R.A.D.A.R. – Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting – is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of our nation's approach to solving domestic violence. http://mediaradar.org