The Indefensible Demise of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

women protest violence against women

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As the clock counted down the few remaining minutes of the 112th Congress, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) failed to reach the finish line in a politically and ideologically divided Congress. Since 1994, VAWA has ensured that millions of women who are experiencing domestic and sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking receive the protection and support that they need through legal and social services.  After 18 years of bipartisan support, Congress’s failure to reauthorize VAWA is an outrageous and indefensible roadblock to the goal of ending violence against women and fulfilling the right of all women to live lives free of intimidation and violence.

Inexcusably, House Republican leaders’ opposition to full inclusion of all at-risk communities eventually doomed the legislation.  Congress’s inability to act means that millions of women and men will be left without access to some of the critical resources and protections contained in VAWA reauthorization.

New provisions that provided crucial protections and support for Native American and Alaska Native women, immigrant women, and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community were 3 critical reasons why it was so imperative for Congress to reauthorize VAWA.

Congress missed a momentous opportunity to stand up for the safety of all women. By failing to support an inclusive VAWA, lawmakers have allowed the prevention of violence against women to fall prey to partisan politics.

We must hold the new Congress accountable for this failure and continue to fight to pass an inclusive VAWA in 2013 that protects everyone; including Native American and Alaska Native women, immigrant women, and LGBT individuals. Because all women, not just some, have the right to a life free from violence.

Take action by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and telling your Member of Congress to support an inclusive VAWA.

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8 thoughts on “The Indefensible Demise of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

  1. "New provisions that provided crucial protections and support for…immigrant women…were 3 critical reasons why it was so imperative for Congress to reauthorize VAWA."

    Which is rather like the US trying to tell the Taliban to stop shooting girls, Yemenis to stop having legal sex with children, Saudis to let women drive and walk around without wearing tents, Somalis to stop raping women like cattle, and Pakistanis to stop murdering their daughters and sisters for "honour" – whether they live in the US, UK, or in Pakistan – statistically 1.5 murders every day.

    Its all very well to uphold this Act. Its another matter entirely where it concerns stone age cultures we should not have to police – because they don't accept it.

    • Are you kidding me? The Republicans may not be as comprehensively pro-womens' rights as the Democrats are, but they are every bit as opposed to rape and abuse against women as the Dems. Just ask a good-ol'-boy what he'd do if he saw someone raping or beating a woman. He'll tell you he'd beat seven shades of shit out of the perpetrator!

  2. Both sides don't care! The truth is the media and all women's groups are responsible for the continued abuse of women in America! I have been looking for help for almost three years after being raped by a US marine. I actively sought the help of womens groups and all they did is pass me in a circle and couldn't help. _Most of these "women's" groups are just women collecting a paycheck and not doing anything to help women and this problem._And let's look at all of the media that barely covers it! _But we are fighting the fight. _ _This congressman who allowed rapes to happen in the military has lost!_ _Sign This!_

  3. women's rights are just as important as the rights of all people to liberty on justice and equality. The rights of women are sadly still disregarded by many men and states. The fight for the rights of women is important for America to Germany and all countries of the world. Which is a world and it is only this one man. There may be no differences between men and women. All people are equal before the law, who does not see this is against the law Power for Womens and all poeple of the World withe Love

  4. I'm very sorry about this. There is no excuse for this. I can't believe that people are so narrow minded and selfish. A lot of women are suffering and they simply don't care.

  5. It is impossible for me to see what possible reason there could be for dismissing this. What's wrong with protecting women? There is no doubt about it: women are suffering from all sorts of violent acts. Why is this ok?

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