Every female Senator supported the bill (surprise).
Good news: The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization passed through the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, by a vote of 78 to 22. And the 22 is an improvement over last year’s vote.
The law, reauthorized twice before with almost no controversy, has been stuck this time in the broader fight over the size and scope of government, and a more specific battle over the powers Congress should afford tribal courts, which now cannot pursue non-Indians who attack Native women on tribal land. Conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and the Independent Women’s Forum have blasted the law as an ineffective waste of money and the new version as a dangerous expansion of governmental powers. ~ New York Times, February 12, 2013
Some of the other hang-ups with the bill include protections for gays, lesbians and immigrants. A bit too edgy, perhaps, for these dudes.
Here are just a few of the act’s positive impacts since the VAWA’s inception:
>> Between 1993 to 2010, the rate of intimate partner violence declined 67 percent.
>> Between 1993 to 2007, the rate of intimate partner homicides of females decreased 35 percent and the rate of intimate partner homicides of males decreased 46 percent.
>> More victims are reporting domestic and sexual violence to police, and reports to police are resulting in more arrests.
>> States have reformed their laws to take violence against women more seriously:
~ All states have reformed laws that previously treated date or spousal rape as a lesser crime than stranger rape
~ All states have passed laws making stalking a crime
~ All states have authorized warrantless arrests in misdemeanor domestic violence cases where the responding officer determines that probable cause exists
~ All states provide for criminal sanctions for the violation of a civil protection order
~ Many states have passed laws prohibiting polygraphing of rape victims.
Let’s hope this thing makes it through the House.
The bill passed by the Senate will help reduce homicides that occur from domestic violence, improve the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault, address the high rates of dating violence experienced by young women, and provide justice to the most vulnerable among us. It’s now time for the House to follow suit and send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.
~ President Obama, February 12, 2013
Click here to sign the petition asking the House GOP to stop blocking protections for women and support the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act
Update: For posting this on my facebook page, I’ve been accused of male-bashing. Seriously.