NEWSFLASH: VAWA Bill Reintroduced by Senate

fffOn Tuesday, Jan. 22 Senators Patrick Leahy and Mike Crapo introduced their new version of the Violence Against Women Act that would reauthorize the expired law and add protections for the LGBTQ community and Native American women. It also has new terms to provide audits of untested rape kits and gives law enforcement resources to help reduce the backlog of rape kits.

This January, for the first time in 18 years, Congress failed to reauthorize VAWA. It was opposed by conservative Republicans who didn’t want to extend the Act to same-sex couples, among other things. The Senate is expected to vote next week on whether to reauthorize and, so far, House Republican leaders have remained silent on whether they will try to block the bill.

The new bill is different from last year’s proposed version in that it will not provide lengthened visas for immigrants who are victims of violence. Mony Ruiz-Velasco of the National Immigrant Justice Center issued a statement saying that with the increase of state anti-immigration laws, the protections that could be afforded by VAWA are more important than ever in ensuring that victims of domestic violence are not deported while seeking safety. By balking on adding immigrant protections to VAWA, Congress is sending the message that “some victims do not deserve the same level of protection as others.”

VAWA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and has provided $1.6 billion for the investigation and prosecution of violence against women. It was renewed in 2000 and 2005, and in 2012 was reauthorized by the Senate but not brought up for a vote in the House.

Photo courtesy of Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights via  Creative Commons 2.0.

Comments

  1. jett butterworth says:

    It’s time to vote to keep our women and children safe!! This bill will benefit our entire society!!

    jett

  2. Frank Pitz says:

    It is past time to reauthorize VAWA. Get behind Leahy and Crapo and flood your representatives inboxes on this subject.

  3. Time to stop ghettoising, surely!
    How about a bill that protects ALL women, regardless of race or sexual orientation.

  4. Victimized in the USA says:

    It is time to hold law enforcement agencies accountable for negligence toward female victims of violence. Rapes go unreported because of the insensitivity toward and negligent abuses of victims who do report. To subject oneself to evidence collection, only to have that rape kit backlogged is devastating. Furthermore, all accused rapists and abusers should be legally prevented from further contact with their victims, once a rape or beating is reported. Automatic Injunctions for Protection should be issued. Only a psychopath would attempt to “visit”, call or stalk a woman who reported the violence. Victims need protection and care from those sworn to serve and protect!

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