Against Hate and Self-Hate: VAWA Must Now Be Implemented Without Cultural Biases

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) 2022, finally signed into law last month after delays that should never have occurred in the first place, promises to allocate more resources to historically underserved communities in order to address gender-based violence. VAWA 2022’s legal commitment to fund culturally-specific services must not be restricted to community self-flagellation, but rather support self-reflection and quests for self-empowerment.

Farmers Leading Protests in India—and the Young Feminists Camping With Them—Just Scored a Major Win. Will It Last?

As the world advocates for collective action toward the empowerment for all (including universal healthcare and tuition-free education), farmers and agrarian laborers from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in India have finally pushed back with a massive movement. And after a year of unprecedented protests, an equally unprecedented victory has been won. To some readers, just to exist without immediate corporate control over agriculture may seem small—but these farmers are poised to change the whole game.

And undoubtedly, while the protest was majority male, the centrality of women’s contribution has been unquestionable.

Stopping Long Enough to Celebrate: Recent Win for Violence Survivor and Asylum-Seeker Holds Critical Lessons

The DOJ has granted asylum to Ms. A.B., a Salvadoran woman who fled domestic violence. The victory reaffirms: Violence in a home is not a private matter; marriage is not an excuse for rape; and gender-based violence is reason for urgent action.

I spoke with one of Ms. A.B.’s formidable attorneys, Blaine Bookey, from the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, at U.C. Hastings, which took on the previous administration’s bullish attempts to push intimate partner violence back into the shadows. 

Victims Must Not Be Lost in Domestic Violence and Policing Debates

If this year is about exposing hard truths, here’s another: We have too easily outsourced our domestic violence problem. Instead of responding and taking a stand in our families and communities, we have, over time relegated it to police and government systems.

How does “defund the police” envision responding to domestic violence—currently the single largest category of calls received by police?

Domestic Violence Survivors and Allies: We Won’t Be Silenced

In an unfortunate coincidence, Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco’s sheriff who was convicted of a domestic violence-related offense and suspended from official duty–successfully argued for his reinstatement during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which ends today. The commentary around the Mirkarimi case, as well as around the sheriff himself, misrepresents domestic violence agencies’ everyday work. The success […]

The “Half-Widows” of Kashmir

September 6: Residents of Indian-controlled Kashmir began a massive general strike today to demand the release of political prisoners. In the course of a decades-long dispute in Kashmir, the contested region between India and Pakistan, thousands of Kashmiris have been “disappeared.” A U.S. diplomatic cable released by Wikileaks last year suggests that detentions and torture […]