No Country for All Women: Holding Up Violence Against Women Act

By Rachel Walden |

The 112th Congress ended without reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), threatening the funding of programs and services that prevent and respond to domestic violence, rape, stalking, and other forms of violence against women. It’s the first time Congress has failed to reauthorize VAWA since it was signed into law in 1994.

The failure is due to objections by House Republicans over new provisions adding protections for LGBTQ individuals, Native American women on tribal lands, and undocumented immigrants — protections that are considered “controversial,” according to Florida Republican Rep. Sandy Adams.

Those provisions are included in the Senate version, which passed with bipartisan support in April. The House passed its own version, stripping those provisions and making other changes that the administration has refused to approve.

The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women addresses objections to the LGBTQ and Tribal provisions with a smart analysis of myth vs. fact. The organization also provides a good outline of many of the problems with the House version and its possible effects on vulnerable communities, and it asks the 113th Congress to reauthorize VAWA immediately.

Please encourage your senators and representatives to pass an inclusive version of VAWA. You can also contact House Speaker John Boehner’s office (202-225-0600 or 202-225-6205) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office (202-225-2815 or 202-225-4000).

Here’s further commentary and analysis, on both the bills and the failed reauthorization. Feel free to suggest other commentary or news items in the comments.

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