The Violence Against Women Act was renewed today. The original bill was passed in 1994 but had expired in 2011.
Some details from Foxnews.com:
The bill renews a 1994 law that has set the standard for how to protect women, and some men, from domestic abuse and prosecute abusers. Thursday’s 286-138 vote came after House lawmakers rejected a more limited approach offered by Republicans.
It was the third time this year that House Speaker John Boehner has allowed Democrats and moderates in his own party prevail over the GOP’s much larger conservative wing. As with a Jan. 1 vote to avoid the fiscal cliff and legislation to extend Superstorm Sandy aid, a majority of House Republicans voted against the final anti-violence bill.
The law has been renewed twice before without controversy, but it lapsed in 2011 as it was caught up in the partisan battles that now divide Congress. Last year, the House refused to go along with a Senate-passed bill that would have made clear that lesbians, gays, immigrants and Native American women should have equal access to Violence Against Women Act programs.
Why would 138 Republican Congressmen vote against this act? It was a renewal, so there were no surprises. Are those Republicans in favor of violence against women? Why shouldn’t lesbians, gays, immigrants and Native American women share this protection? I would assume that gale males would not be protected under this act.
The Senate passed its bill on a 78-22 vote. Every Democrat, every woman senator and 23 of 45 Republicans supported it. Fox News explained:
American Indian women suffer incidents of domestic violence at rates more than double national averages, but American Indian courts don’t have jurisdiction over non-American Indians, and federal prosecutors don’t take up about half the violence cases on reservations because of lack of resources to pursue crimes on isolated American Indian lands. The Senate bill would give American Indian courts the ability to prosecute non-American Indians for a limited set of crimes limited to domestic violence and violations of protecting orders. Opponents have said that raises constitutional issues.
Likely story….the old “constitutional issues” excuse. Tribal courts aren’t all THAT complicated.
Fox News outlined the highlights of the Violence Against Women Act:
The Violence Against Women Act is credited with helping reduce domestic violence incidents by two-thirds over the past two decades. The Senate bill would authorize some $659 million a year over five years to fund current programs that provide grants for transitional housing, legal assistance, law enforcement training and hotlines.
The Senate bill adds stalking to the list of crimes that make immigrants eligible for protection and authorizes programs dealing with sexual assault on college campuses and with efforts to reduce the backlog in rape kit analyses. It reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
These all sound like excellent choices. I can’t imagine why 138 idiots would vote against a bill that protects women. What are they , American Taliban or what? I simply do not understand. Domestic abuse has always been a problem, ever since it was legal to beat your wife if she didn’t do what she was told to do. Those days are gone, thank goodness, but some folks haven’t gotten the message. Others have impulse control problems. Still others have substance abuse issues. Substance abuse and violence often go hand in hand.
Congressman Wittman my new congressman that I inherited voted against VAWA. So did my old congressman, Frank Wolf. Shame shame shame on you nasty extremist old men.
Here is the link so you can check to see if your congressman or congresswoman is a human being or like mine, apparently thinks violence against women is acceptable.
Photo essay of the portrait of violence (disturbing)
The story of the photo journalist