With a range of women’s concerns being pulled into the maelstrom of election cycle rhetoric, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has now become another political football.
Originally co-sponsored by Democrat Sen. Joe Biden and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in 1994, the bill comes up for reauthorization approximately every five years.
The Senate has voted to reauthorize the bill. However, the House has put forth its own version — which eliminates aspects that have traditionally included protections covering confidentiality for immigrants, outreach to those in the LGBT community, and improved prosecution of perpetrators against Native American women.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. President Barack Obama issued a Proclamation stating, “Let us renew our efforts to support victims of domestic violence in their time of greatest need, and [to] realize an America where no one lives in fear because they feel unsafe in their own home.”
It is essential to go beyond the statistics to place Domestic Violence within a larger societal framework.