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Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Passes Congress

BIG NEWS ladies!

Violence against women is a gruesome and widespread issue that plagues our country. While many organizations can afford to be loud about the issue in an order to see some resolve, other more personal stories often go unheard. Many women suffer silently under the roof of an abusive partner, while many more keep quiet about rape, to name a few such stories. It’s not always easy to escape the situation, the fear, or the memory. Though the problem has not been solved, today it was further addressed with the expansion of the VAWA, reminding American women to that the fight for their safety is real and ongoing.  

The Violence Against Women Act was originally passed on 1944 to lend support to those organization that help domestic violence victims and to help strengthen federal stalking laws. However, this act’s name was misleading in that it failed to protect all women.

Recently, the law has since been expanded to include protection for lesbians and transgender people, Native Americans and immigrants, all of whom are high risk targets for violence, and often refused treatment and recovery services as reported by the Human Rights Watch and the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women.

The law has passed Congress today and goes on to be signed by President Obama, who has stated that he will approve the bill, saying "Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse…Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk.”

Congrats on this victory ladies, and many thanks to our lawmakers!

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Comment by Ashley Steel on February 28, 2013 at 8:45pm

Great point Arleen! Though the bill gained bi-partisan support, Republicans who previously voted against this bill, changed their tune after Obama’s reelection in which they recognized that Obama garnered 55% of women’s votes due in part to the Democratic rendering of the GOP as “waging a war on women.” Though the issue at hand is a human rights issue, Republicans are also looking to gain favor with the Latino, gay, and lesbian populations whose lack of support caused them to lose seats in the House this election. 

Comment by Arleen E Lopez on February 28, 2013 at 7:48pm

So glad to hear about the inclusion of marginalized women. This is a step in the right direction!

It should be noted that not every lawmaker voted in favor of VAWA. Here's a glimpse into the votes: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/02/28/the-viole...

Comment by Sara Celeste Martin on February 28, 2013 at 3:08pm

THIS IS AMAZING!! Thank you so much for sharing this!! :D


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