Democrats

Blog

Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

Posted by

This week, the Senate may not reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Since this bipartisan legislation first passed in 1994, it's been reauthorized twice without a hitch. And it's been tremendously successful in helping to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

So it should be a no-brainer, right? Not to the Senate GOP, not in an election year, apparently.

Republicans are willing to throw away the entire law now that it helps protect lesbians, gay men, undocumented immigrants, and Native Americans. Do they believe acts of violence committed against these groups don't matter as much?

The Senate's voting on the Act any moment now, and we need to put pressure on the GOP to pass it.

Since this law passed, it has helped reduce the annual rate of domestic violence by an astounding 53 percent. The rate of women killed by an intimate partner has dropped 34 percent.

Its programs, including violence prevention programs, shelters and rape crisis centers, and funding for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes have made a world of difference in giving victims of violence a safe place to turn.

It has without a doubt saved thousands of lives.

And Senate Republicans are ready to roll back all our progress.

This year's Act would make sure that LGBT Americans receive equal treatment for services, it would make it easier for undocumented immigrants to come forward as victims and provide temporary visas in certain cases, and let Native Americans on reservations go to tribal courts for abuse cases. With these additional protections, the GOP has promised to fight it every step of the way.

If Congress votes against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, all of these programs could grind to a halt, and the hundreds of thousands of women who rely on them will once again be left on their own.

Unfortunately, the GOP's resistance is just another example of putting women's health and well-being on the line in order to score a few cheap, political points with their base.

We can't stand by and let them take away this critical legislation.

Before the vote, stand with me for all victims of domestic violence—no matter who they are. Add your name in support of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

And keep an eye on when they do vote—because we'll be keeping the pressure on.