Senate passes Violence Against Women Act on bi-partisan reauthorization vote

BettyJean Downing Kling

The U.S. Senate today passed legislation to reauthorize assistance to victims of domestic violence, cast by Democrats as a test of Republicans’ attitudes toward women.

The measure, passed 68-31, would renew the 1994 Violence Against Women Act and authorize $660 million in funding through 2016 for domestic violence shelters and police training.

The amount authorized under the bill is less than the $682.5 million in the previous law, which expired Sept. 30. First enacted as part of a broader violent-crime control bill, the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005.

House Republicans yesterday said they may vote as soon as the week of May 14 on their version of a measure to reauthorize the law. The 1994 Violence Against Women Act and reauthorizations of the law in the past easily passed both chambers of Congress.

Republican Amendments

At Republicans’ urging, Democrats who control the Senate allowed a vote on a proposal to give the Justice Department funding to address an estimated 400,000 backlog of untested rape kits but amendment failed to gain the 60 votes needed for adoption.

Incidents of domestic violence have dropped by more than 50 percent since the law was enacted in 1994 and yet, one in three women in the U.S. will experience rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner at some time in their lives, according to the 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

12 Million Victims

The survey found that more than 12 million individuals experienced domestic violence in the one-year period, with women disproportionately affected by domestic violence, men also are victims.

What’s Next?

The time is Now ! I bet we can get just about anything we ask for – but we better ask Now! Call and ask for ERA!

ERA is the signature guarantee by the U.S. government to establish the principle that, “All men and women are created equal and therefore are entitled to their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard toll-free at 1-877-762-8762. Ask to speak with your member’s office.  Leave a voice mail or message for the person in charge of Judiciary issues (Equal Rights Amendment). Your message is: “Hello, my name is _________ and I am calling from ________(town/city, state). I urge my Representative to cosponsor House Joint Resolution 47 for the ERA because the path to equality and justice for females in America must not have a deadline.”

Call the Capitol Hill Switchboard toll-free at 1-877-762-8762. Ask to leave a voice mail or message for the person in charge of Judiciary issues (Equal Rights Amendment). Your message is: “Hello, my name is _________ and I am calling from ________(town/city, state). I urge my senator to cosponsor Senate Joint Resolution 39 because the path to equality and justice for females in America must not have a deadline.”

 

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3 Responses

  1. but this is about women’s rights. That is a side issue. This is no time to worry about side issues when we must all unite behind getting Obama reelected for the good of all other focus groups other than women. Really we women should stop being so selfish and learn to give MORE.

  2. See that the Obama supporter above accuses women of being “selfish.” No surprise since it reflects the current administration’s attitude toward any and all Americans – we should give more to the government as the new substitute for our own higher power. To those like that Obamaton above, everything else is a “side issue.”

    The real issue is do we believe sacrifice of individual expression is “for the good of all?” Of course not! Obama is the ultimate patriarchal ruler- demanding that if we all sacrifice more, things will get better. Does it work? Certainly not! Just look at the results of his disastrous administration so far.

    • I agree- His latest comments have proven he is a socialist. America is not nor was it ever intended to be a socialist country. I think we need to revisit what America was founded on and decide right now– what kind of a country we want to be. We certainly want to be a country that is fair to all – equal to all and open to allow all the same opportunities to succeed without taking from anyone to give to another who refuses to work for it but at the same time not allowing power to overpower anyone . This is after all the land of opportunity – let’s let it remain so. I am an Independent and I see on both sides real problems polarizing us as if either extreme is correct. – Truth be told neither extreme is fair. What is fair – is to allow each individual the opportunity- no matter age- sex- color, creed or national origin – if they be legal citizens – the same education and opportunity to succeed!I have had it with laws that prevent women from equality in our courts just because we are women for example. Having said that – when we water down the intent of the laws – to include side issues – we lose the fairness of equality under the law. The Constitution should protect all persons regardless of sex equally and regard them equal as well. God created us all equal!

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