The 112th Congress ended without reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), threatening the funding of programs and services that prevent and respond to domestic violence, rape, stalking, and other forms of violence against women. It’s the first time Congress has failed to reauthorize VAWA since it was signed into law in 1994.
The failure is due to objections by House Republicans over new provisions adding protections for LGBTQ individuals, Native American women on tribal lands, and undocumented immigrants — protections that are considered “controversial,” according to Florida Republican Rep. Sandy Adams.
Those provisions are included in the Senate version, which passed with bipartisan support in April. The House passed its own version, stripping those provisions and making other changes that the administration has refused to approve.
The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women addresses objections to the LGBTQ and Tribal provisions with a smart analysis of myth vs. fact. The organization also provides a good outline of many of the problems with the House version and its possible effects on vulnerable communities, and it asks the 113th Congress to reauthorize VAWA immediately.
Please encourage your senators and representatives to pass an inclusive version of VAWA. You can also contact House Speaker John Boehner’s office (202-225-0600 or 202-225-6205) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office (202-225-2815 or 202-225-4000).
Here’s further commentary and analysis, on both the bills and the failed reauthorization. Feel free to suggest other commentary or news items in the comments.
- We live in a culture of violence, and it needs to stop. — Adrienne K., Native Appropriations
- Congress Fails to Reauthorize Violence Against Women Act — National Center for Lesbian Rights
- House bill takes VAWA name, leaves Latinas behind — National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
- Blocking VAWA, The GOP Keeps Up the War on Women — Erika Eichelberger, The Nation
- GOP House’s inaction on VAWA shows bigotry — Ilyse Hogue, CNN
- Racism and Sexism Go Hand in Hand in Opposition to VAWA Reauthorization — Scot, Changelab
- No real answers on ‘death’ of Violence Against Women Act — Jamil Smith, Melissa Harris-Perry show; Jamil also had a great analysis back in December, Why does the Violence Against Women Act remain stalled?
- House GOP lets the Violence Against Women Act expire for first time since 1994 — Zerlina, Feministing
- In Last Salvo on War On Women for 2012 Legislative Session, Congress Refuses to Renew VAWA — Robin Marty, RH Reality Check
- Everything You Need to Know About The GOP’s Opposition To Protecting Native American Women From Abuse — Erik Stegman, ThinkProgress
- Violence Against Women Act Debacle: Why Congress Should Be More Diverse — Tara Culp-Ressler, The Atlantic
- Why the Violence Against Women Act is a LGBT issue — Suzy Khimm, Wonkblog