The House voted today to pass a Senate-approved version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act. The bill was sent to President Obama for his signature. According to ABC News published today, “The Violence Against Women Act has long ensured that no woman would ever be forced to suffer in silence in the face of domestic violence and abuse.”
“S. 47 passed without amendment 286-138. Although 87 GOP lawmakers supported the vote, all of the opposition also came from Republicans.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated, “Today, a bipartisan majority of the House joined the Senate in reaffirming our pledge to America’s women and families, strengthening this landmark law, extending protection to LGBT Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants, and preserving the security of all women.” “Today is truly a victory for women everywhere,” Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), one of the chief backers of the bill, added.
ABC News goes on to quote Castro, D-Texas,”It is our duty to protect the victims of domestic violence and work to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.” ABC News also quotes McMorris Rodgers, the top-ranked Republican woman in Congress, “Republicans remain committed to protecting all women against acts of domestic violence, and today we must remember why this bill first passed almost 20 years ago. Protecting women was our first priority then, and it must be our first priority now.”
According to wiseGEEK, “The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is legislation originally signed into law by United States President Bill Clinton in 1994. VAWA was designed to address incidents such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. The act includes protective laws and the establishment of grants and programs that aim to reduce the occurrence of such crimes in the United States (U.S.) and to address the needs of women who are victims. Since its original enactment, the Violence Against Women Act has been updated and reauthorized when necessary.”
Not all women agree. Janice Shaw Crouse, senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, author of “Children at Risk and Marriage Matters” and a presidential speechwriter for the first President Bush states, “At the outset it is important to say, emphatically, that no decent person would stand by while a more powerful, stronger or bigger person physically abuses or batters someone more vulnerable. Everyone should want to end violence against women, but the Violence Against Women Act misses the mark. It ends up creating a climate of suspicion where all men are feared or viewed as violent and abusive and all women are viewed as victims. Decent people should be outraged at the climate of false accusations, rush to judgment and hidden agendas that characterize the situation that has developed during the 18 years of this law.”