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Direckshun 12-12-2012 08:11 AM

Why is the GOP resisting renewal of the Violence Against Women Act?
Reportedly, the GOP wants to carve out exceptions against women in samesex couples, American Indians, and, of course, illegal immigrants.

Somebody explain this rationale to me in a way that doesn't make the GOP look bafflingly insane.

You guys understand the GOP just got destroyed in November by the women vote, right?

Editorial: Renew and expand support for women
Violence Against Women Act provides needed safeguards.
Article by: EDITORIAL BOARD , Star Tribune
Updated: December 11, 2012 - 9:51 PM

In 1994, during the Clinton administration, Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act. That landmark legislation authorized funds for rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters, the establishment of a national hot line for victims, and measures such as education programs for judges, law enforcement officers and prosecutors.

The law remains critical in battling domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, of which women remain the overwhelming targets. In the past, Congress readily supported reauthorization of the act, and even expanded its scope to address the needs of disabled women, older women and teens.

But this year's reauthorization has been stalled over the U.S. Senate's effort to better protect Native Americans, undocumented immigrants and LGBT abuse victims. The Senate bill was passed with bipartisan support in April, but the House version, adopted in May, eliminated the additional protections at the insistence of the GOP's right wing.

It's simply indefensible to exclude victims because of their immigration status, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity. Under no circumstances should America become a place that tolerates women being raped or beaten unless they're heterosexual U.S. citizens, not of Native American heritage.

Undocumented women risk deportation if they report abuse, which their abusers exploit. Nonheterosexual women are often turned away from domestic violence shelters and denied orders of protection. And Native American women face higher rates of sexual assault, mostly at the hands of non-Indians.

Tribal courts have no authority to prosecute non-Indians. As a result, victims have few resources for protection, and abusers often are never held accountable. The Senate's bill grants limited jurisdiction -- a constitutional sticking point for many Republicans, such as Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, who noted that "the Bill of Rights does not apply in tribal courts." But a smart, new proposal offered by two Republicans, including Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, would give defendants the option to move the case to federal courts.

"There are 535 members of Congress, and 534 of them could go on the Sioux Reservation, commit a crime and not be subjected to local jurisdiction," Cole told Indian Country Today Media Network. "Most American communities have local jurisdiction; Native Americans do not. It's not right."

Nationally, an average of three women are murdered every day by a current or former partner. An estimated 2.3 people are raped or physically assaulted by someone they know. Besides the human toll, the health care, employment, legal and other costs are staggering.

The Violence Against Women Act has long enjoyed bipartisan support. Vice President Joe Biden, then a U.S. senator from Delaware, introduced the original bill, which garnered 225 cosponsors, including vocal support from Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Minnesota Democrat.

You'd think the GOP opposition would eagerly rally behind female crime victims, given the backlash faced from remarks that cost two Senate candidates their elections. In defending staunch opposition to abortion, Missouri Rep. Todd Akin spoke of "legitimate rape" and Indiana's Richard Mourdock insisted that pregnancies that result from rape were intended by God.

Lawmakers have had the common sense to put aside differences to back this act for the past 18 years. It's critical that they do so again before year's end so that the legislative process won't have to start all over again. Women's lives and safety are on the line.

Direckshun 12-12-2012 08:12 AM

EDITORIAL: GOP misses opportunity
House should approve domestic violence bill
Published: December 10, 2012 12:00AM, Midnight, Dec 10

Despite their losses in the November election and their puzzlingly relentless alienation of women voters, Republicans show no signs of backing off their effort to undermine the Violence Against Women Act.

Congressional Republicans seem heedless of this prime opportunity to prove that they are not waging a “war on women.” Even though a new report shows conclusively that the landmark 1994 law is working to reduce intimate partner violence — and even though it remains pivotal to the nation’s efforts to combat not only domestic violence but sexual assault and stalking — House Republicans are blocking reauthorization because of their opposition to provisions that provide domestic violence protections for immigrants, Native Americans, gays and lesbians.

Last spring Senate Republicans joined with the chamber’s Democratic majority to approve a strong reauthorization bill. Instead of embracing the Senate’s bill, House Republicans passed their own regressive version, ignoring President Obama’s veto threat. The House bill excluded new protections for gay, immigrant, American Indian and student victims contained in the Senate measure, and it rolled back protections for immigrant women, including undocumented immigrants who report abuse and cooperate with law enforcement.

The legislation, which dedicates federal resources to assist victims of domestic abuse, was initially approved nearly two decades ago with overwhelming bipartisan support. The landmark law has made a profound difference, helping to reduce the incidence of intimate partner violence by an astounding 64 percent from 1993 to 2010, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Congress has renewed the act twice, expanding its reach to include protections for older victims, disabled people, and teen victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who chairs the Judiciary Committee, would expand the bill further to provide new protections for gay, bisexual or transgender victims of abuse.

House Republicans accuse Democrats of playing politics by inserting provisions that are unnecessary and tailored to draw opposition from conservatives. But the additions to the bill address clear gaps in current programs that have been confirmed by law enforcement officers, victim-service providers, judges and health care professionals.

House Republicans should reconsider and do the right thing by approving the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act and showing their party wants to protect, not assault, the well-being of women.

Direckshun 12-12-2012 08:13 AM

Another Kind of 'Fiscal Cliff' for Domestic Violence Shelters
Public News Service
December 10, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It isn't part of the big budget negotiations, but people working with battered women are worried that the partisan divide in Congress could also threaten vital shelter programs. Much of the funding for domestic violence shelters comes through the Violence Against Women Act. But Congressional infighting means that law could expire, even though both sides say they don't want it to happen.

Patricia Flanigan, who directs the YWCA Family Violence Prevention Program in Wheeling, says they might lay off staff, and thus maybe undermine life-or-death services, if the law is not reauthorized.

"We have worked so hard throughout thirty-plus years. We're looking at actually moving backwards again, and it's very frustrating."

A bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act passed the Senate, but the Republican-controlled House is blocking specific protections for immigrants, same-sex domestic violence victims and victims on tribal lands.

Most domestic violence shelters survive with little money to spare. Flanigan says the majority of their funding comes through Department of Justice grants authorized in the Violence Against Women Act, known by the acronym VAWA. She says it's shoestring funding, but it's a lifeline for a battered woman.

"We go from limited funds as it is, and I would hate to imagine what could come if reauthorization of VAWA is not pushed through."

VAWA has repeatedly been reauthorized with bipartisan support over the years. But this time, reports from Washington describe last-minute negotiations with a real chance of failure. Flanigan says letting the law expire would affect a lot of people, because domestic violence is far more widespread than many realize.

"It affects everybody on one level or another, whether it's their children or grandchildren or their friends who know someone who's suffering from it."

West Virginia's Republican members of Congress - David McKinley and Shelley Moore Capito - have opposed the bipartisan Senate Bill.

Garcia Bronco 12-12-2012 08:29 AM

Violence against other people is already illegal.

CoMoChief 12-12-2012 08:41 AM

Sounds like more meaningless legislationa and a waste of people's time and tax payers money to be honest.

blaise 12-12-2012 08:47 AM


CoMoChief 12-12-2012 08:48 AM

Republicans hate women's rights

- Direkshun

blaise 12-12-2012 08:49 AM


Originally Posted by CoMoChief (Post 9201922)
Republicans hate women's rights

- Direkshun

Works well for the minority vote, why not try it on a larger voting group?

A Salt Weapon 12-12-2012 09:05 AM


Originally Posted by CoMoChief (Post 9201910)
Sounds like more meaningless legislationa and a waste of people's time and tax payers money to be honest.

Posted via Mobile Device

Direckshun 12-12-2012 09:10 AM


Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco (Post 9201888)
Violence against other people is already illegal.

That's not exactly what the VAWA does.

And by not exactly, I mean not remotely.

Direckshun 12-12-2012 09:11 AM

Wouldn't hurt to have some menial education on a topic you've decided to have an opinion on.

InChiefsHell 12-12-2012 09:17 AM

Because the GOP hates women. Of course.

Direckshun 12-12-2012 09:19 AM


Originally Posted by InChiefsHell (Post 9201979)
Because the GOP hates women. Of course.

Certainly you can agree with me that this should be renewed.

If not, do explain.

La literatura 12-12-2012 09:20 AM


Originally Posted by Garcia Bronco (Post 9201888)
Violence against other people is already illegal.


Garcia Bronco 12-12-2012 09:48 AM


Originally Posted by Direckshun (Post 9201970)
That's not exactly what the VAWA does.

And by not exactly, I mean not remotely.

I read the article. I understand they are talking about funding for shelters, but that is not the only provisions of the act. I would support it if it had a wholtistic view and didn't discriminate against some Americans.

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