— by Ann F. Lewis and Barbara Goldberg Goldman
Reports are circulating that the House of Representatives will be voting on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as early as tomorrow. VAWA provides crucial protections to victims of domestic violence and there is no excuse for not reauthorizing this important bill.
Since it was first introduced in 1994 by then-Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), VAWA had been repeatedly reauthorized with strong bipartisan support — until last year, when Republicans blocked reauthorization because it expanded protections to same sex couples, Native Americans living on tribal reservations, and undocumented immigrants.
When the Senate voted this year to reauthorize VAWA, it received more Republican “no” votes that it did last year — including from 22 male Republicans. Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans have demonstrated that even protections from domestic violence are not exempted from their subservience to the right wing of their party.
Domestic violence is a sad reality for too many women — we cannot afford to let VAWA fail in the House!
As the co-founders of NJDC’s Women’s Leadership Network, we urge you to take action now by calling your Representative and encouraging them to pass the Senate’s version of VAWA.
Too many women are counting on VAWA for us to be silent.