Connect with PVAngelsJoin PVAngels on FacebookJoin PVAngels on TwitterPVAngels News Feeds Tell a Friend PVAngels Newsletter  
Home Home   About PVAngels   Get Involved   Local News   Event Calendar   Add a Charity   Partners for Change   Contact Us      Search Search PVAngels 

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

  News &
Issues &
Business &
Health &
Lifestyle &
Travel &
Science &

US Congress Decides Violence Against Women Act Not Worth Renewing

Allan MacDonell - TakePart
go to original
January 4, 2013

The War on Women’s Worst Quotes — As Voiced by Women (karinmoveon)

Back in December 2012, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Claire McCaskill (D-MO) voiced concern that House of Representative foot-dragging would exclude 30 million women in America from VAWA protections. The senators underestimated the number of excluded women by 127 million. (Photo: Douglas Graham/Getty)

On January 2, 2013, the United States 112th Congress officially ran out its term and allowed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to die without a vote.

The VAWA, drafted by then-Senator Joe Biden and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994, funded investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. The VAWA also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

The law has been reauthorized roughly every five years, largely without dispute, since its inception, but not in 2012.

Congressional opponents to reauthorization balked at provisions that would extend the act’s protections and resources to approximately 30 million women in the country who are LGBT, Native American or undocumented immigrants.

Evidence indicating that LGBT, Native American and immigrant women need the protections extended by the VAWA is dauntingly easy to find.

In 2011, the same year the current version of VAWA initially came up for reauthorization, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported an 18.3 percent increase in reports of LGBT intimate-partner violence. This increase is in contrast to an overall 60 percent decrease in reported rapes since VAWA was enacted.

And yet, a 2010 report from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs and the National Center for Victims of Crime found that 94 percent of anti-domestic and sexual violence service providers, law enforcement and child-abuse organizations had no programs specifically focused on the needs of LGBT people.

One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime. Native American women are twice as likely to be sexually assaulted and stalked than any other women in the country. On some Indian reservations, Native women are being murdered at a rate 10 times the national average. Tribal governments currently have no authority to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence, despite statistics showing that non-Indians commit 88 percent of these offenses. The VAWA that was denied a vote by the 112th Congress would have extended that authority.

In 2012, Human Rights Watch released a 95-page report detailing “rape, stalking, unwanted touching, exhibitionism, or vulgar and obscene language by supervisors, employers and others in positions of power” as workplace norms for America’s female farmworkers, many of whom are undocumented migrants. Due to their status as unprotected residents, these women often declined to report abuses, up to and including repeated rape. Victims feared that speaking out against the crimes would bring them reprisals and deportation rather than security and justice.

The allowed-to-die VAWA would have provided for emergency visas to protect undocumented rape victims.

The recent gang rape and subsequent suicide of a 23-year-old woman in India has prompted ongoing street protests across that country and promises from its government to enact protections to assure justice and security for women there.

The 112th Congress of the United States has left no such promises. By not voting on reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, the congress elected to strip protections and resources from America’s rape survivors and from future victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse.

The sees reason for optimism in the diversity of the incoming 113th Congress:

The 113th Congress, which gets sworn in today, will be the most diverse in our nation’s history. It will include 19 new people of color, the first Hindu representative and the first Buddhist senator, the first openly gay congressman of color, the first openly bisexual congresswoman, the first openly gay senator, and more female members than ever before. It’s better than what we had before—and where the 112th Congress failed, the 113th very well may succeed.

Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) was a prime mover of the version of VAWA that the Senate passed and sent to the House in April. Murray told the Huffington Post that she would “absolutely” reintroduce the bill in 2013.

No politician who aspires to be considered as sane or re-electable wants to go on record as opposing protecting women against rape. According to Senator Murray, if the congressmen who manhandled the VAWA want to project concern for women, they should “put that concern to action.”

“They have the opportunity to do it now,” Murray said. “They have the opportunity to take up this bill and show women and men that they understand that women’s rights are important.”

And America’s women have the right to demand explanations from and to exact electoral retribution upon lawmakers who have made them wait so long for rights and protections that should be theirs without even asking.

  Check out Banderas Bay Women’s Shelter

We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

Meet the Charities

Community Services


Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family


Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood


Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

CraigsList in Puerto Vallarta

News Around Mexico

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Mexico Business News

Mexico Evironmental News

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Mexico Travel & Outdoors

Science & Technology News

Mexico News & Travel Videos

Stay Connected

Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels


About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Jobs - Join PVAngels Team

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

m3 • local actions from global awareness