From Joanie Ignash, Commerce Township:
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) designed to combat domestic abuse was enacted in 1994, and this past week came to a reauthorization vote in the (U.S.) Senate with 68 (lawmakers) in favor (and) 31 opposed. The act was expanded to include greater protections for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) victims, immigrant women facing abuse, and Native American women (who) have been traditionally underserved.
In the past 12 years, this act has been unanimously reauthorized by Congress twice. However in this session of Congress, 31 Republican male senators voted against reauthorization, becoming the first senators ever to cast a vote against VAWA.
House Republicans are pushing their own version of VAWA without the new provisions aiding these three groups. The idea of picking and choosing which individuals deserve protection is objectionable. Ever since this act was renewed, underserved groups have been included to ensure no one is left out of a law that was designed to protect everyone from domestic violence. Resistance to the bill is further proof of Republicans’ disregard to issues affecting women. Let’s hope the House Republicans will not prevail and exclude these groups from protection in their version.