SUMMARY: The Senate is expected to vote soon to update and renew the Violence Against Women Act. A strong majority backs it, but some Republicans are opposing it because they want to keep excluding immigrant, American Indian, and LGBT women from its full protections.
Do they really believe some women don't deserve protection from abuse?
Connect: In America, all victims of abuse should be able to count on the law to protect them.
Define VAWA: The Violence Against Women Act has revolutionized the way violent crimes against women are prosecuted and prevented. Since it became law, domestic violence has dropped by more than half.
Define them: But some Republican politicians are opposing it because they want to exclude immigrant, American Indian and gay victims of abuse from its full protections.
Values: All women deserve protection from abuse and no violent criminal should get away with hurting them.
Discredit: How can Republican politicians who oppose that principle live with themselves?
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Authored by then-Senator Joe Biden, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) revolutionized the way violent crimes against women are prosecuted and prevented and the way communities respond to survivors.
- Domestic violence has dropped by more than half since VAWA became law in 1994.
- Two-thirds of Americans strongly agree domestic violence is a serious, widespread problem in the U.S.
- The reauthorization of VAWA currently pending in the Senate has the backing of nearly all state attorneys general, nearly a thousand national, state, and local organizations in America, and a strong majority of the Senate -- except for Senate Republicans.
- VAWA funds programs that assist both men and women. At the same time, VAWA focuses on protecting women because women continue to bear the brunt of domestic and sexual violence:
- In the U.S., 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.
- Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped during their lives, compared with 1 in 71 men.
- Every day, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBTQ) victims experience domestic violence in 25% to 35% of relationships -- the same rate as in the general population.
- Additional information about the Senate VAWA bill, including facts sheets on the tribal and immigration provisions, is available here. The Senate Judiciary Committee's official report on the legislation is available here.
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