First, the GOP attempts to illegalize abortion and oppose Birth Control, now they oppose renewing an act that saves the lives of women who are victims of violence.
Their excuse is that it helps too many people, including LGBTs, Immigrants, and Native Americans.
The objections, led by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and a few conservative organizations, are not over the VAWA as a whole, but over a few new provisions in the reauthorization — specifically, protections for LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse and the authority of Native American tribes to prosecute crimes.
The Leahy bill gives protection to LGBTs, who are victims of domestic violence by forbidding discrimination against gender and sexual orientation.
It protects immigrant women, who may be reluctant to come forward, due to immigrant status, from domestic abuse, by raising the cap on visas. The bill has always protected immigrant women, but with the increase on visas from 10,000 to 15,000, including visas that go unused, thus the GOP opposes the bill.
Lastly, the bill gives Tribal jurisdiction in cases of violence between Indian and non-Indian individuals, again. This provision relates to the SAVE Native Women Act, which the Senate of Indian Affairs Committee passed out and supported. At one time, both the GOPs and the Democrats supported this, but now the GOP went back on that issue.
Additionally, the reauthorization provides limited jurisdiction to tribes to be able to prosecute against Indian and non-Indian offenders in domestic violence cases. The tribal provision is taken from the SAVE Native Women Act, which had bipartisan support and passed out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
While GOPs say they support a VAWA, they do not support the provision for LGBTs, Immigrant women, and tribal authority. Senator Charles Grassley was one of the GOPs who stated they supported VAWA, but not if it includes LGBTs, immigrants, and tribal authority, stating, the current act “protects too many victims”.
"The substitute creates so many new programs for underserved populations that it risks losing focus on helping victims, period," he said of the new LGBT protections, adding, "If every group is a priority, no group is a priority."
Grassley also objected to the tribal language, saying it was the first time the committee would "extend tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians."
On the immigration front, Grassley said, "VAWA is meant to protect victims of violence. It shouldn't be an avenue to expand immigration law or give additional benefits to people here unlawfully."
Joe Biden is supposedly outspoken on the issue and stated that it is one of his achievements, because it caused domestic violence to drop 50%, but unfortunately, the rates of violence against young women, remains high, especially on college campuses.
“It’s much beyond women’s sports," he said, "We say, look, if the college isn’t going out of their way to make it safer for women to be on that campus, they can be held in violation of Title IX and lose their money.”
The Vice President also stressed that abuse is never the fault of the victim. “I want to make it clear,” he stated, “Never, never, never does a man have a right to raise his hand to a woman. Never. Never.”
Below is a video concerning the Vice President’s plan to reduce violence against young women, as well as protect all women in the United States.
According to the New York Times, this new bill is a vast improvement, but Grassley proposed a new bill, which cut all the improvements, as well as financing and the Justice Department’s involvement in enforcing the law.
Senator Charles Grassley, the committee’s ranking Republican, offered a substitute bill that not only cut out those improvements but called for a huge reduction in authorized financing, and elimination of the Justice Department office devoted to administering the law and coordinating the nation’s response to domestic violence and sexual assaults. His measure was defeated along party lines.
Abuse in America gives statistics on violence against women. The numbers, although supposedly lower since enacting the bill, are high.
CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey 2005
- 1 IN 4 WOMEN, 1 IN 9 MEN IN UNITED STATES ARE VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AT SOME POINT IN THEIR LIVES
- In households with incomes under $15,000 per year, 35.5% of women and 20.7% of men suffered violence from an intimate partner.
- 43% of women and 26% of men in multiracial non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.
- 39% of women and 18.6% of men in American Indian/Alaska Native households suffered partner violence.
- 26.8% of women and 15.5% of men in white non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.
- 29.2% of women and 23.3% of men in black non-Hispanic households suffered partner violence.
- 20.5% of women and 15.5% of men in Hispanic households suffered partner violence.
CDC Adverse Health Conditions and Health Risk Behaviors Associated with Intimate Partner Violence – United States 2005
- Each year, intimate partner violence (IPV) results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men.
- 23.6% of women and 11.5% of men aged 18 years or more have a lifetime history of intimate partner violence victimization.
- Highest percentage for women is adults aged 45-54 (31.2%)
- Highest percentage for men is adults aged 25-34 (21.4%)
According to their stats, more than three women, per day, are murdered by their partner and one out of three, are beaten and/or forced into sex during their lifetime. Ninety-five percent of murder-suicide offenders were male and of those 75% occurred in the homes.