The Violence Against Women Act is up for renewal this year and is now on the Senate Floor. While we shouldn’t be surprised in this contentious political climate that bills that formerly renewed with broad bipartisan support are suddenly fodder for filibusters and other nonsense, this one is really important.
A colleague and I were discussing the bill last night. She contends that some groups put things into the bill that were unnecessary, particularly in an election year, and that’s hampering its forward progress. But the response by some lawmakers to limit the usefulness of VAWA would have overwhelmingly negative effects, by putting women and their families in more danger, increasing stigma, and reducing reporting.
Some of the problems outlined with the Grassley-Hutchison substitute are here, but in general, the substitute shows an extreme lack of understanding of the problems associated with violence against women, gender-based violence, and external effects of increased penalties, stricter reporting and cooperation requirements and more.
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