Do-nothing Congress allows VAWA to lapse

WHO Poster

A poster from the World Health Organization

So while Congress was busy trying to steer clear of a “fiscal cliff” that Congress itself created (and could easily have averted if this country weren’t gridlocked by a politics of insanity), it evidently decided that protecting women wasn’t terribly important:

Despite a late-stage intervention by Vice President Joe Biden, House Republican leaders failed to advance the Senate’s 2012 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, an embattled bill that would have extended domestic violence protections to 30 million LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants and Native American women…

In April, the Senate with bipartisan support passed a version of VAWA that extended protections to three groups of domestic violence victims who had not been covered by the original law, but House Republicans refused to support the legislation with those provisions, saying the measures were politically driven. Instead, they passed their own VAWA bill without the additional protections. In recent weeks, however, even some House Republicans who voted for the pared-down House bill have said they would now support the broader Senate bill — and predicted it would pass if Republican leaders let it come to the floor for a vote.

As I wrote last year, one of the provisions at inexplicably torpedoed the VAWA gave tribal courts limited jurisdiction to oversee domestic violence offenses committed against Native American women by non-Native American men on tribal lands. Native Americans make up 9 percent of the population of South Dakota, while more than 40 percent of (reported) domestic violence incidents take place on our Indian reservations. Meanwhile, 86 percent of Native rape victims are assaulted by non-Native men. And that’s not counting the thousands of cases that go unreported.

Perhaps it’s not terribly surprising after all, though: only 73 of 430 U.S. Representatives are female. That’s 17 percent, landing us in 82nd place, tied with Morocco and Venezuela (and behind the United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan, China, Pakistan, and Algeria, to name a few). After all, why should we care about a bunch of girls who dress up like sluts and were probably asking for it anyway?

That’s sarcasm, by the way.

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About sdpeacejustice

The SD Peace & Justice Center connects a grassroots network of South Dakotans working for social justice and against violence and oppression.
This entry was posted in News, Politics, Tribal Sovereignty & Native Issues, Women's Rights and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Do-nothing Congress allows VAWA to lapse

  1. Pingback: Idle No More for Dummies | A Mighty Flood of Justice

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