What Is the Violence Against Women Act? Outrage Mounts as Some Lawmakers Vote Against Legislation
The House voted Wednesday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a critical piece of legislation that provides governmental protection for victims of domestic violence.
The House voted Wednesday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, a critical piece of legislation that provides governmental protection for victims of domestic violence. The collection of laws, first passed in 1994, is seen as a major triumph for survivors and future victims of sexual and domestic abuse who have been historically marginalized.
The legislation was led in 1990 by then-Senator Joe Biden and continually revised and re-approved in 2000, 2005, and 2013. When the bill expired again in 2018 following a government shutdown, it was renewed briefly but expired once again in February 2019.
The current bill expands and authorizes grant programs for domestic and sexual violence. The House approved the authorization with a 244 to 172 vote, including the support of 29 Republicans.
Despite majority support, outrage has mounted from the public sphere, which believes that women's safety should not be a bipartisan issue.
One Twitter user called out the 172 lawmakers who opposed the vital piece of legislation saying, "172 Republicans voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act today because they see no problem with violence against women."
Others on Twitter blasted the right-leaning politicians, saying there are "no redeeming qualities" in Republicans.
The legislation will take 60 votes to pass in the Senate, meaning Democrats will need support from at least 10 Republicans.
The White House Office of Management and Budget released a statement expressing it "strongly supports" the reauthorization of VAWA.
The statement continues to call the piece of legislation "more urgent now than ever, especially when the pandemic and economic crisis have only further increased the risks of abuse and the barrier of safety for women in the United States."
Since the onset of the pandemic, incidences of domestic violence has risen exponentially.
The revised piece of legislation would also close the "boyfriend loophole" to prevent dating partners and stalkers convicted of domestic violence or abuse from purchasing and owning firearms. In previous versions of the bill, only spouses convicted of domestic violence or abuse were prohibited from purchasing firearms.
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