Monday, July 25, 2005

Congress - Pro Violence Against Women?

Stop Violence Against Women - Amnesty International

"No beast is more savage than man when possessed with power answerable to his rage." Plutarch

There are a lot of things making me angry these days, not the least of which is the War in Iraq. But there's a war going on right here in America that could be stopped--should be stopped--and Congress is dragging its feet.

Violence Against Women. Of all the things that make me see red, it's in my top three: Child Abuse, Drunk Driving, Violence Against Women.

Today I'm taking on the third, along with Senator Joe Biden, and Representatives Mark Green and Zoe Lofgren. They've all introduced variations of a bill to "Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994."

The title alone gives me the chills. After countless black eyes and split lips, scores of broken bones and shattered lives, thousands of actual deaths, Congress finally passed the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. And now, 11 years later, we see it's not enough--was never enough--to prevent, to stop, to wipe out those most egregious crimes. Domestic Abuse. Sexual Assault. Date Rape. Stalking. Murder.

There was never enough help for the Victims. The new bills address Safe Housing, Legal Aid, Employment Security, Insurance, Therapy. Training for Health Care Professionals. Enhanced Victim Health Care. Improved Intervention. Protection. And it's still not enough.

Every 30 seconds, some woman somewhere in America is being beaten. Raped. Stalked. Abused. It's beyond criminal, beyond morally reprehensible, beyond outrageous. Violence against women is just plain evil. Along with child abuse, it's the most cowardly act of power for perverted pleasure imaginable.

So the Violence Against Women Act must be revamped, strengthened, enlarged. Biden, Green and Lofgren stepped up with new bills, along with 148 cosponsors in the House and 44 in the Senate. But Congress being Congress, look where those bills are now.

S. 1197: A bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. (Introduced; Jul 18, 2005) Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings held Jul 18, 2005. [Well. At least there were some hearings.]

H.R. 2876: To reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (Introduced Jun 13, 2005) Referred to House Ways and Means [Why?]

H.R. 3171: To reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (Introduced Jun 29, 2005) Referred to House Agriculture [Where??]

And what I'd like to know, what we should all DEMAND to know, is where are ALL other Senators and Representatives? They've got time for Rove and Roberts and junkets and Halliburton and the NRA, but not a minute to spare to put their names on bills supporting solutions to Violence Against Women?? Are some of our elected officials secret Wife Beaters? Stalkers? Rapists?

There's no damn excuse for those bills to languish in committee after committee while boondoggles and pork barrels are folded into them until their original purpose is fouled by the slime of greed and special interests.

Will every member of Congress have to see violence perpetrated against of member of his or her own family before they act? God, I hope not.

Read one of these. Please. It's not hard, and it's SO important.

GovTrack: S. 1197: Text of Legislation
GovTrack: H.R. 2876: Text of Legislation
GovTrack: H.R. 3171: Text of Legislation

Then email your Senators and Congresspersons and tell them to get off their collective asses and pass these bills. Because the next victim of violence could be you.

Office on Violence Against Women



Anonymous Yawn... said...

Based on the number of comments you've got, one can't help but ask the question... Who cares?

Seriously though, what USA needs is more laws, it's not like the domestic abuse can be resolved by... hmm... breaking the relationship and moving away. Oh, wait!

10:04 PM  

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