Thursday, February 28, 2013


american women need no longer wait to exhale.

the violence against women act [vawa] has finally been approved by congress
& is off to the president for his stamp of approval.

first passed in 1994
& readily renewed in 200 & 2005,
congress has failed to reauthorize the law
since it expired in october 2011.

so, following 500 days of delay,
the u.s. house of representatives finally voted 286 to 138
to pass the bipartisan senate version of the bill.
all house democrats & 87 house republicans voted 'yea.'

the approving vote immediately followed a rejecting vote
by the house of its own republican version of the measure.
the house bill was voted down 166 to 257,
with no democrats & 60 republicans voting 'nay.'

which is a good thing.

because the proposed house bill would have
stripped protections for lgbt survivors of abuse,
not granted tribal courts new authority in some domestic violence cases,
& added new visa eligibility restrictions for abused immigrant women.

it also omitted two separate measures attached to the act: the safer act,
which helps law enforcement deal with a backlog of untested rape kits;
& the trafficking victims protection reauthorization act,
which targets human trafficking.

now, vawa will be reauthorized for another five years,
& $659 million will be provided for programs related to domestic violence.

president obama said he'll sign vawa back into law as soon as possible:
"today's vote will go even further by
continuing to reduce domestic violence,
improving how we treat victims of rape,
& extending protections to native american women &
members of the lgbt community."

amen, brother — & sisters. amen!

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