Making changes in national law to protect victim/survivors of domestic violence!

More on the debate of passing VAWA of 2012

I received an email from Debby Tucker who was requesting a call to action first and foremost. Her entry into the debate is outlined below the call to action:

I was honored to be invited to submit an entry in this U.S. News & World Report Debate Club and would sincerely appreciate your review of my submittal and those of several others.

You must go to the actual page at the link above to find the arrows up and down on each article posted and to add your votes to this debate.

I would be grateful for clicking the UP on my article to support advancing VAWA’s reauthorization.

Thank you, Debby

Should the Violence Against Women Act Be Reauthorized?
Violence Against Women Act is Working

The Violence Against Women Act must be reauthorized because it is working



By Deborah D. Tucker , Executive Director of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

March 19, 2012

About Deborah D. Tucker:

Deborah D. Tucker is executive director of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. She was the founding chair of the National Network to End Domestic Violence during its leadership in the passage of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 and serves on the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women.

The Violence Against Women Act must be reauthorized first and foremost because it is working. Violence in domestic and dating relationships is declining, and we are also actively seeking to prevent sexual violence and stalking.

Nevertheless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, and other studies available on the Research and Statistics section of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence website tell us that nearly one in four women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood, and each year approximately 2.3 million people are raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner. One in six women and one in 33 men has experienced an attempted or completed rape. In the United States, an average of three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day.

[Read: Dems Put GOP in Political Box Over Women's Issues]

One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. Children exposed to violence are more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes. Men exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence as children are almost four times more likely than other men to perpetrate domestic violence as adults. Many costs are associated with these crimes—medical, legal, absenteeism from work and school as well as the incalculable damage to individuals and families.

Advancing a Coordinated Community Response, a linchpin of the initial Violence Against Women Act in 1994 that was enhanced in the reauthorizations of 2000 and 2005, was based on what we had learned. Then-Senator, now Vice President Joe Biden created> this federal effort to impact the incidence of violence across our nation with input from the National Network to End Domestic Violence and its members State Domestic Violence Coalitions, State Sexual Assault Coalitions now comprising the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence , and other advocacy groups. Coordinated Community Responses encourage social services, criminal justice, education, civic groups, and many more to partner with rape crisis centers, battered women’s shelters, State Domestic Violence Coalitions, State Sexual Assault Coalitions, national community based and governmental organizations. These partnerships change cultural norms and institutional practices that support rather than prevent the use of power and control over others. Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act in 2012 will make it possible to continue full speed ahead to end this violence.

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domestic abuse

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One Response

  1. Debby: I can’t agree with you more.

    When I see folks arguing the point on this Act, it irritates me because they are trying to make it what it is not. It is a means that protects victims of domestic violence and allowed the creation of many more shelter and domestic violence programs to continue acting on the behalf of victims.

    When this was first created, it was the women that were focused upon because little was spoken out from male victims — and, even to this day – while many more men are speaking up for the crimes done against them by women due to machoism, shame that they felt by being controlled/abused physcially by a woman, etc.

    Throughout even the last 5 years, I have seen the development of many more programs that are paying attention to the rise too in reports by men and are incorporating male victim programs into their programs.

    In the latest VAWA that was introduced and approved, it had language put into it to make it more all inclusive than it had been originally worded.

    Perhaps, what should be debated is whether or not that the “Violence Against Women Act” (known as “VAWA”) should also adjust the wording in the name of the act to something like “VAVA Act” (“Violence Against Victims Act”) which doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same fashion… or maybe the “VA” (“Violence Act”) so that it is more representative too of both domestic violence and dating violence that it does to serve already.

    What is more important to remember is that violence done against anyone is wrong. Just because you are in any form of intimate partnership (no matter your age, sex, gender, race, level of education, income you make, etc.) you are still a victim as much as one another because we are all human beings.

    Because we are all human, we need to work as a community to protect one another and never say that a law provided in the past simply doesn’t apply to someone married or dating (in any form of intimate partnership) which had been done before the introduction of the VAWA Act.

    It is saying that we are human, we all have rights and the laws should never be exclusive to leave out someone, especially giving power of someone over another simply because they are in an intimate partnership.

    Long time ago, Hilary Clinton was quoted to have said that “It takes a village to raise a child”. I really believe that it takes a community to go beyond that, to respect all human beings as human beings and recognize that violence shouldn’t be committed on one another. Instead of making it too broad though, the law focuses upon those in an intimate partner relationship.

    It goes along with the discussion that rape is rape, no matter if it is done by a spouse or not.

    I believe that it is time for folks to step down from this so called “debate”. It isn’t worthy of having a debate over, especially since the law has been changed in the recent years to make the wording a bit more all inclusive of any intimate partnership relationship — no matter if you are married or just dating.

    Just pass it!

    March 21, 2012 at 11:16 am

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