Twenty-seven years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), a landmark piece of legislation, authored by then-Senator Joe Biden. It was designed to support and protect survivors of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. Since that time, the federal government has awarded more than $8 billion in grants to local, state, and tribal governments and organizations, enabling them to develop programs and services to best implement the law's purpose.
In February 2019, however, the law expired, and, in the face of lobbying from such groups as the NRA and obstruction from Republican legislators, efforts to reauthorize the VAWA have been fruitless. Today, advocates, survivors, and at-risk communities are looking to a new Administration and Congress to reauthorize an even more robust version of the VAWA.
Advocating for legislation like the VAWA, on federal, state and local levels is an important part of our plans for the Violence Against Women Action Team. We also plan to develop and share information in an effort to build awareness of issues of gender-based violence, with particular attention to women and children residing abroad who have unique issues which need to be addressed.
The manifestations of gender-based violence are broad, complicated, and increasing every day, some of them exacerbated tremendously by the stresses of the COVID pandemic. We have looked at the wide range of issues and developed six categories. Our hope is to identify a team for each of these categories who will become especially knowledgeable on these topics, and will lead efforts for relevant education and legislation.
We will also have a tremendous amount of information to manage and hope there will be members interested in research, managing the information, writing and developing creative messages.
A woman is raped in the United States every two minutes (WCSAP). More than 20,000 calls are placed to domestic abuse hotlines every day (NCADV). One in nine girls under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult (RAINN). We’ve got a lot of work to do. Please join the fight. If you are interested in joining our team, please fill out this form, or contact [email protected], or visit our blog for more information.