AAUW Rallies for Inclusive VAWAJuly 10, 2012
On June 27, AAUW staff rallied on Capitol Hill in support of an inclusive reauthorization of the Violence against Women Act (VAWA) that will protect all victims of domestic and sexual violence. At the rally, Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Judy Biggert (R-IL) spoke passionately in favor of a version of the bill that explicitly protects Native Americans; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals; and immigrants. The version of VAWA that passed the House excludes these protections. Moore and Biggert denounced the House version and expressed their outrage that partisan politics are dictating which victims of violence deserve protection.
The House bill also lacks campus safety provisions that are addressed by the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act, a bill that AAUW has supported for more than a year. The Campus SaVE Act helps protect women on college campuses by improving three key areas of sexual assault campus policy: transparency of information, response and victim assistance, and prevention efforts.
The Campus SaVE Act, which is in the version of VAWA passed by the Senate, requires colleges to establish sexual assault policies and judicial response, including publishing domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking incidents in annual security reports. The requirement for publishing clear explanations of university sexual assault policies is long overdue — inadequacy and lack of clarity in sexual assault policies are the primary barriers to victims reporting crimes.
Now is the time for Congress to step up and move the Violence against Women Act reauthorization forward. AAUW strongly supports sending the Senate-passed reauthorization to President Obama’s desk. Use the AAUW Action Network to reach out to your senators and representatives about their votes on the bill. You can also join AAUW in helping to stop sexual assault on college campuses, and you can read more about AAUW’s advocacy on this issue.
This post was written by AAUW Public Policy Intern Laura Dietrich as part of the July 18 HERVotes blog carnival on the Violence against Women Reauthorization Act. AAUW belongs to the multi-organization HERVotes effort, which seeks to counter attacks on women’s health and economic security (HER).