By Kaitlyn Breslin, Contributing Writer
The War on Women just hit a new low with the possible failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The bill passed in 1994 with broad bipartisan support, and has been a source of funding for domestic violence shelters and hotlines.
The bill was voted down in the Judiciary Committee recently with not one single vote from a Republican. One of the reasons for the failure to pass is new provisions in the legislation that would help undocumented immigrants and LGBT people.
For undocumented immigrants, this legislation has helped women escape domestic violence and gain legal visas. U visas are important to these women because then they will not be reliant on their abusers for income. There is a cap on the amount of U visas given, 10,000 a year, but because of the amount of time it took the federal government to establish the program supporters of the bill believe these unused visas.
For LGBT, supporters of the legislation believe there should be anti-discrimination laws added the legislation. Republicans do not believe this should necessarily be a law because they don’t believe discrimination occurs to this group, when in fact it does.
Needless to say, the women of the Senate are furious about the opposition to pass this landmark legislation.
“I am furious. We’re mad, and we’re tired of it,” said Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington. And she has full rights to be. Again and again, the Republican males have been interfering with the rights women hold dear. Contraceptives, right to privacy, and some have even resorted to misogynistic language.
Women have truly had enough of constituently defending their rights. The original intent of the VAWA was to protect all domestic violence victims, and the new provisions do just that. It’s hard to think of a world pre-VAWA and I certainly do not want to think about that. Congress is suppose to be moving forward on women’s right, not taking us back to before the women’s movement.
Kaitlyn Breslin is a Junior at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC. She is a Political Science major and hopes to pursue a career in politics after graduation. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.