When Pushing Congress Works – Violence Against Women Act

violence Against Women Act - logo 15 yearsHere’s an update for you:   FINALLY, the House has passed the broader Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act bill. It’s now on it’s way to President Obama for his signature.

We wondered if House Republicans would FINALLY do right by women and sign the reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act.

We are aware that the hold-up on the issue had been that House Republicans wanted to make sure the law omitted references to sexual orientation, and that it didn’t give Native American courts greater authority to try non-Native Americans who are accused of acts of domestic violence on tribal lands.

We also thought that was true GOP great logic: toss all women under the bus in their ongoing effort to keep an already shamefully oppressed group of people from having the power to protect their own women. And I wrote about it here just a few hours ago.

But now, FINALLY, the House has passed the broader Senate bill — the one that includes protections to Native Americans, LGBT and immigrant victims of abuse — and it’s awaiting the POTUS’ signature.

It’s all because citizens spoke up and refused to give up that the House of Representatives finally joined the Senate in passing a meaningful Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). As Senator Kirsten Gillibrand noted upon passage of the bill, “VAWA provides shelter and justice to abused women and protects families. It is the foundation of our efforts to combat domestic violence. Thank you for helping make it happen.”

It took way too long. WAAAAY too long and it still didn’t have full support of every congressperson — but it’s proof that citizens’ advocacy and activism still matters. We can’t be deluded into thinking that Congress did the right thing all on their own.