This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has been reauthorized three times. The latest reauthorization of VAWA, which the House recently passed, shows how far the law has strayed from its original purpose.
This law was supposed to combat violence against women and to protect women from harm and abuse. Now, it's about advancing a progressive political agenda.
We must demand the Senate blocks the House-passed version of VAWA--and passes a stronger VAWA that includes protection for victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and greater transparency.
The House-passed version of VAWA doesn’t recognize FGM as a form of violence against women, despite the fact that it involves the cutting or removal of female genitalia. FGM is violence against women in its worst form.
There should be greater penalties for those who subject girls or women to FGM. It should be illegal to take a minor across state lines for FGM. And there should be funds available under VAWA for those working to build awareness and prevention of FGM.
The House-passed version of VAWA also does not robustly address the lack of transparency, accountability, and misuse of taxpayer funds associated with VAWA funding for a long time. Congress can strengthen VAWA by requiring greater transparency and accountability, so victims can get the assistance they need. We must do everything we can to adequately prevent and respond to violence against women--and to ensure that offenders are fully held accountable.
Sign the petition to demand Congress passes a stronger Violence Against Women Act and ends FGM.