Despite Election-Year Wrangling, Senate Renews Domestic Violence Law


Laurie Kellman
Christian Science Monitor
April 26, 2012

The Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act; it is the first time since the law was passed in 1994 that there has been opposition to a renewal, and renewing the law in the House may be more difficult.

The Senate overcame election-year gender politics Thursday to pass a bill renewing the government’s main domestic violence program. The 68-31 vote marked the first time since the Violence Against Women Act first passed in 1994 that its renewal has drawn opposition in the Senate, reflecting the increasing polarization of the chamber and hair-trigger political sensitivities over women’s issues in this presidential and congressional election year.

“In 2012, we should be beyond questioning the need for the Violence Against Women Act,” Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. He urged the House to act quickly so President Barack Obama can sign the renewal into law.

To read the full story at the Christian Science Monitor, click here.


Additional Reporting:

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, Roll Call, April 26, 2012

Senate OKs Violence Against Women Act, Talk Radio News Service, April 26, 2012

Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act, Think Progress, April 26, 2012

Violence Against Women Act, The Obamacrat™, April 26, 2012


Violence Against Women Act Prompts Partisan Debate Among Female Lawmakers


Jennifer Bendery
Huffington Post
April 25, 2012

The so-called “war on women” raged on in Congress Wednesday as female lawmakers in opposing parties clashed with each other in defense of the Violence Against Women Act, an otherwise bipartisan issue that has fallen prey to election-year fodder.

With the law’s expiration looming in September, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told reporters at a press event that the best way to ensure its reauthorization is to pass the Senate Democratic plan. The proposal has 61 cosponsors — eight Republicans signed on, which means the bill has enough votes to overcome a Senate filibuster — and has previously passed the Senate with unanimous support. Since 1994, VAWA has provided funds to fight domestic violence and sexual assault, and has increased criminal penalties against perpetrators.

“There is no reason that it should be any different this time,” Murray said of the need for all lawmakers to get behind the Democratic bill.

To read the full article on the Huffington Post, click here.


Additional Reporting:

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

Violence Against Women Act Cannot Be a Victim to Politics, National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women,  April 25, 2012

Why We Must Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act Now, Huffington Post, April 26, 2012

Congress Focuses on Violence Against Women Act, The Washington Post, April 25, 2012

On Renewal of Violence Against Women Act, Senate Democrats Have Upper Hand, Christian Science Monitor, April 25, 2012

House GOP Comes Up With Election-Year Bill to Renew Violence Against Women Act, The Washington Post, April 25, 2012

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)

US Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women