The Violence Against Women Act is one of the most cleverly named pieces of legislation in history—legislators who criticize VAWA or vote against reauthorization risk being called misogynists.
That is (sort of) what a blue check journalist named David Leavitt called the 172 House Republicans who just voted against VAWA reauthorization. Leavitt tweeted:
172 House Republicans voted AGAINST renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. 172 misogamists need to be removed from office
Attorney Qasim Rashid, a Democratic candidate for Congress from Virginia last year, also tweeted:
Less than 24 hours after one of the worst attacks against women in recent memory, 172 Republicans voted AGAINST the Violence Against Women Act. This critical Act was one of the most bipartisan bills in American history—but the GOP has now decided they just don’t care about women
Hat tip: PJ Media.
VAWA, passed by a bipartisan vote in 1994, is a flawed piece of legislation. There have been serious questions about how its grants and programs are administered. I urge you to read IWF Pres. Carrie Lukas’ brief history of VAWA. Carrie noted:
Today, while there is an increased awareness of violence against women in our society and enhanced support systems, there is no clear evidence the legislation has effectively decreased rates of domestic violence. That’s because the programs under VAWA have never undergone scientifically-rigorous evaluations to measure their results.
President Joe Biden, when he was in the Senate, and then-Senator Orrin Hatch were sponsors of the 1994 legislation. VAWA has been renewed three times. While the legislation always has included problematical provisions, this year’s version features two provisions that will do nothing to help women (quite the contrary): first, restrictions on Second Amendment rights and, second, requirements that those identifying as transgender women be admitted to women’s shelters on the same basis as biological women.
The legislation requires prisons to house inmates according to their preferred sexual identity rather than rely on biology.
Neither the transgender requirements nor the limitations on Second Amendment rights help women—in fact, given the physical differences between men and women, a gun has often made the difference between whether a woman lived or died in an abusive situation.
Names can be misleading. Congress just passed a so-called COVID-19 relief package that has very little to do with COVID and lots to do with the Democratic wish list. Perhaps instead of accusing Republicans who voted against VAWA renewal this time of hating women, it might be better to ask if the new provisions in VAVA actually make the world safer for women. (They don’t.)
It’s always been clear that VAWA needed to do more to live up to its name. More emphasis on protecting vulnerable women from Female Genital Mutilation, for example, would be welcome.