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In 1994, Former President Bill Clinton signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), implementing pivotal legislation for victims of rape, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. When President Clinton signed this act into law, he was working with a partisan legislature that was able to effectively serve the needs of the people in a bi-partisan way. Today, President Obama faces a similar political dilemma, but there is no bi-partisan camaraderie to quell this issue. Specifically, women’s issues have entered the sparring ring as the latest issue of debate used to assumedly prevent President Obama’s reelection. This is perhaps why most people are turned off by politics; but, it is all the more reason why people should be tuned in. In September of 2012, this act will expire (did you ever think an expiration date applied to the protection of any citizens?) and is up for renewal. Women’s issues have been a fundamental component in the debate to extend state’s rights, amend our healthcare system, and now, the women who need legal protection the most—vulnerable, esteem-destroyed, and fearful women—have to contend with the fact that this past week, the majority of the Republicans recently voted to weaken the Violence Against Women Act considerably. Activist groups like NOW (The National Organization for Women) have condemned the House version of the bill due its lack of specificity and its exclusion of the very people it is intended to protect.
Women are not the enemy of the Republican Party, but then again, I guess we are, but so are the elderly, the poor, the young, the gays, and anyone else that had a hand in getting President Obama elected in the first place. Partisan politics is hurting the people and our nation! We are at war with ourselves in a losing battle. And, women have been one of heaviest and most affected groups under attack as the nation inches one step closer to the November 6th election. Congress needs to stop this reckless display of assault and the citizens have to hold them accountable. The Violence Against Women Act is just as important as having access to clean air and water. And, there is no negotiating it! We need to talk about it, but more importantly we need to talk to our legislators about it.
Every link included in this blog is important to your knowledge on how you can be a better, more informed voter and citizen. America will only be as good as we make it. Stevie Wonder, receiving the Billboard Icon Award on Sunday May 20th, 2012 said it best, “We are at a place [in society] where we have to commit ourselves to love.” Women, as much as we claim to love ourselves, we have to really take the time to show it so that others can reciprocate that love.
Click on the following link to find out who your Congressmen / women are: http://www.whitehouse.gov
Click on this link provided by another read-worthy blog, The Root, to find out how the Violence Against Women Act is being stripped as reported by professor and MSNBC political commentator, Melissa Harris-Perry: http://www.theroot.com/buzz/mhp-violence-against-women-act-stripped