By glossing over real distinctions between the House- and Senate-passed bills to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the May 20 editorial “Gender politics in Congress” diminished the grave concerns that the House GOP bill presents.
As the editorial mentioned, for nearly two decades, both parties have come together to expand VAWA. But for the first time, the House GOP aimed to unravel its protections.
For instance, the GOP bill takes back the protections provided by U visas. These visas provide status protections to battered immigrants so they won’t be afraid to report their abusers. The House bill erects barriers to getting those protections. This would deter victims from coming forward, endangering more women, as aggressors remain free instead of behind bars where they belong.
We should insist that VAWA keep the protections found in current law. This is not to “score political points,” as the editorial said. It is about protecting women from dying as a result of domestic violence.