On The 20th Anniversary Of VAWA, Important Stories On Domestic Violence
Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – the landmark legislation that was signed into law by President Clinton to provide more institutional resources for domestic violence victims. The anniversary comes at a time when the country is engaged in a national conversation about NFL player Ray Rice, his wife Janay, and the NFL’s responsibility to adequately respond to incidences of domestic abuse within their ranks.
Here’s a rundown of stories related to this issue that you don’t want to miss:
- How The Country Has Changed Under The Violence Against Women Act. We have more resources to address and prevent domestic abuse and fewer people are becoming victims of violence. But there is more work to be done.
- Brutally Honest Sportscaster Delivers Powerful Commentary On Ray Rice. James Brown on CBS: “Our language is important. For instance, when a guy says ‘you throw the ball like a girl,’ or ‘you’re a little sissy,’ it reflects an attitude that devalues women. And attitudes will eventually manifest in some fashion.”
- Domestic Violence Kills More People Than Wars, Global Study Finds. Researchers say that violence at home is an overlooked issue that deserves more international attention.
- Gabrielle Giffords: 20 Years After VAWA, There’s Much More Work To Do. Even though many couples are choosing to marry later in life, our laws haven’t been updated to address dating partner abuse.
- You Shouldn’t Ask Why Janay Rice Stayed. The people asking that question don’t understand the reality of domestic violence. THey should place responsibility on the abusive partner, not the survivor.
- Columbia University Students’ Powerful Display Of Support For A Rape Victim Seeking Justice. Students are banding together to help Emma Sulkowicz, a senior visual arts major who’s carrying her mattress everywhere as long as her rapist remains on campus.
- Domestic Violence in The Times: From Civil Unrest to Spouse Abuse. The term “domestic violence” has appeared in The New York Times throughout its history, but until the 1980s it mostly referred to civil unrest and rioting rather than acts of violence in the home. Its usage has spiked since 2010.
- Nearly A Third Of U.S. Women Have Experienced Domestic Violence. Ray Rice’s violent act has been widely condemned, but it is also all too common: More than 31 percent of women in the United States have been physically abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Fox News Mocks Victim Of Ray Rice Elevator Assault: ‘I Think The Message Is, Take The Stairs’. Victim of domestic violence who don’t leave after they’ve been abused send a “terrible message,” says Fox’s Brian Kilmeade.
BOTTOM LINE: It shouldn’t have taken a video leaked to the world to make the NFL finally take strong action against Ray Rice. It shouldn’t be forgotten, either, that domestic violence is a problem that extends far beyond the headlines: more than 31 percent of women in the United States have been physically abused by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. And 20 years after the Violence Against Women Act passed Congress, it shouldn’t be forgotten that there is still much more we can do to protect all women from abuse.
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