On Tuesday, Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reintroduced a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The version of the bill they introduced is the same version that passed in the Senate during the last legislative session. Additionally, Democrats in the House of Representatives introduced a reauthorization bill that is identical to the Senate version, H.R. 11.
The bipartisan-supported Senate Violence Against Women Act includes expanded protections for Native American women, LGBTQ individuals, students, and immigrant women. In addition, the proposed reauthorization closes a loop-hole in regards to U visas that House conservatives had used as an excuse to dismiss the Act in the last session. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) told reporters "In the interest of making quick and decisive progress, we introduce the bill today without that provision in order to remove any excuse for House inaction."
VAWA expired at the end of 2012. This was the first time VAWA has not been reauthorized since it was first passed in 1994. House conservatives had proposed their own version of the reauthorization in the last legislative session, the Cantor/Adams VAWA, that did not include protections for Native American women, LGBTQ individuals, and other disenfranchised groups.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .