Supreme Court to Review Violence Against Women Act
The Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will hear an appeal of Brzonkala v. Morrison, a case that centers on the federal Violence Against Women Act. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Christy Brzonkala, who brought civil charges against Antonio J. Morrison and James Landale for rapes that occurred in 1994 in a dormitory at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. This will be a major case for women and feminists in the current Supreme Court term.
The federal appeals court argued that Congress had overstepped its bounds in allowing victims of such violent, gender-based crimes to sue for damages in federal civil cases. What is at issue is the constitutionality of the civil rights section of the Violence Against Women Act, which was a major 1994 feminist victory. NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund notes that eleven federal district courts in other cases have upheld the Violence Against Women Act. The Violence Against Women Act allows victims to collect for medical expenses and lost wages in civil suits.
Media Resources: NLDEF, March 25, 1999 and Washington Post - September 29, 1999
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .