Violence Against Women Act 2005 Introduced for Reauthorization
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), first passed by Congress in 1994, was introduced in the Senate for reauthorization this past week. Senators Joseph Biden (D-DE), Arlen Specter (R-PA), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced the bill June 8. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) were among the billís co-sponsors. A landmark piece of legislation for womenís rights, VAWA provides federal funding and protections for the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault and assistance to victims. VAWA also includes critical provisions for improvements in law enforcement and judicial response to violence against women.
First signed into law by President Clinton in 1994, womenís rights groups fought for and won reauthorization of the bill in 2000 after months of Republican stalling. The Feminist Majority, led by Eleanor Smeal, played a major role in the passage of the original VAWA. This crucial piece of legislation will expire if Congress does not reauthorize it by September of 2005.
The VAWA bill introduced last week would not only reauthorize critical programs and services already in place but would also expand these provisions. For example, VAWA 2005 includes the Sexual Assault Services Act (SASA) which would provide funding for direct services for sexual assault victims, including 24-hour emergency and support services. SASA would address the fact that due to state budget cuts, rape crisis and other community-based support centers are increasingly and drastically under-funded, according to the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women.
Media Resources: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence 6/8/05, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape 6/10/05; Feminist Daily News Wire 10/12/00; Amnesty International; National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state.
In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .