Domestic violence seized to be a feminist matter long ago and became a human rights issue. The Violence against women act was enforced in 1994 and has since suffered a few modifications and expansions. Nevertheless the matter continued to be of great importance to the nation and was reinforced several times so far. However the reinforcement of the act did not significantly decrease violent acts against women so one can only assume that the act needed some severe adjustments. Furthermore in 2011 the act was allowed to expire and reinforcement was nowhere in sight.
The fact that the VAWA act expired in October 2011 and was not renewed until 2013 has brought up other issues such as congress diversity. The fact that the congress mainly consisted of white males brought up a lot of discrimination issues. However the new congress sworn in on Jan. 3 is the most diverse so far. Human rights activists hope that the new congress will be more involved in matters regarding sexual abuses against women as well as discrimination.
The House of Representatives rejected the renewing of the act in 2012 causing a lot of controversies. While the act was supported by democrats, the republicans opposed the expansion of the act towards illegal immigrants, Native Americans and gays. The new act created in 2013 addresses similar problems as well human trafficking. The fact that the Conservative party opposed these issues in the pass raised a lot of questions on whether or not human rights are of importance to them or not.
Native American women are constant victims of sexual assaults and have a hard time finding justice. Attorneys that take on such cases are quite rare which makes it difficult for the victims to even hope at a chance of victory. Furthermore the issue of illegal immigrants is also very important. The fact that some immigrants are illegally living in the USA does not mean that it is all right for them to be subjects of sexual assaults and neither do one’s sexual preferences.
Eventually the newly renewed Violence against women was passed by the house and is now on its way to being signed by the president. Nighty nine democrats and eighty seven republicans voted in favor of VAWA. This is a significant percentage and it shows that the matters addressed in the bill are becoming more and more important to the leaders of the nation.
The White House leader itself declared: Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear.
One can only hope that this new act will decrease the violent acts that happen every day. It is necessary to prevent these things from happening rather than concentrate our attention on punishing the assaulters and the new VAWA seems to be quite complex from all points of view.
After all, the American dream is all about equality between all individuals and freedom in the land of all possibilities. Making sure that US citizens feel safe is an important part of keeping that dream alive.