Number of the Day

[Content Note: Violence; rape culture; misogyny.]

Zero: The number of Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, "the 1994 law at the center of the nation's efforts to combat domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking."

Republicans failed to support the renewal even though:

1. "The law's renewal has strong backing from law enforcement and groups that work with victims, and earlier reauthorizations of the law, in 2000 and 2005, passed Congress with strong support from both sides of the aisle."

2. "The bill includes smart improvements aimed, for example, at encouraging effective enforcement of protective orders and reducing the national backlog of untested rape kits."

The main sticking points seemed to be language in the bill to ensure that victims are not denied services because they are gay or transgender and a provision that would modestly expand the availability of special visas for undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence—a necessary step to encourage those victims to come forward.
So take note: Republicans prioritize homophobia, transphobia, and hatred of undocumented workers over protecting people from stalking, sexual violence, and/or domestic violence.

Luckily, the Democratically-controlled Senate has a majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee and thus was the bill passed out of committee for a vote, but, for the first time in almost 20 years, VAWA may struggle to get 60 votes of support.

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