Well, the senate did it’s job — sans the twenty-two Republican a-holes who apparently think beating women is a-OK — and passed the seemingly forever-stalled Violence Against Women Act. In a 78-22 vote in favor of the measure, the bill will now move to the House where it died a slow and painful death last year.
The senators who voted against the bill — all Republican — are as follows:
John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Jeff Thune (S.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.).
So what’s been the brouhaha of opposition to this bill that has been renewed twice, without incident, since its inception in 1994? Well, because like the views of much of the country, the bill has evolved to expand coverage to LGBT women and Native American women living on reservations. But we all know how Republicans feel about evolution, don’t we?
In fact, Tom Coburn (R-OK), widely touted as a “sensible” Republican (ha, ha — sensible and Republican in the same sentence — I crack myself up!), added an amendment that attempted to strip those particular protections from bill, but his amendment was stripped instead.
However, as this bill heads to the House, the opposition from the right will surely be ramping up, with big guns like Freedom Works and Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the Koch brothers bankrolled Heritage Foundation, pulling out all the stops and whining about the damage to men.
From Freedom Works (written by a woman, because, you know, “credibility” with women throwing other women under the bus):
Supporters of the VAWA portray women as helpless victims—this is the kind of attitude that is setting women back. Thank goodness that there are many strong and independent women, including the female members of the Independent Women’s Forum, who believe that there are real reasons to oppose the VAWA.
Since the statute’s enactment in 1994, observers have pointed out that the law:
- federalizes a problem that would be better handled at the state level;
- embraces gender stereotypes by casting women as victims and men as abusers; and,
- wastes money on programs that have little to do with actually discouraging violence.
And now, bill supporters have used the occasion of the reauthorization to add unrelated and extraneous provisions, including an expansion of the prosecutorial power of American Indian courts that could deny due process to non-American Indians.
VAWA now touches hot button immigration issues, which have the potential to encourage immigration fraud, false allegations of abuse, and denial of a rebuttal by the accused spouse, whether male or female.
Because no help should be given to brown people! Ever. Period.
But let’s take a look at a couple of those points.
Federalization: Sometimes you need to federalize an issue, Gayle, because if we didn’t there would still be “Coloreds Only” signs plastered across the South.
Does Not Discourage Violence: Oh really?
VAWA has had a significant impact on ending violence. Since its passage:
- Acts of domestic violence have been reported as much as 51% more frequently, which has resulted in a greater number of arrests; , 
- Incidents of domestic violence are decreasing, including a 67% reduction in the rate of intimate partner violence (IPV) and a 35%-46% decrease in the rate of IPV homicides;
- Within six years of implementation, VAWA saved $12.6 billion nationwide;
- Within three years of instituting a VAWA-funded Lethality Assessment Program in Maryland, intimate partner homicides were reduced by 41%; and
- State laws now reflect the serious nature of violence against women, such that: 
- All states now include stalking as a crime;
- Spousal rape is treated at the same level of crime as stranger rape in all states;
- Warrantless arrests have been authorized by all states when law enforcement determines existence of probable cause in misdemeanor domestic violence cases;
- In every state, an offender will face criminal sanctions if he/she violates a civil protection order; and
- Over 70% of the states and territories have adopted policies regarding workplace violence, including domestic and sexual violence, as well as stalking.
Additionally, for the first time in our nation’s history, the bill would allow non-Native Americans accused of domestic violence on tribal lands to be tried in those tribal courts, thereby eliminating the right of the accused to face a jury of their peers. Under VAWA, men effectively lose their constitutional rights to due process, presumption of innocence, equal treatment under the law, the right to a fair trial and to confront one’s accusers, the right to bear arms, and all custody/visitation rights. It is unprecedented, unnecessary and dangerous.
Just a note about violence on the tribal lands:
American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault crimes compared to all other races, and one in three Indian women reports having been raped during her lifetime.
The National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women issued a scathing and beautiful, fact-filled rebuttal to Heritage Action:
However, on February 4, 2013, Heritage Action urged a “NO” vote on VAWA reauthorization bill before the Senate (S.47) and indicated that it would count it as a key vote on their scorecard. In its call for a vote against VAWA reauthorization, Heritage Action distorts the record and misrepresents the truth. The following claims are particularly egregious and demand a response.
So, needless to say with all the right-wing propaganda being flung about, once VAWA finds itself in the hot little hands of the crazy GOPers in the House, it’s anybody’s guess on whether it will make it out alive.