The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization cleared the Senate last week 78-22, and VAWA’s fate is left to the House of Representatives. VAWA will likely face more opposition in the House, where conservatives object to provisions that protect Native American, LGBT, and undocumented victims.
According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) has not decided where he will fall on reauthorizing VAWA. But he said he will not be misled by the bill’s title, even though it is named for what it does — protecting women from domestic violence:
“Every bill is given a motherhood-and-apple-pie title,” Duncan said outside the House chamber. “But if you voted [based] on the title, you’d vote for every bill up here. If we’d all done that, the country would have crashed a long time ago.
“So this is another bill with a motherhood-and-apple-pie title,” he added.
While Duncan claims he opposes domestic violence against women because “most men can handle [violence] a little better than a lot of women can,” he said his vote will come down to the cost.
Of course, VAWA is not simply conveniently titled. Since its inception in 1994, VAWA has driven down violence by creating community programs for women, improving the prosecution of sex offenders, and assisting victims with legal costs and resources. The Senate’s version includes new, expanded protections that cover LGBT individuals and Native Americans.