Unfortunately we live in an increasingly violent society where fear of crime has become an inescapable reality for many women. The stats are indisputable: · Women are more likely to be the victims of domestic abuse. · 1 in 4 women has experienced domestic violence. · 43% of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors, including physical, sexual, tech, verbal and controlling abuse. · 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted during her college years. But maybe, just maybe, after last week's historic victory, the dark realities of violent assault against women may not be as inevitable as assumed.
18 months past its expiration date, the Violence Against Women Act - VAWA has been reauthorized and sent to the President’s desk.This marks a huge victory for victims of sexual assault violence. Abused and battered women and men, Native American women, LGBT individuals, and immigrants will no longer have to struggle and suffer pain alone or live in fear of neglect or discrimination. This bill extends various programs that have helped reduce rape while also providing additional protections for these groups.
The renewal of this legislation speaks powerfully. It says that the government will now fulfill its obligation to protect its most vulnerable populations. It says that these individuals who have suffered at the hands of strangers and loved ones will now be prioritized. It says that the strangers, the loved ones, and the acquaintances who inflict pain by beating, raping, and killing their victims will be held accountable and punished for their actions. And it also says that America is making strides toward closing the gender gap.
Although we still have a long way to go toward eliminating the suffering endured by our most abused populations, this is certainly a step in the right direction.