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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 21, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 51
'All women should be protected'
Section One
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'All women should be protected'

Murray, Cantwell challenge Republican women on VAWA

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington's Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were among 12 female U.S. senators, all Democrats, who sent a letter this week to Republican women in the House of Representatives, urging them to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

VAWA, drafted by then-Sen. Joe Biden in 1994, sets aside federal money to assist in the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women and provides for restitution and civil redress for victims. Because it provides federal funds, it must be reauthorized periodically.

In April, the Senate passed the reauthorization bill 68-11, but the Republican-controlled House has yet to take up the measure.

BIPARTISAN HISTORY
'As mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and women intent on protecting the inclusive and bipartisan history of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we are reaching out to you to ask for your help,' the Senate women said in their letter.

'With only a matter of days remaining in the 112th Congress, we are asking that you work with your leadership to take action and finally pass the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. With your leadership on this issue we will resolve this matter in a way that puts the safety of all women ahead of partisan politics.'

Republican House leaders have proposed their own version of the bill, which removes protections for undocumented immigrant women, Lesbians, and Trans women.

'All women should be protected and introducing into this legislation the notion that some women subject to violence deserve to be protected while others do not is something we believe we can all agree is unacceptable,' the Senate women said. 'We should not pick and choose which victims of abuse to help and which to ignore.'

In addition to Murray and Cantwell, senators signing the letter include Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Kay Hagan (D-NC), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

Their letter was released December 18, just days after a similar letter from House members, including 10 Republicans, asking Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to take up VAWA before the 112th Congress adjourns.

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