Conyers: Regressive Violence Against Women Act Opposed by Hundreds of Women’s Advocacy Groups
(WASHINGTON) – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) released this statement following the vote on H.R. 4970, a Republican-authored Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization bill that weakens current laws protecting immigrant crime victims and excludes protections for vulnerable Native American women and LGBT persons contained in a bipartisan bill passed by the Senate.
“Today is a stark departure from previous reauthorizations of the Violence Against Women Act undertaken by the House. Unlike every previous reauthorization since the Act’s inception, the bill passed today not only fails to strengthen the law, it actually rolls back protections for vulnerable women. On the floor today, not one proponent of this regressive legislation could name a single domestic violence or women’s advocacy group who supported this measure. Indeed, they could not name any group whatsoever in support of their bill. Moreover, a broad coalition of literally hundreds of domestic violence, faith-based, law enforcement and women’s groups from around the country have come out publically opposed to this bill. And for good reason.
“The bill weakens long-standing protections for immigrant spouses and victims of serious crime – supported by the law enforcement community – that previous Republican-controlled Congresses specifically included in the law. The bill also fails to include important new provisions for thousands of Native American women and LGBT victims who face barriers to acquiring VAWA-related services and protections. These so-called controversial provisions were included in the Senate bill that passed by a bipartisan supermajority.
“Proponents of this bill claim that all women deserve protection. But the deficiencies in this bill demonstrate that in their view some women deserve protection and others do not.”