One Billion Rising: Why We’re Demanding Action on VAWA
While the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has passed through the Senate, we are still waiting on a crucial vote from the House. Remember, last year House Republicans famously allowed the almost-twenty-year-old act to expire for the first time since it became law. They cited objections to extending protections to LGBT, immigrant, and Native American women – objections so strenuous, they allowed protections for all American women to end. This time around, we’re hearing from conservative advocates like HeritageAction and FreedomWorks that VAWA is “unfair to men” – rhetoric we find to be insulting and harmful. We at EMILY’s List have only one question: what it will take to start protecting victims and survivors of violence?
Thursday, February 14th, marks the fifteenth anniversary of “V-Day”– a global activist movement, founded by Vagina Monologues creator Eve Ensler, to end violence against women and girls. V-Day promotes creative events to increase awareness on violence against women, and to raise money for existing anti-violence organizations. This year’s campaign is named, “One Billion Rising.”
We demand a call to action to end violence against women, and with one of the most important pieces of U.S. legislation for victims and survivors of violence hanging delicately in the balance, this year’s V-Day is more important than ever. And the House GOP response on VAWA has been unacceptable.
Violence against women is a worldwide epidemic that affects women of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions and economic levels. House Republicans are picking and choosing which women are worth saving—while holding all victims of violence hostage in the process.
With one in three women on the planet projected to be raped, assaulted or beaten in her lifetime, one in six American women raped in her lifetime, and more than three U.S. women killed each day by an intimate partner, there is no doubt that legislation like VAWA is desperately needed.
We at EMILY’S List are rising this February 14th because it’s time legislators acknowledged that refusing to reauthorize VAWA is refusing to take steps to ameliorate the atrocity of violence against women. We won’t stand for it, our endorsed and elected representatives won’t stand for it, and neither will voters in 2014.