Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Needs to be Renewed and Renamed
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The Violence Against Women Act is a bill that offers a lot of support for victims of intimate partner violence. The bill uses gender neutral language and the provisions of the bill can be used by a man or a women. We believe that this neutrality needs to be reflected in the title.
The title of this bills implies that it would not be necessary or appropriate for men to use the provisions of the bill. One of the provisions of the bill states that a victim of domestic violence cannot get kicked out of their place of living due to a domestic violence dispute. However to take advantage of this provision, you have to declare that you are using your VAWA protections. Men might be less aware that they have protections under this bill or be too embarrassed to use a bill that seems gender specific.
We also strongly believe this is discriminatory against women. The name of this bill acts as a barrier to female empowerment by implying that only women face violence.
The bill expires in a year and a half, so the change can easily be made when the bill goes up for re-authorization. We want out legislatures to understand the prominence of male victims, change the title of this bill, and make future bills gender neutral.
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