Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA)

Vote Recommendation

April 1, 2019

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act

To reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
Number
H.R. 1585
Sponsors
Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA)
Year
2019
Category
Federal
Position
Oppose

Protecting Women Means Defining Women

  • The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is an important funding package that supports organizations doing the critical work to protect and serve women who have been victims of violent and abhorrent crimes.
  • Unfortunately, beginning under President Obama, radical progressives have politicized this bill to the point of encouraging more violence against the very women it was designed to protect.
  • Like the Equality Act, VAWA currently includes “gender identity non-discrimination” language that puts women staying in domestic violence shelters at risk of being re-victimized by men claiming to identify as women in order to gain access.
  • The current bill’s language also endangers female prisoners by deferring to biologically male prisoners’ “gender identity” and personal preference when sentencing, giving men the right to choose to be housed in female prisons.

Helping Transgender Victims Shouldn’t Require Endangering Women

  • All victims of violence, including individuals who identify as transgender, deserve protection, care, and support. But providing that assistance doesn’t require rendering VAWA useless.
  • Adding “gender identity” to an existing legal framework designed to serve women traps VAWA-funded care providers in a legal mess that is easily exploited by abusers.
  • If we really care about protecting and healing all victims of violence, we shouldn’t gut the law designed to help some under the guise of helping others — unless the real goal of the radical progressives demanding this language is to reinforce the idea that “gender identity” trumps biological sex.

Key Facts

  • Under VAWA as it’s written, an agency housing battered women must also house men who say they identify as women, even if their biology and legal documents say otherwise.
  • In England, a former rapist who identified as a woman was transferred to a female prison where he sexually assaulted the female inmates.
  • The current version of VAWA strips all religious freedom protections that would allow private religious agencies to continue serving victimized women.
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