May 25, 2012
When we think of the women that Republicans in Congress want to exclude from some protections in the Violence Against Women Act — undocumented immigrants, Native Americans, lesbians abused by female partners — we can't help but think of a speech attributed to the Civil War-era abolitionist Sojourner Truth in 1851: "And ain't I a woman?" To paraphrase another eloquent author, if undocumented immigrant women are beaten, do they not bruise? If Native American women are sexually assaulted by non-Native men, are they not traumatized?
April 22, 2012 |
Headlines like "Stabbing victim feared estranged husband would kill her" and "Two plead guilty to raping 12-year-old girl" are haunting reminders of the violence and sexual abuse that occur far too often. According to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, more than 1.9 million women in Pennsylvania have been victims of sexual assault, physical violence, or stalking. Domestic violence and sexual assault leave scars beyond the physical damage. The emotional wounds cut far deeper than the injuries we can see. Victims are often left to heal, physically and emotionally, on their own. As current and former prosecutors, we know from firsthand experience that Southeastern Pennsylvania has some of the best victim services organizations and advocates to help women and children through the healing process.
March 16, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - After winning a fight just last week to preserve contraceptive health-insurance coverage for women, Senate Democrats on Thursday battled conservative Republicans who say they don't want to expand an 18-year-old federal law that created a national strategy to prevent domestic violence against women. While Democrats say they're shocked at any opposition to renewing the Violence Against Women Act, which passed in 1994 with bipartisan support, opponents are trying to block the legislation because they fear it would broaden American Indian tribal rights and has too many protections for gay and illegal-immigrant victims of violence.
December 7, 2007 |
WHEN IT COMES to domestic-violence legislation, the road to hell is paved with good intentions - and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., owns an asphalt company. Biden's latest foray into the issue is the National Domestic Violence Volunteer Attorney Network Act, which amends his Violence Against Women Act to create an extensive network of volunteer lawyers to help abused women. They would provide free legal help in crafting divorce or separation agreements and winning child custody. According to Biden, S. 1515, soon to be heard by the Judiciary Committee and is co-sponsored by Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, will enlist 100,000 volunteer attorneys.
September 20, 2005
MARY SHAW'S Sept. 12 op-ed discusses a very important subject: domestic abuse and the Violence Against Women Act. Unfortunately, just like VAWA, Shaw ignores a large percentage of victims: men. More than 170 studies, reviews and analyses demonstrate that, worldwide, women are approximately as likely to initiate domestic violence against men as the reverse. (VAWA's "man hurts woman" archetype also does a disservice to victims within the gay and lesbian community.) Men are, on average, stronger than women, but this often benefits women, as it results in violence against men being treated as less serious, and, in some cases, a joke.
September 12, 2005 |
NICOLE BROWN Simpson. Laci Peterson. And, more recently, Philly's own LaToyia Figueroa. All beautiful, vibrant young women, cut down in their prime by men they had loved. And most people probably don't realize that these high-profile cases represent only the tip of the iceberg. For each case that happens to catch the attention of the mainstream media, thousands more go unnoticed, mourned only by their families and neighbors within their own communities. Yes, thousands. In fact, more than 700 women are abused or sexually assaulted by their partner each day in the United States.
July 21, 2005
WOMEN AND children fleeing domestic violence often have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. In fact, domestic violence is a major cause of homelessness: An astonishing 92 percent of homeless women have been assaulted physically or sexually at some point in their lives. Victims of domestic violence often go back to their abusers because they don't have anywhere else to go. Many don't call the police because they fear they will lose their housing if they do. Battered-women's shelters are a first step to safety for these women and their children, but only a first step.
September 28, 2000
Congress is in an eleventh-hour rush to do right by women victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. A strong federal role has garnered powerful support on the Hill, but until this week, intramural bickering had blocked decisive action. On Tuesday, the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a $3.8 billion, five-year commitment to battle violence against women and to provide services to victims. Now the Senate must pass its version, and the two chambers need to reconcile them quickly to keep Washington's leadership on this vital issue from withering.
May 19, 2000 |
On Monday, the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act: the provision that allowed women to sue their abusers in federal court. By a 5-4 majority, the Court ruled that adjudication of such claims was more properly a matter for state courts. On today's Commentary Page, Gregory Sullivan, a New Jersey lawyer, writes in favor of the decision, while U.S. Sen. Joseph Biden (D., Del.) writes in opposition. I am disappointed, but not surprised, by the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Monday to strike down the one piece of the landmark Violence Against Women Act that empowers a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault to sue her attacker in federal court.
January 20, 1997 |
Counselors knew that Ellen Raye Moor of Chester, a 42-year-old mother of three, was the victim of continued abuse and violence. Despite their efforts, she could not overcome her fear and testify against her boyfriend. On June 1, she was stabbed to death. Her boyfriend, Frederick Evans, now faces trial on charges of murder. In 1995, Venir Harris was slain hours after her boyfriend, Bruce Davis, was released from Delaware County Prison. He had been charged with assaulting Harris but was freed when she declined to testify against him. Davis was convicted of fatally stabbing Harris and sentenced last year to life imprisonment.