House Passage of Senate Version of VAWA is a Slap in the Face to Sex Trafficking Victims

By February 28, 2013Press Releases
Print Friendly

Nance: “VAWA is in large part a rigid series of ineffective law enforcement programs that continue to waste approximately $400 million each year, which could be redirected to the states to reach real victims of domestic violence.”

Washington D.C. – Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) CEO and President Penny Nance has issued the following statement in response to the House passing the Senate version of Sen. Leahy’s (D-Vermont) bill on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):

“The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) headed to the president’s desk lulls Americans into believing that actual violence was addressed today when in reality Congress pushed through a bad bill that hurts sex trafficking victims, seeks to legalize prostitution for minors, and fails to protect the conscience of organizations that oppose abortion but want to protect trafficking victims like the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“Within the Senate version of VAWA passed today is Sen. Leahy’s (D-Vermont) amendment which decimates the Trafficking in Persons office (TIP Office), seeks to change the Model State Law to promote the decriminalization of prostitution for minors, and assaults the conscience protections of groups that have a history of hands-on help for these victims.

“Sen. Leahy’s amendment would not only cut funding for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking Persons (TIP Office) by sixty four percent – from $5.5 million a year to $2 million a year – but staffing would also be dramatically reduced. The TIP office leads the United States’ global engagement in the fight against human trafficking. It is an injustice to actual victims to strip them of the assistance they so desperately deserve.

“VAWA is in large part a rigid series of ineffective law enforcement programs that continue to waste approximately $400 million each year, which could be redirected to the states to reach real victims of domestic violence. Even Angela Moore Parmley, Ph.D., from the Department of Justice, wrote in Violence Against Women, Vol. 10, No. 12, 2004, p. 1424, that this bill masquerades as helpful to women, but ‘shows no evidence to date that it has ever led to a decrease in the overall levels of violence against women.’ Congress snubbed their responsibility to enact responsible spending of these funds by overlooking the Department of Justice Inspector General (OIG) report on VAWA grants showing a continued use of poor internal controls and bad management. It is for this reason that CWALAC led the charge to oppose the Senate version that passed today.”