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House Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Disappoints, Fails to Protect Women

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This week, the House passed a reauthorization bill of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), but this bill falls short and fails to accomplish its namesake goalFrom its inception, the purpose of VAWA has been to protect, support, and seek justice for women who have suffered assault or abuse. CWALAC fully supports that mission. The goal of the current VAWA reauthorization efforts should advance these objectives, not compromise them. The reauthorization must address misguided efforts to go beyond the scope of VAWA, which represent a fundamental threat to the privacy and safety of women and girls. Unfortunately, the House-passed version of VAWA ignores and even exacerbates the current problems with the VAWA law 

The Violence Against Women Act, as it stands, has set up a direct threat to women. Females are forced to share shelters and showers with biological men who identify as women. This is not hypothetical; transgender access is threatening women. Look at the case of Poverello House in Fresno, California, where nine women were sexually harassed and forced to shower with the transgender who aggressively and regularly harassed them. Shelter staff said they could do nothing, because their women’s shelter received federal grants. 

Provisions in the 2013 reauthorization set up this problem, and many members of Congress voted against that bill, and CWA opposed the bill because of it. House Democrats have rejected this reality and are turning their backs on women’s rights. The privacy and safety of women and girls should not be compromised in a bill whose purpose is to protect female victims of violence. 

Instead of providing funding for an underserved population (women), Democrats have gone way off the rails. They have erased women from the bill, weaponized VAWA, and injected partisan nonsense in the bill, forcing Republicans to vote against it. In doing so, the Democrats will continue with their “war on women” narrative while, ironically, fully enabling biological men to exploit women. At bare minimum, a bill trying to reduce violence against women should be about serving women. Imposing a leftist agenda at the expense of women is shameful and wrong. Unless you are a science denier, males can never become females, and the dignity of being female should never be erased.  

Now that the bill heads to the Senate, we will continue to work with the Senate to address these concerns and to improve current law to re-focus on the principles of VAWA’s fundamental purpose, which is to protect women and girl victims of violence. VAWA reauthorization must clarify that nothing in the intent or implementation of its provisions should be interpreted as requirement to compromise, threaten, or undermine the privacy, safety, and rights of females in order to accommodate transgender individuals. CWALAC opposes any reauthorization that does not address this crucial, inherent conflict between women’s rights and transgender access in the 2013 law.