Women’s health advocates in the United States often pride themselves on leading the world toward greater gender equality. The celebration over S.47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), was no exception. Passage of VAWA required sustained and public fights to ensure it included protections for sexual minorities, immigrants, and Native women and access for individuals in need of post-exposure HIV prophylaxis treatment, which prevents possible HIV infection after unprotected sex.
Yet despite these considerable gains, the advocates failed to ensure that the bill fully protects rape survivors from the psychological and physical threat of unwanted pregnancy.

Women’s health advocates in the United States often pride themselves on leading the world toward greater gender equality. The celebration over S.47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA), was no exception. Passage of VAWA required sustained and public fights to ensure it included protections for sexual minorities, immigrants, and Native women and access for individuals in need of post-exposure HIV prophylaxis treatment, which prevents possible HIV infection after unprotected sex.

Yet despite these considerable gains, the advocates failed to ensure that the bill fully protects rape survivors from the psychological and physical threat of unwanted pregnancy.

aiusamidatlantic:

VICTORY! VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT PASSES!!! Thank you to congress and senate for passing an inclusive #RealVAWA that respects the rights of ALL women!!

aiusamidatlantic:

VICTORY! VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT PASSES!!! Thank you to congress and senate for passing an inclusive #RealVAWA that respects the rights of ALL women!!

(via smellslikegirlriot)

Ms. Foundation Video Calling Out 22 Senators Who Voted Against Violence Against Women Act

CORRECTION:  This quote was passed to us today by a reliable source, and we have since found it can not be sourced. We therefore can not verify that Majority Leader Cantor said this. It is, however, we believe appropriate to note that given recent debates about “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies and rights from the GOP, and the fact that the House refuses to pass the Violence Against Women Act, it was not implausible for us to believe this to be true.

CORRECTION:  This quote was passed to us today by a reliable source, and we have since found it can not be sourced. We therefore can not verify that Majority Leader Cantor said this. It is, however, we believe appropriate to note that given recent debates about “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies and rights from the GOP, and the fact that the House refuses to pass the Violence Against Women Act, it was not implausible for us to believe this to be true.

Increasing Dollars for Domestic Violence: How Companies Can Do Right for Women and Girls

Written by Loribeth Weinstein for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

As corporations expand their philanthropic giving, an epidemic that affects millions of American women is being pushed further out of sight. Domestic violence threatens the security of entire families and communities — and all too often costs women their safety and their lives. The economic toll exacted by domestic abuse on our social service systems, workplaces, and on law enforcement is in the billions. Yet less than one percent of company-sponsored foundations currently registered with the Foundation Center even list domestic violence as a field of interest.

This is shameful: Charitable and corporate foundations must acknowledge and act to confront domestic violence. With their economic clout, they are ideally positioned to fund life-saving domestic violence services, underwrite public awareness and prevention campaigns, and create in-house policies for their own employees who are experiencing abuse.

The numbers are staggering: One in four women in the U.S. experiences domestic violence in her lifetime; young women ages 20 to 24 are at the greatest risk. And nearly 75 percent of all Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim. Domestic violence advocates and lawmakers have partnered for decades to boost both education and federal funding to combat abuse — most notably through the Violence Against Women Act — but public resources alone are not enough. Company-sponsored foundations, with the capacity to give millions of dollars annually, are conspicuously absent.

Company-sponsored foundations target their philanthropic dollars at the “the issues that their consumers care about most.” It’s a policy that begs the question: Are the industries that target women heavily –beauty, pharmaceuticals, clothing, and food – actually giving back to the issues that most affect their female consumers? 

Read the rest here.

As VAWA Languishes in Congress, Domestic Violence Shelters in Texas Are Struggling to Meet Demand

Written by Paige Flink for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

It has been a brutal summer for victims of family violence. For the first time in the 34-year history of The Family Place in Dallas, Texas, we will shelter 113 people, including 38 women, 73 children, and two men. A mom and her young child are being transported right this minute by the Dallas Police Department because of the dangerous violence in their home. 

We’ve had to place some families in hotels because it is more than we have bed capacity to handle, but their lethality risk was too great to turn them away. My colleagues at other emergency shelters in Texas are experiencing the same overwhelming demand. The shelter in Arlington is putting up cots in their gymnasium. We are setting records we wish we never had to reach. 

All this is happening at a time when some Texas politicians report that things are going great in the Lone Star State. The women who are struggling to keep their kids alive would not agree with that perspective. 

Read the rest here.

“War on Women” Increasingly Focused on Women of Color and Immigrant Women

Written by Natalie Camastra for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

VAWA. PRENDA. Aderholt.

What do all these words (and acronyms) have in common?

They represent the three latest attacks on women’s health, safety, and reproductive justice. However, the War on Women has been raging continuously in the 112th Congress. So what else connects these three? They represent the escalating attacks on the health and rights of women of color, and immigrant women in particular — their right to reproductive health care, their access to protections from intimate partner violence and other crimes, and their right to bodily autonomy.

Read the rest here.