AVFM News Thursday March 1st 2013) The Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization passed through the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday ending a nearly year and a half period of limbo after the previous authorization expired in October of 2011. The final tally was 286 to 148 with all 199 Democrats and 87 of the 225 House Republicans voting for reauthorization as. [1.] The bill is expected to hit President Obama’s desk as early as tomorrow where it is certain that he will sign it into law.
This version of VAWA allocates $659 million over the next five years for a domestic violence industry which still denies the existence of male victims of domestic violence and fails to recognize the fact that women have the same propensity as men to engage in violent and abusive behavior. Furthermore, this version of VAWA has all of the same funding provisions for states that have mandatory arrest and predominant aggressor laws on the books taking away due process for the accused and exclusively profile heterosexual men as abusers. Male victims of domestic violence are mentioned only once in the new version which is nearly 300 pages long and then only in the context of homosexual relationships. 
This vote follows a day of heated controversy among the Republican ranks when on Wednesday the House Leadership decided not to vet the house version of the bill through the committee hearing process. This meant the House would simply vote on the majority proposal which did not pass due to a complete absence of Democratic and weak Republican support. [2.]This effectively doomed any challenge to VAWA renewal to failure.
The move by House Republican leadership to bypass the Judiciary and Ways and Means committees angered many conservatives in the house who were disturbed by Speaker Boehner’s acquiescence. This marked the third time in the last two months the House passed pass a significant piece of legislation with minority Democrats carrying the vote. [2.] The strong women voter turn out for the Democratic party in last falls election was cited as the reason for this.
The republican version, introduced by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state excluded the Senate version’s provision for the LGBT community and modified federal jurisdiction over Indian territories. It also featured protections against immigration fraud. Interestingly, McMorris Rodgers voted for the Senate version after her’s was defeated and Speaker Boehner failed to vote. [4.]
McMorris Rodgers’ VAWA bill was, in effect, little different than the Senate version of VAWA in the sense that it failed to recognize the truth about intimate partner violence that feminists have been suppressing all along; specifically that it is not sex specific. In fact, the language in VAWA states repeatedly that domestic violence is a crime that “predominately affects women.” [5.] This failure to acknowledge the facts concerning domestic violence has been mimicked across a wide array of prominent conservative groups who have publicly opposed VAWA renewal.
Penny Nance, the president of Concerned Women of America an extremely religious social conservative political organization, wrote a piece for the Washington Times titled “Why Congress ought to ditch VAWA” which parroted many of the pernicious lies concerning domestic violence. [6.] She actually cited the “one in four” female college student victimization statistic so thoroughly debunked by many researchers. The biggest problem she had with VAWA it seems is that it doesn’t promote the institution of marriage.
To be sure, the struggle for VAWA reauthorization over the past year and a half has marked a great leap forward for those who challenge the feminist narrative of gender violence. It can no longer be said that feminist ideologues have a iron fisted grip on the public discourse concerning the issue. Organizations like S.A.V.E. and many others were instrumental in this and the achievement cannot be ignored. However, it seems that social conservatives have the same problems addressing the truth about intimate partner violence that feminists do.
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