Letters and comments for April 19, 2012

By Observer Upload April 19, 2012 03:03 pm
Letters and comments for April 19, 2012

Reauthorize VAWA

 

To the Editor:

The Violence Against Women Act is up for reauthorization in 2012 and it is stalled in Washington gridlock.

The law was passed in 1994, was reauthorized in 2000 and again in December 2005 with broad bipartisan support.

In its present form, it provides grants to develop policy around issues related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. It provides funds for services to protect adult and teen victims of these crimes and resources for prevention programs.

The reauthorized version would expand VAWA to ensure that victims aren’t discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and give tribal courts jurisdiction over perpetrators with significant ties to the tribe.

The incidence of domestic violence has fallen by more than 50 percent since the legislation was first passed, but clearly the issue is not solved.

In 2011, Shelter From the Storm in Union County provided 4,997 clients with a range of services. They also provided 1,267 nights of emergency shelter.

Safe Harbors in Wallowa County provided services for 121 new clients in 2012 so far and a record 893 nights of emergency shelter in 2011.

While most of the clients are women and their children, men are also served by these organizations.

It is especially painful and emotionally scarring to children embroiled in troubled families to witness acts of violence between the adults of the household and, in all too many cases, the painful memories are with them for life.

Find out about VAWA, speak out, write or call your senators or representative.

Jean Falbo

Joseph

 


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