No – before you ask…this is not a story from the Onion. Now – I want you to think about this…conservatives in the Republican party are rallying against funding resources for battered women, rape and sexual assault victims etc. They are vigorously lobbying against the bill calling it a “boondoggle” and an “expansion of government”. President Obama’s budget for this “expansion of government” to protect women from violence is $455 million a year; we give Israel $3 billion in grants every year to protect Israelis – men and women from violence.
The NY Times reports:
But if Republican lawmakers are not eager to oppose a domestic violence bill, conservative activists are itching for a fight. Janice Shaw Crouse, a senior fellow at the conservative Concerned Women for America, said her group had been pressing senators hard to oppose reauthorization of legislation she called “a boondoggle” that vastly expands government and “creates an ideology that all men are guilty and all women are victims.”
Last month on the conservative Web site Townhall.com, the conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly called the Violence Against Women Act a slush fund “used to fill feminist coffers” and demanded that Republicans stand up against legislation that promotes “divorce, breakup of marriage and hatred of men.”
To see a summary of what is in the bill – the Office on Violence Against Women put together a summary in PDF HERE.
- $14.0 million to fund a comprehensive array of prevention and intervention services for children and youth victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
- $20.0 million for a total of $35 million to provide intervention, advocacy, and support services for victims of sexual assault.
- $25.0 million to enhance the safety and well-being of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking by supporting projects that provide transitional housing services and move individuals into permanent housing.
- $3.0 million to fund research projects on violence against women.
- $9.0 million for a total of $50.0 million for legal services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
- $2.0 million for a total of $5 million for the court training and improvements program.
- $500,000 to create a clearinghouse to offer a one-stop shop where tribes could request free on-site training and technical assistance
- $1.0 million to conduct statutorily mandated research on the specific issue of violence against Indian women$7.027 million and 32 positions for management and administration costs, and increased OVW staffing levels in order to properly administer the grants workload.
Total 2012 Budget Request – $455 Million
Senator Feinstein (D-CA) spoke today on the Senate Floor about the issue. She said in part:
“I was in the judiciary committee. I voted for the original Violence Against Women Act. It was authorized for 6 years…we reauthorized it. It served another 6 years and now the bill is up for reauthorization. It came out surprisingly from the Judiciary Committee on a split vote. And unfortunately – that was a split party vote. I might say that I was stunned by this vote, because never before had their been any controversy in over a decade and a half…in all of this time about this bill.”
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