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Overdue Gender Violence Protections

By Charlotte Robinson, March 18, 2021

Bipartisan majorities in the U.S. House of Representatives have successfully passed both the long-awaited reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) & a joint resolution to advance ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) representing a critical moment in the fight to advance women’s rights & safety at a time when both have been undermined during the COVID pandemic. Wade Henderson, Interim President & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights stated, “Gender-based violence, which has been further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has had devastating effects on survivors, their families & their communities. While every survivor needs support, survivors from marginalized or otherwise underserved communities are less likely to be able to access the services they need to heal & rebuild their lives. The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act provides crucial civil & human rights protections & promotes access to services for all survivors. The Senate must now act swiftly & pass this legislation to help protect all people in the United States from gender-based violence.” Jocelyn Frye, Center for American Progress’ Women’s Initiative Senior Fellow concluded, “The actions taken by the House today represent important progress in the fight to uphold women’s basic dignity & rights. Sexual violence is itself a pandemic—1 in 4 women experience domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault & stalking in their lifetime…It is essential to not only ratify the ERA but also to push for additional anti-discrimination policies that go beyond the amendment’s reach, to ensure rigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination laws & to hold politicians accountable for the ERA’s promise of gender equality.” 


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