Caitlin Taylor: Protecting women against violence an ongoing fight
Even in my brief professional career, I just had one of those “full circle” moments. But not in a good way. I recently read a report detailing two Michigan lawmakers’ efforts to reauthorize the federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The VAWA was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994, providing $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women. It also called for imposing mandatory restitution on those convicted and established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice. In December, U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, and Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, were among a group of women lawmakers who called for reauthorization of the law. The legislation passed in the House last April, but has stalled in the Senate ever since. Usually an issue that transcends partisan politics, there’s been disagreement because Democrats added a number of provisions to the VAWA that would broaden the legislation’s gun restrictions, drawing pushback from the National Rifle Association.