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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

It turns out that it’s a myth that more women are victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year. But it is true that this is the first Super Bowl Sunday since 1994 that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has not been in effect.

Last year, after a bipartisan, filibuster-proof majority approved the revised VAWA in the Senate, House Republicans refused to even vote on the bill because it protected too many women — including undocumented workers, LGBT women and Native Americans. Protections have been expanded as the bill was reauthorized in the past. Native American women, for instance, are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault than any other group.

The legacy of the bill is so strong that many of its statutes — including the Rape Shield Law, which protects the identity of sexual assault victims — are still being enforced. But if Congress does not appropriate funding in the continuing resolution that needs to be passed by March 27, domestic violence shelters and the National Domestic Abuse Hotline will be shuttered.

Democrats in the Senate now have 60 votes to pass the bill again to send it to the House, where it once more faces an uncertain future. “For nearly 20 years, the programs supported by VAWA have been a lifeline to so many,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said in a statement. “They deserve swift action in Congress.”

VAWA was passed with near-unanimous majorities in 2000 and 2010 because the effectiveness of the law has been astonishing. “From 1994 to 2010, the overall rate of intimate partner violence in the United States declined by 64 percent, from 9.8 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older to 3.6 per 1,000,” reports Shannan M. Catalano of the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Some, including anti-feminist icon Phyllis Schlafly, argue that the law should be made gender-neutral, which negates the reality that 4 out of 5 victims of intimate partner violence are women. Focusing on protecting women has helped lower the instances of partner violence for both genders by 60 percent.

The myth that Super Bowl Sunday is an extraordinarily dangerous day for women was fostered to draw attention to domestic violence. But this Sunday is just another day when more there will be 24 instances of intimate partner violence every minute and three women will die at the hands of a partner.

And the Super Bowl game itself results in massive human trafficking of women forced to serve as sex slaves. “It’s commonly known as the single largest human trafficking incident in the United States,” said Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, in 2011. Tens of thousands of women are brought to area near where the big game is held and made to have sex with 25 to 50 men a day.

This happens every year.

What makes this Sunday exceptional is that it’s the first one in decades that a law that did so much to prevent this needless violence is no longer there to protect them.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

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28 responses to “Violence Against Women In The Spotlight On Super Bowl Sunday”

  1. The most troubling part of this issue is the indifference of the general public. You would think most Americans would be outraged by the House decision to ignore VAWA, and the ridiculous excuses used to do so, if you do that you would be very, very, wrong.
    The mentality of those who reject VAWA explains why the USA is one of a few industrialized nations that never had a female President or Vice President.

    • To say this is why we have never had a female President… is quite a leap. No viable female candidate for President has ever been nominated. Maybe that is why none has ever been elected.

      • RobertCHastings says:

        Geraldine Ferraro was nominated as running mate to ( who was it?). She was eminently qualified, both for the vice-presidency and the presidency. And, when Hillary Clinton runs (hopefully) in 2016, there will be absolutely no one in the primaries more qualified. Over the past 100 years, there have been innumerable qualified women who, unfortunately, were never considered as viable candidates, perhaps the most memorable being Eleanor Roosevelt.

        • onedonewong says:

          Not to mention Sarah Palin on 2008. She was eminently more qualified than Joe Biteme

          • RobertCHastings says:

            Sarah Palin is no place near in a league with Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, or Angela Merkel, past and former female heads of state. John McCain’s biggest mistake in the 2008 election cycle was to pick her as his running mate – I mean, to claim that she could see Russia from her back porch, and her knowledge of foreign affairs was pitiable (she didn’t even know where most of the countries were that she was quizzed on; but then, neither did George W).
            The worst case scenario was John McCain getting elected, busting a gasket over Iran, dying, and Palin left in charge. As the English used to say, “Lord, save us from the wrath of the norsemen”. And she is probably the biggest reason the Republicans lost in 2008, most reasonable people could not stomach the idea of her possibly becoming president.

          • onedonewong says:

            Sh is certainly smarter than Joe Biteme Al Gore and Jimmy carter and heads and shoulders smarter than the quota boy in the WH

          • RobertCHastings says:

            She couldn’t even go up against Joe Dirt one-on-one. At least Joe Dirt could find his way home. Hasshe even found her way back to Alaska? What has she been doing since the 2008 race? Commentary on FOX News really sounds like a promising career move for her, except that she recently was fired from even that. /she screwed her daughter up so bad that the only thing SHE can do is find guest appearances of “Dancing with the Stars”, and her former son-in-lawapparently doesn’t like her, AT ALL. I say a recent episode of “Alaska State Troopers” in which they were looking for her, and it wasn’t to pin a “Luv Ya” on her chest. Her husband is filing for divorce, so she seems to have an issue with pretty much allof the men in her life, probably because she thinks she is one. Oh, and lest I forget, her one crack at a reality show was cancelled, early. And you wanted her to be president?

          • onedonewong says:

            She kicked Joe’s ass inthe VP debates. Your surly nor holding up Biteme as some great american are you?? as he send the taxparers a bill every year for $25,000 so that the SS can protect him

          • RobertCHastings says:

            She coudn’t compete with Joe DIRT, let alone Joe Biden. What has she done since her run? Has SHE done anything to legitimately obtain a Nobel Prize? No, and I don’t think it has anything to do with her not having any idea with where Stockholm is. I think she just hasn’t been able to find her way back to Alaska. And I am so pleased (almost justified) in seeing that you have revealed your true colors, or at least your hatred for color. That sort of issue does make some people unreasonable, AND unreasoning. Try to tone down the emotion, and ramp up the logic, and maybe your arguments will carry more weight.

          • onedonewong says:

            She has done JUST as much as Barak did to win his Peace Prize. and you have shown your hatred of strong women

      • The reason highly qualified American women have not run for the presidency is because they are well aware that a plurality of Americans believe the role of women is to have babies and bake cookies, regardless of how well educated and experienced they may be.
        American women are no less qualified than those who have risen to the pinnacle of power and so many European, Asian, African and Latin American countries. We stand almost alone among the industrialized and developing nations that have not yet elected a female president or vide president, and that is not something to be proud of or dismiss as irrelevant.

    • onedonewong says:

      This is a States rights issue and EVERY state has laws that protect EVERYONE from abuse/assault. care to tell us how many folks have been incarcerated due to this law?? We know that Kennedy and his nephew got off from a rape in FL

  2. oltchr says:

    The fact that Republicans refused to even vote on the bill because it “protected too many women” makes me feel like my head is going to explode! They were saying, in effect, that violence against undocumented women, LGBT persons, and Native American women would be okay with them, but since they were offered protection under the law, that they would not even vote to pass it. The lack of basic decency shouldn’t shock me, but it does.

    • rpg1408 says:

      Nothing shocks me any longer when it comes from the GOP-dominated Congress. Perhaps they would approve allowing all women to be issued, along with the marriage license, an AK 47 for protection.that would be in accord with the GOP (and some Dem) support of” second amendment rights”. Of course,if as Phyllis Schafly believes, the law should be “gender neutral” , then hand one to the man as well. That would be the formula for a happy marriage.

  3. Ed says:

    WHAT! You want Republicans to vote to protect americans? Never Happen. Now if they were a cor[oration…..

  4. JUDITH says:

    Mysogyny lives on in the GOP. Women will not forget.

  5. cjcd says:

    i love that they go on and on about this issue (as the author should!), and yet, right below the article, there’s a picture of a scantily clad woman with a caption: Friday’s A.M. Hot Clicks. Yeah, violence against women is never going to stop until women stop being objectified and valued for appearances.

  6. Plznnn says:

    Hope all the feminists enjoyed the display of sexual female bodies at the half time show. They are wonderful role models for young girls.

  7. charliephd says:

    We can’t stand by and watch members of our community be victims of ignorance and in the case of many House Republicans-outright stupidity. There are resources to help end domestic violence. Love You To Death and Breaking the Cycle Of Teen Dating Violence are two examples of educational videos that can help potential victims recognize, avoid and escape a dangerous environment. This issue is simply too important to ignore.

  8. charliephd says:

    I have to concur with all of the comments in this link. While objectification may be a first step towards abuse, it does not mean that abuse is necessarily the next step. The current reality is that the genders often objectify each other and people are often unaware of the environment they help to create. Women clearly comprise the majority of victims and the more we can educate them to see that if they are being abused either physically or verbally they need to get out and they need a plan to do so safely. Understanding that we have choices empowers us and this is the antidote to an abuser who will do everything possible to make his victim feel helpless.

  9. Jim Myers says:

    A message to everyone who voted against VAWA.


  10. leadvillexp says:

    The whole idea we need legislation is stupid. Where are the red blooded American males that would stand up against this violence? As for the Attorney Generals statement that this is the biggest human trafficking in sex slaves day, where is he. He seems to be able to make that statement, so send out the police and round them up. Send the pimps to jail for twenty years. Our society is a bunch of rabbits that won’t take a stand. We wait and have someone in authority do it. We see and hear nothing. We have learned nothing since Kitty Genovese in 1964.

  11. Hillbilly says:

    Wonder if any of the Republicans that let this law die have ever seen any women that have been beaten, had the hair tore out of their in big clumps and all the rest that happens when a man is a woman beater? Someone needs to take these knuckleheads down to an abuse shelter and let them see what happens when women and children are on the receiving end of a man’s fist and feet. Let them know that no matter what the social background, race, legal or not legal or sexual being women are they are all subject to being beat, raped and killed by their other.

  12. bchrista says:

    There you go Robert H I concur with you, I am also not surprised by Gary Godfrey’s remark about there not being a viable women candidate for that position, that show that most people only listen to Fox News and fail to realize that Fox will only, lie them as to what Phyllis Schafly had to say I am not aware of who she is, so in answer to her I wonder how sore is her ass from all the deep banging she gets from the Teabags an Repubs speak in their behalf and to my friend Hillbilly ther’es an old saying, “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t force him to drink,” and that applies to our leaders in the Senate and Congress BLind is he who refuses to see.

  13. onedonewong says:

    Its another stupid law. When you have Congressman like Jim Moran and Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd’s as sponsors and at the same time the worst abusers n congress but are immune from prosecution

  14. jointerjohn says:

    What saddens me is that even after killing such a sensible and humane Act, those same republicans get women to vote for them! Republican women are chickens voting for Colonel Sanders.

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