VAWA, or the Violence Against Women Act, needs to be reauthorized every five years. Though the House has passed it by majority on April 4, dissenters who support the National Rifle Association may yet make it languish in the Senate.
One of the new provisions is being disputed. The 2019 version of the Act bans the possession or purchase of a firearm by a person who is convicted of abusing or stalking another person. Till now this ban was restricted to spouses and domestic partners. But hereafter it intends to include former or current boyfriends, stalkers, dating partners. The powerful NRA lobby does not appreciate the amendment that may keep guns away from many more offenders – they maintain the Act is just a political strategy by the gun ban lobby.
Some chilling facts and stats
Everytown for Gun Safety: In an average month, at least 52 American women are shot and killed by an intimate partner, and many more are injured. Nearly 1 million women in the US alive today have been shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner.
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence: Abused women are five times more likely to be killed if their abuser owns a firearm, and domestic violence assaults involving a gun are 12 times more likely to end in death than assaults with other weapons or physical harm.
Up to half of all domestic violence victims are abused by a dating partner, rather than a spouse or live-in boyfriend.
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What is VAWA?
“The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a series of laws affecting multiple areas of the Federal Code, was first signed into law in 1994. The act provided federal funds for services offered to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, created the Office on Violence Against Women within the Justice Department, enhanced the training of law enforcement officers in the area of sexual and domestic violence, and strengthened penalties for certain sexual crimes (including requiring perpetrators of sexual violence to pay restitution to their victims). VAWA has been reauthorized several times since 1994, often with adjustments or modifications. “ – www.snopes.com
History of VAWA: