September 12, 2012 — "The House version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization seeks to turn a bipartisan concern for abuse survivors into a partisan wedge," Attorneys General Mark Shurtleff (R) and Doug Gansler (D) write in a Politico opinion piece.
Shurtleff and Gansler, attorneys general of Utah and Maryland, respectively, note that the House version (HR 4970) lacks many provisions to protect immigrants and victims of human trafficking that are included in the Senate version (S 1925).
"[A]busers don't differentiate by race, creed, color, religion or immigration status," they write, adding, "In seeking justice for survivors, neither should we."
An announcement by the Department of Homeland Security last month that it had reached its limit on the number of U visas -- special visas for immigrants who are survivors of violence -- before the end of the fiscal year serves as "a reminder of the reauthorization's urgency," the authors write.
"The House bill would silence thousands of women ... and derail our efforts to put their attackers behind bars," Shurtleff and Gansler continue, adding, "Worse, it would further endanger some of the very women whom the Violence Against Women Act is meant to help" (Shurtleff/Gansler, Politico, 9/11).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership