News & Politics

200,000 Demand House Republicans Pass Violence Against Women Act

More and more people are just not going to accept these shenanigans any longer.

Remember when the House Republicans blocked the passage of approximately a million pieces of legislation last session—including the renewal of the act to prevent violence against women? Remember when the U.S. public considered blocking that legislation to be so pathetic, so despicable, just so downright offensive that President Obama coasted to victory on one of the largest gender gaps in modern electoral history?

Yes, all that happened. But here’s the clincher: It’s still not over. In fact, in some ways, this whole rape-denying thing is getting even more egregious. Earlier this week, a Fox News anchor essentially said that rape on college campuses doesn’t even exist. There's no such thing.

Meanwhile, the House is still dilly-dallying and whining about re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Finally, after watching all this political hemming and hawing by a whole bunch of men, Sheila Thomas decided not to wait any longer. A grandmother in Dayton, Ohio, who was raped at gunpoint exactly three decades ago, Thomas began a petition that now has over 200,000 signatures.

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She writes, “In 1983, I was a victim of rape at gunpoint. My rapist had already raped four women in my community, I was his fifth victim. He has never been captured. At the time, I was a single mother of a five-year old daughter and attending a local community college. The Violence Against Women Act initially strengthened federal penalties for repeat sex offenders, mandated that women don't have to pay for their own rape exams, and helped communities develop law enforcement units dedicated to violence against women.”

Ummm, what exactly is the hold up here?


Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist and the author of "A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home," forthcoming from Zuccotti Park Press.