But with a new year comes new opportunities for action. Yesterday, the Senate voted to pass the VAWA reauthorization (S. 47) by a vote of 78 to 22. This is great news! It is also absolutely no thanks to Republican male Senators, who made up the entire body of opposition against the measure. (Literally. Every single one of the 22 "no" votes against the legislation's passage was a Republican male).
If you're trying to fathom a good reason as to why Republicans might possibly oppose this legislation, we'll save you some time: there aren't any.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women--more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Over the course of the 18 years since VAWA's original enactment, we've seen a drop of more than 60% in national incidences of domestic violence.
ThinkProgress has a handy visual to make sure you don't miss the significance of this vote outcome:
The VAWA bill authorizes $659 million to be spent over five years towards VAWA programs such as law enforcement training, transitional housing for victims, a stalker database, legal assistance grants and domestic violence hotlines.
From here the bill moves to the House of Representatives, where it will unfortunately be a much tougher battle.
We need you to act now to ensure that the Senate bill is passed. Join SEIU nurses to tell your Representative to vote "yes" to reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act now.
Want to learn more about the legislation? Check out Femisting's GIF guide to the Violence Against Women Act for a magical retelling of this measure's 18-year history.