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One billion rising as Congress stalls on legislation to address violence against women

February 14th V was -day. Not just a day for heart shaped candies and flowers but a day for global action! A vibrant symbol of activism in the name of stopping violence against women. And yet the fervent support and cries for justice seem to have been lost within the rhetoric of Congress. A Congress that has failed to pass two key pieces of legislation to help prevent and address violence against women:  The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). This years V-day event had a message, one billion rising. One billion to represent the 1 in 3 women, world wide, who will suffer sexual assault in their lifetime. The one billion who are victimized again when Congress refuses to sign key legislation to help end this epidemic.

This past January, for the first time in 18 years VAWA was allowed to expire due to the House’s refusal to even bring it up for a vote. VAWA is a bill that has created real positive change in the rates of domestic violence since its conception in 1993. It has also strengthened legal system penalties and support for survivors as well as health care services for survivors and their families. Of all bills sent through Congress this should be the least contested! However, two new measures to extend protections against domestic violence have rallied republican uproar in the House and stalled the bill in proceedings. On ...