(9 Feb 2022) ANGELINA JOLIE APPEARS IN D.C. TO SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE BILL
Angelina Jolie joined a bipartisan group of U.S. senators as they proposed reauthorizing a 1990s-era law that extends protections for victims of domestic and sexual violence.
« The reason that many people struggle to leave abusive situations is because they have been made to feel that they are worthless, » Jolie said in support of reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, which lapsed in 2019 because of Republican opposition.
« When there is silence from a Congress too busy to renew the Violence Against Women Act for a decade, it reinforces that sense of worthlessness, » she said. « You think, ‘I guess my abuser is right, I guess I am not worth much.’ That is why passing this law is one of the most important votes U.S. senators will cast this year. »
The last time the law was reauthorized was in 2013. Republicans have since blocked the legislation from passing in the Senate over a provision that would prohibit persons previously convicted of misdemeanor stalking from possessing firearms, which generated opposition from the National Rifle Association. That provision was excluded as part of the deal.
« I want to acknowledge the children who are terrified and suffering and the many people for whom this legislation comes too late, » Jolie said. « The women who have suffered through this system with little or no support, who still carry the pain and trauma of their abuse, who have survived abuse and emerged stronger not because of the child protection system but despite it. And children who have died who could have been saved. »
The law, first introduced in the Senate in 1990 by President Joe Biden when he was a senator from Delaware, aims to reduce domestic and sexual violence and improve the response to it through a variety of grant programs. A subsequent version was eventually included in a sweeping crime bill that then-President Bill Clinton signed into law four years later. Congress has reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act three times since.
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