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Cardin Seeks Support for Domestic Violence Law

The Violence Against Women Act would pay for $660 million in programs to help domestic violence victims.

Maryland programs for domestic violence victims could be hurt if the Violence Against Women Act isn't reauthorized by Congress.

The proposed legislation, which provides about $660 million over a five-year period, would fund programs aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence, education on prevention and legal aid for survivors, according to the Christian Science Monitor.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) has implored the House to pass the Senate’s version of VAWA.

“The Violence Against Women Act has a proven track record of protecting women from domestic violence and it is hard to understand opposition to legislation with the goal of curbing domestic violence,” Cardin stated in a press release. “Saving women’s lives should not be a partisan issue.”

“Can we stop the election-year gimmicks? Can we stop these manufactured wars that pit one group of Americans against another group of Americans?” freshman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked in mid May on the House floor, according to theChristian Science Monitor.

The Senate passed its version in April. 

The U.S. House of Representatives' version, passed in May, does not explicitly define that VAWA would cover the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender Americans. It leaves the language up to local law enforcement to interpret.

The House version also doesn’t protect the rights of Native American women to take their abusers to court, rather only allowing them to apply for a protective order from U.S. court system.

Finally, it doesn’t allow for women in the country illegally to apply for citizenship if they work with law enforcement in a domestic violence investigation. Republicans believe the provision would be used for amnesty, while Democrats believe those victims wouldn’t come forward to report abuse in fear of deportation.

“The statistics of domestic violence are alarming, yet, domestic violence remains one the most under-reported crimes in the country,” Cardin added in the statement. “These victims need to know that they have our support, including access to justice, help with housing, medical care, and economic opportunity.”

According to state statistics one in four women will be the victim of domestic violence in their lifetime. In 2009, there were more than 18,500 reported cases of domestic abuse and 38 fatalities in Maryland.

In Montgomery County, police spokeswoman Angela Cruz provided the following statistics for domestic incidents for 2006 to 2011:

Year

Homicide

Rape

Robbery

Aggravated Assault

Simple Assault

Other Sex Crimes

Total

2006

1

25

7

79

815

15

942

2007

2

19

9

80

743

13

866

2008

0

11

2

131

612

10

766

2009

0

11

3

158

588

11

771

2010

0

18

4

74

658

5

759

2011

1

19

4

64

601

14

703

Total

4

103

29

586

4017

68

4807

Here are the statistics for the number of domestic arrests for 2006 to 2011: 

Year

Homicide

Rape

Robbery

Aggravated Assault

Simple Assault

Other Sex Crimes

Total

2006

1

6

5

49

229

8

298

2007

1

8

3

42

209

2

265

2008

0

4

1

60

177

7

249

2009

0

4

2

75

155

7

243

2010

0

8

2

42

178

2

232

2011

0

1

4

36

150

6

197

Total

2

31

17

304

1098

32

1484

Theresa Defino June 05, 2012 at 05:10 PM
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=152788258
Esther D June 05, 2012 at 05:17 PM
@Theresa thank you for the links. I can appreciate your input on this thread. Educating is key to make awareness.
Theresa Defino June 05, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Esther, the way the comments get posted it could appear that I was responding to you. I was not, I was responding to Debra, the first poster, so I just wanted to clarify that. Thanks for your comment back to me. And I agree!
Esther D June 05, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Theresa, I am aware they were not and I took them as informative and that is why I was thanking you. If you get any other links or updates feel free to post. I would be interested.
Rachel June 05, 2012 at 08:32 PM
You do not state to which extent you have dealt with d/v, but I assure you that the more resources available the better. There are some good resources available, but at times even these resources aren't enough; if they were there would be no push for this act. To blame domestic violence on the victim is shocking, and a solution or reasoning such as "partner choice" is over simplified in my opinion.

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