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Violence Against Women Here and Everywhere

November 14, 2012|By Shirley Lin KInoshita
This spring, the ladies of the Women's Fellowship of Union Church of Cupertino were looking for a service project to replace one that was not longer accepting donations.  I suggested Next Door, Solutions to Domestic Violence, a San Jose shelter and service provider for victims of domestic violence.  The case studies from the website gave us an inkling of the extent and pervasiveness of this kind of abuse. It affects all economic levels, races, ethnicity and education background.  The problems gets more attention only when we read about a horrific example, such as the October 9 shooting of Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai for wanting an education. Most victims of domestic violence are women and children. Many have few resources to escape or start over without agencies like Next Door which provides a safe place for these victims.  

November 25 marks the UN International Day of Violence Against Women.  I'd like share with you how this day came about. Please read and find your place in helping women and children who suffer from this type of abuse.

 

UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women - November 25  (source: Wikipedia) 


Violence Against Women in the World.


Women's activists have marked November 25 as a day to fight violence against women since 1981. On December 17, 1999, the United NationsGeneral Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (Resolution 54/134). The UN invited governments, international organizations and NGOs to organize activities designated to raise public awareness of the problem on this day as an international observance. Women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence, and the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden.

 

This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on orders of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo (1930–1961).

 

-United Nations Development Fund for Women) has a regular observance of the day, and offers suggestions for others to observe it: http://www.unwomen.org/   

 

Violence Against Women in the USA 

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, H.R. 3355) signed as Pub.L. 103-322 by PresidentBill Clinton on September 13, 1994. The Act provided $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. The Act also established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

 

 VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005. The Act's 2012 renewal was fiercely opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act's protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas.

 

In April 2012, the Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and the House subsequently passed its own measure (omitting provisions of the Senate bill that would protect gay men, lesbians, American Indians, and illegal immigrants who were victims of domestic violence). Reconciliation of the two bills has been stymied by procedural measures, leaving the reauthorization in question. 

Shirley Lin KInoshita is the Silicon Valley Chapter President.

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