Late last year, Jewish Women International, a support network which assists and aids female victims of Domestic Violence within the Jewish Community conducted a survey amongst its members. 90% of women in the survey felt that there was a distinct lack within the Jewish Community of properly functioning support services for those who suffered the effects of domestic violence. Basic requirements like legal support, adequate shelter and monetary assistance were cited as the most important factors in rebuilding lives and moving on. All this raises issues concerning the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which will expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts swiftly to renew it.
In 1994, the 110th United States Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act: 235-195 in the House and 61-38 in the Senate. VAWA ensures that women are protected from harm and violence and that the perpetrators are prosecuted accordingly. Under the then Senator Joe Biden’s direction, this bill was the first of it’s kind in the US to recognise domestic violence and all forms of sexual assault as violent crime. VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000 and again in December 2005.
Until recently, everything seemed to be on track to not only reauthorize but extend VAWA to cover all victims of domestic violence including lesbian, gay, trans-gendered and Native American women. The reauthorization was passed by the Senate and similar legislation was passed by the House. However, the Tea Party Wing of the Republican party then advanced their own version of VAWA without any GLBTQ protections in the bill and put pressure of Speaker of the House John Boehner who then refused resolve the differences between the Senate and House bills in the traditional manner.
Although he was not considered to be one of Israel’s most outspoken supporters on Capitol Hill the defeat of Sen. Richard Lugar in the recent primary election has left many among the pro-Israel lobbyists concerned that there may be losing some key supporters in Congress.
The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is an online non-profit volunteer based community newspaper serving the Philadelphia Jewish Community since 2005. We are dedicated to addressing the important social, political and cultural issues facing our community in a spirit of honesty, integrity and diversity.
Your tax-deductible donations will help give Voice to the Greater Philadelphia Jewish Community.
To pay by credit card or paypal, click here:
or send a check to:
Eric Smolen, Treasurer,
Philadelphia Jewish Voice,
327 Pembroke Road,
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
The Philadelphia Jewish Voice is organized pursuant to
Pennsylvania's non-profit corporation law. We have tax-exempt status under IRS
Code Section 501(c)(3). Contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of
For more information about the Philadelphia Jewish Voice visit