As the title suggests, everything on this blog concerns violence against trans women.
The Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project is a trans feminist project addressing issues of systematic, institutional and interpersonal violence and oppression experienced by trans women (those who were coercively assigned male at birth and identify or are identified as women/female) across multiple identities (e.g., race, class, dis/ability, citizen-status, nationality, sexuality, age, HIV status, and form, status, or age of transition, etc.)
Ida Hammer is a writer and social justice communicator. She organizes the Trans Women's Anti-Violence Project. She presents workshops and trainings on cis privilege and being a trans ally. She's also involved in organizing against sexualized violence. She's a proud dyke-identified trans woman and an organizer of the New York City Dyke March.
The Senate passed the first LGBT-inclusive version of the Violence Against Women Act, which will now provide explicit protections for LGBT survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
"Republicans are willing to throw away the entire law now that it helps protect lesbians, gay men, undocumented immigrants, and Native Americans. Do they believe acts of violence committed against these groups don’t matter as much?”
[Trigger Warning: Discussing the Violence Against Women Act, Rape, Sexual Violence, Violence]
In late November, 2011 the United States Senate introduced the Violence Against Women Act (VAMA) for reauthorization. But with…a few changes. In a monumental show of empathy and step towards extending services to all victims. Essentially the grant monies that the VAMA offers would be denied to those who denied service to groups that are often prevented from receiving any care during a crisis. So, a rape crisis center that receives federal monies, and denies care/services to a lesbian would be subject to losing those monies.
The really amazing, and unexpected part of this was that they also included “gender identity” in the protected classes. Now, my reservations with the term aside, it’s the current accepted legalese for what essentially boils down to “trans status.” So without any protest, without any teeth pulling, without any glitter bombing…the Senate, out of its own back pocket, pulls out a bill that could possibly go monumental lengths to improving trans people’s, and particularly trans women’s, lives.
Without diminishing the importance of the inclusion of all the other minorities and protected classes listed, all of which either apply to me, or my family, I’d like to focus in on the singular point of trans inclusion. As survivor, I connect particularly with this issue.Denied
Trans women have, historically, been denied access to resources.[Follow the link to read the full article.]
Reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act runs into Republican roadblock in Congress
In Washington, The US Senate began debating a bill today to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act through 2016. The Act funds many programs for domestic violence and rape survivors. But new provisions aimed at protecting gay and trans women, undocumented immigrants, and Native American women have drawn opposition from Republicans, which has put the passage of the Act in jeopardy. FSRN’s Alice Ollstein reports.
WASHINGTON — Democrats are pushing to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act this week, with an event by Vice President Biden on Wednesday and Senate debate that may begin mid-week.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 2 approved the (S. 1925) reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which aims to increase the reporting and prosecution of violence against women. The bill was sponsored by Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), who is not a member of the committee. Nevertheless, the legislation attracted no GOP support among committee members and was approved by the committee on a party-line vote of 10-8. The act has been reauthorized twice before and Leahy’s office said this was the first time it didn’t receive bipartisan backing from the committee.
The measure now has a total of 61 cosponsors, including eight Republicans.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office, in an email on Monday, outlined the anticipated legislative calendar for coming days, with the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization following the Buffett Rule and postal reform (emphasis added):
"We do not expect cloture will be invoked on S.2230 [Buffett Rule]. Please note S.2204, the Menendez bill to increase taxes on American energy companies, will be the underlying measure before the Senate if cloture is not invoked; however, we think Leader Reid will move to reconsider the cloture vote on the motion to proceed to Postal Reform (S.1789). Leader Reid has also indicated he will turn to the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) after postal reform. In addition, Sen. Enzi has a Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval regarding NLRB ‘Ambush Elections,’ S.J.Res. 36. We will also vote on this resolution before the next recess.”
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) confirmed it was “likely” the Violence Against Women Act would be considered after postal reform, which is expected to follow the Buffett Rule. The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization could come “as early as mid-this week,” the spokesman said. That would set it up to be the main focus next week, if there is no vote right away.
Since the Violence Against Women Act was first enacted in 1994, reporting of domestic violence has increased by as much as 51 percent. The legislation was aimed at improving the response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Yet according to national statistics, more than three women are, on average, murdered by their husbands or boyfriends every day.
The Leahy-Crapo reauthorization would increase the emphasis on reducing domestic homicides and sexual assault, strengthen housing protections for domestic violence victims and focus more on the high rates of violence among teens and young adults.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and a few conservative organizations, object not to the act as a whole, but to new protections for LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse and the authority of Native American tribes to prosecute crimes.
The Leahy-Crapo bill enumerates protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence, forbidding discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by Violence Against Women Act grantees.
The reauthorization also expands the availability of visas for undocumented immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence and may be reluctant to come forward because of the risk of deportation. The act has always protected undocumented immigrants, but the reauthorization would raise the cap on visas for battered women and sexual assault victims to 15,000 from 10,000. The additional visas would come from unused visas from previous years.
Additionally, the reauthorization provides limited jurisdiction to tribes to prosecute Indian and non-Indian offenders in domestic violence cases. The tribal provision is taken from the SAVE Native Women Act, which had bipartisan support and was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
Grassley said during a Feb. 2 hearing he backs the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, but doesn’t support the Leahy-Crapo version, in part because of the provisions on LGBT individuals, immigration and tribal authority.
He has said the Republican leadership would not block the reauthorization of the law as long as their alternative bill was considered.
Democrats have said that they plan to use the legislation to highlight what they see as an increasingly hostile Republican attitude toward women.
McConnell has accused Democrats of “sitting up at night trying to figure out a way to create an issue where there isn’t one — not to help solve our nation’s problems, but to help Democrats get reelected.”
Biden, when he was in the Senate, introduced the original Violence Against Women Act, and he continues to be an outspoken advocate. On Wednesday, he and other senior administration officials will host an event stressing the need to reauthorize the act.