WXXI AM News

Connections: Understanding the Violence Against Women Act

Aug 14, 2018

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law in 1994 with bipartisan support. Co-authored by the late Louise Slaughter, it provides a national response to crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating violence.

The law was reauthorized for a number of years without issue, until recently, when Democrats and Republicans began to disagree about different aspects of the act. Now, the VAWA is set to expire unless lawmakers act quickly. Democrats wants to expand the definition of domestic violence, while some Republicans say the proposed expansions are too broad.

We hear from the two candidates running for former Rep. Slaughter's seat, and we discuss what the act covers, the impact of its possible expiration, and current gaps in training and services for domestic violence victims. Our guests:

  • Meaghan de Chateauvieux, director of development and marketing for Willow Domestic Violence Center
  • Allison O'Malley, chief executive officer of RESOLVE
  • Dr. Jim Maxwell (R), candidate for the 25th Congressional District seat
  • Assemblyman Joe Morelle (D), candidate for the 25th Congressional District seat