She did it with a voice broken by tears and in a few minutes: Angelina Jolie brings back to the center of the debate the Law for the Reauthorization of Violence Against Women the proposal to reauthorize a law that extends state protections to victims of domestic and sexual violence introduced by a bipartisan group of US senators.
It’s a law from the 1990s that expired three years ago due to Republican opposition. A few months ago, the bill to reintroduce the rule, announced by Senator Dick Durbin , immediately obtained the consent of associations of victims of violence. And the Hollywood actress’ support made the news reverberate far and wide.
Speaking here, at the center of our nation’s power,” Jolie said, “my thoughts go out to those who have been reduced to powerlessness by those who abused them because the system failed to protect them. The reason many people find it difficult to leave abusive situations is that they felt worthless.
Parents whose children were murdered by an abusive partner, women who experience domestic violence but are not believed, children who have experienced life-changing trauma and PTSD at the hands of those closest to them.
Therefore, Angelina Jolie asked US senators to approve the law, considering it one of the most important votes in the Senate.
The silence of a very busy Congress renewing the Violence Against Women Act for an entire decade reinforces this sense of futility and you think: “I think my attacker is right, I don’t think I’m worth much”, continues the actress.
The law was first introduced in the Senate in 1990 by then Senator from Delaware Joe Biden and the objective was precisely to reduce domestic and sexual violence and improve the institutions’ response through a series of donation programs. A later version was included in a criminal law that then-President Bill Clinton signed into law four years later. Since then, Congress has reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act three times.
But in 2019 the law lapsed, as Republicans prevented the new authorization from passing the Senate due to a clause, which had been included in the law, that would prohibit people previously convicted of stalking from owning firearms.
It’s in Brazil?
Here we also have a lot to progress, but we already have the Maria da Penha Law, women’s police stations and many NGOs specializing in the subject. However, we still need a lot of education to guide women and men, in addition to continuing the fight against sexism, as it is known that, even in women’s police stations, many are still seen as “deserving” of punishment or villains, in the case of of rape.