The Violence Against Women Act addresses sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking primarily by providing grants and support to organizations and law enforcement programs. Congress will need to act quickly after returning from recess, as the current protections end Sept. 30.
As many mourn the tragic violent death of a young woman, I wonder if U.S. Rep. Rod Blum will vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Will he help prevent future tragedies of violence against women by supporting VAWA? Or, will he block efforts by Congressional Democrats to reauthorize it?
Blum’s statement on Mollie Tibbetts’s death included this sentence: “It is now time to point our energy towards bringing Mollie justice and ensuring a tragedy like this does not happen again.”
As a woman and a voter, I urge Rep. Blum to stop playing politics with the protections offered to women and offer his support in a bipartisan effort to protect women. The health and well-being of women is not a political bargaining chip, and this bill deserves his support.
Women across Iowa will be closely monitoring his vote on this reauthorization. We’ll see if Blum’s words are genuine or just lip service. We elected him to represent our interests and, by reauthorizing this bill, he could fulfill those words to the women he represents.
And, if Blum chooses not to support VAWA, women in the 1st Congressional District will remember in November.