VAWA and the Super Bowl
Like many in the “broader Maryland” area, I watched and celebrated the Ravens’ Super Bowl victory this past weekend. I ate my requisite snacks, groaned at some commercials, and kvelled at Beyonce’s “throw-back” performance. For many, though, the Super Bowl is not the happy family occasion we might imagine – and I’m not just talking about disgruntled 49ers fans.
For many years now, there has been a lot of discussion over the Super Bowl and domestic violence, and whether or not – as has been suggested by some journalists – there are higher rates of abuse amidst all of the football fanfare. This connection isn’t totally supported by the domestic violence community, but even if the link proves to be unfounded – even if domestic violence levels on Sunday night were on pace with the average rate – then over the course of the three-hour game, 1,200 women in the U.S. would have been assaulted or beaten. Statistics would predict that one in three female readers of this very post have been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused over the course of their lifetimes. We’ve seen these statistics before, but hopefully we will never cease to be shocked by the horrific prevalence of domestic violence in our country.
Luckily, this week, there’s something you can do to help assist victims of abuse and assault: you can urge your Senators to vote for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA was due for reauthorization in 2011, but due to partisan politics and disagreements didn’t receive a vote in the 112th Congress. The bill is being voted on in the Senate this week – so NOW is the time to tell your Senators to support a strong, inclusive VAWA that helps protect all women.
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