Outrage! How Congress failed millions of victimized women, but saved Hurricane Sandy relief

There was outrage this week when  House Speaker  and Republicans refused to pass a relief bill for  a few tens of  thousands of legitimately suffering Hurricane Sandy victims. There arose such a cry in the media, from Democrats  and Republicans alike, and from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie that the 112th Congress, at their 11th hour passed that desperately critical bill.

A few tens of thousands of Americans. It was that urgent. If they hadn’t acted the bill would have died, likely not to be taken up by the incoming 113th Congress. But this Congress managed to get the job done, amid their busy schedules of lobbyist luncheons, all important Benghazi hearings and FOX News/MSNBC partisan mud-slinging interviews. Another bill died, forgotten in the shadows. The Violence Against Women Act was held up, gutted and then left to die.  Luckily the loss of VAWA bill only affected the lives and well-being of roughly 170 million women in this country. There was no similar outrage, and hardly a whisper of acknowledgement for the death of the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA.

VAWA, credited as being born on the desk of then Delaware Senator Joe Biden in 1994, was actually bred from a history of abuse and brutality against women; the silent civil rights struggle. Signed into effect that same year by Bill Clinton, the bill provided vitally needed resources for abuse victims and began a process of calling attention to the special nature of crimes of violence against women, such as date rape, honor killings, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, sexual slavery, forced abortion, forced prostitution and marital rape, to name a few.

No doubt it was about cost, right? We are, according to the doomsayers, sliding off the cliff into the fiscal abyss. The nation can’t afford the less than 2 billion allotted annually for a project that does little more than save women’s lives. It had to be cut for the sake of the nation. The cost of the sandy relief: 60 billion, to start. It is easy to see the how Congress arrived  at their decision.

In fairness, this is  not about the Sandy victims, or the 72,000 homes and businesses destroyed by the storm. This is about perspective and priorities. This is about whether we are sincere about improving the lives of women, and about offering support to the 1 in 6 women who will be sexually assaulted or molested in this country. Every 9 seconds a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten, or around 21 in the time it takes to read this article. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the US, ahead of  car accidents, rape by a stranger or street crime combined. 2/3s of women abused at home do not contact shelters or police for help. In financial terms, the cost of abuse is more than $4 billion in medical costs, and nearly $2 billion in productivity at work. (Source: http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/)

Given that, the math should be relatively simple to figure out. I surprised Congress has not figured it out since they are among our best and brightest, at least what they would have us believe.

ACT NOW

Sunday on the show we’ll talk about this with Aisha Chaudhri from Apna Ghar http://apnaghar.org/, which “provides holistic services to women and children across immigrant communities in the Chicago area to end the cycle of domestic violence.  Apna Ghar empowers women to be self-sufficient by a full spectrum of services from education to emergency and transitional housing to counseling and legal services.”

On the show we’ll have details on becoming involved in reviving VAWA and protecting women. begin by organizing to become the squeakiest wheel you can become. Call and respectfully pester your Representative and Senators at the following, with their phone numbers here:

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Or call or email President Obama and tell him how important this is, and that we hold him and his presidential reputation and historical legacy accountable:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments

202-465-1414 and 202-456-1111.

If you are being abused, or know someone who may be:

www.apnaghar.org

www.rapevictimadvocates.org

www.4vawa.org

The woman,, relative, friend. mother, daughter and wife in life are counting on you.

Tune in every Sunday 8-9am only on Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT for the Revolution and Beer segment as Brian Murray and I sample the beer of the week with the Our Town gang, and run down the grassroots calendar for the week. If you’re tired of talk, talk, talk radio, this is do something radio. Have a beer. Get involved.

 Catch the beer of the week review with 900poundgorilla’s WC Turck and Brian Murray each Sunday 8-9am only on Our Town, at Chicago’s Progressive Talk, WCPT AM and FM, and streaming online. Friend us on Facebook  at Revolution and Beer. And find all of the great beers we review each week at Louis Glunz Beer Inc., www.glunzbeers.com. And check out their fine beer glasswear selections  at the “Beerables” link  at the bottom of their page.  

About 900poundgorilla

W.C. Turck is a Chicago playwright and the author of four widely acclaimed books.His latest is "The Last Man," a prophetic novel of a world ruled by a single corporation. His first novel, "Broken: One Soldier's Unexpected Journey Home," was reccommended by the National Association of Mental Health Institutes. His 2009 Memoir, "Everything for Love" chronicled the genocide in Bosnia and the siege of Sarajevo. His third book "Burn Down the Sky" is published exclusively on Amazon Kindle. It was in Sarajevo at the height of the siege where he met and married his wife, writer and Artist Ana Turck. FOX NEWS, ABC, CBS News, the Chicago Tribune and The Joliet Herald covered their reunion after the war. He helped organized relief into Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. Turck has been a guest on WMAQ-TV, WLS in Chicago, WCPT, WBBM radio, National Public Radio, Best Of the Left and the Thom Hartmann show. He has spoken frequently on Human Rights, Genocide and Nationalism. In 2011, his play in support of the Occupy Movement, "Occupy My Heart-a revolutionary Christmas Carol" recieved national media attention and filled theaters to capacity across Chicago. He remains an activist to the cause of human rights and international peace. View all posts by 900poundgorilla

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