Feminists rallied in front of the Supreme Court building this morning in support of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as the Court heard Brzonkala v. Morrison today. The case involves a Virginia Polytechnic Institute student who was allegedly raped by two Virginia Tech football players, and centers on the civil rights statute of VAWA, which allows victims of gender-based violence to sue for damages in federal court.
This morning’s rally was organized by the National Organization for Women and supported by NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Association of University Women, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. NOW LDEF is representing Brzonkala in the current case. FMF Field Representative Amanda Silver called the rally “inspiring,” and was pleased to note a high media presence covering the event. Silver also noted a small counterprotest of 5-10 individuals, organized by a father’s rights group, and reported that their attempts to co-opt the pro-woman cheers were “very unsuccessful.” This morning, feminists communicated a clear message: violence against women is wrong, and its victims should have access to the federal court system.
The Clinton Administration, along with 36 states, sided with Brzonkala, and want the civil rights statute reinstated. A ruling in the case is expected by July.