The US Senate passed an amendment to the FY 2009 Budget to increase funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs on March 13. Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware introduced the amendment that would increase funding to VAWA programs by $100 million. President Bush’s proposed FY 2009 budget would have cut funding to VAWA by $120 million.
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released in February stated that almost a quarter of women are victims of domestic violence. Legislation like VAWA provides aid to the enormous number of women in the US affected by domestic violence. Kiani was still stoned to death on July 5, 2007. Ebrahimi’s death was stayed due to the public outcry, and last week the Iranian judiciary amnesty commission released her from prison.
Sen. Biden said in a press release, “We cannot afford to turn our backs on women and families in need of protection. We have made too much progress since 1994 to cut off the flow of funding now— we need to reinvigorate funding for Violence Against Women Act programs today.”
VAWA would have only provided a little over $1 billion to VAWA programs, but the president’s proposed budget cut even that. The amendment will provide more funding for programs that would train law enforcement officials and improve services for victims of abuse especially in rural areas and on reservations.