Vice President Joe Biden joined the ladies of The View to discuss violence against women. When Biden was growing up, domestic violence wasn’t talked about. There was a cultural stigma that the woman was to blame. Biden’s father taught him differently though and to intervene because it was never okay for a man to hit a woman.
The bill known as the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades was drafted by US Senator Joe Biden, now Vice President. The Violence Against Women Act or VAWA is a US Federal Law signed on September 13th 1994 by President Clinton.
The VAWA empowers women to speak up, get help and have legally backing to do so. Biden shared a story about a woman named Marla who was violently attacked. The women she knew still held onto old stigma and asked her, “Why were you there?” which places the blame on the victim, not the criminal.
The VAWA has been the subject of controversy, citing that it is unconstitutional due to rash penalties of restitution and mandatory HIV testing. However the provisions providing program funding were unaffected by the ruling and the group raising the legal questions went on to say, “VAWA is one of the most effective pieces of legislation enacted to end domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It has dramatically improved the law enforcement response to violence against women and has provided critical services necessary to support women and children in their struggle to overcome abusive situations.”
Biden stressed the current concern of colleges being held accountable to protect their students against violence, or risk losing funding under Title 9. The highest rate of violence is the 16-24 year old group, the high school and college crowd. Peer education is critical because Biden feels this generation is more likely to confide in a peer using texting rather than seeking face to face help with a non-peer.
Whoopi added a very important reminder to young women, advising them against smacking their boyfriends to get their attention. This is not exclusively an issue for women, they can be the abusers as well and it is much less likely that a young man would come forward due to an abusive girlfriend.
Susan B. Carbon is now the Director of the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women. Please follow the links below to apply for grants or seek help for victims.
Seventeenth Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act
The United States Department of Justice
The View episode featuring VP Joe Biden
The Violence Against Women Act
Follow The View on Twitter
Follow The Justice Department on Twitter
The National Domestic Violence Hotline