Most folks would be happy if their neighbors got evicted after three different “disorderly behavior” instances in less than three months. No one wants to deal with that much partying, dog barking, or loud music, right? But a “three strikes” disorderly behavior ordinance in Norristown, Pennsylvania, is now being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union of PA because instead of just evicting noisy nuisance neighbors, it is being used to evict innocent domestic violence victims for calling the police for help.
The ACLU filed this week on behalf of Lakisha Briggs, a domestic violence victim who called the police last year when her ex-boyfriend assaulted her; they arrived and arrested him. But police also told Briggs that if they kept returning to the residence over disorderly behavior calls, she would get evicted. Not surprisingly, Briggs was afraid to call the police regarding future incidents — including the time her ex-boyfriend attacked her with a brick — over fear that she and her three-year-old child would become homeless. And yet after a June 2012 attack from her ex-boyfriend that had Briggs airlifted to the hospital, police of Norristown threatened to evict them from their home because neighbors had called to complain. Keep reading »
House Republicans raised the white flag Thursday on extending domestic violence protections to gays, lesbians and transsexuals after months of resisting an expansion of the Violence Against Women Act.
GOP leaders, who had tried to limit the bill before last November’s election, gave the go-ahead for the House to accept a more ambitious Senate version written mainly by Democrats.
Democrats, with a minority of Republicans, were key to the 286-138 House vote that sent to President Barack Obama a renewal of the 1994 law that has set the standard for how to protect women, and some men, from domestic abuse and prosecute abusers.
t was the third time this year that House Speaker John Boehner has allowed Democrats and moderates in his own party to prevail over the GOP’s much larger conservative wing. As with a Jan. 1 vote to avoid the fiscal cliff and legislation to extend Superstorm Sandy aid, a majority of House Republicans voted against the final anti-violence bill. Read more…
Keep your fingers crossed: Politico is reporting that the Violence Against Women Act is expected to pass in the House of Representatives this week.
VAWA was originally championed by then-Senator Joe Biden back in 1994 and gets renewed very six years. The bill allocates funds to help victims of rape and domestic violence, including money to process rape kits, and prosecute men accused of abusing women. Sounds like a no brainer, right? Well, it’s not. Apparently violence against women is A-OK for some of our politicians. Last year, VAWA hit a snag in the House, which refused to pass a Senate version of the bill allocating funds to undocumented women, same-sex partners, and Native American women who are abused by non-Native American men. Keep reading »
Sorry if this is ruining your perfectly fine Wednesday, but we thought we’d bring this asshattery to your attention. The Senate voted in favor of the Violence Against Women Act on Tuesday, which is great! What’s not great: there were 22 jerks who voted against it. Thankfully, Whitney Dawn over at A Fine Frenzy compiled a list of all 22 dissenting Senators — which we’ve listed, along with their Twitter handles, after the jump, so feel free to put ‘em on blast.
And there is a silver lining: All 20 women in the Senate, regardless of party, voted in favor of VAWA, so there’s that. Keep reading »