Local Woman Petitions Congress To Renew Violence Against Women Act

Feb 21, 2013

A Miami Valley woman will deliver a petition Thursday to Speaker of the House John Boehner, urging Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. As WYSO's Emily McCord reports, she’s collected around 217 thousand signatures from across the country.

The Violence Against Women Act was enacted in 1994 and has already been approved by the Senate, but the bill is stalled in the house, where Republicans have voiced concern over new protections for immigrant, gay and Native American victims of sexual violence. Daytonian Sheila Thomas was a victim herself and was and says the legislation provides funding to local communities and law enforcement agencies to help victims and families. Thomas says she won’t deliver the entire 18 thousand-page printout of the petition but will deliver the signatures of people living in Speaker Boehner’s 8th congressional district.

"I want him to see that people are paying really close attention to not only the act but what members of congress are doing," says Thomas. "It’s impacting a lot of people right here in Ohio and I’m one of them."

The Violence Against Women Act may not be as contentious as last year, when the bill failed after the Senate and House could not reach an agreement. At a press conference last week, Speaker Boehner left the door open, telling reporters that no decision had been made yet as to whether the house would take up the Senate version.