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Posted on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Rebekah Warren calls on Congress to reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

By Ryan J. Stanton

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, on Thursday introduced a resolution urging Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and to do so in a swift and bipartisan fashion.

"The failure to act on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act last year signified a huge step backward in the fight to protect women and families from domestic violence," said Warren, who took part in the "One Billion Rising" event at the state Capitol on Valentine's Day, part of a global event inviting 1 billion women and those who love them to demand an end to domestic violence.


State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, joined by Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, urged Congress on Thursday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Courtesy photo

"There is no place for partisanship when it comes to reducing domestic violence, and this V-Day, we must demand that Congress act expeditiously to provide this crucial funding to support survivors of domestic violence and prosecute their perpetrators," Warren said.

A standoff over the U.S. House and Senate versions of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization last year resulted in the legislation expiring for the first time since it was passed in 1994.

While the U.S. Senate voted to pass the bill this Tuesday, the House has yet to act.

The bill would grant more than $650 million over five years to states and local governments for programs such as transitional housing and legal assistance to victims of domestic violence.

The Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate added protections for gays, lesbians and immigrants, a move that drew ire from some Republicans, ABC News reported.

Warren said the act provides critical funding for needed services and targets resources toward prosecution of violent crimes against women who are often without the necessary resources to navigate the legal system or afford legal representation.

Since the act was first signed into law nearly two decades ago, the number of women killed nationwide by their intimate partner has fallen 30 percent, and the annual rate of domestic violence against women has fallen more than 60 percent, according to statistics cited by Warren.

But even after the success of the act, Warren said, one in four women still experiences domestic violence in her lifetime, 68,500 women in Michigan were victims of domestic violence in 2011, and more than 100 domestic violence-related homicides occur in Michigan each year.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


martini man

Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 12:23 a.m.

Becky's on a roll . Women's special rights ..climate change, and who knows what else ? Today, Ann Arbor ..Tomorrow the State House. Look out Rick ..Becky's on the prowl !!!

martini man

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 11:22 p.m.

Oh gorsh darn it !!! My previous posting got deleted by the censors. I must have hurt some librool's feelwings. I'll admit it was meant to be sarcastic, but it was 100% truthful. Oh well ..this IS Ann Arbor .


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

"The Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate added protections for gays, lesbians and immigrants" So if I'm not a woman, gay, lesbian, or immigrant then I have a different law that applies to me? What in the world is happening to this country?


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 3:17 a.m.

They are waking up to the violence that plagues women, homosexuals and immigrants, often because they are gay or immigrants. How often have you been physically assaulted because you are a straight man?

Jay Thomas

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:07 p.m.

From the wiki "The Act also establishes the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice." It needs its own office? Does kidnapping have its own office? What about other crimes? "The Act's 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act's protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas. In April 2012, the Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, and the House subsequently passed its own measure (omitting provisions of the Senate bill that would protect gay men, lesbians, American Indians living in reservations, and undocumented people who were victims of domestic violence)." So it should cover gay folks, native Americans and illegal immigrants... but not men who happen to be straight and are abused by a woman? Really??? If I'm reading this right, originally with VAWA a woman could also sue her attacker in federal court, but it was struck down. This is another special group rights bill where everyone is not treated the same, does not have the same rights. I can see why liberals LOVE IT.


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 3:18 a.m.

Let them eat cake, in an abusive home. Just so some right wing blowhard on the radio can feel better about himself.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

Cut the bill, save some money.............put it towards the deficit reduction.

Joe Kidd

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

So if its been approved for two decades, drop the add-ons, gays, lesbians and immigrants take away the woman part and make it men and women and let's get it passed. Men get attacked too. That way gays and lesbians would be covered. I bet they already are. Rebecca might as well speak to congress, she isn't doing anything in her day job.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

Why can't it be a Domestic Violence Act? Why only protect certain classes of people? What did other classes of people do to these legislators that caused them to be ignored?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Laws should apply equally to all members of sciety. I'm getting tired of white male bashing................


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6 p.m.

"The failure to act on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act last year signified a huge step backward in the fight to protect women and families from domestic violence," said Warren And yet the Senator also refuses to honor the Constitution(s) which she is pledged to uphold and support the very tools that equalize the disparity of force most women face in these domestic situations. Papers, resolutions and ideals don't stop force. Force stops force.

Basic Bob

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

I call on Sen. Warren to represent me in Lansing. We elected people to represent us in Washington DC and Sen. Warren would get upset if they told her how to do her job.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

Stopping violence against women is certainly and admirable cause, but the Violence Against Women Act was created solely as a political bludgeon. When your political opponent votes against the VAWA, which spends millions in taxpayer dollars to essentially replicate services already provided by the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services and the states themselves, you can call them "anti-woman".


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

In addition, as some posters seem unaware, domestic violence is already a crime, has been a crime before this was eneacted and will still be a crime without this act.

Sam S Smith

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

I don't know what would be so wrong to include everyone--women, men, children. The sad thing about violence toward men is that it is often underreported because of shame. Those posts who tell men to "man up" do you really think that's helping anyone? While it is true women are more likely to be victims than men should this mean that men should not be included? Rather than sound or be hateful of others because for years they've had it better, please remember what it is like to be on the other side and work toward achieving equality for all versus it's pay back time.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

"Payback time"?? What's scary is you actually sound serious.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

I am all for it. All you have to do is call it the Domestic Abuse Act and make the funds available to all who need it.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

Incorrect Sam, your frequent commenting in a short period of time flagged automatic removal of comments to avoid a similar situation in the future please take try to take a balanced approach to posting. If you ever have any questions regarding a removed email please feel free to email us.

Sam S Smith

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

My post was deleted because I thanked jcj for writing this as I couldn't have said it better.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

A lot of the intolerant replies here remind me of that time honored saying: "Violence? Do you want me to give you something to cry about?" Those intolerant and backward opinions show clearly why this measure needs to be reauthorized.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

Nicholas, you talk about "intolerant replies," yet your previous post is possibly the most intolerant I've seen in reading the comments here. Your statement about feeling "discriminated against because nobody is worried about violence against the. Step forward, and show us how 'manly' you can be!" You are the one trivializing violence against men and asserting that it's all excuses. I assure you, my friend, violence against men is very real. Violence against women is, according to the statistics, a far more severe and pressing problem. That's why we should renew the Violence Against Women Act without changing the title. But remember that hundreds of thousands of real men are suffering, too.

Sam S Smith

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

Yes, this measure needs to reauthorized and updated to include ALL victims of domestic violence.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Let's hear from a bunch of whining men about how violence against women isn't really a problem. Or how they feel discriminated against because nobody is worried about violence against them. Step forward, and show us how "manly" you can be!

Sam S Smith

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

I don't recall any posts "whining about how violence against women isn't really a problem." I think the posts were about equality for everyone when it comes to domestic violence. Thank you for stepping forward and showing us how "manly" you are. It's not about exclusion or pay back, it's about equality.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

It's interesting that this article implies that the passage of the Act itself caused the decline in the number of women killed in the US and the reduction in domestic violence. Are these facts or insinuations? A lot of things have changed in the United States in the last 30 years - what else does this Act take credit for? More examples of fluff can be found: "one in four women still experiences domestic violence in her lifetime." Notice how I put quotes around that - because it's a quote, from an individual: Not a fact. Unless, of course, there are peer-reviewed articles that we can read that support such a statement (in other words, not an advocacy group putting out opinions). I feel this piece belongs less in the reporting section, and more in the opinion section.


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 3:15 a.m.

Thats what I thought NAVY. crickets.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

huh, I divide 1 by four and I get .25, or 25%. What do you get? This number is from the CDC, which uses peer review methodology. Isn't that what you asked for when you wrote "Unless, of course, there are peer-reviewed articles that we can read that support such a statement ". What stats do you have? Anything?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:23 p.m.

Clownfish- I almost spit up my coffee when you came up with that "one in four" number. Fun with math, that's for sure. Not least of which because the division you're suggesting is less than 1/3; because you equated two different groups and called them "A in B" when A is not in B, and moreso because the two numbers have (literally) nothing to do with each other. I see what they say about our nation failing to produce graduates who are proficient in mathematics or critical thinking skills. But I digress. I asked that the *author* produce relevant information. You, on the other hand, have simply provided us with some numbers about domestic violence, literally none of which address what I stated: That the implication of the article was that the Act reduced violence. You have produced nothing. My position (as I stated yesterday, in a different piece) is the null hypothesis: That the Act did not do anything. The null hypothesis in science cannot be "proven" (hence I provide nothing). It can only be "disproven" or "fail to be disproven" by the data - which you are to provide. You have not done so, nor has the author.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:07 p.m.

I notice that you supplied no statistics of your own to refute the above claims. Why is that? Here are some stats from the CDC -Women experience more intimate partner violence than do men: 22.1 percent of surveyed women, compared with 7.4 percent of surveyed men (huh, what do you know, that is about 1in 4. ) Violence against women is primarily intimate partner violence: 64.0 percent of the women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date. In comparison, only 16.2 percent of the men who reported being raped and/or physically assaulted since age 18 were victimized by such a perpetrator. Women are significantly more likely than men to be injured during an assault: 31.5 percent of female rape victims, compared with 16.1 percent of male rape victims,

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

You tell'em! You tell those women to stop complaining about violence.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 11:44 a.m.

It is sad that we need a law banning violence against anyone. Violence of any sort should not and cannot be allowed. It should be about people caring for all.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 7:22 a.m.

What I'm hearing in the comments is that many people are still uneducated when it comes to domestic violence. And, it's affect and implications on society. Taking a stand against domestic violence does not mean you have an issue with or are against men or think women are never violent towards men. Most men should not be intimidated by this bill. Domestic violence greatly hurts our sons and their futures. Also, please don't listen to those who try to say anybody who is for this kind of bill is a Democrat and anybody who is against it is a Republican. It's simply not true. This shouldn't be written off as 'grandstanding.' It is a very real issue that too many people deny and minimize. Look at the statistics. Children who live in domestic violence are significantly more likely to be physically, sexually, and emotionally abused. Not to mention the psychological affects and the broadening impact on future generations that will occur if people continue to write it off as some of these commentors do.


Sat, Feb 16, 2013 : 7:05 a.m.

Mike, this law affects everybody in the United States. Natural, heterosexual, adult male citizens of the United States are not only white. My sons will be white men. It protects and offers assistance to them, now. So they are less likely to be on the other end of this in the future. I love them dearly and my greatest wish and goal for them is that they overcome what they have been exposed to and go on to have healthy, happy lives. And, I am doing my damndest to achieve that goal. We are better off than some when it comes to finding a way out of domestic violence. If they are perpetrators of domestic violence when they are older, I will continue to love them unconditionally, which includes not enabling them. My grandsons may not be 'white', it all depends but, this will help protect them reguardless of their race, chosen religion, or chosen political party.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

This law only affects white men, it offers protection for all other classes....................

Fresh Start

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:25 a.m.

Democratic entitlments like these are why this country is going broke. "demand an end to domestic violence" really? If that's all I have to do then I'll just say it and keep my money. I sure do not need the help of a politically motivated congresswoman to do it for me.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:42 a.m.

Fascinating - we actually have men complaining here that they are equally the victims of violence perpetrated on them by women? Really? This is such a problem for you, that you can't defend yourself against your wife, girlfriend, mother, or daughter, that you feel like you need an act of Congress? Go for it, guys. We women are SO sorry that you're such victims of violence. Who knew?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

As my name indicates, I am a male survivor of domestic violence. I strongly believe that women are disproportionately killed or seriously injured in domestic violence in the United States. I am totally in favor of the Violence Against Women Act. We don't hear much about domestic violence against men, but it is very real and very hurtful. Men who are victims of domestic abuse often behave in the same way as battered women, finding themselves unwilling or unable to defend themselves or get out of an abusive relationship. I finally divorced my abuser after 25 years. The emotional abuse, the controlling behavior, the constant yelling, the obscenities, the kicking, the punching, the hair-pulling, the thrown objects, the blows with wire hangers, etc., all were too much. They destroyed me as a person. I am two and-a-half years out of the marriage and still have nightmares about what this woman did to me. My two kids were emotionally scarred by seeing their mother abuse me. I tried a few times to get help, but nobody believed me. Even as I was working on getting divorced and creating a life separate from her, my pastor told me I was not a man, didn't know what abuse was, should have been able to defend myself, would end up homeless in six to nine months, and was divorcing my wife for yelling at me for not taking out the trash! If you're a man and this is going on, you get put through hell when you seek help. Abused men need help, too!!! I imagine women go through a similar hell when they seek help. There is no reason not to fund the Violence Against Women Act. Let's make it a high priority. But let's also recognize and work to address the needs of abused men.

Sam S Smith

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

Wow. Speak for yourself. "We women are SO sorry that you're such victims of violence." We women? Do you really think that? Wow.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 8:01 a.m.

Seriously, "who knew"? What is this 1950? Or have you just not been paying attention for the last 60 years? Even if domestic violence were about pure physical strength, which it's not, demeaning victims of domestic violence should offend all people, both male and female. To essentially be saying, "what you're not man enough to protect yourself?" should make people cringe when they hear that. This isn't about men vs. women. It's about everyone, regardless of class, gender, or race, being able to feel safe in their own home. Let's not take a step back by saying that a certain gender is weak and needs protection, while the other gender is strong enough to take care of themselves. All victims of domestic violence equally should be able to get help and not feel demeaned by careless comments or stereotypes.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.

Ms. Warren, Please run for Gov. I acknowledge your relative lack of experience, but also see an opportunity for someone - anyone calling themselves a democrat and a candidate, that happens to have vision and conviction. I'll vote for any democratic candidate after being bamboozled into voting for SCHNIDLEYDOWRONG, but it would be nice if that candidate were an energetic Dem of this motion indicates you are.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

@dsponini: Tricky Rick Slick Rick The Slickster Get over your feigned indignation, or at least be consistent.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

dsponini, I notice you didn't also object to jusayin's "SCHNIDLEYDOWRONG."

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

@dsponini: name calling isn't solely for the playground. Some "adults" think it has a place in political discourse. They think they're being cute, or maybe even sophisticated.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:42 p.m.

"Ms. Warren, Please run for Gov. " Thanks. Now I have something to laugh about all through the weekend.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

Becky? How disrespectful


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

As a Snyder supporter, I would love it if Becky ran for governor.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

When did we start calling it, "V-Day?"

Bill Wilson

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

Talker, Women are no different than men: we are all citizens. An assault should be defined legally as having a perpetrator(s), and a victim(s). Whether either is male or female is a distinction without a difference. Warren's actions are a step backwards for female citizens.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

BW: spoken like someone who has never experienced sexual violence or feared for their sexual safety. Fight the good fight or get out of the way.

Sam S Smith

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:46 p.m.

Wow Loopy.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 5:01 a.m.

Funny how the only time people claim women are no different from men is when it comes to (1) paychecks (2) violence (3) housework. Other than those three crucial areas of discrimination, we're all "equal."


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

Though we need to end violence of all people by all people, this bill is about violence against women. It's needed now. We can't jeopardize good legislation while discussing more legislation.

Sam S Smith

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

It's not good legislation if it's discriminatory.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:56 a.m.

Just Becky grandstanding again. Move along, nothing more to see here. Looks like she was speaking before a "packed" house. Or maybe the janitor let her in.


Sun, Feb 17, 2013 : 11 a.m.

Come on, you deleted "The Ricktator?" Rick Snyder has been referred to as such (in regards to the passage of PA 4 and other controversial laws). I was only adding to IHeartA2's point. On what grounds did that qualify for deletion?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

Weren't those terms used by his GOP opponents, along with the pejorative "RINO"? Could be worse, they could call him a Magic Negro.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

"Why are conservatives so disrespectful? Becky?" Why do Liberals stereotype? I'm sure you call out all the "respect" our governor gets on a regular basis on these boards: Tricky Rick The Slickster Slick Rick No? Why not? It's about respect after all, right?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2 p.m.

Hatred, disrespect and mockery are Family Values. Just imagine if our conservative friends managed to follow the Teachings of Moses and Jesus? I know, I know, those Ten Commandments and the parables of JC are for Other People, not those that promote their inclusion in public life.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Why are conservatives so disrespectful? Becky?


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:02 a.m.

great post!


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

Let me get this straight. This funding ONLY goes for women who are battered. Hmmm......... Let's rewind the tape shall we? "Seaman, a Farmington Hills elementary school teacher, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2004 for striking husband Robert Seaman with a hatchet 15 times, slashing his throat and stabbing him more than 20 times in the back. Jurors rejected her claims that she was a battered wife acting in self-defense. Her appeals have been rejected." Let us ALL remember that it is not just men who play out in domestic violence. Here is another one! "A Michigan grandmother has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting her 17-year-old grandson multiple times in her West Bloomfield home as the boy pleaded for help. The grandmother, Sandra Layne, 74, was charged with open murder, which carries a life sentence, as well as carrying a firearm in commission of a felony." I personally find it absurd that Federal money can ONLY be spend on a defined gender. That would be like the Bill only helping Whites, or African Americans or Asians. Personally, I am shocked that this type of bigotry is allowed.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4:57 a.m.

JBK, did you even read the article or know what the act is about? It includes help with legal assistance and transitional housing to escape an abuser. If you really think men and women are on equal footing there, then you need to raise your awareness. It's not as simple as dialing 911, and everything magically works out.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 4 a.m.

Loopy - Not the point. The law should protect EVERYONE who is a victiom of domestic violence. You miss the point.


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 3:48 a.m.

So, you have a couple of anecdotes about females who strike out, and suddenly YOU'RE the victim? I think right-wing talk radio has warped its male fans into the new permanently aggrieved victim class. If you think you need a law to protect yourself against your grandmother or your girlfriend, no one can help you. And if you have daughters, I pity them.

Homeland Conspiracy

Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

Thank you


Fri, Feb 15, 2013 : 2:41 a.m.

Amen. People wonder why this country is so fractured. I'm sure Rebekah is concerned about domestic violence victims. I'm sure the money has nothing to do with it.