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This year's theme, , is focused on how the worldwide proliferation of small arms exponentially increases the threats that women and children face. 1 in the world for guns/per capita, with 88 guns/100 people -- far exceeding the second on the list, Serbia, at 58.2/100.
Access to firearms increases the chance of deadly domestic violence five-fold in the U. Internationally, especially in militarized areas where people are actively engaged in warfare or where the state is abusive and heavily armed, the threats are far greater. Despite real and profound harm taking place every day, VAWA remains hostage to those whose reasoning results in only some violence and abuse being "legitimate" and only some people deserving of legal protection.
So, for example, we have gendered correlations between abuse and homelessness that result from abuse because our economic system enshrines complementary roles for men and women that leave women economically vulnerable, their life stages largely out of sync with how the work place is structured.
Or, the fact that women who defend themselves against domestic violence are often imprisoned, with lengthy sentences, because self-defense laws and penalties have historically been based on stranger assaults -- between people assumed to be relatively proportionally physically similar -- which are overwhelmingly experienced by men.
Our failure to pass a robust VAWA puts these life-altering gains are at risk.
Like her, most women who face these situations are either criminalized or pathologized.So, all over the world, laws are not written to take into account a situation where a woman kills a man with whom she is intimate, maybe as he sleeps, because she knows from experience that when he wakes up he will, as he has for years, punch, choke and probably rape her; sometimes in the presence of their children.Once he is awake, she is generally at a disadvantage in this scenario.So, what does it mean that Republicans in Congress have degraded and continue to hold up passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for the first time since 1994?According to an exhaustively comprehensive study, the U. is squarely in the middle of the global pack as far as the physical safety of women is concerned, and a large part of the reason why is our high rates of intimate partner and domestic violence.