This paper provides a summary of the public policy meeting regarding the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). It addresses the purpose of the hearing, its participants and provides the background information on the committee. Moreover, the paper reviews one of the topics that were discussed during the meeting and analyzes stakeholder positions related to it. The report concludes by outlining the outcomes of the hearing.
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Purpose, Participants, Agenda, and Logistics
The meeting is held to discuss the need to re-authorize the VAWA. The purpose of it is to suggest the measures aimed to renew and extend the act (National Cable Satellite Corporation, 2018). The key participants include Chuck Grassley, the chair of the Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, and Katharine Sullivan. The participants were also US Senators Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, Chris Coons, John Cornyn, Mike Crapo, and others, as well as Amanda Nguyen, an activist, and a rise founder.
Key agenda items included the hearing from Katherine Sullivan, the Principal Deputy Director in the Office on Violence Against Women, as well as Nguyen, and Tracy Prior, the Chief of Family Protection Division in San Diego County. The meeting logistics included the round of questions to Sullivan and Prior. Moreover, the meeting involved discussions on obtained information between the participants.
Senate Judiciary Committee is a committee that oversees the Department of Justice and the agencies under its jurisdiction. It also considers nominations and reviews pending legislation (U.S. Senate, n.d.b). The committee’s work is associated with legislation, resolutions, petitions, and memorials in various areas. They include government information, apportionment of representatives, clinical and criminal judicial proceedings, the patent office, immigration and naturalization, civil liberties, revision and codification of the US statutes, constitutional amendments, and trademarks and copyrights. The committee consists of 20 members, 11 of which are from the majority party, and nine are from the minority one (U.S. Senate, n.d.a).
Law Enforcement and Victim Support
One of the topics that were discussed at the meeting was how the victims of violence should be supported while reporting crimes. The members of the hearing were engaged in the discussion about the time when law enforcement should be implemented after an incident of sexual assault or domestic violence. Feinstein raised this question because it is possible to assume that law enforcement is trained properly, is aware of individuals’ exposure to traumatic experiences, and uses the best practices to provide support. Senators Whitehouse and Prior were engaged in the discussion of the issue and shared their opinions with the committee.
Key Stakeholder Positions
Whitehouse noted that victims should report the incident as soon as possible, while Prior insisted that the interaction with law enforcement can make the individual feel uncomfortable to be involved in the system (National Cable Satellite Corporation, 2018). The woman agreed with Whitehouse that it is necessary for a victim to discuss the problem and receive professional help. She added that trauma-informed care for first responders was crucial because individuals need to feel the support of law enforcement practices.
Whitehouse noted that victims always avoid prosecuting their abusers but want to stop violence (National Cable Satellite Corporation, 2018). The participants of the discussion concluded that the goal of law enforcement should be to engage with victims rapidly and ensure that provided support measures are trauma-informed.
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The key interactions of the meetings occurred between Feinstein, Grassley, Kennedy, Whitehouse, and Sullivan, as well as Whitehouse and Prior. Senators asked the women questions about successful projects that have been funded under the rural grant program, the effective use of funds, the cases of violence reported by individuals, and the measures used to support them. Moreover, Sullivan and Prior were asked how to improve individuals’ experience while reporting violence, provide them with the necessary support, and eliminate re-traumatization. The women answered these questions based on what they have encountered in their practice while working with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The outcomes of the meeting were that it is vital to enhance the law enforcement system and introduce the bill that suggests law enforcement that implements victim-centered training. This way, when a victim reports a crime, there will be rules that the government has to follow, considering how to interact with an individual to eliminate potential adverse outcomes on their emotional state. Nguyen agreed that it was vital to establish a trauma-trained system to support individuals and prevent them from having a secondary traumatic experience while reporting violence (National Cable Satellite Corporation, 2018). Participants concluded that trauma-informed care should be the focus of law enforcement.
VAWA is an act that can play a significant role for victims of domestic violence, sexual harassment, and related crimes. The presented meeting discusses the aspects of this act and addresses the problems individuals encounter while reporting incidents. The hearing concludes that it is vital to develop a bill that supports a trauma-informed system and victim-centered law enforcement to eliminate adverse outcomes for affected individuals.
National Cable Satellite Corporation. (2018). Violence Against Women Act reauthorization . Web.
U.S. Senate. (n.d.a). FAQ. Web.
U.S. Senate. (n.d.b). Jurisdiction. Web.