Political Animal


January 04, 2013 4:52 PM Rape in India and the VAWA

By Ed Kilgore

As I hope my sarcastic reference to rape apologists in the last post reflected, rape is among the ugliest phenomena of our species, and not something to be rationalized or made light of. The recent gang rape incident in New Delhi has appropriately spurred a lot of outrage, and some important reflection, as with a E.J. Graff column at TAP that after a long and eloquent discussion of “rape culture” brings it all home:

I can only hope that the response to the attack in India includes outrage at congressional Republicans’ astounding refusal to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), one of the most effective tools to help prevent such violence, which the Prospect’s Jamelle Bouie has already told you about. In its past 18 years, it has funded tremendously useful projects ranging from a stalking help line to statistical research to law-enforcement training in responding to intimate-partner violence. According to the National Organization for Women’s reading of Bureau of Justice statistics, in the first 15 years after VAWA was originally passed, intimate-partner violence homicides dropped by 53 percent, and female homicides dropped 43 percent. While of course that cannot all be attributed to VAWA—homicide deaths in general have fallen during that period, for a myriad of reasons—VAWA has been an important tool in training, educating, funding, and helping to enforce new norms. If this were called “domestic terrorism,” far more of the nation’s budget would be dedicated to end it. You’d think that their November loss at the ballot would’ve educated Republicans about the fact that women actually vote. But some people learn very, very slowly.
Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Josef K on January 04, 2013 5:16 PM:

    The imbecile elephants (or GOPosaurs, depending on which outlets you read) have at least one member who once adviced, in public, for women to just lie back and "enjoy it".

    Its impossible - literally, biologically impossible - to imagine the party that tolerates that to have the slightest empathy for women who have been assaulted, never mind be able to contribute in a positive manner.

  • R on January 04, 2013 7:20 PM:

    I'm still trying to figure out why any woman, or man who respects women as equal, would vote Republican these days. These guys are not Lowell Weicker or Jim Jeffords; they're Neanderthals (only more stupid).

  • Rick B on January 04, 2013 7:30 PM:

    Tolerance of Rape creates a two-class society. One class is those who rape - and enjoy it. The other class is those who are raped and who bear the consequences, to include losing all control of their own position in society and how others treat them.

    That class society also has other classes, but it's the kind of tribal pre-industrial society that dominated the world two centuries ago. Expect the conservatives to fight to defend their exploitation of women and minority groups. They hate modern urban life styles.