I've been lucky enough to know Donna for nearly 20 years, and to know that her brand of responsive, solution-driven leadership is what Maryland, the Senate, and the country needs most now.
The United States offers protections to individuals who have suffered persecution, or fear that they will suffer persecution, due to their race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
Colleges and universities are soft targets for legislators; it doesn't take much moral courage for a Senator to beat up on a university that allows a predatory quarterback or arrogant frat boys to get away with horrible offenses against women. Shame on the university presidents who have looked the other way.
Students starting college this coming fall will be the first to benefit from the Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE), which will require colleges to have "prevention and awareness" programs about sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and domestic violence in place.
It seems like every week brings new and horrific stories of sexual harassment and violence on America's college campuses. Study after study shows that sexual harassment and violence are far too prevalent in institutions of higher education.
In just a few months, we'll be in an election year. If Republicans are serious about appealing to female voters, they ought to pass a budget that shows it. Otherwise all that denial that they're engaged in a war on women is just that -- talk and denial.
Prior to VAWA, in many states physical and sexual violence against a woman by someone she knew was not considered as serious a crime as was an attack by a stranger. Thinking about it now, it's hard to believe.
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As a domestic violence and sexual assault prosecutor in the 1990s, I served in the immediate aftermath of the Violence Against Women Act, and California's Nicole Brown laws allowing previous uncharged acts of family violence or sexual assault as evidence in court, so I saw the VAWA effect up close.