Saturday Dec 3, 2022
Saturday Dec 3, 2022

Jolie urges US Senate to pass Violence Against Women Act

2022 Feb 10, 17:09, Washington
Angelina Jolie with her daughter Zahara Photo: ANI

 Oscar-winning actor and humanitarian Angelina Jolie appeared in a press conference held at Capitol Hill and urged the US Senate to renew the Violence Against Women Act.

As per Deadline, the 46-year-old actor made a plea for lawmakers to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which she said was essential to offer basic protections to survivors of abuse.

Jolie was accompanied by her 17-year-old daughter Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt.

Speaking at a press appearance at the Capitol along with a group of senators, Jolie also called out Congress for letting the law lapse.

The law was first passed in 1994 and included provisions for federal level prosecution of interstate domestic violence and sexual assault crimes, as well as support for shelters, rape crisis centres and community organizations. It was last reauthorized in 2013 but expired in 2019, and has since languished, reported Deadline.

"The reason that many people struggle to leave abusive situations is that they've been made to feel worthless. When there is silence from a Congress too busy to renew the Violence Against Women Act for a decade, it reinforces that sense of worthlessness. You think, 'I guess my abuser is right. I guess I'm not worth very much,'" Jolie said.

She added that passing the law "is one of the most important votes senators will cast this year."

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Wednesday that a bipartisan agreement had been reached on renewing the law, that came after a provision was dropped that would have restricted unmarried partners from having guns if they were found guilty of domestic violence, as per Deadline.

Jolie had a series of visits to Washington DC last year, including a meeting at the White House with Press Secretary Jen Psaki, where the passage of the law was a central topic.

While interacting with the media, Jolie singled out several provisions in the law, including funding for "non-racially-biased forensic evidence collection," and the "jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators of sexual assault, child abuse and sex trafficking on tribal land."

The three-time Golden Globe Award winning-actor also cited Kayden's Law, which restricts certain alleged and convicted abusers from having unsupervised parenting time with their children.

Deadline reported that Jolie even choked up at the end of her remarks, as she acknowledged the children "who are terrified and suffering at this moment."

She went on to recognized "the many people for whom this legislation comes too late, the women who have suffered through the system with little or no support, who still carry the pain and trauma of their abuse, the young adults who have survived abuse and have emerged stronger, not because of the child protective system but despite it, and the women and children who have died who could have been saved."

Jolie also met with EPA Administrator Michael Regan to discuss environmental stressors and children's health.

"We know these issues are interconnected, and that's why our @EPA team is taking a holistic approach on environmental justice to protect ALL children and ALL communities," Regan wrote on Twitter.


Angelina Jolie Violence Against Women Act Capitol Hill Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt
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