I know it's Election Day and we're all supposed to be focused on how America is refudiating liberalism, but it's worth noting some of the other things that happened today. For instance, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has released a new report detailing intimate-partner violence in 2008 and showing a sharp increase in violence within the LGBT community:
The total cases reported to NCAVP members in 2008 was 3419. This represents a slight increase, 1.2%, over 2007.
The total percentage of those reporting as “Lesbian or Gay represents the majority of the reported incidents (67%). An increase in reporting in sexual orientation in the category “Bisexual” by 18%. There was a 21% decrease in the category of “Heterosexual” reports. The total percentage of those reporting as “Lesbian” or “Gay” still represents the majority of the reported incidents (67%).
This isn't a scientific sample, but the NCAVP draws from 35 anti-violence organizations across the country, and there's a fair chance that this reflects general trends in intimate-partner violence. Advocacy groups are working hard to reduce violence, but federal action would be welcome. In particular, it would be nice to see Congress reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, which provides funding for victims and their children at over 1,600 shelters across the country and offers grants aimed at reducing intimate-partner violence in minority, immigrant, and LGBT communities.
The reauthorization bill has some bipartisan support, but given the GOP's intense hostility to government programs -- and it's antipathy toward anything that smacks of feminism -- I wouldn't be shocked if this failed in a Republican-controlled House or was filibustered in a more conservative Senate.
In any case, when we're thinking about the effects of this election, they go far and beyond the ups and downs of the Democratic Party or the Obama administration; real legislation will go by the wayside, and real people -- like the victims of intimate-partner violence -- will suffer the consequences.
-- Jamelle Bouie
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