Jewish groups hail domestic violence legislation

Major Jewish organizations applauded last week’s reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which President Barack Obama was expected to sign into law on March 7.

B’nai B’rith International, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, the National Council of Jewish Women, Jewish Women International and the Jewish Council on Public Affairs — the umbrella body for the nation’s JCRCs — came out with statements in support of the legislation as soon as Congress approved it with a strong bipartisan majority Feb. 28.

The legislation sets aside as much as $660 million annually over the next five years for programs to help women who are victims of crime, abuse and sexual assault. The law initially was enacted in 1994, but it lapsed in 2011.

In her statement applauding the new legislation, RAC associate director Barbara Weinstein noted that one in four American women is predicted to be the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner over the course of her lifetime. — j. staff