VAWA is up for reauthorization this year. While VAWA is a landmark piece of legislation that has, for the past 15 years, provided needed money to domestic violence shelters and legal services, it must go further. VAWA 2011 should include robust provisions that create accountability for government officials — especially law enforcement — when they turn a blind eye to women and children in need. Many police officers are doing their best to protect these marginalized, vulnerable populations. But those who are not should be held accountable. Congress must reauthorize VAWA, specifically a version requiring the Department of Justice to initiate investigations when bad cops turn their backs on domestic-violence victims and their children. . . For our mothers, sisters and friends, let us protect our human right to life — a life without violence.
-- From an op-ed in today's Miami Herald by Miraisy Rodriguez and Farrah Elchahal, law students at the University of Miami's Human Rights Clinic, run by guest/alumna Carrie Bettinger-Lopez