After Senate Republicans failed to weaken the Violence Against Women Act to exclude immigrant, Native American, and LGBT women from its full protections, attention now shifts to the House, where Republicans are pushing to do the same thing. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney refuses to take a firm stand.
Just how much violence against women are they willing to accept?
The American electorate can tolerate quite a bit from politicians, but no one respects a coward. The Violence Against Women Act revolutionized the way violent crimes against women are prosecuted and prevented. Since it became law, domestic violence has dropped by more than half.
But some Republicans in Congress are opposing the Violence Against Women Act because they want to exclude some women from its full protections. And Mitt Romney won't even take a stand.
All women deserve protection from abuse -- no matter if they are white, black, immigrant, Native American or gay -- and no violent criminal should get away with hurting them. How can Republican politicians who are too afraid to stand up for that principle live with themselves? Just exactly how much violence against women are they are willing to accept?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Authored by then-Senator Joe Biden, the Violence Against Women Act revolutionized the way violent crimes against women are prosecuted and prevented and the way communities respond to survivors.
- Domestic violence has dropped by more than half since the Violence Against Women Act became law in 1994.
- Two-thirds of Americans strongly agree domestic violence is a serious, widespread problem in the U.S.
- The Violence Against Women Act funds programs that assist both men and women. At the same time, it focuses on protecting women because women continue to bear the brunt of domestic and sexual violence:
- In the U.S., 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.
- Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped during their lives, compared with 1 in 71 men.
- Every day, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBTQ) victims experience domestic violence in 25% to 35% of relationships -- the same rate as in the general population.
- The reauthorization bill that passed the Senate yesterday with overwhelming support -- despite all of the "no" votes coming from Republican men -- has the backing of nearly all state attorneys general and nearly a thousand national, state, and local organizations in America.
- Like the Senate Republicans' version of the bill, the House GOP bill would exclude immigrant, Native American, and LGBT women from its full protections.