Violence Exists. Women Exist. The Violence Against Women Act Should Too.
“[The Violence Against Women Act] promotes divorce, breakup of marriage, and hatred of men.”
–Phyllis Schlafly, conservative activist and president of Eagle Forum
No, Phyllis. Actually, the act provides community violence prevention programs, funding for rape crisis centers, services for victims with disabilities, and legal aid for survivors of violence. Seriously, it’s a freaking mystery as to how the act’s reauthorization is even up for debate.
I mean, how many victims of rape and domestic violence does a country need to get some legal protection around here? 4.8 million? Because that’s the horrifying amount of women that are affected every year—and those are just the incidents that have been accounted for. There are countless more that go unreported every day.
And in case anyone needs to be reminded—Native American women, immigrant women, and lesbians are human beings too. They’re not magically invulnerable to violence, despite what the House legislators who are attempting to exclude them from the act would have you believe.
“Those are side issues that have been attached to this bill,” says Congresswoman Cathy Rodgers.
Um, it’s called “The Violence Against Women Act” because it’s meant to protect ALL women; how could this possibly be a “side issue?” Cathy, I think what you mean to say is, “I am going to pretend those are side issues because if I vote to protect those women from violence, then I would logically have to vote for them to have other basic rights as well.” Today alone, more than 600 women in America will be sexually assaulted. If sexual assault does not discriminate against any demographic, neither should the law protecting these women.
The Senate has already passed a version of the Violence Against Women Act, with the help of WCF women-in-office like Senators Olympia Snowe and Claire McCaskill. If we are truly a nation in which all are created equal, it is absolutely crucial that the House passes it as well, without removing any of the existing protections.
The Violence Against Women Act doesn’t “promote divorce” or encourage “a hatred of men.” It gives all victims of violence protection under the law. So what’s the holdup?
This blog is part of the #HERvotes #VAWA blog carnival.
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