“Violence against women is as American as apple pie. I know, not only as a legislator, but from personal experience.”
Yesterday, Wisconsin Representative Gwen Moore spoke of her own sexual assault in an impassioned stand for victims of domestic violence, calling for the immediate reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.1 We need to stand with her today.
The bill to reauthorize the act has enough cosponsors in the Senate to pass, but House Republicans are blocking it—which is why Rep. Moore spoke out so personally and passionately.2
Last year when House Republicans tried to redefine rape as “forcible” rape only, MoveOn members helped spark a public outcry with a massive petition, and House Republicans backed down.3 We need to spark that same kind of outcry right now, in order to keep essential protections in place for victims of domestic abuse.
Why the sudden opposition to help for victims of domestic violence? Because some Republicans don’t want protections extended to rural and tribal populations, immigrant women, or LGBT victims of domestic violence.4 But no one deserves to be abused, regardless of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, or immigration status.
Imagine fleeing an abusive partner in the middle of the night, only to find that there’s nowhere to go and no one to turn to. No hotline to call for advice, no shelter to keep you safe, no advocate to help you in court. That could be the harsh reality for victims of domestic violence if House Republicans keep blocking reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
This is just the latest attack in the Republican war on women. From the attempts to redefine rape to limiting women’s access to breast cancer screening and contraception, the war on women’s health and safety is happening across the country.5 But some Republicans are starting to realize the political damage the war on women is doing to their party.
That creates a real opportunity for a grassroots campaign to stop Republicans from limiting protections for victims of domestic violence.