House Republicans blocked the Violence Against Women Act yesterday, stalling bipartisan legislation that provides funding for domestic violence victims because they oppose expanding protections to Native American women, women in rural areas, women abused by same-sex partners; and some illegal immigrants (that last provision is aimed at protecting "child brides" brought to the US for sex slavery.)
In a floor speech yesterday, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) criticized House Republicans for blocking the bill, noting that VAWA passed the Senate with support from both Democrats and Republicans.
"Domestic violence protections for all women shouldn’t be a Democratic or a Republican issue," Murray said.
"One in three Native women will be raped in their lifetimes, 2 in 5 of them victims of domestic violence, and they are killed at 10 times the rate of the national average.
“And these shocking statistics aren’t isolated to one group of women– 25-35% of women in the LGBT community experience domestic violence in relationships, and 3 in 4 abused immigrant women never entered the process to obtain legal status -- even though they were eligible -- because their abuser husbands never filed their paperwork.
“Where a person lives, their immigration status, or who they love should not determine whether or not perpetrators of domestic violence are brought to justice.
Murray made a similar point in a Q&A with PubliCola last week.