Editorial: Domestic Violence Doesn’t Discriminate

The Violence Against Women Act, originally drafted and passed by then-senator Joe Biden in 1994, is making the rounds through Congress to be reauthorized. Last year the bill passed in the Senate with a bipartisan supermajority, but was blocked by House Republicans due to provisions providing increased care to gay, immigrant and Native American individuals that expanded the bill’s protection to over 30 million more individuals.

Yep. They blocked it because it covered more people.

It’s shameful that Republican House representatives are only interested in representing Americans who fit within their miniscule comfort zone. Domestic violence should not be politicized, and one’s sexual orientation, race or immigration status has no bearing whatsoever on whether he or she deserves protection from brutality.

Senators Patrick Leahy and Michael Crapo reintroduced the bill, omitting its increase in U-visas for immigrants who are domestic violence victims.

“Last year, women were used as political pawns by House Republicans, and we can’t let that happen again,” said co-sponsor Frank Lautenberg.

Republican representative Sandy Adams, herself a former abuse victim, has opposed the revised bill. “I’ve always been, and always will be, someone who stands up for victims’ and citizens’ rights,” said Adams.

It’s hardly brave to stand up for something that only benefits people just like yourself. Someone should break it to Adams that not all domestic violence victims are heterosexual white women. She should know better than almost anyone in Congress: no one, regardless of their demographic, deserves to be left powerless when confronting domestic violence.