As a person of faith and former lifelong Republican, it is so discouraging to see the Republicans in the Senate turn the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization into a partisan political battle controlled by the NRA and designed to roll back protections already agreed to for Native American communities. This is one of many reasons why I have become a registered Independent though I have spent my adult life as a Republican. Seems like the Republicans have had a tough enough couple of weeks without now further undermining the always bi-partisan support that VAWA has had since 1994.
Women, children, men, police officers, and many others are dying every year because of the violence of primarily men who choose to abuse women and girls. Native women are abused at much higher rates than all other women. Why would the Republicans propose even less protection for them? Why would Republicans try to tie the hands of the tribes in holding offenders accountable? I just spent a week working with tribes at the USDOJ National Advocacy Center in South Carolina and felt their pain and heartbreak at the violence and abuse by Native and Non-Native men they struggle to address.
Why do the Senate Republicans keep trying to protect violent, rage-filled abusers of women and ensure they have access to guns when they decide to kill their partners, police officers, or total strangers? The majority of mass shooters in this country are men with a history of violence against women. The majority of police officers killed every year in this country are killed by men with a history of violence against women. The majority of women killed in this country in intimate relationships are killed by men who should not have been in possession of firearms.
I have worked in the domestic and sexual violence movements for more than 30 years and it is shameful to see what is happening in the Senate today with VAWA.
Multiple news outlets are reporting that “religious conservatives” are supporting US Senator Joni Ernst in her opposition to VAWA as passed in the House. If true, this is such a misguided and uninformed use of faith. If you describe yourself as a religious conservative, I would love to hear your reasons for opposing VAWA in its bi-partisan form. And please don’t attack me just by using God as your ally or questioning my faith because of my stance on these issues. God is not a Republican. Please don’t hide behind the Second Amendment either. I support the Second Amendment. But violent, rage-filled people should not get to keep arsenals. They sacrifice their constitutional right to bear arms when they violate the fundamental rights of others with their violence and abuse. And please don’t mix up Jesus with gun ownership. Jesus never owned a gun. I try to live my life by the teachings of Jesus and the best I can come up with is, “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword.” I am pretty sure He would not be supporting the Second Amendment rights of violent men today.
If you post here in support of the Senate Republicans’ position on VAWA, please try to justify their actions with any rational public policy reasons. Don’t name call. Just try to back up their positions on these issues with arguments that are genuine.
God is not a Republican and Jesus never owned a gun. So, let’s pass the House of Representatives version of VAWA now and get back to the day to day struggle we should all be committed to of breaking the vicious generational cycles of violence and abuse that so often end the lives of women, children, men, police officers, and bystanders in the wrong place when the guns go off in mass shootings in the country.
Survivors of domestic and sexual violence and the families of those who have lost their lives deserve the immediate passage of VAWA in the House and the Senate.