Washington, D.C. – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after Republicans refused to allow the House to take up a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that includes provisions to protect especially vulnerable communities, including college students, American Indians, immigrants, and LGBT individuals:
“Today’s refusal by Senate Republican Leadership to allow an inclusive Violence Against Women Act to move forward is both vexing and horribly misguided. Their obstruction continues to allow people to be put in harm’s way.
Republican leadership claims to support VAWA, yet blocks it from including the communities that most need it. Today’s refusal in the Senate comes after Speaker Boehner’s appointment of conferees who all supported a House bill that was universally opposed by victim advocates.
Politics should not be played out to the detriment of victims of violence. Republican leadership is now bending over backwards to make it harder to protect students, LGBT people, American Indians, and immigrants from domestic violence and sexual assault.
Even in today’s polarized political climate, we should at least be able to agree that when we send our daughters and sons to college, they should be protected from stalking, violence, date rape, and sexual assault; that someone’s immigration status shouldn’t hold them captive to abuse and control; that one-third of Native women shouldn’t have to say they’ve been the victims of rape and attempted rape; and that domestic violence is still violence regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
It’s time for the House to change course and pass the Senate version of VAWA.”
Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
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