The Violence Against Women Act, VAWA, passed in 2012 without the vote of 130 House Republicans. That doesn’t stop these same Republicans today from saying that they are in support of the bill now. To make matters worse, the GOP caused the government shutdown that defunds the bill.
However, now Republicans are lying about not supporting the VAWA and the Shutdown. They refuse to admit that they didn’t vote for the bill or that defunding the bill will cause even more pain for victims of violence. We are talking about women and children who are being beaten, almost to death in many cases.
Because of the Shutdown, funding for domestic violence programs will be stopped. ThinkProgress reported that these programs have received letters that warn if the government stays shut down after this Friday, Oct. 4th they will not “be able to draw down the funds they normally rely on.” The Office of Justice Programs, (OJP), provides funding for the VAWA. A rape crisis center in Northern California received a letter from the OJP.
A letter from the Office of Justice Programs, “Should funding not be restored by October 4, 2013, OJP will cease all operations and California will not be able to draw down funds and reimburse your invoices.”
We all know that it was the Republicans who have continually tried to take our social help networks completely away from the folks who desperately need them. The Nation reported that, “Now in its eighth day, the government shutdown has already kicked 7,000 children out of Head Start, and endangered 9 million women and children on WIC, including 2,000 newborns in Arkansas that may not receive nutritional formula if the shutdown persists.” True to Republican form, the most needy get nothing.
We know now that the shutdown succeeded in doing what the shutdown was meant to do, close another social program that protects women against violence. Carpenter said that the reason for the end of funding was that “the federal agencies that administer funding for domestic violence programs have ceased operations.”
Carpenter cited an incident where a program in DC called, Advocates For Empowerment was sent a letter that they would have to raise $19,000 a week on their own now. That would, “provide shelter, emergency lock changes at victims’ homes, staff for the hotline and court advocates during the shutdown.”
To make matters worse, Republicans like Tea Party member and anti-women idiot, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), after voting against the VAWA, now lies about how he voted and says he supports the bill.Rep. Steve King stated that, “I supported VAWA in 2005, 2012, and today I voted in support of the House version to see that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have access to the resources and protection when they need it most.”
That is quite a change after King said that, as KMEG in Sioux City reported, King said he hasn’t heard of instances in which young victims of statutory rape or incest become pregnant. King also supports a bill that is called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would ban the federal funding of abortions, unless pregnancy was cause by forcible rape.
Could this government shutdown have been a way Republicans could get rid of programs that protect women and children? It certainly is starting to look that way.
Richard Andrew is a guest blogger for Ring of Fire.