Tom Laurent: LaMalfa and his stance on violence against women
First authorized by Congress and becoming law in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has greatly improved the response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
The act provides grants and support to local agencies that allows them to provide enhanced services that helps keep victims safe.
Data from the 2010 National Intimate Partner Sexual Violence Survey indicated that 1 in 6 women (16.7 percent) have suffered some kind of sexual violence from their partner. This means that approximately 45,000 women in our district have suffered some form of sexual violence from a spouse or partner before the enactment of act.
Since enactment of the Violence Against Women Act, incidents of intimate partner violence have decreased by 67 percent and intimate partner homicides have been reduced by 35 to 46 percent.
The Violence Against Women Act was up for reauthorization in 2013. LaMalfa voted no and apparently didn’t care that his no vote meant another 22,000 women in our district could experience sexual violence.
Did LaMalfa vote against reauthorization of the act because it included protections for under served populations based on their geographic location, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, racial, ethnic, disabilities, age and alien status?
Is LaMalfa anti-women, anti-LGBT or anti-immigrant? Or is it because LaMalfa’s ultra-conservative ideology makes him indifferent to people not sharing his values?
Thankfully the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized despite LaMalfa’s no vote.
This year the Violence Against Women Act is up for reauthorization (http://www.govtract.us/congress/bills/115/hr6545). Since firearms are the most commonly used weapon in domestic violence homicides, the bill includes provisions that: 1) prohibit persons convicted of stalking from possessing a firearm; 2) prevents sale of firearm to a person subject to a protection order; 3) notifies law enforcement agencies of attempted purchase of a firearm by a prohibited person; and 4) reporting background check denials to state, local and tribal authorities.
Will LaMalfa do the right thing this time and help reduce violence against our district’s and nation’s women or will he again vote no and show his discrimination against people who don’t share his ultra-conservative values?
Our women have the right to live without fear from domestic and sexual violence and stalking. The Violence Against Women Act is critical in supporting these rights. Since restrictions are placed on firearm ownership by violent men, LaMalfa will ask the NRA how he should vote on this bill.
Tom Laurent lives in Yreka.
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