Washington, D.C. – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after House Republicans refused to take up Senate Bill 47, a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that includes provisions to protect especially vulnerable communities, including college students, American Indians, and LGBT individuals:
“The determination of the House Republican leadership to block an inclusive, bipartisan Violence Against Women Act in favor of a narrow partisan bill that fails to protect all victims of domestic violence is nothing less than shameful.
The Republican leadership’s proposal leaves out updates to VAWA that protect college students, American Indians, LGBT people, and other underserved groups vulnerable to domestic violence and sexual assault. Victims’ advocates flat-out reject this proposal.
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 one-third of tribal women who have been the victims of rape or domestic abuse should have equal access to justice no matter where the perpetrator lives; and that domestic violence is still violence regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The House should stop holding victims hostage.
It’s time for the House to stop playing politics with victims’ lives 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.