At a news conference Wednesday to push for the unrestricted reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis. shared her personal experience with abuse in an effort to get both chambers of Congress to reconcile the House bill with the Senate-Passed version.
In the video clip above, Moore shares an emotional testimony of being raped and sent a direct message to her colleagues:
As a woman of color I am particularly aggrieved that this bill ignores the special circumstances of women who are minorities, women who are in the shadows.
Stop playing games with the lives of women. They don’t want to hear us talking about a war on women, but I mean this is a direct assault on womens lives. Three women a day die because of victimization. And I would implore my colleagues to stop playing games.
A few weeks ago, the Senate approved the reauthorization of the VAWA with a 68 to 31 vote—31 opponents were Republican men. The “games” that Moore refers to are the obstacles the bill faces getting through the Republican-led House.
Colorlines.com gender matters blogger Akiba Solomon notes that the opposition to VAWA doesn’t just affect women:
Republicans take umbrage when they’re accused of waging a war on women. That pearl clutching seems awfully hollow given that the Republican-backed House version of VAWA seeks to roll back common-sense extensions of the Senate version of VAWA including more U-Visas for immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence, the elimination of red tape that contributes to one in three Native American women being raped in their lifetimes, and protections and shelter for LGBT folks in abusive relationships. If anything, I would expand the “war on women” language to be more inclusive. Let’s just start calling it a “war on people.”