This version of VAWA (H.R. 4970) doesn’t live up to its stated purpose, however, says Bobbie Rose, who is Scott’s Democratic opponent in the 2012 election year.
The House version distinctly differs from the one passed last month in the Senate (S. 1925), which removed the obstacles many immigrants regularly encounter when reporting abuse, and extended coverage to the gay, lesbian and transgender community. S. 1925 also addressed the high levels of abuse Native American and Native Alaskan women endure in their communities, expanding their independent prosecution of domestic violence committed in their own jurisdiction. .
“Rather than reauthorize a bipartisan act, the House of Representatives chose to make a very partisan statement,” Rose says. “They decided that their female constituents would be best served if a group of GOP sheep determined which woman, which mother, which wife and which daughter should receive protection and aid from our government. They, in their infinite wisdom, determined that immigrant, Native American and LGBT women should be afforded no protections at all!”
The restrictive bill, which removed those terms from the Senate version, barely passed the House on May 17 with only a 222-205 vote. Scott and other South Carolina Republicans all voted for H.R. 4970.
“Unsurprisingly, our own Rep. Tim Scott voted with his guru, Eric Cantor, and the majority of the House to pass a bill that decides which women in America will be afforded protection from a violent abuser,” Rose protests.
So limiting is the House Republicans’ version of VAWA that even the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women opposes it, declaring it to be “dangerous for victims(.)”
The National Task Force strongly supported the Senate version of VAWA, however.
Scott’s support for this restrictive format of the bill, Rose says, should send a clear message to voters that the incumbent congressman fails to represent this constituents. “A 13-year average shows that 36,000 South Carolina women are victims of domestic violence every year, and 33 of those women are murdered by their abusers.”
The Palmetto State has held the dismal rank of first of all 50 states in homicide committed against women by men, and 12.5 percent of the South Carolina women are victims of physical abuse at least once in their lifetimes.
H.R. 4970 will now return to the Senate for consideration.
“I ask that everyone who loves and respects a woman, a wife or a mother to join me in protesting this abuse of the authority we granted our congressmen,” Rose says.
Defending women’s rights is a key platform issue of Rose’s campaign.