Women are five times more likely than men to be the victim of violence from their partner. Two-thirds of all women who are murdered are killed by a family member or partner, and just 10% of all female murder victims are killed by a stranger. Millions of children are impacted by this violence every year.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was first passed in 1994, clearing both houses of Congress with broad bipartisan support before being signed by President Bill Clinton. It was renewed in 2000 and 2005, signed into law both times by President George W. Bush. None of these authorizations were controversial.
The law includes a number of provisions, including letting restraining orders stand across state lines, funding rape kit expenses, enforcing harsher penalties on repeat abusers, and establishing the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which receives more than 22,000 calls every month. Since the law was enacted, the rate of violence from a spouse or partner has decreased by two-thirds and the number of women killed by a spouse or partner has decreased by one-third. The success of the law, like its initial passage, is uncontroversial.
When Mick Mulvaney had a chance to vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, he voted no. Conservative Republicans introduced a watered-down version of the bill that pointedly excluded certain classes of women, but mainstream Republicans and their Democratic colleagues passed the original bill 286-138.
Given the chance to support women, Mick Mulvaney has failed time after time. He denies the scientific consensus that the Zika virus is dangerous to pregnant women and their babies. He refused to vote in favor of breast cancer research funding that wouldn’t impact the US Treasury. He voted against placing diaper changing tables in men’s rooms in Federal buildings like National parks and courthouses, the so-called BABIES Act. Only 34 Republicans — just 13% of all Republicans in the House of Representatives — voted in a way that suggests women alone are responsible for child care. Mick Mulvaney was one of them.
Mick Mulvaney’s views on women and women’s health parallel those of those most extreme members of his party, a group of legislators that has not allowed a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 and voted 172-3 against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, now the law of the land. Given another chance to stick up for the women in this district, he will undoubtedly fail again.