Letter: Voters want an accounting for Doc's decision

April 3, 2013 

We voters want Doc Hastings to explain his vote against the Violence Against Women Act extension, which 87 House Republicans supported.

Half of our population is women. We live in an area with known human trafficking problems, and our large Native American population is deeply impacted by the law as non-Natives, who previously could not face prosecution, commit 87 percent of rapes against Native American women.

Many abuse victim advocates credit VAWA for a sharp decline in abuse rates since it was first adopted in 1994. Still about 1.3 million women suffer assault by a domestic partner every year, and intimate partners are responsible for one-third of female homicide victims. One in four women will be victimized in her lifetime.

Moreover, boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to become abusers themselves, thus perpetuating this corrosive social problem.

VAWA provides funds for legal assistance, transitional housing, counseling and support hotlines. It helps us approach our becoming a land of liberty and justice for all. Without VAWA and federal support, our country betrays itself as one of the most backward of the developed nations because it de facto condones violence against women and condemns children to violent lives.

MICHAEL SYMONDS, SUE BARBUS, ANKE WILDMAN, LESLIE WALDO, MICHAELA MANN, Prosser

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