The Violence Against Women Act and Trump
A Culture of Hatred
According to the Huffington Post, in 1994, the first federal legislation that acknowledged domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes otherwise known as "The Violence Against Women Act" was passed. In 2018, the same bill which funds efforts to protect women and people in general from domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, etc., will have to pass through a Republican controlled House and Senate and ultimately be signed by Donald Trump himself. Rita Smith, a crisis counselor at a battered women's shelter was expecting to see the first woman President only to find out that Donald Trump, a candidate with a long history of abuse towards women was put into office. According to, "The Washington Post" after Trump was named the President Elect, the Southern Poverty Law Center counted 867 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation only ten days after the November 8th election. Loretta Lynch stated that the F.B.I. statistics for the year of 2015 revealed that there was a 67 % increase in hate crimes against Muslim Americans according to Alexis Okeowo in her article, "Hate on the Rise After Trump's Election" which was printed in, "The New Yorker".. The number of hate crimes against African Americans, Jewish Americans, and L.G.B.T. (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people also increased. In general, hate crimes spiked by 6 %. One example was in Ann Harbor, Michigan, where police were investigating a man described to be around twenty or thirty and intoxicated approached a Muslim student and threatened to set her on fire with a lighter if she refused to remove her hijab (head scarf). Another example is a woman in Colorado reported that a little boy walked up to her daughter and said, "Now that Trump is President, I'm going to shoot you and all the blacks I can find." The hate crimes being reported include assaults, bombings, threats, and destruction of property of minorities, women, L.G.B.T. people, and others.
"My concern is based on not just what his behavior has been, because he is an individual, but what he can do to influence other men's behaviors and other women's perception of their value. Even just the election itself had an impact on how men treated and talked about women."---Rita Smith, the former executive director of National Coalition Against Domestic VIolence
The Adulation of Trump
Advocates who worked for decades trying to stop violence against women expressed mixed emotions of uncertainty, confusion, and anger about Trump being elected.. What they were looking for was a political administration that would support their work of trying to stop violence against women. They really do not know how to work with Donald Trump. Jackson Katz, the author and co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention, a gender violence prevention program that is taught on colleges and high schools in the United States, said that historically who we elect as President plays an important teaching role about what virtues and characteristics Americans value and adulate in men.
"We elected a man who is openly misogynistic who has a decades-long public life of ridiculing, belittling, and sexually objectifying women. The fact that we have lifted him up to be president makes a powerful statement about our society and what we accept."--Jackson Katz
The Attorney General
Recently, Trump fired Attorney General Sally Yates. The new Attorney General is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a United States Senator who was considered too racist to be a judge in 1986. In the last several years he was in direct opposition to reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Sessions supports the use of the Confederate flag and defended Trump regarding some rather lewd comments he made about women. Sessions could be in charge of civil rights in the United States. The Trump Administration wants to make funding cuts, and funding for the Violence Against Women Act is one of the suggested cuts.
"One of the leading causes of death among young to middle aged women is murder by an intimate partner."--Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
When She Leaves
The National Network to End Domestic Violence annual census revealed that there were 12,000 requests for domestic violence services that were left without services or help. The most vulnerable time for a woman in an abusive relationship is when she leaves. Often a domestic violence shelter will be a safe place to go. Already battered women's shelters are turning women away because they do not have enough beds for them. If Trump cuts the funding, more women will be killed. People think that him doing this will better our economy. However, when one murder happens and children are left with no mother and a human life is taken, it costs $441,000 dollars to jail the killer, prosecute the killer, and imprison the killer, etc. It is actually making the economy worse.
In conclusion, as our nation is breaking out into extreme violence and discord we need to stand our ground and not resort to any kind of violence. If we resort to any kind of violence or discord we are adding to the problem and not the solution. What we need to do is write our Senators and our State Representatives and make sure people in this country are treated with respect and dignity. Please write your state representative using the link below.
Write Your Senator or State Representative
- Hate on the Rise After Trump’s Election - The New Yorker
Alexis Okeowo on the spike in hate crimes that followed Donald Trump’s election to the Presidency, as reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center and A.D.L.
- Civil rights group documents nearly 900 hate incidents after presidential election - The Washington
Southern Poverty Law Center says that “we’re seeing something new in its intensity and ferocity.”