Ain’t they women?
The US House of Representatives today passed the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Like everyone concerned with the safety of women caught in the web of intimate partner violence, I am relieved and happy. But nothing I say can top the words of Representative Gwen Moore, Democrat of Wisconsin, who fought to keep the Senate version intact, because it included protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse, immigrant victims, and Native American women on reservations.
During the debates this morning Ms. Moore stood on the House floor and decried the weaker version of the bill, which would have eliminated these protections. Paraphrasing the famous battle cry of women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth, Ms. Moore put it this way:
“I pray that this body will do as the Senate has done and come together as one to protect all women from violence. As I think about the L.G.B.T. victims who are not here, the native women who are not here, the immigrants who aren’t in this bill, I would say, as Sojourner Truth would say, ‘Ain’t they women?’
Couldn’t have said it better than that.
Blog Post by Yisroel Schulman
President & Attorney-in-Charge