Congresswoman Shares Rape Experiences On House Floor In Defense of VAWA
9:15 am, March 29th | by Laura Donovan
As sad as this may sound, I consider myself very lucky to have never been the victim of date rape or sexual assault. The same cannot be said about millions of women in the United States — including Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore, who testified on the House floor Wednesday in favor of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which members of the GOP tried to block earlier this month.
Moore, who was sexually abused as a child and raped as a grown-up, explained the importance of VAWA and how Republicans’ reaction to it brought back traumatic memories for her:
“Domestic violence has been a thread throughout my personal life, up to and including being a child being repeatedly sexually assaulted up to being an adult who has been raped, I don’t have enough time to share all these experiences with you but I can tell you that when this bill came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with all the Republican Senators, all of the guys voting no, it brought up some terrible memories for me of having boys sit in a locker room and sort of bet that I, the egghead, couldn’t be ‘had.’ And then the appointed boy, when he saw that I wasn’t going to be so willing, completed a date rape and then took my underwear to display it to the rest of the boys. This is what American women are facing.”
As noted by ThinkProgress, objections to VAWA aren’t about the proposition as a whole, but over some of the new provisions in the re-authorization — specifically “protections for LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse and the authority of Native American tribes to prosecute crimes.” Given everything at stake for women, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that legislators can compromise.