The Violence Against Women Act expired this year after House Republicans blocked a reauthorization that boosted protections for Native Americans, immigrants and the LGBT community. This development has overjoyed Religious Right activists, who have long opposed the anti-violence law.
Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, speaking today with Ed Bartlett of Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, criticized the indisputably effective law and attacked Vice President Joe Biden, warning that “if we knew Joe Biden’s private behavior with women it might not be a pretty picture.” Rios stated that Biden’s “crassness, crudeness and disrespect for women” raises doubts about his work on VAWA while Bartlett used Biden’s own admission that abuse occurred in his household when he was younger as a reason to block the law.
Rios was also upset that VAWA may soon include protections for the LGBT community. Bartlett contended that these new protections prove VAWA is too easy on women since “studies have shown that lesbian-perpetrated domestic violence is higher than violence among heterosexual couples.”
However, according to the Center for American Progress, “Studies have found that domestic violence occurs among same-sex couples at comparable rates to straight couples.” While Bartlett admits that domestic violence is a concern among same-sex couples, he and Rios seem to believe that is a reason to oppose the inclusion of LGBT protections in VAWA.
Rios even argued that the law has had “an extremely detrimental, unfair, tilted, bad effect on men.” Bartlett dismissed reports that women face disproportionate rates of domestic violence and said that VAWA was actually passed by those seeking “to undermine family stability.”