by Suzie Raven
I’m mad at George W. Bush.
And no, this isn’t primarily related to the Iraq War or our growing national debt. It’s about the thousands of Americans who live in fear, every single day: Americans who President Bush does not feel are important.
They are the victims of domestic violence.
Bush’s budget request for fiscal year 2009 includes a $120 million cut for domestic violence programs under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). He also wants to cut the $20 million balance in the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund, which allows survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, molestation and other violent crimes to receive counseling.
So what would these cuts mean?
The executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network said that in Cook County, Illinois they will have to cut staff for domestic violence programs and serve 3,500 less people.
That’s 3,500 people in one city who have no other way out of a dangerous situation. How many more people around the country will continue to live with a partner that hits them?
Luckily, I’m not the only person who is outraged. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) promise to fight the cuts. Senator Durbin noted that funding programs such as this “is not a priority for the president’s administration.”
When talking about Iraq, Bush claims that protecting the United States from external threats is a top priority. If the president was really concerned about threats, he would also give some attention to domestic violence within our borders. Apparently, we can spend billions of dollars to wage war on a country that doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction, but not $120 million to fight the Americans who beat their wives and girlfriends every single day.
Domestic violence kills innocent women and children. The Bush administration did not start the war against women, but it can help stop it.
(Political graphic © copyright Comandante Agi and used with permission; you can see more of the comandante's political graphics at his blogs, This Blog Will Self-Destruct in Five Seconds, PIME B-Sides, and Guys from Area 51.)
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by Suzie Raven