If I were a domestic abuser, Congressman Steve Womack would be my hero | Street Jazz

Sunday, May 20, 2012

If I were a domestic abuser, Congressman Steve Womack would be my hero

Posted By on Sun, May 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM

In his latest missive to constituents, Congressman Congressman Steve Womack touts HR 4970, the GOP-created bill dealing (well, in a sense) with domestic abuse. Actually, all it does is once again tell the victimized in this country that they have no friends in the republican Party.

HR 4970 was introduced by Florida Republican Sandy Adams. He wrote this entirely without the help or guidance of any law enforcement agency, prosecutor, or anyone in the country dealing with domestic abuse. Dollars-to-donuts not very many women saw it before he sprang it on the public, either.

Before we go on, it is important to remember that this country, in its wisdom, passed the Violence Against Women Act almost two decades ago, and we are a better nation for it. Like the Civil Rights Act, though, there are those who just don’t think that we need to be burdened down with too many unnecessary laws such as this one.

In writing about the bill, which The Scowling One tells us is “narrower in scope” than the bill proposed by the Senate, which means, in Cheap Speak, that “ . . .it does a better job of addressing the issue at hand – protecting victims –instead of clouding the situation with unnecessary and divisive provisions to accomplish a political agenda that will do more harm to our country.”

Unnecessary and divisive provisions.

Political agenda.

Well, somebody has a political agenda, at any rate.

One of the sections of HR 4970 deals with immigrant women who are foolish enough to find themselves in abusive relationship. Those of us who have known anyone who has availed themselves of the services of domestic abuse services are aware of the need to keep the abuser in the dark, so that he (and most of the time it is a he, though often it can be a woman) does not find his prey.

Under the tender ministrations of HR 4970, there is no longer a safe way for victims who are illegal immigrants to apply for legal residency, through anonymity. Under HR 4970, immigration authorities can notify abusers of the application and solicit their testimony. This is nothing short of monstrous, as it puts victims into even more danger, with the United States government as a co-conspirator in cases of further assault or even murder.

And if the abuser does not file the required paperwork - what a grim sort of Monty Pythonish skit this is becoming - the woman may be denied her chance at residency.

The Scowling One supports this.

HR 4970 - which Congressman Steve Womack supports - also goes a long way towards eliminating protections for immigrant women who may be victims of rape, kidnapping, and the sex trade by putting in tougher requirements for the U-visa, which was envisioned as a tool to help immigrants report crime without the fear of being deported.

When we speak of a “political agenda,” it might be a good idea to note that HR 4970 removed all references that were in the Senate bill protecting gay, lesbian or transgendered victims of domestic abuse.

Narrow in scope, indeed.

Native American women won’t be forgotten - well, yes, they will, actually - by HR 4970 as it eliminates key protections for them, even though domestic violence among Native American women is among the highest in the country. Sixty percent of Native American women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives.

The Scowling One supports HR 4970, with its “narrow scope.”

But the Men with Bad Haircuts aren’t done there; uppity college women are now on on an equal social footing with illegal immigrants. Where the Senate bill would have made improvements to the Clery Act, requiring institutes of higher learning receiving federal financial aid to create polices on sexual assault and dating violence, the House version, in its wisdom, has narrowed its focus considerably.

About a third of women going to college or university in this country will experience some form of sexual abuse.

The Scowling One - and he has even less reason to smile than ever before - supports HR 4970.


The Plot Against America: It Could Still Happen Here Department

Most novels dealing with a possible fascist takeover of the United States deal with great political battles. Philip Roth’s excellent The Plot Against America instead tells the story of one Jewish family (the Roths) in Newark, New Jersey, and how they are affected by the election of Charles Lindbergh to the office of president.

It is a gripping story of a family torn apart by the smug fascism that “Lucky Lindy” brings to America. There are scenes dominated by famous figures like Walter WinHelp and FDR, but they are figures on the horizon. The real story here is age-old - how a family stays together in the middle of a national nightmare.


Quote of the Day

Every puppy should have a boy. - Erma Bombeck


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