Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) on Wednesday slammed Republicans who opposed renewing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
At a press conference, the co-author of the anti-domestic and sexual violence bill said many House Republicans now realized it was a mistake to allow the bill to die last year. Republicans have opposed the latest re-authorization of the VAWA because it contains new protections for Native American women, LGBT individuals and undocumented immigrants.
“But I have only one thing to say to those who think we can pick and choose which victims we will protect,” Leahy said. “A victim is a victim is a victim. And, violence is violence is violence.”
“I never had an experience when I used to go to crime scenes as a young prosecutor where the police would say, ‘Well, we can’t prosecute on this case because we don’t know if the victim was straight or gay, we can prosecute this because we don’t know if they’re an immigrant or not, we prosecute on this one because we don’t know whether Native American or not.’ They said, ‘We’ve got to try to stop this from happening again.’ That, as American senators, should be our one and only question: How do we stop this scourge, this terrible, terrible scourge from happening again?”
The re-authorization of the VAWA was approved in the Senate by a 78-22 vote on Tuesday.
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below: