Congresswoman recounts personal ordeal


-sexually assaulted as a child; date-raped as an adult
DAILY MAIL   (UK ) – Congresswoman Gwen Moore has told of her personal ordeal of being sexually assaulted as a child and date-raped as a young woman during a House floor speech in favour of reauthorising the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
“Violence against women is as American as apple pie,” she said. “I know, not only as a legislator, but from personal experience.
“Domestic violence has been a thread throughout my personal life, up to and including being a child repeatedly sexually assaulted, up to and including being an adult who’s been raped.”
It was the first time the Democratic Representative for Wisconsin’s fourth district spoke frankly of her own experiences, as she expressed disappointment at Republican opposition to the bill.
“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 really 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,” she said.
Moore said members of Congress must join together to pass the legislation, adding: “This is not a partisan issue, and it would be very, very devastating to women of all colours, creeds and sexual orientations for us not to address this.”
The re-authorisation of the Bill, which officially expired last September, would see renewed grants to U.S. domestic violence prevention and victim support programmes, new initiatives aimed at preventing domestic violence-related homicides, extended authority to protect Native American victims, and assistance to battered undocumented immigrants.
Opponents to the Bill object to provisions that make federal grants to domestic violence organizations, subject to their ability to prove they do not discriminate against homosexual and transgender victims, and the fact that it allows undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas.
But the 60-year-old stressed the importance of the legislation on her website, saying: “Domestic violence is a cancer that pervades our communities and our homes. As a survivor of domestic violence, I feel it is my personal responsibility to reach back and help those who have been victimized.
“No woman should ever feel afraid in her own neighbourhood and home; no woman should ever have to endure the physical and psychological pain of domestic violence. Yet, too many women continue to live in fear. And that is why we must reauthorize – and strengthen – the Violence Against Women Act.”