News Releases

Republicans to Victims of Domestic Violence: Politics Before Protection

Mar 25 2004

Murray amendment to protect women and children from violence fails on partisan 46-53 vote

Murray's Remarks on the Amendment

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – An attempt by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to help prevent violence against women and children was defeated today by a partisan vote. Murray's amendment to the Unborn Victims of Violence Act would have given battered women the support they need to escape violent relationship before it is too late. Murray's amendment was defeated 46-53 while the Unborn Victims Act passed 61-38.

"Instead of providing women an escape from domestic abuse, the U.S. Senate today only provided more excuses. The majority party said that domestic violence prevention wasn’t relevant to a bill about victims of abuse. They stood up and said that preventing domestic abuse was somehow bad for business. They said we didn’t have time to deal with these issues. This is exactly what victims of domestic violence hear every day and it is precisely why Senate action on this measure is required," Senator Murray said.

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act that passed the Senate today only focuses on penalties after a woman has been killed or seriously injured. Senator Murray's amendment provided resources to help prevent that abuse from happening in the first place.

Murray's amendment would have:

- Extended UI benefits for victims of abuse

- Offered emergency leave so a victim can go to court or to the police to stop abuse

- Ended insurance and employment discrimination

- Provided help for children who witness abuse

- Offered access to health care for victims

- Improved the way health care providers screen for domestic violence

"Today the Senate had a very clear choice: Either help battered women and prevent deadly violence or cave into interest groups and play politics with this issue. It's a tragedy that the majority made the wrong choice."