Raped and battered women “are distractions” who only represent a “small portion” of South Carolina’s population. That’s how Governor Nikki Haley explained her decision to veto critical funding that goes to programs that work to prevent domestic abuse and rape.
Last week, Haley threw women across the state under a bus by abandoning funding that prevents domestic abuse and sexual assault and then added insult to injury by explaining that battered and assaulted women are a “small portion” of society and are mere “distractions” who don’t matter.
“Each of these lines attempts to serve a portion of our population for which we extend our sympathy and encouragement,” Haley said. “But nevertheless, it is only a small portion of South Carolina’s chronically ill or abused. Overall, these special add-on lines distract from the agency’s broader mission of protecting South Carolina’s public health.”
Having a daughter who has worked on the front lines of domestic violence issues in the rough and tumble environment of inner city Chicago and small community programs in Indiana and Michigan, I know all too well the epidemic levels of this curse on our otherwise civilized society. For Governor Haley to dismiss it as a “small portion” of women, or a mere “distraction” enrages me, even though I have never lived, nor wanted to live, in South Carolina.
As a woman, you would think Governor Haley would make preventing rape and domestic abuse a major legislative and executive initiative. It’s bad enough that women already have to deal with male politicians who don’t care about women’s issues, but for a female politician to demonstrate how little she cares about curbing violence against women is even more detestable. The only real reason I can think of why she would veto this important funding is because she wants to prove how hardcore conservative she is. For many months now, Republicans have made it their mission to belittle women’s issues and reverse women’s rights.
Conservatives across the country have sought to abolish abortion rights and restrict contraception. Republicans in New Hampshire even attempted to roll back domestic violence laws, and the city of Topeka actually halted prosecuting those who commit domestic violence, essentially making it legal for men to beat their wives and get away with it.
Republicans in Georgia recently attempted to push for legislation that would require investigating all miscarriages. The legislation was sponsored by Bobby Franklin, who also wants to label women who are raped as mere accusers instead of victims. House Republicans have also taken aim at women by attempting to redefine rape so they can restrict abortion rights. In that particular bill, it’s only rape if violence is involved. In other words, date rape and statutory rape would be excluded from the definition. House and
Senate Republicans have also tried to kill the Violence Against Women Act which is crucial for protecting women from domestic violence and sexual assault. Republicans have also railed against equal pay for women and some have expressed regret that women have the right to vote.
Clearly, there is a war on women and Nikki Haley is demonstrating that even female conservatives are willing to wage it. At this point, the war on women has become less about simple pandering to the extremists within the Republican Party and has become an actual plank in the sick and twisted GOP platform. If women continue to be blind to what the GOP is doing, women will become less than second class citizens in the near future. If Republicans have their way, women will be mere property who must bend to the will of men.