We just wrapped up a press conference at the state Republican Party headquarters where we called on the GOP and Congressman Steve Pearce to stop playing politics and games with the Violence Against Women Act.
Since it was first passed almost 20 years ago, Congress has regularly updated the law and authorized its renewal. The law already covered women and child victims of sex abuse. And 257 days ago the Senate added historic provisions to ensure that all victims - including those in LGBT, Native American and immigrant communities - were protected. But, House Republicans refused to even hear the bill.
Just like when some Tea Party Republicans tried to tell us there were "legitimate" and illegitimate victims of rape, they refused to hear any bill that protected all victims of domestic and sexual violence - only the "legitimate" ones.
It takes a special type of politician to play politics with matters of life and death.
The American people did not let them get away with ignoring victims of Hurricane Sandy, and we won't let Pearce and the GOP get away with ignoring victims of domestic and sexual violence.
More than 13,000 victims of abuse in New Mexico are counting on us to make this the most successful petition we've ever created. To be sure he gets the message, we'll send Rep. Pearce a purple ribbon - the symbol of domestic violence awareness - from each signer of the petition, no matter where in New Mexico you live.
-Martha Burk, Marci Blaze, Susan Loubet, Laurie Weahkee and Marsha Garcia
PS: It's disgraceful that a New Mexico Congressman would oppose expanding the Violence Against Women Act to include Native Americans, immigrants or LGBT neighbors. Send him a purple ribbon, then ask one friend to do the same. If Steve Pearce won't stand with our women and victims, we will.
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