Letter: Hagedorn voted against protecting victims’ lives

Published 7:34 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

For someone who believes in the sanctity of human life, Rep. Jim Hagedorn has a funny way of showing it.

Last month he had an opportunity to support the Violence Against Women Act, a law specifically designed to protect life — in particular the lives of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking— and he voted against it.

This is a law that has been around since 1994 and is tweaked and reauthorized every five or so years with near unanimous support. It bolsters tools for prosecuting offenders; expands rape prevention and education programs; enhances efforts to address sexual violence on campuses; works to prevent gender-based crimes and help victims to recover when crimes occur; improves services to help children exposed to domestic violence; and expands the availability of counseling, legal aid and alternative housing.

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The legislation was further improved this year to prohibit people convicted of misdemeanor stalking or dating violence from possessing firearms.

Naturally, the NRA objected — convicted abusers must have their guns — and directed its congressional representatives to do the same.

Hagedorn did as he was told.

Never mind that the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely a woman will be killed. Or that in an average month, 50 American women are shot to death by intimate partners.

Every year, 2,000 people die from domestic violence, 70 percent of them women. Nearly one million women alive today have been shot, or shot at, by an intimate partner. American women experience 5.3 million incidents of domestic violence every year.

Jim Hagedorn cares about human life? About as much as the NRA cares about gun violence.

Elly Zaragoza