February 17, 2006

Bush Budget Cuts Domestic Violence Funding

This is classic Bush. The public kiss and the private shiv:

... One month after he held a ceremony in the Oval Office to sign legislation that would authorize a considerable increase in funding to aid victims of domestic violence, Bush proposed an overall cut to domestic violence programs and services and included no funding for the law's new programs, effectively placing them on indefinite hold.

... The administration requested $546 million for domestic violence programs in fiscal 2007, a decrease of $20 million--or 3.5 percent--from the amount appropriated in 2006, the anti-violence network's figures indicate. The amount does not include any funding for 21 newly enacted programs, the largest of which is a $50 million program that provides services for survivors of sexual assault.

... Many of the programs that face cuts aid the poor, a majority of whom are women.

One of the most significant proposals would curb the growth of Medicare and Medicaid for a savings of $48 billion over the next five years. Other targeted areas include education, housing assistance for the elderly, food stamp programs and child care. ...

First, let me note at least two of the many, many ways in which the last paragraph quoted indirectly (in addition to the obvious, direct 'frak yous') screws women. Education cuts mean a drop in women's ability to get good jobs, to therefore provide for themselves or their families, to therefore choose to leave abusive partnerships. Education cuts also increase the likelihood of unintended pregnancy and I don't really need to spell out that vicious cycle, do I? Cutting aid to the elderly almost invariably puts a higher burden of care (read: unpaid labor) on a family's younger generation of women, decreasing their employability, professional growth and energy.

Next, let's all take a moment to ponder that the Republicans quite recently passed 'Laci and Connor's Law' to further criminalize the murder of pregnant women. In light of this, Bush's stated intent to cut domestic violence interventions is sickeningly ironic. With one hand they come out against murdering pregnant women and with the other they take a pass on preventing those murders:

... A third of all women experience at least one or more physical assaults by a partner, while a smaller but still significant number of men experience similar assaults. Four women are murdered by an intimate every day in the U.S., while another 600,000 muster up the courage to report that they had been assaulted by a boyfriend or husband, while others suggest that somewhere between two to four million women are actually assaulted by an intimate every year in the U.S. Women are 10 times more likely than men to be assaulted by a partner or spouse. Unemployed men are twice as likely to be batterers as those employed full-time.

... According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, the United States accounts for 32% of the female population among the 25 highest income countries. But, ominously, among these 25 nations, the U.S. has 70% of all female homicide victims and 84% of all females killed by a firearm. This same study confirmed that women are more likely to be killed at home by their spouse, ex-boyfriend, or some other intimate, while men are murdered away from their home.

... The number one cause of death for pregnant women is murder by their unborn’s father. Additionally, we know that about 75% of domestic homicides occur during or around the time of separation and abandonment. ...

As Bush's economy takes away jobs and removes social protections for women, it becomes steadily more obvious that on the bread and butter issues, Republicans do not give a tinker's damn about women or their families. They will use women as window dressing, sing paeans to mom and apple pie, wave pictures of pretty, dead white girls and rally around tragic figures who haven't the physical capacity to argue with anyone. But they have to be begged to lift a finger to encourage the economic security, social freedom or physical protection from violence that would make women's lives materially better.

W is for women ... doing what? Women working themselves to exhaustion? Women waking up in fear every day? Women willing to make up for his abandonment of their relatives? Women wasting themselves in WalMartized futures? Women waiting hopefully in line forever on a prescription that never comes? Women walled off from moving above their station? Women worrying that their children will have a worse life than they did?

Dammit, it's time for less waiting and more WTF!

Posted by natasha at February 17, 2006 02:13 AM | Women | Technorati links |

This is very bad news.
I don't think that people are aware of the magnitude of the problem of domestic violence, and how it affects the community and society as a whole.
Besides the costs of medical care, employers paying sick days, court costs, incarceration costs and investigation costs. There is the effect on the children.
Children who grow up in homes where violence is the norm, often accept that this is what they will find out in the world, and that this is how they are expected to conform. So they become violent.

Posted by: Home Sweet Home at February 19, 2006 01:47 PM

It never ceases to amaze me, the programs that these symians like to cut. They talk about compassionate conservatism, their "culture of life" or their religious beliefs - then they gut or eliminate programs that actualy would show how they walk the walk as it were. And the moronic sycophants in the religious right continue to clap their hands and make excuses for everything this regime does to prove themselves unworthy of the support they give them.

Posted by: DuWayne at February 21, 2006 01:59 PM

Just would like to understand how violence has become a remedy for an ill-fated society. Please promote love and peace, instead of hatred and war. Domestic violence is a war that can be thrawted with the proper allocation of resources intergrated into the family struture at it's earliest stages. Please don't give up the fight for peace and justice. I'm commited to the cause.

Posted by: Tony L. Bellamy at February 24, 2006 01:19 PM