Allow me to tell you a short story. In 1994, Congress and America in general decided it was no longer cool to stand idly by while victims of domestic abuse and other violent crimes were silenced (because really, that never has and never will be cool). They passed the Violence Against Women Act, which provided money to support the investigations of violent crimes, ensured mandatory restitution on those convicted, and basically filled in a lot of the holes that had previously made conviction and sentencing difficult. This Act was simply so AWESOME that it has been reauthorized wholeheartedly every year since 1994. Now for the dramatic twist...Chuck Grassley, along with EVERY other Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, voted against the reauthorization of the Act this year. They are not opposed to the VAWA as a whole, but certain provisions that protect minority groups. Over the years, the Violence Against Women Act has been amended to protect a wider range of victims, including folks of the LGBTQ community and more. It also now allows undocumented immigrants who have been victims of violence to have greater access to visas. Grassley and his supporters would abolish the provision that bans discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, the provision that protects undocumented immigrants, as well as the provision that allows Native American tribes to prosecute violent crimes.
Regardless of an individuals status in any one of these respects, violent crimes are inexcusable. All people deserve to be treated with compassion, not scorn, in these situations. These Senators are using this Act to attack the rights of marginalized groups in new ways. Perhaps they believe their actions will go unnoticed, or perhaps they would simply like to strip minorities of rights on all fronts. Either way, the possibility of losing an Act of protection because some Senators refuse to acknowledge that ALL people have equal rights is absurd.
I'd like to note that women are not the only victims of violent crimes. Anyone can be a victim, and all people deserve the same protection.