Record Shows: Daines and Zinke Don't Stand for Montana Women
Daines and Zinke Favor Funding Cuts to Violence Against Women Act Programs
(Helena, MT) – Saturday marks two decades since the historic Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.
Programs supported by the VAWA aid in the prevention of domestic and sexual violence. Since its passage in 1993, intimate partner violence has dropped 67% and more than 500,000 advocates, law enforcement officers, and court personnel have been trained each year through its programs.
Unfortunately for Montana women, Congressman Daines and Ryan Zinke do not feel these programs were worthy of funding and they both supported a bill that cut $400 million from the programs' budgets.
Daines demanded and voted for the government shutdown that according to the Montana Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition halted funding “crucial to keeping shelters open for victims of domestic and sexual violence." For 16 days during Daines’ shutdown, phone calls to domestic violence crisis lines were left unanswered and programs were unable to access grant money. Ninety-two percent of callers to the National Domestic Violence Hotline admitted it was their first step in addressing their situation. Zinke vocalized his support of Daines' shutdown when he announced his candidacy for the U.S. House.
“Daines and Zinke have shown instead of standing up for women, they are more interested in catering to special interests and demanding government shutdowns that put women in harm's way,” said Bryan Watt, spokesperson for the Montana Democratic Party.“These millionaires continue to side against Montana women – whether it’s supporting $44 million in cuts from programs that address domestic violence on our reservations or inserting themselves into decisions that should be made between a woman, her family, and her doctor.”
Earlier this year, millionaire Congressman Daines aired a political ad that touted his vote in favor of the reauthorization of VAWA – conveniently leaving out that he then voted to cut the funding for programs supported by the act.
Zinke has also made disparaging comments about women, saying they are unfit to serve in combat missions and calling Secretary Hillary Clinton the "anti-christ".