Home Crime VA Senators, Delegates Rip Gov. Youngkin’s Veto of Bill That Would Have...

VA Senators, Delegates Rip Gov. Youngkin’s Veto of Bill That Would Have Closed “Boyfriend Loophole,” for “put[ting] victims of sexual and domestic abuse in grave danger”

Legislators call out Youngkin's "acquiescence to the slaughter of intimate partners and victims of domestic violence"

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Great program – and an important one too – yesterday by Doorways, whose goal is “Creating pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual assault”:

“Domestic violence and guns are a lethal combination. But the violence is preventable. That was the core message of a press event hosted by the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance at Doorways on Friday, April 11th. Virginia lawmakers and advocates came together to discuss the deadly intersections of intimate partner violence and gun violence, and lethal legal loopholes that persist in the Commonwealth. Visit www.doorwaysva.org/disarm-dv to learn more and watch video recording of the event.”

So definitely check out the video, here, as well as highlights of the event – which included Delegate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (D-HD05); Sen. Russet Perry (D-SD31); Sen. Barbara Favola (D-SD40); Del. Adele McClure (D-HD02); etc. The purpose of the event was to discuss this deplorable, completely unforgiveable situation caused by MAGA Glenn Youngkin:

Virginia Governor Glenn Younkin put victims of sexual and domestic abuse in grave danger when he drastically cut funding for victim service agencies in his proposed budget amendments and by vetoing HB 46 and SB 47 as well as HB 362 and SB 642, bills that would have closed deadly loopholes in Virginia gun laws. Consequently, Virginia’s victims of domestic violence continue to live in clear and present danger of being shot and/or killed by their abuser due to the Governor’s decisions.”

Appalling. Here’s what the elected officials at yesterday’s event had to say:

Sen. Barbara Favola: “My Senate bill 47 was a law-and-order bill. It was incredibly disappointing to learn that the governor vetoed that bill.” “Fully one-third of Virginians are, at some point, endangered by the people with whom they share their lives. I am deeply disappointed that when given the opportunity to better protect innocent lives, uphold our laws against domestic abusers and lift up families, this administration has instead turned its back on women and families.” “This is a matter of life and death.”

Del. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker: “Our focus was clear – we wanted to protect survivors of domestic violence from gun violence and save lives. I am deeply disappointed that Governor Youngkin decided to veto these basic accountability measures.” “Gov. Youngkin claims to support our law enforcement and victims of crime. This bill was an opportunity prove that…Nearly 1/3 of all homicides in Virginia are domestic-violence related and nearly 2/3 of those involve a firearm. These deaths are preventable. It’s past time that we give law enforcement, courts and advocates the tools that they need to enforce and implement the laws and to save lives…The bills would NOT have affected law-abiding gun owners. The governor’s veto means that illegal guns will remain in the hands of armed abusers and will make our Commonwealth less safe. Gov. Youngkin had his chance to stand up for survivors of domestic violence but he turned his back…Our Commonwealth deserves better.”

Sen. Russet Perry: “During my years as a prosecutor, I fought day-in and day-out to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. I walked alongside them and bore witness to tragedy after tragedy. I also shared in their righteous anger when gaps in Virginia’s laws left them vulnerable to abuse. In Richmond, we have the power to fill those gaps, protect victims and save lives. That’s what SB 642 would have done: closed the boyfriend loophole and saved lives. The Governor’s veto does nothing to preserve public safety, but it will cost lives that could have been saved had he instead signed these bills into law.” “What matters is action, what matters is what you do…and in this case, the governor chose to take the side of abusers…the [NRA] instead of the very folks I know I was elected to stand up for and that he was elected to stand up for. And there’s no excuse for it, there’s no explanation for it. Certainly I’m not going to give him one and neither should any of you. This is not a partisan issue. The only place I know that it’s partisan is in the governor’s mansion. 90%…of Americans believe the boyfriend loophole should be closed…41 states and DC have managed to do it; Virginia is so far behind the curve that you can’t see us…We will not be deterred, we will not be dissuaded by the governor’s indifference, by his acquiescence to the slaughter of intimate partners and victims of domestic violence. And I will carry this bill year after year until we in Virginia have a governor who has the courage to stand up and have the words that they say, the things that come out of their mouth, match the things that they do.”

Del. Adele McClure: “I cannot possibly think of a valid reason for vetoing a bill that would have closed a lethal loophole and saved so many lives. The governor believes that the status quo is sufficient…and with the stroke of his pen he silenced many voices…and many folks who will be impacted by this. And he confirmed that survivors do not deserve to be protected from domestic abusers if they are not married. There are 4.5 million women in this country who have been threatened by a firearm by an intimate partner – myself included. The status quo is not sufficient. We must disarm domestic abusers, whether married or not. The governor’s veto of these bills protects abusers and undermines public safety, which he pretends to care about…As lawmakers, it is our duty to protect the citizens from abuse and from angry and armed partners, including those in dating relationships and cohabitants. It is evident that Gov. Glenn Youngkin does not trust women, he does not care to protect women, and he does not have the interest of women and survivors around the Commonwealth in mind. This was a deadly veto…made by the governor…when over 1/2 of all female homicide are killed by an intimate partner…We will never stop fighting…to close [the boyfriend loophole]…So I am very angry, because hearing stories…around the Commonwealth, and for the governor to then take his pen and easily dismisss and ignore those stories is heartbreaking; it’s as if he didn’t even care, he just turned his back and said the status quo is sufficient, and it is not.”

 

 

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