Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Maggie Brickerman following Ron Johnson’s vote against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which passed the U.S. Senate despite opposition from 31 male Republicans.
 
“Ron Johnson’s vote against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, an 18-year-old law that works to hold perpetrators of abuse accountable for their crimes and funds programs that prevent and react to sexual and domestic violence, is an embarrassment to Wisconsin.
 
“VAWA has historically passed with overwhelmingly broad bi-partisan support, as Democrats and Republicans alike have always acknowledged that violence against women is an insidious crime that has long-lasting negative effects on women, children and families.
 
“In voting in opposition to the VAWA reauthorization, Ron Johnson and his radical coalition, consisting solely of Republican men, have not only perpetuated their very real ideological War on Women, they have proven that they are willing to sacrifice critical protections for actual victims of the most despicable crimes against women and children to score cheap political points with Tea Party extremists.
 
“Women in Wisconsin, and all over the United States, are watching the actions of a Republican party driven to the far-right and consumed with catering to a corporate-dominated patriarchy at all costs. This June, Wisconsin women will have the first opportunity to stand up and reject these dangerous policies that are a monumental step backwards for women by voting to recall Scott Walker.”
 
Since the initial passage of the Violence Against Women Act, there has been a 51% increase in the reporting rate of domestic violence and a 53% decrease in the number of annual incidents of domestic violence.