WASHINGTON, D.C.–Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson issued the following statement on the 14thanniversary of the Violence Against Women Act to highlight Rep. Ron DeSantis’ opposition to this landmark legislation:
“Mr. DeSantis’ vote against the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 is disgraceful. Reauthorization of this landmark legislation had been passed without major opposition for nearly two decades since it was introduced. By refusing to join with an overwhelming majority of his colleagues to protect women against gendered violence and fund vital programs that offer key support services to victims, DeSantis showed his true colors – and why he is unfit to serve as Florida’s next governor.
“VAWA was passed in response to crisis levels of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking – issues, that I would hope would receive bipartisan support. In fact, Mr. DeSantis’ no vote in 2013 aligned him with the rouge, extremist faction of the republican party.
“Make no mistake, DeSantis’ stance on VAWA is consistent with his track record and his character. From his prominent position within the far-right freedom caucus and staunch Trumpism, it is clear that he does not share the views of the majority of Floridians.
“His opposition to VAWA is just one of the many reasons I was not at all surprised by the recent disturbing reports of speaking engagements DeSantis participated in in conjunction with prominent white supremacists.
“His decision to help give a platform to racist demagogues like Steve Bannon and Milo Yiannopoulos is simply one more indictment of his judgment and character on a long list of reasons why voters cannot trust him.
“If elected, DeSantis would not be a champion for women or for minorities. In fact, his elevation to the governorship would pose an existential threat to equal rights in Florida.
“I fear what would come to pass if Mr. DeSantis was given the opportunity to exercise his vision on critical issues relating to gendered violence and civil rights. Thankfully, I am confident that voters will reject his hateful message in November.”
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson is a fourth-term Congresswoman from Florida representing parts of Northern Miami-Dade and Southeast Broward counties. A former state legislator and school principal, she is the founder of the 5000 Role Models for Excellence Project, a mentoring program for young males at risk of dropping out of school. Congresswoman Wilson also founded and chairs the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan taskforce that coordinates federal action in support of Florida’s harbors and waterways. The Florida lawmaker sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Education and the Workforce Committee.