It’s National Domestic Violence Month, and Democrats on Capitol Hill Tuesday renewed their push to renew and extend the Violence Against Women Act.
Women in wedding gowns flanked Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill to honor Gladys Ricart – a woman who, in 1999, was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend as she prepared to walk down the aisle to marry another man.
The group is pushing for renewal of the Violence Against Women Act.
Rep. Adrian Espaillat from New York was passionate about getting the act renewed. “VAWA must be passed.”
Democrats want to expand the law which expired earlier this year, by closing what they call the boyfriend loophole.
VAWA allowed law enforcement to remove guns from abusive husbands and domestic partners, but not boyfriends. Democrats said abusive boyfriends are just as dangerous.
Michigan Congresswoman Debbie Dingle warns anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and she has become a vocal advocate because of her personal experience.
“I thought it was normal for parents to scream, I thought it was normal for people to point guns at each other. And I remember the night, there was more than one night, but the night I kept my parents from killing each other.”
Dingle says domestic violence creates a dangerous cycle. Her sister also became a victim. “She was married to a very bad man. he broke every bone in her face.”
Republican lawmakers blocked the expansion of the law, and groups like the NRA oppose expanding the law to include dating partners. They said the move is a thinly veiled gun control attempt.