It doesn’t get more personal than the Violence Against Women Act

**Trigger warning**

L.Y. Marlow, who was a guest on “Melissa Harris-Perry” last week, has a breathtaking follow up piece at the MHP blog, about her personal stake in the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

I come from a family of five generations of mothers and daughters who all suffered and survived more than sixty years of domestic violence, so I have a personal stake and passion for any matters concerning violence against women.

My grandmother was powerless as my grandfather mercilessly beat her and her eight children until they were all bloody. My mother, her lungs crushed by my father’s vicious beating, was told to kiss her five children goodbye from herPhiladelphiahospital bed.

My daughter’s father kicked me in my belly and spit on me as I lay on the ground hemorrhaging, eight months pregnant. And that same daughter’s boyfriend, years later, strangled her while their six-month-old baby girl, named Promise, lay on the bed beside her.

To the 22 men who voted against the VAWA, tell me: What is so “unconstitutional” about giving legal protections to women like us?

Does the Constitution not protect our rights? If my family’s stories are not worthy of the same protections afforded to all of our fellow citizens, what stories are?

Marlow goes on to talk about the enormous amount of legislative work that can be – and should be done – around violence against women. And she shames the legislators who “spent the last year playing ping pong.” You should read the whole thing, and so should every single legislator who stood up and voted against this bill.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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