Is Donald Trump’s Cabinet Anti-Woman?


Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Donald J. Trump’s campaign was dogged by accusations of misogyny. Now his cabinet is shaping up to be one of the most hostile in recent memory to issues affecting women, advocacy groups for women say. Tax credits for child care and the prospect of paid maternity leave are exceptions to a host of positions that could result in new restrictions on abortion and less access to contraception, limits on health care that disproportionately affect women and minorities and curbs on funding for domestic violence, as well as slowing the momentum toward raising the minimum wage or making progress on equal pay.

Consider their positions on these issues.

Domestic violence

Jeff Sessions, Mr. Trump’s selection for attorney general; Tom Price, chosen for Health and Human Services secretary; and Mike Pompeo, the pick for C.I.A. director, all voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act in 2013, which funds shelters and services for victims of domestic violence, because of amendments extending protections to L.G.B.T. victims. The act is up for reauthorization next year.

Pay discrimination and equal pay

Senator Sessions and Representative Price also voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended the statute of limitations to allow women to sue for pay discrimination.

Mr. Sessions, as well as Elaine Chao, Mr. Trump’s choice for transportation secretary, opposed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have strengthened federal equal pay laws for women.

Minimum wage

Ms. Chao, in her tenure as secretary of labor in the George W. Bush administration, opposed raising the minimum wage. President-elect Trump generally opposed raising the federal minimum wage during the campaign, although he occasionally contradicted himself. Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, points out that two-thirds of minimum-wage earners are women, who dominate fields with low-paying service jobs.

Mr. Trump, who supported the right to abortion as recently as 1999, opposed abortion during the campaign. And so do almost all of his cabinet picks, including Betsy DeVos, his nominee for education secretary; Nikki Haley, for ambassador to the United Nations; and Ms. Chao. Governor Haley signed a bill into law in South Carolina banning abortions from 20 weeks, a rollback from the medically established viability standard of 24 to 26 weeks.  Ben Carson, his nominee for Housing and Urban Development, is a longtime abortion foe.

In Congress, Senator Sessions and Representatives Price and Pompeo have consistently voted for abortion restrictions, including a ban on abortions after 20 weeks and against funding for Planned Parenthood and Title X, because abortion is included in these family planning services.

A Trump administration may well restrict funding for family planning or abortion in programs overseas to which the United States contributes.


In Congress, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Price and Mr. Pompeo all voted against requiring employers to provide health care plans that included contraception, citing religious liberty.

In an exchange that went viral in 2012, Mr. Price scoffed at the notion that any woman could not afford contraception as part of his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which requires contraceptive coverage without co-payments as well as a range of other preventive services for women. “Bring me one woman who has been left behind,” he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “Bring me one. There’s not one.”

As numerous women’s advocacy groups have demonstrated, high co-payments for birth control have been a significant deterrent for many women.

Medicare and Medicaid

Mr. Price proposes offering states lump sums, known as block grants, for Medicaid. These measures could disproportionately hurt women, particularly poor and minority women, since they would end up reducing the amount of federal money going to the states for health care. Medicaid is the main source of health care for low-income women, providing prenatal and maternity care as well as paying for nursing home care, which affects women more because they live longer. Under Obamacare, federal money to expand Medicaid has helped to narrow a longstanding gap in health care between blacks and whites.

Mr. Price has also proposed that the federal government provide a contribution that could be applied to private insurance or Medicare. Some fear those changes would hurt women because they become sicker as they age and would be more likely to exceed a fixed federal contribution.

“They will frame this as flexibility, but it’s about the federal government paying less or making it easier for states to cut back on services,” said Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Central Oregon Coast NOW to Host Discussion in Recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 6 p.m., in recognition of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will host a community discussion on domestic violence in Lincoln County and the services provided by My Sister’s Place.  Leading the discussion will be Gillian Losh, Outreach Coordinator for My Sister’s Place.  The discussion will be held at Central Lincoln PUD Meeting Room, 2129 N Coast Hwy., Newport, OR.


The discussion is especially timely in light of the recently released Oregon Women’s Foundation “Count Her In” Report ( on the status of women and girls in Oregon.  The research in support of the report found that over half of Oregon women and girls are survivors of domestic violence and/or sexual assault.  This rate is one of the highest in the country.   

Members of the public is encouraged to attend.  Following the discussion Central Oregon Coast NOW will hold a short business meeting to elect officers for 2017.  For more information please email  Website:

Community discussion on Sept. 27 in Newport on Findings from the Recent Report on the Status of Oregon Women & Girls

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) will host a community discussion at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27, on the Oregon Women’s Foundation “Count Her In” Report ( uploads/CountHerInreport. pdf ), which was released Sept. 21 on the status of women and girls in Oregon.   

The discussion will be held at Central Lincoln PUD meeting room, 2129 N Coast Highway, Newport.   

More than 100 Lincoln County women, and a few men, participated in the “listening tour” stop that was held earlier this year in Newport and that contributed to the “Count Her In” report.  

The Central Oregon Coast Chapter of NOW believes the findings raised some major concerns and that it important to have a community discussion about how the coast can respond to some of those findings.   

Among the concerns identified by NOW are:   

An estimated 1 million Oregon women and girls — more than half of the state’s female population — have experienced some form of sexual or domestic violence. This     is one of the highest rates in the country.   

Oregon is one of the least affordable states in the nation for child care. A year of day care is now more expensive than annual tuition at a state university in Oregon.   

Women and girls of color in Oregon experience disproportionate barriers to success, including poverty rates that are nearly twice as high as those of white women and girls.    Hundreds of thousands of women lack access to the information and services they need to decide if, when, and how they become pregnant. Almost half of Oregon pregnancies are unintended, a rate that has barely dropped in 20 years.   

Oregon women earn between 53 and 83 cents (depending on race or ethnicity) for every dollar white men in Oregon earn. The gender wealth gap, based on the sum of a person’s assets, is even larger: approximately 35 cents on the dollar. Oregon’s gender wealth gap is among the largest in the nation.   

Oregon women have the   highest incidence of reported depression in the country, as well as the highest rate of alcohol use. Women are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than men, and Oregon women have higher rates of childhood trauma than the national average.   

The purpose of this meeting is to work on solutions to the obstacles facing women and girls in the local community.

The public is encouraged to attend. For more information, email or go online at

‘Heartsick’ Elias-case judge challenges domestic-violence myths: Guest opinion

The house in the 4100 block of Southwest Brugger Street where Nicolette Naomi Elias, 46, was found killed Nov. 10. (Maxine Bernstein/The Oregonian)

The house in the 4100 block of Southwest Brugger Street where Nicolette Naomi Elias, 46, was found killed Nov. 10. (Maxine Bernstein/The Oregonian)

By Judge Amy Holmes Hehn

On Nov. 10, Ian Elias kicked in the door of the home of his ex-wife, Nicolette Elias, and shot her to death with a handgun.  He took their two young daughters to his home where he ultimately stepped out into the back yard and shot himself in the head in front of police.

I am the Multnomah County Circuit Court judge who has been presiding over Ian and Nikki Elias’ highly contentious custody and parenting-time case. Everyone connected to the case is heartsick. Nikki Elias was a smart, articulate, hard-working, loving mother to her two children. All of the professionals in the case, including the court, were extremely concerned about Ian Elias and took his behavior seriously.  Nikki was clear with us all about how dangerous she thought Ian was and we believed her. She sought and was given the all the protection the court has to offer.  She did everything we like to think of as “right” to protect herself and her children from Ian’s abuse.  In the end, none of our efforts were enough.  The grim reality is that when an abuser wants to murder his intimate partner, he’ll likely find a way to do it.

As a professional who has fought the good fight against domestic violence throughout my 27-year career, first as a prosecutor and now as a judge, it’s hard not to give up in despair.  As a society, it’s tempting to throw up our hands and walk away saying, “there’s nothing we can do.”  That would be a mistake.  There’s a lot we can do.

First, we must shatter our myths and biases about domestic violence:

* With rare exceptions, domestic abusers, including those who murder their partners, aren’t “crazy.”  While Ian Elias suffered from anxiety and depression, he wasn’t insane; he was arrogant, entitled, abusive, selfish and controlling.  He played the victim at every turn.   When the court held him accountable for his conduct and put limits on his behavior, he reacted with the ultimate narcissistic act of control, with no concern for the children he professed to love so much.

* Domestic abusers don’t have “anger management problems.”  They are generally able to manage their anger just fine outside the home.  An abuser uses his anger as a tactic to punish, control, terrorize and coerce his partner to achieve specific goals – to shut her up, to isolate her, to prevent her from spending money, to keep her from complaining about his infidelity, to keep her from asserting her independence.  In this way domestic violence is “functional.”  It’s always a conscious choice, and sadly, too often it works.

* We should never again ask, “Why doesn’t she just leave?”  Nikki Elias, and thousands of others like her who end up dead at the hands of their abusers in this country every year, did leave.  Leaving is the most dangerous step a victim can take.  When we hear about a victim of domestic violence we so often want to know what’s wrong with her and wonder what she did to deserve the abuse.  This supports the abuser’s world view, that his abuse is justified.  When a victim of domestic violence stays or returns to her abusive partner, what we should be asking is, “What are the conditions he created to cause her to feel that she has no other safe choice but to stay?”

* Some of the worst domestic violence isn’t physical; it’s verbal, emotional and psychological.  While Nikki reported extensive past physical abuse by Ian, including grabbing, punching and strangulation, more recently Ian terrorized Nikki using social media.  His postings were not overtly and specifically threatening to her, however, and thus were protected by the First Amendment.  This is a huge gap in our ability to intervene on behalf of victims.

* Domestic violence isn’t something that just happens to “those people.”  It cuts across all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and socieoeconomic classes.  Chances are someone you know personally has been a victim of domestic abuse.
Second, we must step up and speak out.  Domestic violence is preventable.

* Men need to start standing up to men about domestic violence.  For too long the fight against domestic violence has been fought by women talking to and on behalf of women.  Until men own the fact that, while there are certainly exceptions, domestic violence is primarily perpetrated by men against women and children, abuse will continue.  It was refreshing to finally see men of power and privilege speaking out against abuse in response to recent revelations about domestic violence among high-profile sports figures.  Corporations with substantial influence pulled contracts from abusive players.  At last, domestic violence seemed to be impacting the status and pocketbooks of men in a mostly man’s realm, the world of professional sports.  This is a trend that should be supported and encouraged.

* Everyone needs to educate themselves about domestic violence.  Most survivors turn first to friends, relatives, employers and co-workers for help.
Domestic violence pervades every type of case in our legal system.  Judges and other legal professionals must be vigilant and educated about the dynamics of domestic violence and about factors known to be linked to high risk and lethal violence in order to recognize it and respond appropriately.

* We need to put money where our mouths are.  Consider the public attention and resources focused on the Ebola outbreak in recent months.  Yet how many Americans have actually died from Ebola?  Since 2003, 18,000 women have been killed by their intimate partners, yet domestic violence services, including advocacy for survivors, safe housing, resources to help survivors achieve financial independence, specialized domestic violence law enforcement and prosecution units, and services for perpetrators are all grossly under-funded.  Until we embrace domestic violence as the public health crisis it is and put our resources there, abuse will continue.

* We need to talk about guns.  Women who are victims of domestic violence are six to eight times more likely to be killed by an intimate partner if there are firearms in the home.  “[A]ll too often,” as former Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., noted during a 1996 debate over federal legislation, “the only difference between a battered woman and a dead woman is the presence of a gun.”

* If you see or hear abuse happening, call 911.  She may not be able to do so safely, but you can.  If you have a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker who is being physically or emotionally terrorized by her intimate partner, reach out.  Listen and sympathize without judgment or blame.  Don’t tell her what to do.  Instead, ask her what she needs to be safe and do your best to support her.
Our good efforts weren’t good enough to save Nikki Elias.  If we all pull together, perhaps we can save the next wife, mother, sister, brother, daughter or child, and the next.

Amy Holmes Hehn is a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge.

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Oregon

(This section was last updated on July 3, 2012.)

Oregon has no laws regarding the removal or surrender of firearms when domestic violence restraining or protective orders are issued or at the scene of a domestic violence incident, or providing notice to domestic abusers when federal law prohibits them from possessing firearms.

Firearm Prohibitions for Domestic Violence Misdemeanants

While Oregon does not explicitly prohibit the possession of a firearm by domestic violence misdemeanants, the state does prohibit any person from intentionally selling, delivering, or otherwise transferring any firearm when the transferor knows or reasonably should know that the recipient has been convicted of a “misdemeanor involving violence” or found “guilty except for insanity” of a misdemeanor involving violence within the previous four years.1 A “misdemeanor involving violence” includes an assault in the fourth degree (intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing physical injury to another or, with criminal negligence, causing physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon), strangulation, menacing, recklessly endangering another person, or intimidation in the second degree (involving, inter alia, the intentional subjection of another to offensive physical contact because of a perception of the other’s race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.2 Federal law also applies.

Firearm Prohibitions for Persons Subject to Domestic Violence Protective Orders

In suits for marital annulment, dissolution or separation, prior to a general judgment, a court must include terms in the interim protective order that trigger the federal law prohibiting the possession of firearms by domestic violence protective order defendants, if the party had notice and an opportunity to be heard, and the court is restraining the party from molesting or interfering with the other party or minor children or requiring the party to move out of the family home for the sake of minor children.3 A similar provision concerns protective orders against stalking.4

Oregon has no other laws prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence protective orders from possessing firearms or ammunition.

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

  1. Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470(1)(g). []
  2. Id. []
  3. Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.095(5). []
  4. Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 30.866(10), 163.738(1)(a)(H). (2)(b). See Or. Rev. Stat. § 107.718(11). []

Federal Law on Domestic Violence & Firearms

Federal law prohibits the purchase and possession of firearms and ammunition by persons who have been convicted in any court of a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” and/or who are subject to certain domestic violence protective orders.1

Federal law defines a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” as an offense that is a federal, state or tribal law misdemeanor and has the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon as an element.2 In addition, the offender must:

  • Be a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim;
  • Share a child in common with the victim;
  • Be a current or former cohabitant with the victim as a spouse, parent or guardian; or
  • Be similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim.3

Note also that a conviction requires that the offender was represented by counsel or waived the right to counsel and was tried by a jury or waived the right to a jury, if the offense entitled the offender to a jury trial.

The federal law prohibiting subjects of protective orders from purchasing or possessing firearms and ammunition applies only if the protective order was issued after notice to the abuser and a hearing, and only if the order protects an “intimate partner” of the abuser or a child of the abuser or intimate partner.4An “intimate partner” includes a current or former spouse, a parent of a child in common with the abuser, or an individual with whom the abuser does or has cohabited.5 The order must also contain a finding that the person presents a credible threat to the victim and must restrain him or her from certain specified conduct.6 Most state laws require these elements for the issuance of a protective order.

These federal prohibitions have significant limitations. First, domestic violence affects persons in relationships that fall outside the protections of federal law. For example, dating partners are not within the federal prohibitions unless the partners are/were cohabitating as spouses and/or have a child in common. The risk of domestic violence being committed by a dating partner is well-documented. Between 1990 and 2005, individuals killed by current dating partners made up almost half of all spouse and current dating partner homicides.7 In a recent study of applicants for domestic violence restraining orders in Los Angeles, the most common relationship between the victim and abuser was a dating relationship, and applications for protective orders were more likely to mention firearms when the parties had not lived together and were not married.8 Many states have addressed this gap in federal law by enacting laws that expand the relationships subject to firearm purchaser prohibitions for domestic abusers.

Effective enforcement of the federal prohibitions on firearm possession by domestic abusers depends largely on state and local law enforcement. Background checks at the point of transfer can prevent the purchase of firearms by domestic abusers, but cannot facilitate the removal of firearms that are already in possession of an abuser. State laws requiring removal of firearms directly from abusers can help ensure that abusers will not have continued access to firearms to threaten or harm their victims.

In addition, background checks conducted by federally licensed firearms dealers at the time of transfer of a firearm rely on state and local authorities collecting and submitting to state and federal databases complete records on misdemeanor convictions and protective orders. For a discussion of the lack of participation by some states in entering domestic violence protective order information into the National Crime Information Center database see, e.g., Julissa Jose, Disarming Domestic Violence Abusers 3 (Sept. 2003).

Click here to view additional information about domestic violence and firearms, including background information and state and local laws on the topic.

  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), (9). []
  2. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(33). []
  3. Id. []
  4. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). []
  5. 18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(32). []
  6. 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8). []
  7. Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Homicide Trends in the U.S.: Intimate Homicide (July 2007). []
  8. Katherine A. Vittes et al., Are Temporary Restraining Orders More Likely to be Issued When Applications Mention Firearms?, 30 Evaluation Rev. 266, 271, 275 (2006). []

Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer – Evan DeFilippis – The Atlantic

Having a Gun in the House Doesn’t Make a Woman Safer – Evan DeFilippis – The Atlantic.

Firearms have been touted as a great equalizer between the sexes. But in cases where self-defense matters most, women tend to find their own weapons turned against them.
Evan DeFilipis / Feb 23 2014
A father takes his 14-year-old daughter shopping at a gun show in Houston. (Reuters)

Christy Salters Martin is a professional boxer and the owner of a concealed carry permit. But when she attempted to leave her husband, she was shot with her own gun. Today, she cautions other women against making the same mistake. “Just putting a weapon in the woman’s hand is not going to reduce the number of fatalities or gunshot victims that we have. Too many times, their male counterpart or spouse will be able to overpower them and take that gun away.”

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, has argued that firearms are a great equalizer between the sexes. In a speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee last year, he declared, “The one thing a violent rapist deserves to face is a good woman with a gun.” But the empirical reality of firearm ownership reflects anything but equality, particularly when it comes to intimate partner violence. Such fights become much more frequent and lethal when firearms are involved, and the violence is nearly unidirectional, inflicted by males upon females. This relationship holds true not only across the United States, but around the world.

A recent meta-analysis concluded what many people already knew: the availability of firearms is a strong risk factor for both homicide and suicide. But the study came to another conclusion that is rarely mentioned in the gun control debate: females are uniquely impacted by the availability of a firearm. Indeed, the study found that women with access to firearms become homicide victims at significantly higher rates than men.

It has long been recognized that higher rates of gun availability correlate with higher rates of female homicide. Women in the United States account for 84 percent of all female firearm victims in the developed world, even though they make up only a third of the developed world’s female population. And within American borders, women die at higher rates from suicidehomicide, andaccidental firearm deaths in states where guns are more widely available. This is true even after controlling for factors such as urbanization, alcohol use, education, poverty, and divorce rates.

What’s more surprising is how many of these deaths occur in the home, at the hands of a male partner. In a study in the Journal of Trauma, A.L. Kellermann, director of the RAND Institute of health, and his coauthor J.A. Mercy concluded: “More than twice as many women are killed with a gun used by their husbands or intimate acquaintances than are murdered by strangers using guns, knives, or any other means.”

In another study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers interviewed 417 women across 67 battered women’s shelters. Nearly a third of these women had lived in a household with a firearm. In two-thirds of the homes, their intimate partners had used the gun against them, usually threatening to kill (71.4%) them. A very small percentage of these women (7%) had used a gun successfully in self-defense, and primarily just to scare the attacking male partner away. Indeed, gun threats in the home againstwomen by their intimate partners appear to be more common across the United States than self-defense uses of guns by women.

Another large case-control study compared women who were murdered by their intimate partner with a control group of battered women. Only 16 percent of the women who had been abused, but not murdered, had guns in their homes, whereas 51 percent of the murder victims did. In fact, not a single study to date has shown that the risk of any crime including burglary, robbery, home invasion, or spousal abuse against a female is decreased through gun ownership. Though there are examples of women using a gun to defend themselves, they are few and far between, and not statistically significant.

These facts should be as chilling to men as they are to women. A 2005 studyexamining mortality data from 1998-2000 found that when a female was shot by her intimate partner, the perpetrator subsequently killed himself in two thirds of the cases. This statistic not only shows necessity of getting mental help for at-risk men. It also further suggests that owning a firearm may make a household more vulnerable than ever.

Native American Women Finally Gain More Protection From Rape and Abuse Thanks to VAWA | Care2 Causes

Native American Women Finally Gain More Protection From Rape and Abuse Thanks to VAWA | Care2 Causes.


Written by Tara Culp-Ressler

Thanks to the latest reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the U.S. government is beginning to take steps to strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence within American Indian tribes. On Thursday, the Justice Department announced that three tribes will participate in a pilot program that will allow them to prosecute non-Native­ men for abuse against Native American women, an initiative that will eventually be expanded to additional tribes.

There are 566 federally-recognized Native American tribes across the country. But since a 1978 Supreme Court ruling prohibits tribes from exercising criminal jurisdiction over outside defendants, they’ve been hampered from going after perpetrators of domestic assault. Even if a woman called the tribe’s police chief to report an incident of domestic abuse, there was nothing law enforcement could do if the aggressor wasn’t a member of the tribe.

“Can you imagine responding to call where there is clear evidence of a crime committed by an individual and you cannot arrest them? I think the community felt cheated,” Michael Valenzuela, the police chief of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, told the LA Times. “It made police officers and victim advocates feel powerless.”

Under VAWA, that’s about to change. The Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, the Tulalip Tribes of Washington, and the Umatilla Tribes of Oregon will be able to expand their justice systems to crack down on domestic abusers.

“These critical pilot projects will facilitate the first tribal prosecutions of non-Indian perpetrators in recent times,” Attorney General Eric Holder explained in a statement. “This represents a significant victory for public safety and the rule of law, and a momentous step forward for tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”

Sexual crimes are a huge problem on Native American reservations, where nearly 40 percent of women report they have experienced some type of domestic violence. And an estimated 80 percent of Native American rape survivors say they were assaulted by non-Indian men, since the current legal system essentially empowers serial rapists who know they can get away with it.

Nonetheless, the expanded protections for Native American women were a sticking point in the fight to renew VAWA last year. Republicans resisted approving the latest version of legislation because of its provisions relating to LGBT, immigrant, and Native American women — and even after brokering compromises for the first two groups, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) dug in his heels against giving tribes more authority to go after rapists. It took a year of partisan infighting to finally approve the current version of the landmark legislation.

Other tribes will have the option of participating in the new pilot program, too. Their requests to opt in will be approved by Associate Attorney General Tony West, who congratulated Native American leaders on a historic step forward.

“The old jurisdictional scheme failed to adequately protect the public — particularly Native women — with too many crimes going unprosecuted and unpunished amidst escalating violence in Indian Country,” West noted. “Our actions today mark a historic turning point.”

This post was originally published in ThinkProgress

Read more:

Tennessee study: Annual costs of violence against women ‘likely exceeds $1 billion’ | The Raw Story

Tennessee study: Annual costs of violence against women ‘likely exceeds $1 billion’ | The Raw Story.

A study released by a Tennessee group this week determined that the cost of violence against women in the state “likely exceeds $1 billion.”

In its “Economic Impact of Violence Against Women” report, the Tennessee Economic Council on Women found that “Tennesseans spent or lost at least $886,171,950 as a result of domestic violence, human sex trafficking, and sexual assault.”

The group said that most of that money was spent in tax dollars and health care costs, but lost wages, charity, workplace expenses and other inefficiencies were also included.

But the group said that the toll went beyond the costs of rape kits, broken bones and funerals.

“More shocking than this annual cost to the community—which likely exceeds $1 billion, in truth—is the comprehensive and devastating impact that these crimes have on women and girls in Tennessee,” the reported noted. “Estimated to target women in 70 to 80 percent of cases, and measuring in excess of 82,000 incidents annually in this state, domestic and sexual violence foster dependency and isolation; they derail careers, educations, and personal development; and their effects create a global cost to the community by dealing significant immediate damage and immense lasting trauma to one in three women in their lifetime. ”

In 2010, Tennessee ranked third in women who were killed by men.

While Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has pushed for stricter punishments for repeat domestic violence offenders, Republicans’ overall record on protecting women in Tennessee is mixed.

“Here in Tennessee, we must hold accountable those who refuse to stand up for the rights of women,” the Tennessee Democratic Party said in a statement marking the anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in September. “From Tennessee, U.S. Reps. DesJarlais, Roe, Duncan, Fleischmann, Black, Blackburn, Fincher all voted against VAWA and Gov. Haslam and the extreme GOP legislature continue to deny women and mothers access to affordable health care.”

“The fact is that there are still too many women who suffer from domestic abuse and we must recommit ourselves to working towards a solution. As Democrats, we will continue to work tirelessly to prevent violence against all Americans.”