Statement of NOW President Toni Van Pelt:
In public, Donald Trump has nothing but praise for Rob Porter, calling him “wonderful,” “strong” and “innocent.” This is Donald Trump’s pattern. From Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly to Roy Moore and Mike Tyson, Trump ignores the accuser and portrays the accused as the real victim.
Donald Trump needs to know the consequences of his words and actions. Women and men around the nation who are in the throes of relationship violence cannot/must not be ignored or demeaned by anyone, and certainly not by the President of the United States. He has inexcusably defended the batterers and questioned the veracity of the victims in order to cater to his base. Polls show that even women in his “base” have just about had it with his disdain and misogyny. The elections this November will send the message.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline estimates that one in three women are abused in their lifetimes. We know that intimate partner violence can be a precursor to acts of murderous rage—the Boston Marathon bomber, the Pulse nightclub shooter, and the Sutherland Springs shooter all had histories of relationship violence.
Donald Trump’s White House is riven by a cover-up culture of men protecting men and disbelieving women. At least 19 women have come forward accusing Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, but the White House calls their accounts “false claims” and Kellyanne Conway said over the weekend they have “had their day.” In essence, “He won, you lost, so shut up.”
NOW supports Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s call for Congressional hearings to give Donald Trump’s accusers the “due process” Trump claims to uphold. What’s more, we need to hold the enabler-in-chief accountable for an upside-down culture where women who unmask sexual predators and perpetrators of domestic violence see their careers ruined, their livelihood threatened and their health compromised, while men get huge paydays for leaving the spotlight.
Furthermore, NOW renews our call for John Kelly to resign or be fired as Chief of Staff. And instead of appointing a crony like Mick Mulvaney or Chris Christie to replace him, NOW proposes that a strong, capable woman with a record that includes standing up for victims of domestic violence and abuse be selected to replace him.
Emily Imhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org, 951-547-1241