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1 in 9 Florida Women Raped

Governor Scott and Senator Rubio continue to wage the Republican war on women by cutting protections against rape and violence.

Every time I drive home late at night from work, I’m haunted by the statistics that one in nine Florida women are victims of rape. Sadly less than 40 percent of those rapes are reported.

April was National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. During this nationally recognized period, women raise awareness, provide education, and promote conversation around sexual violence prevention.

To commemorate the month, Governor Scott and Senator Rubio struck to eliminate programs designed to protect women from rape and families from domestic abuse.

  • Rick Scott vetoed $1.5 million from the state's budget for rape crisis prevention centers — and when pressed, his office responded that "nobody was able to make it clear to [the governor] why rape crisis centers needed the new funding.” Perhaps Scott just wasn’t listening.
  • On the heels of Gov. Scott's veto, Senator Marco Rubio voted against re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act — a federal law that protects women and families from domestic abuse and sex crimes. All 31 of the “no” votes came from Republican men. At least Florida has one senator – Senator Bill Nelson – who stands up for women.

It's a tragedy that the GOP in Florida is willing to put politics ahead of the safety of our sisters, our mothers, and our children. These attacks on programs that protect women’s health and safety mark a new low in the ongoing GOP War on Women. 

With sex crimes in Florida continuing to rise, women will understand that the GOP War on Women is more than just political rhetoric. The phrase reflects real actions by our elected representatives -- actions that have consequences for thousands of women. 

Women will understand, and women will vote.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brad Hardin May 01, 2012 at 07:43 PM
One has to wonder if Grover Norquist and Karl Rove and the Koch brothers were not dictating policy to the Republican Party if Governor Scott and Senator Rubio would not have the basic decency to take different positions on these issues so important to women. I presume that Scott and Rubio have families - wives, possibly daughters. Economic policy is debatable, but certainly by any standard of human sensitivity and decency is this issue debatable.
Joyce Abate-Bonaiuto May 01, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Let's review the Rubio vote to get the whole truth: The current VAWA that was re-written and changed by the Senate requires that 30% of STOP (Services, Training, Officers, Prosecutors) funding be taken out of federal funding for Domestic Violence programs for women and put into Sexual Assault services for women. According to the Florida Dept of Law Enforcement, domestic violence cases in 2010 totaled 91%, where sexual assault cases totaled 9%. Rubio's vote took that statistic into consideration because those are the facts. Perhaps if the Senate Democrats would have kept the original bill's language, reflective of the facts and statistics related to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault cases, Rubio would have voted "yes" for the current VAWA bill to pass. We have to consider the number of total domestic violence cases compared to the number of sexual assault cases to understand Rubio's vote. Why should the Senate Democrats suggest taking away 20% of the current funding from Domestic Violence to give the funding to Sexual Assault when the statistics clearly show Domestic Violence cases are so much more prevalent? Rubio voted where statistics supported the need. We need to understand that Ms Ferrandino's statements against Republicans are never accompanied by the entire context of the issue. To enable Sarasota readers to fully grasp an issue the writer should deliver all the facts. Then readers can form their opinions in an educated, not biased, direction.
Brad Hardin May 01, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Meaning by no standard of human sensitivity and decency are the positions of Governor Scott and Sentor Rubio acceptable or debatable on this issue.
CarolC May 02, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Can you provide your sources of this info? I had read about Rubio's decision and was sickened. His timing could not have been worse, but in any event, if there's logic behind his decision, I'd like to see the facts from an unbiased source. Of course, statistics can be manipulated--surely, there's huge overlap between domestic violence and sexual assault in that the latter involves violence and both typically occur at home or close to home, e.g., pedophilia. Sounds like a lot of playing with words. I also sounds like you plan to attack anything a Dem posts rather than discuss. So that's why I'd like to know the sources of your intelligence.
Willyone May 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Good voice Joyce! I love the fact that you did your research and used facts instead of 30 second libtard sound clips. I have read several articles from Ms. Ferrandino and most if not all are crazy one sided. Brad is also using emotion instead of finding out the facts before making statements. Carol C. was so ready to attack with emotion that she failed to realize you mentioned Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement for your facts right in your comment section. FDLE look it up libtards. It's not about DEM VS REP it's about facts and hard #'s people. If we keep getting hung up on the left and right junk we will get nowhere fast.
Joyce Abate-Bonaiuto May 02, 2012 at 01:25 PM
CarolC, web address for the truth of this issue: www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/rubio
Joyce Abate-Bonaiuto May 02, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Willyone, AMEN!
Henry Bright May 02, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I tried that link. It didn't work. But I went to www.tampabay.com/blogs and found this in "the buzz": The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence today criticized Sen. Marco Rubio's vote against the Violence Against Women Act, saying he "failed to grasp" the importance. Rubio said after yesterday's vote that he opposed it because it took some funding away from domestic violence programs. But the Florida group said the impact is overstated. "According to data from the Office on Violence Against Women, Florida spent 18% of its STOP federal funding on sexual assault in 2009 and 16% in 2010. This would seem to suggest that Senator Rubio’s vote was based on a 4% shift of Florida’s STOP funds. Yet, S. 1925 makes it clear that the sexual assault set-aside funds can be used to respond to domestic violence cases where sexual violence is a factor, so the impact of such a shift could ultimately be even smaller." "FCASV welcomes the oversight, guidance and sharing of best practices offered by the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women, created in 2002 under the Bush Administration, as Florida continues to implement these significant federal funding sources.
Joyce Abate-Bonaiuto May 02, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Mr. Bright - I stated the facts and stated statistics surrounding the reason why Rubio voted the way he did. Search those statistics on google and you'll see the same.
Henry Bright May 02, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Joyce, as far as I can tell, your statistics are correct. But the number of cases is not a measure of the relative costs involved. As I quoted, the costs for sexual assault are in the 16% - 18% area, versus the 20% allocation in the bill passed by the Senate. And Rubio did not cite those statistics as his reason. He said: http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/rubio-says-opposition-violence-against-women-act-due-concern-over-less-domestic-violence "Finally, on the Leahy Substitute, I voted no because it would also divert funding away from domestic violence programs to sexual assault cases, without any evidence that the increased funding will result in enhanced prosecutions or additional cases reported. Furthermore, it would give the Justice Department greater power in determining how funds are used at the state level, taking decision-making out of the hands of the state-based coalitions on the ground who know best about how to serve their communities. Lastly, this legislation fails to address the duplication and overlap within VAWA programs and with non-VAWA programs operated by both the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services." In the reports on the Senate deliberations, I could find no mention of Rubio or anyone else citing a problem with the 20% allocation. What seemed to be the main objections of Republicans were the changes giving greater recognition to gays and immigrants in domestic violence cases.
Jenny May 04, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Joyce, who pays you to write this propaganda? You are always on here posting your liberal nonsense. There is the crew of you and you back up each other's stories. Anyone with a brain can see this is just your little way of attacking conservatives and pushing everything liberal. Do you not have a job that you have this much time to post crap or is posting your job? Hmmmm?
Joyce Abate-Bonaiuto May 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Jenny, If you think I'm a liberal, you need to get educated about liberalism and conservatism and do it quickly so you won't be writing the wrong statements. My beliefs are conservative - Republican. Get educated before you write another word.
Joyce Abate-Bonaiuto May 04, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Jenny, And I will tell my 40 employees that you advised me to get a job.
Ruthiness May 07, 2012 at 04:18 PM
This is absolutely the most disgusting propaganda piece I have read in a long time. You, Rita, have revealed yourself to be so totally BIASED that you would twist statistics in such a way to help create the illusion of "war on women". The REAL "war on women" is from disgusting liberals like you who told women in their feminist fervor, that staying home and raising kids was being a loser and an entire generation bought into that fallacy and look what it has done to American families. You all disgust me with your "man hating"! By the way, I am a woman who was raised on that feminist CRAP and I resent the lies that were fed to me fully!!!!
Ruthiness May 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Rita - if you are so afraid of being raped - why don't you move to a liberal-run city like San Fran where I am sure there are zero rapes, right? Here's the actual FBI Crime Statistics web site where people can see the numbers without a party filter: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl04.xls
Ruthiness May 07, 2012 at 05:23 PM
OH WOW - guess what folks? This "One in Nine" report was created in 2003 - not 2012! The Dems are REALLY desperate to prove their phone GOP War on Women that they will REACH BACK TO 2003 for "statistics"... WOW just WOW http://www.doh.state.fl.us/family/svpp/planning/Rape_in_Florida.pdf
Henry Bright May 09, 2012 at 12:47 PM
So, Ruthiness, you think rapes have stopped happening after 2003? True, reported sexual assaults for 2011 are a little less than 2003 (10,000 vs 12,000). Does that change the need to be concerned? Seems to me you are so eager to attack Rita that you lose sight of the fact that there is a real cause for concern. Or maybe you just don't care? See http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/FSAC/Data---Statistics-(1)/UCR-Offense-Data/UCR-Offense-Data.aspx
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Henry - it's just a LITTLE disingenuous to quote statistics from NINE YEARS AGO to try to claim that there is this fictitious "war on women" by the GOP. Lying Democrats really make themselves look dumb when they go to this extreme. Funny thing is - the data at your link shows that the rate of rapes in Florida IS THE LOWEST IT HAS BEEN SINCE 1989 FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS.. WOW... So that totally negates the "1 in 9" claim being made by the Dem leadership now doesn't it - esp since the "1 in 9" rhetoric came from a report from 2003.. Come on you guys can do better than that! LOL
Ogalley May 10, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Ruthiness, you're just nitpicking. Whether the current rate is 1 in 9 or 1 in 12 is not the issue and it doesn't change the basic problem. By nitpicking, you are just trying to divert attention from the underlying issue, which is the votes by Rick Scott and Marc Rubio against efforts to protect women agaist rape.
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 03:31 PM
WELLLLL Ogalley - when twisted and old statistics are the basis of the argument it totally nullifies the "sky is falling" basis for attacking them. Furthermore, it's not the GOVERNMENT'S JOB TO PROTECT WOMEN FROM RAPE - HOW ABOUT WOMEN GET THEMSELVES ARMED AND PROTECT THEMSELVES? The government is not OUR PARENTS OR PROTECTORS and I am sick and tired of you liberals who think that's what the government is for. Screw your stupid "war on women" propaganda campaign - I don't WANT their protection. Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. Benjamin Franklin
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 03:43 PM
FURTHERMORE - that "One in Nine Women" so-called "report" was not from law enforcement - it was from a liberal activist group with the sole purpose of making women think the world is too dangerous for them without government intervention. A group named "Violence Against Women Prevention Research" is going to need to keep making women think the world is dangerous so they can continue to have a reason to EXIST and keep making MONEY. Here is where the "One in Nine" research came from - and I have to wonder if they used the 2003 stats because congress and the CDC are no longer funding them to continue doing their bogus research: http://www.musc.edu/vawprevention/ The group NEEDS to continue to skew statistics to make it look like they need to exist. Nevermind that rapes in Florida are the lowest in at least FIFTEEN YEARS - we can't have any of THAT get out now can we?
drd May 10, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Well, Ruthiness, you seem to be saying that rape, sexual abuse and other forms of violence against women (and men for that matter) are no longer a problem. Perhaps that's the way it seems where you are up in Pennsylvania, but I bet many in your community would not agree. It continues to be a problem here in Florida and across the nation, and it is wrong to abandon women by ending programs that have worked well for decades.
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Here is another factoid for you puppets who insist on basing your attacks against the Rick Scott and Marco Rubio by using a 2003 "report" on rape. Here is their "one in nine" argument right from the report - page FIVE": “…one out of every nine adult women, or nearly 713,000 adult women in Florida, has been the victim of forcible rape sometime in her lifetime." So let's discuss this - it says SOMETIME IN HER LIFETIME. That means the "one in nine" rape rate is not necessarily IN FLORIDA but IN THEIR LIFETIME FOR A SELECTION OF WOMEN LIVING IN FLORIDA IN 2003. So HOW EXACTLY CAN THEY SAY THAT? WHAT STATISTIC WILL TELL YOU WHAT A SET OF WOMEN IN A PARTICULAR STATE HAVE EXPERIENCE IN THEIR LIFETIME????? This is the most outrageous distortion of facts I have ever seen. It unnecessarily scares residents or visitors to Florida and makes it seem that there are a ton of rapists running around in Florida and THIS IS PATENTLY FALSE AND A COMPLETE LIE AND DISTORTION. So you base your argument for "protecting" women against rape on complete BS. Yeah that's honest... Here is the report AGAIN - I invite people who seek the truth to read it for themselves and make sure you notice it is from a UNIVERSITY based "research" group funded by OUR TAX DOLLARS to boot... grrrrr http://www.doh.state.fl.us/family/svpp/planning/Rape_in_Florida.pdf
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Here's another aspect - check out the actual crime statistics for Florida cited above by Henry: http://www.fdle.state.fl.us/Content/getdoc/6934c3e2-8570-4fb4-a33d-35a90de9c931/CIFAcomp_annual11.aspx It says in 2010 there were a total of 294 arrests for rape and forcible sodomy (I don't count forcible fondling as RAPE sorry) and in 2011 there were 285 arrests. If we adjust for possible non-arrest victims and let's say double the amount were ACTUALLY raped or forcibly sodomized - that means MAYBE 600 women out of a total population of 18 MILLION people in Florida. Let's say HALF of that population are women and there are 9 MILLION women in Florida. Out of 9 MILLION women in the most recent years - guess what it equals .000005 % of women in Florida have been raped IN FLORIDA. That's a far cry from ONE IN NINE WOMEN!!!!!
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Page 6 of the cited report "One in Nine Women in Florida" victims of rape BS: It is important to note that the methodology we used to estimate the prevalence of rape in Florida is no substitute for conducting a well-designed victimization survey within the state. This point is highlighted by a comparison we did of rape prevalence estimates obtained in a recently completed victimization survey and estimates obtained using the methodology we used for this report. This survey of Washington State women included questions about rape that were similar to victimization questions in the NWS and NVAW. The use of similar questions for each survey enabled us to compare the results of the Washington State survey against our estimate for Washington of the prevalence of rape among women (our estimate for Washington was made using the same methodology described in this Report). We found that our estimate was substantially lower than the estimate obtained from the Washington State survey. This confirms the importance of conducting state level victimization surveys using good methodology.
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 04:25 PM
drd - I live in Florida now - and I am a woman - and I read the local news of Florida - and hardly ever do I see a report on a rape or attempted rape in Florida. But my point is that this entire "One in Nine" BS is coming from a FLAWED 2003 report that includes women EVER RAPED IN THEIR ENTIRE LIFETIME - NOT WHILE NECESSARILY LIVING IN FLORIDA. I take exception to people skewing reports and statistics to make Florida sound like a dangerous place to live when it is actually one of the safest. I feel safer here in Florida than I did living in PA. And "programs" cost money and if you liberals didn't push giving away the country to every non-productive person to give them money and houses from our tax money then you wouldn't be faced with losing funding for your precious pet projects. I repeat - rapes are not a problem in Florida any more than anywhere else in this nation and it is a complete lie to say otherwise.
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 04:28 PM
And Rita - this line in your editorial reveals just how much of a puppet you are now that everyone can plainly see that rape in Florida is not the big deal you are making it out to be - not EVEN in 2003 when the report you cite was made!!!! "With sex crimes in Florida continuing to rise, women will understand that the GOP War on Women is more than just political rhetoric. The phrase reflects real actions by our elected representatives -- actions that have consequences for thousands of women. " Sex crimes are absolutely NOT rising in Florida - why do you LIE Rita?????? WHY?? You Dems are really desperate it seems
Ruthiness May 10, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Here's yet another point - Dems are using this "One in Nine Women Raped in Florida" BS report to attack votes against MORE funding for "Rape Crisis Centers" - when was the last time a Rape Crisis Center PREVENTED a RAPE? Rape Crisis Centers are for AFTER THE FACT. Funding for Rape Crisis Centers does not PREVENT RAPES AND NEVER WILL!
Ogalley May 10, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Ruthinesssays " Funding for Rape Crisis Centers does not PREVENT RAPES AND NEVER WILL!". That shows you don't know what you are talking about. The SPARC organization provides a safe place for hundreds of women who are threatened with abuse, thereby protecting them from rape and other kinds of domestic violence.

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