Bush White House Press Secretary-turned-Fox News host Dana Perino asserted Wednesday night that women who are victims of violence should “make better decisions” to avoid being hurt.
Perino made the comment on Fox New’s “The Five,” in the middle of a discussion of Kansas City Chiefs Line Backer Javon Belcher, who murdered his girlfriend before killing himself over the weekend. While her co-hosts were discussing the merits of female gun ownership as a way to avoid violence against women, Perino was quick to blame women themselves for being victims:
PERINO: I think it skirts the issue that women are victims of violence all the time —
CO-HOST: They should have guns!
PERINO: Well, maybe, or make better decisions.
Perino’s comments are a reminder of the importance of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill that plays a vital role in protecting women from violence, particularly intimate partner violence like that between Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend. The third reauthorization of VAWA is currently languishing in Congress, stuck between the updated version that passed the Senate (which includes protections for LGBT and undocumented domestic violence victims), and the House’s slimmed down reauthorization.