Haley defended the veto, according to the Charleston City Paper, saying that rape and sexual assault prevention programs “distract from” the Department of Health’s mission, and that sexual assault victims are “only a small portion” of South Carolinians who need help:
Haley explained these vetoes in the Department of Health and Environmental Control budget by writing, “Each of these lines attempts to serve a portion of our population for which we extend our sympathy and encouragement, but nevertheless, it is only a small portion of South Carolina’s chronically ill or abused. Overall, these special add-on lines distract from the agency’s broader mission of protecting South Carolina’s public health.”
Sexual assault victims often feel totally alone in the world, so Haley’s consolation that they are only a small portion probably does little good.
That’s not to mention the fact that South Carolina has had a rate of sexual violence higher than the national average since 1982.