In April, the Trump administration quietly changed the definition of domestic violence and sexual assault on the Department of Justice website. This act, according to experts, will set back women’s rights 50 years. The new definition recognizes only physical acts of violence. Psychological abuse, coercive control and manipulation, including economic control and restrictions on liberty, are no longer recognized as domestic violence. These are acts of violence that create an atmosphere of fear and lead to physical violence. Failure to recognize these aspects of violence will deny women the safety protection of the courts and financial assistance when living under threat.

This is part of a trend of the devaluation of women’s rights in the U.S. More than one-half of murdered women are killed by an intimate partner. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-third of women experience psychological abuse. Programs designed to protect women under this kind of threat may no longer be funded.

This is concomitant with the Trump administration seeking to demolish women’s reproductive rights. This is a trend that cannot be rationalized. Why does the Trump administration want to deny protection and rights for half the population of the country while at the same time empowering the other half of the population? Think about this trend when considering your vote both for our representatives in Congress as well as president of the U.S. What kind of future do we want for women, our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. It is our responsibility to pay attention to the words and practices of our representatives in office and to watch trends in order to vote for representatives who will protect our rights.

Nancy Tomaselli


Unlimited digital access offer

To continue with unlimited access to Chronicle Online after this limited time trial click the button below. Offer expires September 30, 2019.

(7) comments


Good letter Nancy Tomaselli.

“More than one-half of murdered women are killed by an intimate partner.” That is such a sad statistic. I have totally lost respect and trust in Republicans.


One would have to wonder why a question such as, " Why does the Trump administration want to deny protection and rights for half the population of the country while at the same time empowering the other half of the population," would even need to be asked in 2019. If women voters allow this man to get four more years in office we will know the answer to that question and welcome women back to 1910A.D.

CitrusCo Citizen

Perhaps members of Women for Trump can be told that while they can keep the peace and agree with their husbands and promise to vote for Trump, they can actually vote for whoever they choose when they are alone in that voting booth. They don't HAVE to tell their husbands who they actually voted for, do they? They can just always agree and keep their marriages intact. After all, do husbands and wives HAVE to tell each other EVERYTHING? I know from experience--my mother always agreed with my sometimes-crazy Republican dad and just let him rant and rave, but I'm pretty she was secretly a lifelong Democrat and voted for equal rights for women, opportunities for immigrants (her parents were immigrants), help for the poor and working poor, and healthy international relationships and diplomacy.

CitrusCo Citizen

Thank you for sharing this shocking and valuable information, Ms. Tomaselli. We had no idea this law was passed and are only just finding out in the little ole Chronicle! Maybe we missed it or maybe it was kept under wraps? So is that what they meant by "making America great again?" On the 100th anniversary of American women actually getting the right to vote in America? Wow.


As has been pointed out by others, we need to watch what they are doing not what they are saying. Trump has created a giant smoke screen again by throwing racism back at the wall and waiting for us all to be totally too busy with watching to see 'what sticks' that we miss what he is actually doing. We need to prioritize the distractions and really see what is happening behind it. We can not tolerate what he says without reaction, but we can't let what he says totally distract us from what he is doing.

CitrusCo Citizen

Yep. We now know his strategy. Distract and agitate with a lie and deflect with a hyperbole and fear-mongering while simultaneously sneaking in another democracy-destroying policy. Distract, deflect, destroy democracy, distract, deflect, destroy etc. etc. etc. He rules with controlled chaos--brilliant but we're onto his game now.


You are absolutely right

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.