|Rep. Eshoo: It's Time to Reauthorize and Strengthen the Violence Against Women Act|
|Thursday, 24 January 2013 14:35|
113th Congress Needs to Act Quickly to Finally Enact a Strong VAWA Reauthorization
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) today declared her firm and unequivocal support to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The reauthorization of VAWA was reintroduced this week in the new Congress with the support of more than 150 co-sponsors, including every Democratic woman in the House. The proposal extends and strengthens VAWA's existing provisions, and expands protections to LGBT Americans, immigrants, and Native Americans. The legislation also has bipartisan support in the Senate.
"No woman should ever be forced to feel unsafe or insecure in her own home and no woman should have to suffer in silence in the face of domestic abuse," Rep. Eshoo said. "Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has been an essential tool in protecting victims of domestic and sexual violence. But, as we work to strengthen this vital law, some believe that 'the real VAWA' was meant to protect only 'certain' victims—that Tribal, immigrant and LGBT survivors of violence should be excluded. Regardless of race, religion, tribe or orientation, violence is violence, and by passing this legislation, we will address a serious issue comprehensively."
Originally passed 19 years ago, VAWA focused the resources, time, and energy of federal, state, and local law enforcement on the task of preventing and stopping domestic abuse, while providing victims of violence with critical services and assistance.
Since then, VAWA has improved the criminal justice system's ability to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable. Every state has enacted laws to make stalking a crime and strengthened criminal rape statutes. And the annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50 percent, with reporting of domestic violence increasing as much as 51 percent.
VAWA has successfully encouraged communities and law enforcement agencies to coordinate their responses to violence against women and provide effective, long-term support for victims. Failure to enact this bill again would deprive women, children, and families of vital protection against abuse and law enforcement of essential tools to combat violence.
Learn more about Rep. Eshoo's record of support for VAWA here.
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