Urges Congress to Quickly Pass a Bill that Safely and Effectively Protects All Victims
January 22, 2013 - The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) applauds Senators Leahy (D-VT) and Crapo (R-ID) for swiftly reintroducing bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The legislation closely mirrors their bipartisan bill that passed the Senate with a significant (68-31) margin last spring.
"Stopping violence against women should not be a partisan issue or a political football," said Kim Gandy, President and CEO of NNEDV. "Senators Leahy and Crapo are leaders in the fight to end violence against women. They, and the bill's co-sponsors, have wasted no time in introducing a bill that, with modest improvements, will meet the urgent need to protect and serve all victims of violence. We hope that this early introduction will be followed by swift bipartisan passage on the Senate floor."
Today U.S. Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI) introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
"Representatives Moore and Conyers, and the bill's 150-plus co-sponsors in the House, are also working to ensure that VAWA's passage is a priority," said Gandy.
Although NNEDV was disappointed over the failure to reauthorize VAWA in the 112th Congress, advocates were heartened by the substantive discussions on the last Congress' bill near the end of that session. Advocates look forward to continuing to work with both the House and the Senate to promptly pass a bipartisan VAWA that safely and effectively meets the needs of all victims.
VAWA is the cornerstone of our nation's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and because of VAWA, millions of victims have received lifesaving services and support. Despite VAWA's proven ability to substantially improve lives, it has not reached all victims. VAWA's reauthorization provides an opportunity to build upon the successes of the current law by including key improvements to protect and provide safety and access to justice for Native American, immigrant, and LGBT victims, as well as victims on college campuses and in communities of color. Additionally, a reauthorized VAWA must include strengthened housing protections that provide emergency housing transfer options for survivors, as well as implementation of transparent and effective accountability measures that support and strengthen, rather than endanger, those programs that assist victims.