On Wednesday, November 30th, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced legislation (S.1925) to further strengthen and improve the programs authorized under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the landmark law to assist victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Originally passed in 1994, VAWA was the fist comprehensive federal legislative package designed to end violence against women. Legal Momentum led the effort to pass VAWA in 1994, and we continue to work in coalition to see that each reauthorization increases rights and resources for victims and improves community support structures.
"For twenty years, Legal Momentum has worked tirelessly to ensure that the resources and services guaranteed by VAWA are available for the countless victims who need them," said Legal Momentum President Elizabeth Grayer. "Violence against women is known to increase in difficult economic times. Now more than ever, this reauthorization is critical to ensure that all victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking receive the services and resources they need."
"The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act reflects Congress’s ongoing commitment to end domestic and sexual violence," said Leahy. "It seeks to expand the law’s focus on sexual assault and to ensure access to services for all victims of domestic and sexual violence. The Violence Against Women Act has been successful because it has consistently had strong bipartisan support for nearly two decades. I am honored to work now with Senator Crapo to build on that foundation. I hope that Senators from both parties will support this bill, which will provide safety and security for victims across America."
"These dollars go directly to woman and children who have been victimized by domestic violence," Crapo said. "The reauthorization of VAWA provides critical services to these victims of violent crime, as well as agencies and organizations who provide important aid to those individuals. I have been a strong supporter of prevention and elimination of domestic abuse since coming to Congress, and I intend to continue to fight to keep these funds intact for women and children."
The 2011 reauthorization includes a number of updates and improvements, including:
How You Can Help:
Legal Momentum strongly supports the 2011 VAWA reauthorization. Please contact your Senators today and ask them to support this critical legislation.