Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today called on House leaders to immediately consider a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, and signed on as the first male cosponsor of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012. Unless Congress acts, the provisions of the Violence Against Women law will expire at the end of the year.
"Renewing the Violence Against Women Act will help break the cycle of violence against women, and provide victims the care they need," Braley said. "I was moved by Representative Gwen Moore's powerful statement on the House floor yesterday about her own struggles with sexual violence. Unfortunately, this type of violence is far too common and transcends politics, race, and religion.
"I am hopeful that we can put aside politics to renew and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. I urge House leaders to come together now to continue making progress in protecting Iowa women from violence."
First signed into law in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act enhanced the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes perpetrated against women and significantly strengthened penalties for offenders convicted of violent crimes against women. The law also required the federal prosecution of interstate domestic violence and sexual assault crimes, and guaranteed the interstate enforcement of protection orders. The annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50% since the law was originally enacted.