Representative Sandy Adams (FL-24) was joined by her Republican colleagues today to announce the House's five-year reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which she will introduce later this week.
Transcript: "Some key facts about victims. On average 24 people per minute are victims of rape, domestic violence, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. That's just in the United States. Three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day in America. Girls and young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experience the highest rate of intimate partner violence.
"These statistics are far too real for me. Many of you know that at age 18 I married early in life. It was an abusive marriage. He was a violent alcoholic. Back then, you didn't talk about what happened behind closed doors. You just accepted it. This law was passed to protect those women, those families, and it came at a time when law enforcement needed those tools. So you see, I have experienced it both on a personal level and a law enforcement officer level. I know too well when you respond to that home and you are talking to those victims. I know what they're feeling because I was there, and I know how much this law has helped so many people in our country.
"I want to go over a few of the aspects of this piece of legislation. As Representative Noem says, it will protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. It will streamline and improve services for young victims and college students -- which we all know we have seen too many times what happens sometimes in our colleges and universities. It reauthorizes funding at the same levels as the Senate bill for the next five years. It goes beyond the Senate bill by ensuring tax payer resources will help victims, not Washington bureaucrats. It is a bipartisan act, and I hope that people will quit trying to make it a partisan issue. This is something that affects everyone, and we need to stand together and work on getting this reauthorization bill passed for the betterment of our victims and our country."