U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., today praised the Senate's vote to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which she cosponsored. Since its passage in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has proven successful in protecting women from domestic violence, reducing the annual reports of domestic violence by more than 50 percent.
"The Senate's vote to reauthorize this legislation sends a clear message -- our country does not tolerate violence against women," Sen. Landrieu said. "Studies by the Violence Policy Center have consistently ranked Louisiana among the top five states for domestic violence homicides in the nation. Our state must continue fighting for our women and families, and this legislation provides the resources needed to continue this very important effort."
Because of the Violence Against Women Act, more than $37.2 million was awarded to local governments and organizations in Louisiana between 2006 and 2011 for the purpose of combatting violence, according to the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV). This includes grants from the Children and Youth Exposed to Violence program, which will enable the LCADV to promote training, coordination and advocacy programs that serve children and youth whose parents were the victims of domestic violence homicide.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act includes the following provisions to strengthen existing law:
* Protects Native American women from domestic violence and sexual assault, and includes non-discrimination protection for all victims, regardless of their race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
* Reduces bureaucracy and implements new accountability measures to ensure federal investments are properly spent.
* Places greater emphasis on training for law enforcement response to sexual assault, which has among the lowest conviction rates for any violent crime.