The House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) released the following statement regarding the legislation's passage.
"Our country has a moral obligation to stand up against those who commit these acts of violence. One way Congress can do this is by reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act," said Rep. Buerkle.
"Since it was first enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has served as an essential piece of legislation for protecting victims of domestic abuse, stalking, and sexual assault. By reauthorizing VAWA, we help to ensure that victims of violence get the physical, mental, and emotional care they need and the justice they deserve.
"As a longtime volunteer and supporter of Vera House, a domestic violence shelter in my district, I have seen first-hand the importance of this legislation. I understand how this act helps victims escape abuse and empowers them to seek help through its victim-services program.
"Historically, reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has been a bipartisan effort and it is my sincere hope that that spirit of bipartisanship will continue this year. This legislation will now likely move to conference between the House and the Senate and I hope that the two bodies can work together to find common ground so that we can send VAWA to the President for signature."
Enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides federal funding for programs and organizations that help assist women who are victims of domestic abuse, stalking, and sexual assault. The Act establishes a number of grant programs within the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for state, local, and tribal governments and victim service providers.