Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today issued the following statement on H.R. 4970, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012, which passed the House on a vote of 222-205.
"As a mother and grandmother, it is extremely important to me that VAWA is reauthorized in order to ensure that victims of violence have access to the care they need and the justice they deserve. Many of the women in Congress, like me, have worked in their own states to establish domestic violence and child advocacy centers. It is essential that these kinds of programs be in place to protect victims, not just from physical bruises, but from the emotional and mental scars as well. In my state of Tennessee last year, domestic violence made up more than 50 percent of all crimes against individuals. We must continue to make every effort to ensure that funding is available to help these victims of violence."
H.R. 4970 reauthorizes funding for VAWA grant programs for five years, and would provide more than $660 million in funding per year to help prevent domestic violence and protect victims of abuse. The bill strengthens penalties for abusers to better protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It promotes educational awareness to prevent violence and improves services for young victims by funding state prevention education programs and enhancing campus programs.