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Public Statements

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LARSEN of Washington. Madam Speaker, in 2006, I, along with Senator Cantwell, made sure that the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act, or IMBRA, was enacted as part of the last reauthorization of VAWA. It put regulations in place to protect foreign women brought here through the mail-order bride industry to keep them from falling prey to serial abusers.

Pushing this legislation forward 6 years ago was important to me because a young woman named Anastasia King, a so-called mail-order bride, was found dead. She had been strangled to death by her husband and buried in a shallow grave in 2000 in a wooded area in my district. Her husband had a domestic violence protection order issued against him from a previous wife. Indle King killed Anastasia because he wanted to get a new bride and didn't want to pay for a divorce.

The VAWA bill being considered in the House today does not go far enough to strengthen those same protections that we established in 2006. It leaves out important amendments to IMBRA that passed in the bipartisan Senate bill, like putting penalties in place to keep a man like Indle King from simply lying about his violent history so as to lure another woman here to be abused and then discarded.

We must use this reauthorization process to strengthen protections against abusers, not strengthen abusers' upper hand. We must use this reauthorization process to reaffirm that VAWA's protections are for all victims, including tribal women and LGBT individuals.

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