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Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. CAPITO. Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the sponsor of the bill, my colleague from Florida, for her work and her courage in bringing this forward.

I rise in support of H.R. 4970. Quickly, I'd like to tell a story about a situation in my hometown where a young boy was in the car with his mother. She was being beaten by her boyfriend, or her friend. She pulls the car over. He steps out of the car to try to flag somebody down to help his mother. He's 11 years old. He's hit and killed in the middle of a domestic violence situation. Tremendously tragic.

We know that sexual and domestic violence can happen to anyone at any age, race, income group, religion, or gender. Worldwide, one in four women is abused. In 2001, in my own home State, 13,000 domestic violence offenses were reported to law enforcement; and half of these offenses were between family members and household members, like that young man on the interstate that night. To be safe in your community, women first need to be safe in their own homes.

We have made great progress, I think, with the Violence Against Women Act that was enacted in 1994; but this current reauthorization builds on the successes of the last decade and will prevent more women and families from suffering. These women are our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our friends, and our colleagues.

VAWA is working to break the cycle of violence in this country. And by speaking and lending a hand to our neighbors, our friends, our family members, we can break the cycle and take a vocal stand against abuse.

We've heard how this bill has been bipartisan in the past. It can be bipartisan right now. It can be bipartisan today. We can work out the difference. We can do the right thing. That's what we're here for, for that little boy on that interstate that night.


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