Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization of 2012 (H.R. 4970):
"For nearly two decades, VAWA has protected and helped victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and I proudly support its reauthorization. Today's vote extends VAWA for another five years, strengthens criminal penalties and provides more resources for sexual assault investigations and care for victims. It is time for the Senate to stop playing election year political games and pass this critical legislation immediately."
Since VAWA was enacted in 1994, domestic violence reporting has increased by 51 percent. H.R. 4970 would reauthorize funding for VAWA grant programs for five years and would provide more than $660 million per year to combat domestic violence and protect victims. It also would increase efforts to clear the backlog of unprocessed rape evidence kits. H.R. 4970 would reauthorize funding at the same levels as the Senate bill and ensure that hardworking Americans' taxpayer dollars are spent more effectively by consolidating certain grants and streamlining the bureaucratic process.