Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) visited an art therapy program administered by 180 Turning Lives Around today to call for a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization that protects all women from domestic violence. The VAWA reauthorization that was recently passed by House Republicans fails to include critical protections for LGBT, Immigrant and Native American women.
Since 1994 VAWA has been an essential tool in protecting victims of domestic violence, but the Republican House bill weakens long-standing protections and rolls back several key provisions. For example, the GOP bill will delay and deny protection for many battered immigrant spouses, adding new layers of bureaucracy that will slow down their efforts to obtain independent status.
"It is disgraceful that the House GOP passed a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization that fails to include important protections for immigrants, LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence," said Pallone. "This puts the safety and security of women at risk -- VAWA must protect all women, not some."
The Senate passed an inclusive, bipartisan VAWA reauthorization by a vote of 68 to 31, but House Republican leadership will not bring the Senate bill to the floor. More than 100 organizations oppose the House GOP Bill, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and National Network to End Domestic Violence.
"This is another example of short-sighted GOP obstruction of traditionally bipartisan legislation. We should not be playing politics with the Violence Against Women Act," Pallone added.