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Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. DeLAURO. When one out of four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, it is unconscionable that the majority would try to roll back the protections in the Violence Against Women Act.

Since the act first passed in 1994, it has changed the landscape for American women. Domestic violence has dropped by over 50 percent. And in a historical bipartisan fashion, the Senate passed a bill that modernizes the act for our times. It consolidates programs, takes additional steps to reach victims of domestic violence.

Madam Speaker, 200 national organizations, 500 State and local organizations, including the National District Attorneys Association, the National Sheriffs' Association--my colleague who just spoke is a former sheriff, but his association is supporting the Senate bill and not this House bill--and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association all support the Senate bill. And our colleague from Wisconsin, Congresswoman Moore, has put forward legislation that mirrors that bipartisan approach. But instead of moving that bipartisan bill forward, the majority has put forward an alternative bill that, in fact, risks the lives and the health of women.

The Department of Justice estimates that one out of every three Native American women will be raped and two out of five will be victims of domestic violence. The majority's bill removes the provisions that are essential to ensuring that Indian women have access to the act. The Senate bill and Congresswoman Moore's bill strengthen protections in the act for immigrant women; yet the majority's bill would endanger the safety of immigrants.

In 2010, nearly half of lesbian and gay survivors were turned away from domestic violence shelters or denied services because of their sexual orientation. The majority's bill would continue to deny those individuals the community protections afforded by the act.

We are talking about women's lives. This is no place for partisan games. The rule before us would roll back the central protections that have made a difference for so many women in this Nation.

I urge the majority to bring Congresswoman Moore's bill to the floor. I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this rule.

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