[Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, issued the following comment Friday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its first-ever report on domestic and sexual violence in the LGBT community. The study found that lesbians and gay men reported higher rates of intimate partner violence and sexual violence than heterosexuals. The VAWA bill that Leahy introduced Tuesday with Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) includes strong new protections for members of the LGBT community.]
"The CDC's report confirms that domestic and sexual violence affects LGBT victims at equal or greater levels than the general population. These stark findings, combined with earlier studies revealing that LGBT victims have more difficulty getting access to services, make clear the need for the provisions in the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which ensure that services are available to all victims regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. A victim is a victim is a victim, and no victim of these crimes should be denied access to these crucial services. I look forward to the Senate quickly taking up and passing this vital measure that seeks to help so many victims of rape and domestic and sexual violence."