U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke criticized the Republican leadership in Congress for its failure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a law that had substantially reduced the rate of domestic violence.
The Act increased federal penalties for repeat sex offenders, created a federal rape shield law, increased rates of prosecution, conviction, and sentencing of offenders by helping communities develop dedicated law enforcement, prosecution and domestic violence units, and provided training for more than 500,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, and other personnel annually.
Since its enactment in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has been reauthorized by bipartisan supermajorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
"Republicans in the House of Representatives have failed the women of America," said Representative Clarke. "This law has been crucial in our effort to eliminate domestic violence and we cannot afford to put their lives at risk because of our failure to act."
"Members of Congress have a moral responsibility to ensure the safety of women in every community by re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act as soon as possible," concluded Representative Clarke.