U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) is pressing for swift passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a bill he has cosponsored that would prevent violence against women by bolstering law enforcement efforts and providing necessary resources for victims of domestic violence.
Domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking continue to be major issues women face today. With an estimated one in three women facing domestic violence in New Mexico, VAWA would provide necessary resources for women and service providers to combat domestic violence.
"The Violence Against Women Act has made strides in protecting American women and strengthening their families," said Senator Heinrich. "Congress should have passed this important bill last year. I hope that we move quickly to adopt it and get it to the president's desk as soon as possible."
VAWA was originally passed in 1994, and bipartisan support in the Senate continues to move reauthorization of the bill forward. Reauthorizing the bill will extend the life of key measures in the 1994 bill, but it will also update the bill to include protections for all forms of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The reauthorization will also ensure protections to all victims including Native American women, gay and lesbian victims, and battered immigrant women.
"All women should have the right to live free from domestic and sexual violence. The Senate provisions expand protections to include the Native American, LGBT, and immigrant communities, which will ensure all victims get the help they need. I support and will continue to support the Violence Against Women Act and provisions to make the law more effective for women in New Mexico," said Senator Heinrich.