U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement followingfinal passage of the Violence Against Women Act:
"I was proud to vote for and cosponsor the Violence Against Women Act, which provides essential protection for victims of sexual violence and domestic abuse. Reauthorization of this law that has made our communities safer for nearly twenty years was overdue. The Violence Against Women Act will reduce incidents of violence and update previous laws by expanding protection of minority groups and guaranteeing they receive equal treatment under the law."
According to the "2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey," there were an estimated 971,000 women victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in Virginia.
As governor of Virginia, Kaine made curbing violence a top priority by convening the Governor's Commission on Sexual Violence and implementing numerous recommendations. Some of the reforms included updating domestic violence laws, improving treatment of victims, and providing additional resources to first responders. In 2011, a census of domestic violence shelters and services found that 1,304 domestic violence victims were served in just one day in Virginia. Domestic violence hotlines alone receive more than 18 calls every hour from victims in need of support, information, or safety planning.