U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) released the following statement this afternoon applauding the passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) in the Senate and renewing her call for swift passage of the legislation in the House of Representatives. VAWA was passed by a vote of 78-22.
"Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and providing critical services to victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence has been a top priority of mine and I'm pleased that we were able to pass this legislation with bipartisan support. There have been 16 million reported incidents of domestic violence in the United States since just 2011 and we all have an obligation to do what we can to end this epidemic. VAWA is a proven tool in supporting victims, social service providers and law enforcement officials and I'm hopeful that the House of Representatives follows the Senate's lead quickly by passing this measure with strong bipartisan support."
Last week, Senator Shaheen spoke on the Senate floor about the importance of VAWA and the need for its swift passage. While advocating for the passage of VAWA, Shaheen has visited crisis centers across New Hampshire to emphasize the essential services the program offers to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. During her floor remarks last week, Shaheen was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who highlighted Shaheen's successful work in New Hampshire and with the Department of Justice to ensure citizens in rural areas have access to transportation when they need to get to a crisis center.