U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) joined a bipartisan group of senators at a Capitol Hill press conference today to announce the reintroduction of legislation she has co-sponsored to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) - the landmark law aimed at preventing domestic and sexual violence and helping victims. The law encourages collaboration among law enforcement, judicial personnel, and public and private service providers.
"The Violence Against Women Act is critical to preventing domestic and sexual violence and providing essential support to victims. As a former prosecutor who has worked with victims, I've seen firsthand the impact VAWA programs have in New Hampshire," said Senator Ayotte, who served as New Hampshire's Attorney General from 2004 to 2009. "We need to make sure victim advocates and law enforcement have the right training and tools to address and prevent these types of crimes."
She continued: "The Violence Against Women Act has been reauthorized in the past on a bipartisan basis, and I'm pleased to once again be part of a bipartisan effort to extend this important law. I am hopeful that the Senate will move quickly to approve VAWA and that the House in turn will pass it. For individuals and families in crisis, we can't afford to wait."
First enacted in 1994, VAWA was renewed in 2000 and 2005. With a focus on working closely with local government programs, the law helps support enforcement efforts as well as educational and social programs to prevent violence.
Ayotte appeared today alongside Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Patty Murray (D-WA), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
During her time as New Hampshire's Attorney General, Ayotte chaired the Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence.