Senator Mazie K. Hirono today released the following statement after the House of Representatives finally passed the strengthened Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with overwhelming bipartisan support:
"I am glad to see the House has finally reauthorized the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act that includes increased protections for women and families. Since it was first passed in 1994, VAWA has literally saved lives through public awareness, increased incident reporting and better services and protections. The updates made by this legislation include protections for both non-citizen immigrants and LGBT victims of abuse, as well as improvements to sexual assault reporting on college campuses. The law also empowers tribal governments to more easily prosecute non-native abusers who commit crimes on tribal lands. The protections for native, immigrant and LGBT victims are critical components of this legislation, and I am pleased to see the House of Representatives come together and include these protections. I urge President Obama to quickly sign this legislation."