Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after cosponsoring S.47, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization.
"I am pleased to add my name to the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act because we need to stand up for all survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. For almost two decades, this legislation helped safeguard a woman's fundamental right to be safe from violence and, in those terrible instances when violence was perpetrated, to seek justice. I hope Democrats and Republicans can come together to pass this straightforward bill that would allow us to further improve our community and criminal justice-based responses to these unacceptable, violent acts."
Efforts to pass the VAWA reauthorization last year failed when the House passed a bill without protections for the LGBT, Native American, and immigrant communities. Then-Congressman Donnelly did not support the House bill because the bill protected only some women and not others, citing his support for the more comprehensive, bipartisan Senate version of the bill. House leaders chose not to allow a vote on the Senate bill that passed with Republican and Democratic support.
The Senator Donnelly-supported VAWA reauthorization bill is currently supported by 51 other senators from both parties.