Congressman Joe Kennedy III released the following statement in response to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) proposals being debated on the House floor today.
"The House Republican's version of VAWA is not just inadequate, it's an embarrassment," said Congressman Kennedy. "By ignoring students, same-sex couples, immigrants and Native Americans this bill shamelessly tells certain victims that their abuse isn't real enough or painful enough to merit protection. In doing so, it threatens to create a chilling effect on other victims of domestic and sexual abuse who fear the consequences of coming forward -- an unfortunate reality I saw too often in my time as a prosecutor. I urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their dangerous substitute and work with House Democrats to pass the senate's inclusive, bipartisan version of this critical bill."
Congressman Kennedy is a co-sponsor of H.R. 11, introduced by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in January. The bill is the companion to the Senate-passed VAWA and includes stronger protections for all women, including GLBT couples, immigrants, students on campuses and Native American women.