Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization (H.Res. 83):
"For nearly two decades, VAWA has protected and helped victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The House version extends the law for five years while strengthening criminal penalties, providing more resources for sexual assault investigations and care for victims, and I was proud to support its reauthorization. The Senate version is unacceptable because it fails to guarantee the Constitutional rights of U.S. citizens on tribal lands."
VAWA first was first passed in 1994 in response to the growing concern of violent crime, particularly against women during the 1980s and early 1990s. Since its creation, a total of $4.7 billion has been awarded in grants and cooperative agreements. VAWA was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005, but expired on September 30, 2011. Despite its expiration, the programs continue to be funded.
The House considered two versions of VAWA today. The House version, which Griffin supported, failed to receive enough votes for passage, but the Senate version was passed by the House. A comparison of the two versions can be downloaded below.