Congressman Ami Bera was proud to join with his colleagues from both parties earlier today in passing the reauthorization of the comprehensive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA,) HR 11. Since 1994, VAWA has protected and empowered victims of violence and sexual assault. The reauthorization of VAWA helps all women -- regardless of race, ethnicity or sexual orientation -- live their lives without the threat of sexual violence.
"As a doctor who has cared for victims of sexual violence and the father of a teenage daughter, I am relieved that Congress has done the right thing and passed this crucial legislation," Congressman Bera said. "The passage of VAWA sends a clear message that domestic violence will not be tolerated. No woman should ever have to live in fear."
VAWA gives medical professionals and law enforcement officials the resources necessary to prevent violence and empower victims, providing for more rape kits as well as a national registry of forensic evidence from sexual assault cases, strengthening criminal anti-trafficking statutes, providing for temporary housing for victims, and addressing domestic violence on American college campuses. Since its initial passage in 1994, domestic violence has declined by more than 50 percent.
The VAWA reauthorization passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 286--138. It is expected to be signed into law by President Obama.