U.S. Congressman David G. Valadao (CA-21) today applauded the House passage of Senate Bill 47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. This measure reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which expired in 2011.
"Each year, thousands of women become victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, stalking, and sexual assault. When first enacted almost two decades ago, VAWA reduced these crimes and provided victims with the services and assistance they needed. Unfortunately, in 2011 VAWA failed to be reauthorized. I am proud to say that today the House has reauthorized these programs that are critical to our communities.
"Given epidemic levels of sexual assault on tribal lands, it was important to me that loopholes in the laws governing tribal court jurisdiction be resolved. I believe government is most effective when local governments, including tribal governments, are given more control to better serve their residents. This legislation gives tribes the resources they need to combat violence against Native American women.
"Additionally, this legislation includes victims of "stalking" on the list of U visa-covered crimes. It also authorizes funding to eliminate backlogs in processing rape kits and training for law enforcement officers on U and T visas, providing critical protections for immigrant victims in my district and across the country.
It is imperative we provide all women with the protections they deserve. This bipartisan Senate legislation is a comprehensive effort to ensure victims receive the resources they need and prevent future crimes from occurring."