Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) visited Manavi, an organization in New Brunswick, New Jersey that provides critical service to primarily South Asian women who are victims of violence. Pallone was joined by New Jersey State Senator Nia Gill (D-Essex/Passaic), and representatives from the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University. Senator Gill is a prime sponsor with State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg on the VAWA Bridge Act (S-2490) in the New Jersey State Senate, which would provide bridge funding for programs that receive support from VAWA until Congress reauthorizes the bill.
After the group toured the Manavi facility and spoke with the organization's staff and representatives of its board of directors, Pallone discussed the urgent need for the House passage of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA Reauthorization).
Earlier this month, VAWA Reauthorization passed in the U.S. Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 78 to 22. The Senate passed bill includes provisions that significantly expand protections to women from the LGBT, Native American and immigrant communities.
"Protecting all women from violence, assault, and stalking should not be a Democrat or Republican issue, and it is time for House Republicans stop blocking this strong, bipartisan bill," said Pallone. "Among numerous important provisions, the VAWA Reauthorization contains critical improvements to the law for protecting women who are suffering abuse in immigrant communities, and further delay of this bill is not an option. I want to thank everyone at Manavi and the Center on Violence Against Women and Children at Rutgers University for your good work, and also State Senator Gill for your support of this meaningful legislation."
"The Violence Against Women Act has proven successful in protecting women and children against violence and abuse. I am proud to stand with Congressman Pallone who has continued to advocate for programs that serve victims of domestic violence and has made renewal of VAWA a priority. In the event that House Republicans fail to act on this legislation in a timely manner, we will continue our work in Trenton to ensure we have bridge funding in place for agencies that protect and provide the necessary services to support women against violence," said State Senator Gill.
The VAWA Reauthorization significantly strengthens the ability of the Federal Government, the States, law enforcement, and service providers to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. As with the previous reauthorizations of VAWA in 2000 and 2005, this bill responds to the realities and needs reported by those who work with victims every day to make VAWA work better for all victims.