U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, issued the following statement on Thursday after the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of reauthorizing the Senate-version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The final vote for passage of the bipartisan legislation was 286 to 138.
"Domestic violence is an evil that touches all segments of our society. It wreaks havoc on families and rips apart communities, and it is incumbent on each of us to work to stop it. The Violence Against Women Act has meant so much to the safety of women in our communities, providing critical training and resources to law enforcement and community advocates to prevent abuse and assist those who have been victims of domestic violence.
"I applaud the House for finally rising above the politics that have prevented this bipartisan bill from moving forward and passing the reauthorization of the landmark Violence Against Women Act. Today, Congress is sending a clear message that domestic violence has no place in our society and those who are wronged by this type of abuse should be treated fairly under the law. Much work remains in preventing domestic violence in our communities, and I pledge to continue to work with law enforcement officials, advocates and members of the legal community to end the cycle of abuse."
Senator Coons was a cosponsor of the legislation in the Senate, worked to strengthen the bill in the Judiciary Committee, and campaigned aggressively on its behalf.
The Senate voted to reauthorize VAWA on February 12, 2013. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law later this week.