U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow today issued the following statement after President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law.
"When I co-founded one of the first domestic violence shelters in Michigan in 1978, and when I wrote Michigan's first domestic violence warrantless arrest law, these issues were controversial. In 2013, they should not be," said Stabenow. "For the last two decades, protecting women from violence had been a bipartisan issue, and I am thankful the House finally dropped its opposition and passed this bill. Whether a woman is attacked by someone she doesn't know outside the home, or someone she does know inside her home, violence is violence and we need to do everything we can to help women protect themselves."
The Violence Against Women Act, which was first authorized in 1994 with overwhelming bipartisan support, passed the Senate last year with strong bipartisan support, but the House refused to take action on the bill. Because the House didn't act, the law was allowed to lapse, ending support for millions of women. The Senate passed the legislation again this year in early February with a strong bipartisan vote of 78-22 and the House of Representatives finally passed it last week.
The Violence Against Women Act has provided lifesaving services such as transitional housing to survivors of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Violence Against Women Act has also made it easier for state and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute the assailants of these violent crimes.