In recognition of Women's History Month, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) held a conference call with women community leaders in the Fifth District to thank them for their work in our community. On the call, a number of critical issues were discussed, including the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women
Act, sequestration, and the budget.
"I'm pleased I had the opportunity to thank these important leaders in the Fifth District for all that they do to strengthen our community and receive their input on critical issues facing our state and nation," stated Congressman Hoyer. "On the call, we discussed the bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which will provide law enforcement with additional resources to prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence and ensure that all victims have the resources they need to heal and seek justice. As a co-sponsor of the original 1994 legislation, I was honored to stand beside President Obama as he signed the bill into law last week and continue to advocate for measures that help eliminate domestic violence in our communities."
"We also discussed the impact that sequestration and the Republican budget could have on women and children in Maryland," continued Congressman Hoyer. "While we must put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path, both the sequester's irrational, across-the-board spending cuts and the Republican budget put forward this week could have a harmful impact on our seniors, middle-class families, and the most vulnerable among us. Instead, both parties should work together on a balanced solution to reduce the deficit while encouraging economic growth and protecting investments that will grow our middle class."
Since the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) became law in 1994, annual rates of domestic violence have dropped by 64 percent. However, one in three American women still experiences violence by a partner, stalking, or sexual assault, which is why Congressman Hoyer continued to urge passage of the reauthorization of VAWA. In addition to providing support for victims and giving law enforcement the tools needed to combat violence, reauthorization could mean additional grant funding for victim service providers to develop innovative programs like Maryland's Lethality Assessment Program (LAP). LAP was established with VAWA grant funding and identifies victims of domestic violence and immediately connects them to the domestic violence service providers in their area. This program has helped bring down domestic homicides in Maryland by 40 percent since its implementation and now serves as a national model.