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Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2006 Through 2009

Location: Washington, DC


The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Issa). Pursuant to House Resolution 462 and rule XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 3402.


Mrs. BIGGERT. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of the language contained in the Justice Department Authorization Act that reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act.

Scratch the surface of any of our Nation's most challenging social problems, from crime in schools to gang violence and homelessness, and we are likely to find the root cause is domestic violence, which disproportionately affects women and girls.

Law enforcement officers report that domestic violence calls are among their most frequent. Judges find that children first seen in their courts as victims of domestic violence return later as adult criminal defendants. Schools report that children with emotional problems often come from environments where violence is the norm.

This is why, while it is extremely important to combat violence against women, it is just as important to combat domestic violence involving the youngest of victims. This year's VAWA reauthorization bill takes that necessary step by clarifying that programs contained in VAWA can serve youth as well. It also adds programs that specifically target children and youth and their unique needs. Among these are the authorization of grants for services designed for young people who are victims of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, and prevention programs that work with children and teens to stop the cycle of violence.

Helping the young victims of domestic violence has always been an important issue to me. In the 107th Congress, I introduced the Legal Assistance for Victims of Dating Violence Act, which amended VAWA to allow legal assistance grants to be used to help the victims of dating violence. I am pleased to say that this language was included in VAWA when it was reauthorized in 2000, and is maintained in the VAWA language included in the DOJ Authorization Act today.

I commend the Committee on the Judiciary for providing additional services to victims of dating violence through this legislation. Violence begets violence, and it is incumbent on us to try to break the cycle. This is done by helping victims of domestic violence, especially our youngest victims before they become perpetrators of domestic violence later in life.


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