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Frelinghuysen: House Strengthens Violence Against Women Act

Location: Washington, DC

Frelinghuysen: House Strengthens Violence Against Women Act
September 29, 2005

Supports programs to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking

Washington, DC - Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) today announced that the House has approved legislation to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Passed as part of the bipartisan Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2006 through 2009 (H.R. 3402), this legislation reauthorizes core programs from the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and 2000 and makes improvements to those grant programs that help to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

"This legislation takes great strides in our continued fight to help combat domestic and family violence, especially against women," said Frelinghuysen. "Having worked closely with the New Jersey Battered Women's Service, I know we must support policies to better protect women from attackers or stalkers."

H.R. 3402 authorizes $387 million for the Violence Against Women Act. VAWA reauthorizes the STOP program (state formula grants) that help fund collaborative efforts between police, prosecutors, and victim services providers. Further, it allows for new grants to improve training for court officials and law enforcement.

The New Jersey Battered Women s Service in Frelinghuysen's congressional district is an excellent example of the value this law has had over the past 11 years. They provide counseling, health services, and a safe haven to domestic violence victims who would otherwise have no where else to go. They also take on the task of providing rehabilitative services to offenders in order to stop the circle of violence within families that sadly is often the result of domestic abuse.

Most current national studies on domestic violence suggest that 22-25 percent of all women will experience domestic violence at some point during their lives. Nearly 100,000 rapes and sexual assaults are reported annually, and hundreds of thousands more are left unreported and unaddressed. According to the Center for Women Policy Studies, barely 20% of sexual assault victims report the crimes committed against them.

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