Today, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers and Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-4) were joined by a number of their colleagues to reintroduce the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The legislation strengthens the abilities of the federal government, states, law enforcement, and service providers to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The Violence Against Women Act currently has 158 cosponsors in the House.
"For nearly two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has brought domestic violence out of the shadows, protected women and children from harm, and saved lives. Congress must build on this history of progress and reauthorize and strengthen this law without any delay," said Leader Pelosi. "No woman should ever be forced to suffer in silence in the face of abuse, and Democrats are committed to expanding protections for America's women and giving law enforcement the tools they need to enforce the Violence Against Women Act and keep women safe."
"Since the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law in 1994, it has always enjoyed strong bipartisan support," said Conyers. "Last Congress, partisan politics got in the way of action, and the Violence Against Women Act was not reauthorized. I call on my colleagues today to put aside their differences and pass this bill as soon as possible for President Obama to sign. Victims of domestic violence can wait no longer."
"Domestic violence is a cancer that pervades our communities and our homes," said Rep. Moore. "As a survivor of domestic violence I feel it is my personal responsibility to reach back and help those who have been victimized. No woman should ever feel afraid in her own neighborhood or home. No woman should ever have to endure the physical and psychological pain of domestic violence. Yet, too many women continue to live in fear. And that is why we must reauthorize -- and strengthen -- the Violence Against Women Act."
The Violence Against Women Act has a strong track record of success, demonstrably improving the criminal justice system's ability to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable. The annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50 percent since the law was originally enacted. This Act provides life-saving support to victims of domestic violence and strengthens communities to help end this brutality.