Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) has added his name as a cosponsor of legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
"Statistics show that the annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50% since VAWA became law," said Congressman Higgins. "It is critical that we reauthorize this legislation to maintain this improvement, in addition to making sure that access to services and protections is available to all victims of violence."
The legislation, introduced today by Representatives Gwen Moore and John Conyers along with a coalition of House Democrats, is largely similar to S. 1925, the Senate VAWA legislation bill from last Congress, which passed with strong bipartisan support, but failed to reach the Floor in the House of Representatives.
This VAWA Reauthorization would allow current VAWA provisions to continue -- the law lapsed at the end of 2012 -- in addition to addressing limitations of the past authorization, including barriers to accessing services for LGBT, immigrant, and Native American victims.
Senator Leahy and Senator Crapo have introduced a Senate companion to this legislation.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by a partner each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the health-related costs of intimate partner violence against women exceeds $5.8 billion each year in the United States.
Help is available by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).