Today, Third District Congresswoman Niki Tsongas called upon the House Republican leaders to act on the bipartisan, Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Yesterday, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a VAWA reauthorization that strengthens the ability of the Federal Government, the States, law enforcement, and service providers to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It also includes provisions to ensure that all victims of domestic violence receive the protection they need -- including providing new protections, based on findings from experts in the field, for tribal members, immigrants and members of the LGBT community. The Senate bill passed with support from every woman in the Senate.
"Twice over the last 20 years, Democrats and Republicans have worked together to reauthorize the groundbreaking Violence Against Women Act and make necessary improvements to the law," said Congresswoman Tsongas. "With one in four American women victims of domestic violence and one in six having survived some form of sexual assault, doing nothing is simply not an option. The Senate has set an example on both sides of the aisle that shows overwhelming support to reauthorize and strengthen VAWA. It is now the House's turn to take action to protect victims of domestic violence, enable women to escape abusive relationships, and take another step forward for women's rights."
In January, a very similar VAWA Reauthorization bill was introduced in the House, with strong Democratic support.
Congresswoman Tsongas joined Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats at a press conference this afternoon to urge Republican leadership to bring this critical legislation to a vote as quickly as possible. Seventeen Republican Members have recently sent a letter to their own leadership requesting that the VAWA reauthorization be brought to a vote.