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Ms. CLARKE. Madam Speaker, today, I rise in support of the Senate passed bill, S. 47, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 also known as ``VAWA.''
This bipartisan bill expands the authority of the Federal Government, the States, law enforcement, and service providers to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assaults and stalking.
In 2012, the New York City Police Department responded to two hundred sixty three thousand two hundred seven (263,207) domestic violence incidents; this averages to over 720 incidents per day.
Yet, there are countless more people that are victims of domestic violence that did not call the police. Estimates range from one to three million victims per year, who have experienced violence by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.
These stats are more than numbers--they represent our sons and daughters; our mothers and fathers; our friends and neighbors.
Victims of all races, genders, sexual orientation and nationality are equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.
The Senate bill includes provisions that that will allow every victim of domestic violence to receive protection. The bill specifically includes language that makes it clear that members of the LGBT community should be afforded protection under the reauthorized VAWA.
It also extends the protection of domestic violence laws to undocumented immigrants. Undocumented immigrants are often one of the most vulnerable populations due to their fear of deportation and due to the fact that they were denied access to many of the programs funded by VAWA.
Often undocumented immigrants and members of the LGBT community suffered--and died--in silence as a result of domestic violence. So, I applaud the Senate for recognizing that the status quo simply just won't do!
And I ask my colleagues to vote in support of this long overdue reauthorization.
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