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Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. POE of Texas. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Violence against women is awful. I think we can all agree with that. Behind the scenes in homes throughout America, behind closed doors bad things are happening in those families. It is violent. It affects the spouse, the children, and the quality of life of our community. Today, the House of Representatives can do something about that to make America safer for women, primarily, and their children. We have two choices before us today: the House bill, the Senate bill.

But there's another thing going on behind closed doors in America as well, and that's sexual assault that is occurring in America. I spent time on the bench as a judge in criminal cases in Texas for 22 years; and one of the greatest scientific, forensic discoveries was DNA. It's helped prosecute sexual assault cases.

DNA: when those outlaws commit sexual assault crimes against primarily women and children, they leave DNA evidence, it's examined, and we find out who the criminal was. But here's the problem: there are 400,000 DNA rape kits that have not been tested, some going back 20 and 25 years. They're so old that when it's determined who the outlaw is, they can't be prosecuted because the statute of limitations has run; 400,000 cases where rape victims are waiting for us to just analyze those sexual assault cases.

That concept is called the SAFER bill, sponsored by Carolyn Maloney and myself to try to fix that issue by taking money in one legislation and putting it in the SAFER legislation to analyze those 400,000 cases so victims know who committed the crime, and also outlaws go to prison and not get a free ride because there's not money to test those cases.

That SAFER bill is in the Senate version. I encourage the House of Representatives to vote for the SAFER bill because it is in the Senate legislation.

And that's just the way it is.


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