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Rep. Keith Ellison: Violence Against Women Act Passage A Victory For The Wellstone Legacy


Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Keith Ellison (MN-05) released the following statement after the House passed the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Act 286-138, after a modified House version failed 166-257:

"Today's passage of the Senate's bipartisan Violence Against Women Act reauthorization is a victory for millions of women and men across the nation who are victims of sexual and domestic violence, and proof that the voice of the American people matters.

"House Republicans tried to gut the Senate bill in order to exclude immigrant, American Indian and gay victims of abuse from its full protections. But thousands of Americans demanded that Congress protect all victims. The late Sheila Wellstone, wife of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, fought tirelessly to pass the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994. This reauthorization is a victory not only for the millions of women who will be protected from violence, but for grassroots organizing and the Wellstone legacy.

"Unlike the proposal unveiled last week by Republicans in the House, the Senate version provides safeguards for the LGBT community, women living on Native American tribal lands, immigrants that are victims of serious crimes, college students, and victims of rape.

"Since the Violence Against Women Act became law, domestic violence has dropped by more than 60 percent. But U.S. levels of domestic violence are still shamefully high, as 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives."

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