Thursday, February 28, 2013

Conyers, Pelosi, Moore Applaud Passage of the Violence Against Women Act

House Votes Down Weak House GOP VAWA, Passes Bipartisan Senate Version of VAWA that Protects LGBT, Native American, Immigrant, Campus and Sex Trafficking Victims

(WASHINGTON) – Today, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), applauded the passage of the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) following the failure of the partisan and discriminatory proposal put forth this week by House Republicans.  With House Democrats pushing for a stronger, more comprehensive reauthorization, the Senate’s version passed the House by a vote of 286-138, extending the law’s crucial protections to LGBT, Native American and immigrant victims, providing for more rape kits as well as a national registry of forensic evidence from sexual assault cases, strengthening criminal anti-trafficking statutes, providing for temporary housing for victims, and addressing domestic violence on American college campuses.

“The Violence Against Women Act has long ensured that no woman would ever be forced to suffer in silence in the face of domestic violence and abuse.  Democrats were committed to keeping that promise – that’s why we led the charge to enact the strong, bipartisan Senate bill and secure a victory for all women, no matter their background or community,” said Leader Pelosi.  “Today, a bipartisan majority of the House joined the Senate in reaffirming our pledge to America’s women and families, strengthening this landmark law, extending protection to LGBT Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants, and preserving the security of all women.”

“For over 500 days women have been waiting and praying for this day to come,” said Rep. Gwen Moore.  “Today, the majority of this body stood up for all women – including Native, LGBT and immigrant women. We answered their clarion call and declared that we will protect the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking.  I want to thank Democratic Leader Pelosi for her staunch leadership and support in the passage of this legislation as well as House Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers and so many of my colleagues who stood with us through this fight.  Today is truly a victory for women everywhere.”

“I am pleased that the House of Representatives voted to protect all victims of domestic violence by passing the strong bill already passed by the Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act,” saidRep. John Conyers, Jr.  “Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has safeguarded victims of domestic violence by providing funding to help law enforcement investigate crimes of domestic violence and prosecute those who criminally victimize women.  In addition, VAWA established the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice, and created community violence prevention programs.  It is critical that we continue these programs and, with this subsequent reauthorization, those safeguards will be afforded to the LGBT, Native American, and immigrant communities as well.  While there were significant stumbling blocks in reauthorizing VAWA last Congress, I am proud that Congress was able to come together today for a cause that should never be partisan: protecting all victims of domestic violence.”

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