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A Message From Senator Harry Reid

March 15, 2013

A message from Senator Harry Reid on the passing of the Violence Against Women Act that also covers LGBT, immigrant, and Native Americans.

Last year, the United States Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) with strong bi-partisan support. This law is a commonsense piece of legislation that protects women from violence and domestic abuse. However, despite overwhelming evidence that this legislation saves lives, House Republican leaders blocked its reauthorization last year, and Congress adjourned without passing this crucial bill.

Passing VAWA reauthorization was one of my top priorities as we began the 113th Congress in January. I worked with my Senate colleagues to reintroduce VAWA and was pleased to be a cosponsor. After passage in the Senate, the House finally passed the bill as well, and on March 7, 2013, President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act into law. This new law is extremely important, as it not only reauthorizes the program but also includes new provisions to combat domestic sex trafficking and provisions to strengthen and update anti-stalking laws. It also clarifies and enhances protections for LGBT, immigrant, and Native American victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and adds accountability measures to ensure that funding is used effectively and efficiently.

Domestic violence is a devastating reality for families all across America and throughout the world. With approximately one out of every four women suffering from domestic violence in her lifetime and 1.3 million women being victims of domestic violence each year, it is important that we increase awareness on this issue and find ways to protect the men, women, and children affected.

Throughout my time in Congress, I have long supported efforts to recognize, prevent, and combat domestic violence, and I have worked hard to improve federal laws and programs related to this issue. In 1990, I was a cosponsor of the original VAWA proposal, and I supported passage of the bill when it became law in 1994. VAWA significantly expanded the federal government’s commitment to eliminating domestic violence by funding efforts to prosecute abusers, assist victims, educate the public, and prevent sexual and relationship violence. This legislation has been an invaluable tool in fighting domestic violence and has helped millions of women affected by abuse

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One Comment
  1. Do the new provisions include gang stalking?

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