Letter requesting Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
Dear Speaker Boehner, Democratic Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Cantor and Democratic Whip Hoyer:
We write today asking you to move quickly on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) by bringing a bill inclusive of protections for all victims of domestic violence, similar to that which has already passed the Senate, to the House floor for a vote during these final weeks of the 112th Congress. The Violence Against Women Act is crucial for the victims of domestic violence and those agencies and organizations who serve them. We must send the President a strong, bipartisan bill that protects all those vulnerable to domestic violence.
At the time that VAWA was first passed into law, a woman was raped every six seconds in the United States and a female was beaten every 15 seconds. Since its enactment, cases of domestic violence have fallen by sixty-seven percent. Over one million women have used the justice system to obtain protective orders against their batterers. VAWA has averted more than $14 billion dollars in societal costs as interventions have lowered domestic violence frequency and sexual assault rates. The law has also succeeded in bringing communities together to address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
The Violence Against Women Act has without question been successful. It has saved lives and helped millions of victims find safety, security and self-sufficiency. But even with all of the advancements that have been made, three women a day in this country are still killed by an intimate partner. Obviously there is much more work to be done.
Each time that VAWA has come up for reauthorization, bipartisan cooperation has swiftly moved it forward so that even more protections for victims of domestic violence become available and accessible. This must be the case again. We strongly urge you to move past politics and send a VAWA reauthorization bill to the President that he can sign immediately.