Murkowski: Violence Against Women Act “Above Politics”
Senator Joins Two Colleagues in Bipartisan Push for House to Pass Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Lisa Murkowski reached out to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) along with two of her Senate colleagues and urged the Speaker to take up the Senate-passed S.47 Violence Against Women Act reauthorization act.
The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization – which Senator Murkowski co sponsored – passed the Senate two weeks ago with the support of 78 Senators and over 1300 organizations representing domestic and sexual violence groups like the AWAIC shelter in Anchorage. A champion of this legislation, Murkowski joined Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) in writing a letter to Boehner advocating for action on the Senate version of the bill.
“We are proud of the bipartisan support for VAWA in the Senate, and we hope you agree that this issue and this bill are above politics,” the Senators wrote in a letter. “If the House acts quickly to pass S. 47, serious crimes will be prevented, and victims of rape and domestic violence will receive the help they need. Recent statements and letters from Republican and Democratic House members suggests that a majority would support S. 47 if given the opportunity."
(2/11: “VAWA Saves Lives” Click Image to Watch)
(2/7: “You don’t give up when the cause is right” Click Image to Watch)
“AWAIC has seen incredible changes in victim advocacy, law enforcement and prosecution during the 35 years it has existed, even more so in the last 20 years. VAWA has brought these agencies to proactively partner and address the issue of domestic violence,” said Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis Executive Director Suzi Pearson. “AWAIC fully supports the Senate version of the bill and is greatly appreciative of Senator Murkowski’s work over the years to protect victims of domestic violence.”
In Alaska, 59 percent of women have experienced partner violence or sexual violence – felt even more acutely in rural Alaska and among Alaska Native women – and Senator Murkowski has been committed to taking action to improve protection and care for vulnerable women both in Alaska and across the nation.
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act ensures that states like Alaska with smaller populations but greater need are given the same access to grants for victims – while providing services and support to all victims of domestic and sexual violence, through a uniform non-discrimination provision that expands access to service for more victims. This year’s updated bill also improves access to forensic tools needed by victims of sexual assault.
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