Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congresswoman Shea-Porter and 285 of her colleagues successfully passed the full version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The legislation, which the Senate passed on February 12th, will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law.
Congresswoman Shea-Porter released the following statement:
"I was very happy to see Republicans and Democrats join together to protect victims of violence. I hope we can continue cooperating on other important issues."
· VAWA has improved the criminal justice system’s ability to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable. As a result of this historic legislation, every state has enacted laws making stalking a crime and strengthened criminal rape statutes.
· The annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50% since VAWA became law.
· VAWA programs have provided victims with critical services such as transitional housing, legal assistance, and supervised visitation services. They address the unique barriers faced by rural victims, elderly victims, and those with disabilities.
· Since VAWA was originally enacted, reporting of domestic violence has increased as much as 51%. More victims are coming forward and receiving lifesaving services to help them move from crisis to stability.
· VAWA has successfully encouraged communities to coordinate their responses to violence against women by bringing together victim advocates, law enforcement, the courts, health care professionals, and leaders within faith communities.
· More work remains: the CDC’s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey found that 1 in 4 women has been the victim of severe physical domestic violence and 1 in 5 women has been raped in her lifetime.