The White House on VAWA

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 28, 2013 

Statement from the President on the House Passage of the Violence Against Women Act

 I was pleased to see the House of Representatives come together and vote to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act.  Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse. Today's vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the LGBT community.  The bill also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, providing critical support for both international and domestic victims of trafficking and helping ensure traffickers are brought to justice.  I want to thank leaders from both parties - especially Leader Pelosi, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Leahy - for everything they've done to make this happen.  Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk.

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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Vice President

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 28, 2013

Statement by Vice President Biden on the House Passage of the Violence Against Women Act

Today Congress put politics aside and voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Eighteen years ago, I envisioned a world where women could live free from violence and abuse.  Since VAWA first passed in 1994, we have seen a 64% reduction in domestic violence.  I am pleased that this progress will continue, with new tools for cops and prosecutors to hold abusers and rapists accountable, and more support for all victims of these crimes.

The urgent need for this bill cannot be more obvious.  Consider just one fact-that 40% of all mass shootings started with the murderer targeting their girlfriend, or their wife, or their ex-wife. Among many other important provisions, the new VAWA will increase the use of proven models of reducing domestic violence homicides.

This morning I met with several parents whose beautiful young daughters were killed by abusive boyfriends. Nothing puts this legislation in to perspective more than their stories. This issue should be beyond politics-and I want to thank the leaders from both parties-Patrick Leahy, Mike Crapo, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Gwen Moore-and the bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate who have made that clear once again.

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Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on the House Passage of the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

Attorney General Eric Holder issued the following statement today on the House passage of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act:

"I am pleased that Congress has voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a landmark law that has transformed the way we respond to domestic and sexual violence.  This reauthorization includes crucial new provisions to improve our ability to bring hope and healing to the victims of these crimes, expand access to justice, and strengthen the prosecutorial and enforcement tools available to hold perpetrators accountable.

"Congress has also taken an historic step to finally close the loophole that left many Native American women without adequate protection.  With this bill, tribes and the federal government can better work together to address domestic violence against Native American women, who experience the highest rates of assault in the United States.  The bill also provides funding to improve the criminal justice response to sexual assault, ensuring that victims can access the services they need to heal.  And it will help to build on evidence-based practices for reducing domestic violence homicides and prevent violence against our nation's children, teens, and young adults.

"I applaud Congress for passing a bipartisan reauthorization that protects everyone - women and men, gay and straight, children and adults of all races, ethnicities, countries of origin, and tribal affiliations. The Department of Justice looks forward to implementing this historic legislation after it is signed into law."